Magellan spent two weeks on the island of Cebu before that dark day he sailed to Mactan. He never attacked anyone on Cebu Island. Quite the opposite. He spent those two weeks baptizing the King and Queen of Cebu and their people. He erected them a holy cross, and gave them the Santo Nino. (Until this day, we Filipinos gather by the millions to celebrate Sinulog in honor of Santo Nino. Every Christian I know displays Santo Nino in a place of prominence in their home.) But Lapu Lapu, wanted no part of Santo Nino nor anything that went with Magellan. Lapu Lapu sent word from Mactan Island, that he would not be baptized. Magellan had 150 men and three ships, all with cannons, yet when he sailed to Mactan, in his effort to baptize Lapu Lapu, he took only 60 men and one ship. The other 90 men and two ships were left behind in Cebu. Of these 60 men, 11 stayed offshorewith the ship’s longboats, only 49 madethe trek to the Mactan shore.Not what you would call an invasion force.
Antonio Pigafetta Lived To Tell ,
Antonio Pigafetta was one of the Spanish survivors of that fatal day; his diary records the following: "When morning came, forty-nine of us leaped into the water up to our thighs, and walked through water for more than two cross-bow flights before we could reach the shore. ..... When we reached land, [the natives] had formed in three divisions to the number of more than one thousand five hundred people. When they saw us, they charged down upon us with exceeding loud cries... Recognizing the captain, so many turned upon him that they knocked his helmet off his head twice... A native hurled a bamboo spear into the captain's face, but the latter immediately killed him with his lance, which he left in the native's body. Then, trying to lay hand on sword, he could draw it out but halfway, because he had been wounded in the arm with a bamboo spear. When the natives saw that, they all hurled themselves upon him. One of them wounded him on the left leg with a large cutlass, which resembles a scimitar, only being larger. That caused the captain to fall face downward, when immediately they rushed upon him with iron and bamboo spears and with their cutlasses, until they killed our mirror, our light, our comfort, and our true guide... Thereupon, beholding him dead, we, wounded, retreated, as best we could….”
Goodbye Navigator Outnumbered 25 to One. ,
The Battle of Mactan. It was not the glorious one on one sword fight between Magellan and Lapu Lapu, as portrayed by yearly re-enactments in Mactan, and by Pinoy movie directors. Nor was it a gallant display of eskrima arnis kali, the Filipino martial arts, as many like to fantasize. In reality it was a staggering and savage ambush by a mob that outnumbered Magellan’s forces, 25 to 1. An ambush that killed the man who brought us Jesus Christ. A battle that would convince future Spanish explorers to display their wrath and their mighty weapons instead of their Bibles.
Cockfight Tribute on Mactan Island
I had the good fortune to have a friend invite me to lunch one recent Saturday. We went to a place on Mactan Island called Banana Moon Cantina. It was the best Mexican Food I've had since I finished college and left Los Angeles. But that's not what I'm here to talk about.....Did I mention I LOVE Cockfighting? I love it with a passion. No better way to spend a Sunday Morning! Decorating the walls at the Cantina hung unique Filipino Posters depicting Cock Fighting. I'm a big cockfight fan, I had to had to have these posters. Turns our they were signed and numbered limited editions celebrating the Cock Arena in Sudtunggan, a barangay on Mactan Island. The Price was right, and their value will rise as they were created by a well know Filipino artist. I am confident I made a good investment. And they look great on my office walls!Ken Lim
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