Magellan's Shrine

Magellan's Shrine in Punta Engaño, Mactan Island, Cebu

Magellan Shrine is one of Cebu tourist spot favorites located in Punta Engaño, Mactan Island, Cebu. It was built on 1866 in honor of the great explorer Ferdinand Magellan who was believed to have died in this spot on 1521.

History has it that when Magellan arrive in Cebu Island. He befriended Rajah Humabon and his wife Hara Humamai who he later converted to Christianity. As a result of this friendship Magellan then used his influence with Rajah Humabon to issue an order to all neighboring chiefs that they should provide Magellan with food supplies for his fleet of ships and to convert to Christianity.

The Spaniard appears to be all powerful with their superior military equipments (Body Armour, Cannons, Crossbow, Guns, Sword and Galleon). It was easy to convince most of the native’s chief to agree and comply with the order. Some may have comply out of fear while others probably to gain a stronger political clout against rival chiefs.

Magellan's Shrine in Punta Engaño, Mactan Island, Cebu

However one of the native’s chief named Datu Lapu-Lapu of Mactan refused to comply with the order that Raja Humabon have sent since back then it was widely believe that that Raja Humabon and Datu Lapu-Lapu have been harboring grudged against each other and on occasion are fighting for territory control. With Datu Lapu-Lapu refusal to comply Raja Humabon and Datu Zula (Datu Lapu-Lapu rival) suggested to Magellan that they should show Datu Lapu-Lapu the real might of the King of Spain’s Army. Magellan for his part tried to avoid bloodshed and the night before the battle has asked Datu Lapu-Lapu to reconsider and comply with Raja Humabon's order.

With Datu Lapu-Lapu refusal Magellan has no choice but to subdue Datu Lapu-Lapu rebellion. It was said that he order Raja Humabon and Datu Zula not to take part on the assault. Magellan believes that this was the perfect time to show the native’s chief how powerful they truly are.

According to Antonio Pigaffeta an Italian scholar who travelled with Magellan and kept a journal of his voyage, on the day of the battle Magellan wasn’t able to land his ship because the shore of Mactan is surrounded with corals and rocky beds. He was then forced to anchor his ships from the shore which renders the ship's cannons ineffective.

Magellan and 48 of his man disembarked to a water level that is thigh high. The spaniards wearing metal body armors moves at a very slow pace as they try to reach the shore this gave Datu Lapu-Lapu and his men’s the opportunity to harass them with spears. The lost of the ships cannons proved to be fatal for Magellan and his man as they where vastly outnumbered.

It was said that Raja Humabon tried to offer gift and jewelry to Datu Lapu-Lapu for the return of Magellan body. However, no body was ever recovered. Maybe out of shame or anger Raja Humabon held a feast and secretly poison the food of the surviving Spaniards upon their return to Cebu Island.

Upon knowing the faith bestow by the native to their comrades those who didn't partake in the feast quickly fled Cebu Island.

Since 1980 when Kaduagan sa Mactan which translate to Victory in Mactan was first re-enactment.It has gradually attracted the attention of local tourist.I have in fact have attended the said event thrice and it have become one of Cebu tourist spot hottest event of the year.

The Magellan's Marker

Painting depicting the Battle of Mactan
Painting depicting the Battle of Mactan
Front-end of Magellan's Marker
Front-end of Magellan's Marker
Back-end of Magellan's Marker
Back-end of Magellan's Marker

In an open shelter located inside the grounds of the Mactan Shrine is a panoramic painting depicting the Battle of Mactan. Also, located in the same open shelter is the Magellan's Marker which was erected in 1941 by the National Historical Institute. It is constructed using marble and bares two plaques.

On the front of the marker is a plaque which bares the following text:

Lapulapu

Here on 27 April 1521, Lapulapu and his men repulsed the Spanish invaders, killing their leader Ferdinand Magellan thus Lapu Lapu became the first Filipino to have repelled European aggression.


On the back of the marker is the other plaque which bares the following text:

Ferdinand Magellan's Death

On this spot Ferdinand Magellan died on April 27, 1521 wounded in an encounter with the soldiers of Lapu Lapu, Chief of Mactan Islands. One of Magellan's ships, The Victoria, under the command of Juan Sebastian Elcano, sailed from Cebu on May 1, 1521 and anchored at San Lucar de Barrameda on September 6, 1522 thus completing the first circumnavigation of the earth.

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Comments 36 comments

kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

Good historical background about Magellan's Shrine. I visited this place once and there were so many people. I'm not so sure though if they knew how important the place was. Thanks for this hub. It gives use excellent details about Magellan.


cebutouristspot profile image

cebutouristspot 5 years ago from Cebu Author

Thanks :D Still not good as yours :D

As soon as I revisited the place I will add picture. I don't think am allowed to get picture from the net.

So I have to wait when I go there probably on the 11th since I would be staying in BE resort.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

i would love to see what this looks like. do u have any pictures?


cebutouristspot profile image

cebutouristspot 5 years ago from Cebu Author

Yes, I have some taken last Nov. 12, 2011. I will upload it as soon as I can. Sorry for making this live without any pictures :D


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

No problem! I'm just very curious


cebutouristspot profile image

cebutouristspot 5 years ago from Cebu Author

Picture are up. Sadly the picture didn't come out as good as I want them to be :(


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

thank u, though. These help me picture it better!


cebutouristspot profile image

cebutouristspot 5 years ago from Cebu Author

Your welcome :D


sharewhatuknow profile image

sharewhatuknow 5 years ago from Western Washington

Hi Cebu, thank you for following me and this is a great article. I never have studied much about the Philippines ( I just know they are our allies from WWII because of atrocities committed against them from the Japanese).

With that said, I do know the history of Spanish Conquistadors and don't think too highly of them at all.


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

What a great history lesson.. very good article. I love history. Thank you for doing all this work and research. great HUB.. I voted up...


cebutouristspot profile image

cebutouristspot 4 years ago from Cebu Author

@sharewhatuknow - Your Welcome :). Yeah the Conquistadors did a lot of damage here but I believe their original intention was good. Sadly. Power and Corruption destroyed it.

@Deborah - Your Welcome and thanks for the votes up. History is here to teach us to learn from our past mistake and to be inspired from our past accomplishment.


Indian Chef profile image

Indian Chef 4 years ago from New Delhi India

Thanks cebytouristspot for this hub. very nice pictres.


cebutouristspot profile image

cebutouristspot 4 years ago from Cebu Author

@Indian Chef - Thanks appreciate the kind comment :D


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

Not sure how I missed this the first time around but it's a nice pairing with Lapu-Lapu. Voting this Up and Interesting.


cebutouristspot profile image

cebutouristspot 4 years ago from Cebu Author

@alocsin - Yup the classic battle of Magellan and Lapu-Lapu have a great historic value for my people.


Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 4 years ago from Somewhere in Asia

I like the way that you have given the full history behind the shrine, not just a guide to the area.

Thanks for SHARING.


phoenix2327 profile image

phoenix2327 4 years ago from United Kingdom

A wonderful history lesson, cebutouristspot. Thanks for SHARING. Have voted up and interesting.


cebutouristspot profile image

cebutouristspot 4 years ago from Cebu Author

@Brett.Tesol - Thank you am glad that you like it.


cebutouristspot profile image

cebutouristspot 4 years ago from Cebu Author

@phoenix2327 - Yup this place is rich with historic event. Thanks for the visit really appreciate it.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

I really enjoyed reading this and learning about how and where Magellan died. History is always interesting. Thanks for this informative hub and the photos. Up and interesting votes!


cebutouristspot profile image

cebutouristspot 4 years ago from Cebu Author

@Peggy W - I glad that you enjoyed it and thanks to hubpages for making this sharing possible :) Thanks for the vote up.


jojokaya profile image

jojokaya 4 years ago from USA

Great hub and very informative. Rated up


cebutouristspot profile image

cebutouristspot 4 years ago from Cebu Author

@jojokaya - Thanks for the rate up and the visit. As soon as I can I would start posting more spot here in Cebu.


Keri Summers profile image

Keri Summers 4 years ago from West of England

Interesting historical article, and beautifully illustrated. Up and interesting. It's great that this story from so long ago is still being written about as part of world history.


cebutouristspot profile image

cebutouristspot 4 years ago from Cebu Author

@Keri - I simply believe our past is there to guide us. I love learning about history. As this is a means on understanding how culture have evolve.


thumbi7 profile image

thumbi7 4 years ago from India

This is another great article with lot of historical importance.

Thanks for SHARING:)


freelanceauthor profile image

freelanceauthor 4 years ago

Great Hub. I've been to Cebu countless times. Funny, I haven't visited the shrine, except for the Magellan's Cross, which is more popular than the shrine. Voted up


cebutouristspot profile image

cebutouristspot 4 years ago from Cebu Author

@thumbi7 - Thanks and you are welcome:)


cebutouristspot profile image

cebutouristspot 4 years ago from Cebu Author

@freelanceauthor - Yup the cross is more popular since it is situated near the basilica which is the most prominent church here in Cebu. :)


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

Wow! This is indeed a very informative history of my beloved country. I'll try to visit Magellan Shrine next time I'm in Cebu. Thank you and SOCIALLY SHARED.


cebutouristspot profile image

cebutouristspot 4 years ago from Cebu Author

@Thelma Alberts - Thanks for dropping by and thanks for the shared


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

This is very interesting, thanks for the history lesson. The photos do help a great deal.


cebutouristspot profile image

cebutouristspot 4 years ago from Cebu Author

@Millionaire Tips - Thanks for the visit :)


KimberlyLake profile image

KimberlyLake 4 years ago from California

Very interesting Hub. I didn't know this story, great details. Voted up and SHARED


cebutouristspot profile image

cebutouristspot 4 years ago from Cebu Author

@KimberlyLake - Thanks happy to share a bit of history :)


unknown spy profile image

unknown spy 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

There are so many tourist spot here in Cebu.. wish I could spend some time here. :)

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