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Magellan's Shrine

Updated on March 5, 2015

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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    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 5 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. :)

    • cebutouristspot profile image
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      cebutouristspot 5 years ago from Cebu

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

    • KimberlyLake profile image

      Kimberly Lake 5 years ago from California

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

    • cebutouristspot profile image
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      cebutouristspot 5 years ago from Cebu

      @Millionaire Tips - Thanks for the visit :)

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 5 years ago from USA

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

    • cebutouristspot profile image
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      cebutouristspot 5 years ago from Cebu

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

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 5 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
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      cebutouristspot 5 years ago from Cebu

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

    • cebutouristspot profile image
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      cebutouristspot 5 years ago from Cebu

      @thumbi7 - Thanks and you are welcome:)

    • freelanceauthor profile image

      freelanceauthor 5 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

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 5 years ago from India

      This is another great article with lot of historical importance.

      Thanks for SHARING:)

    • cebutouristspot profile image
      Author

      cebutouristspot 5 years ago from Cebu

      @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.

    • Keri Summers profile image

      Keri Summers 5 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
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      cebutouristspot 5 years ago from Cebu

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

    • jojokaya profile image

      jojokaya 5 years ago from USA

      Great hub and very informative. Rated up

    • cebutouristspot profile image
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      cebutouristspot 5 years ago from Cebu

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

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 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
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      cebutouristspot 5 years ago from Cebu

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

    • cebutouristspot profile image
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      cebutouristspot 5 years ago from Cebu

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

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 5 years ago from United Kingdom

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

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

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

      Thanks for SHARING.

    • cebutouristspot profile image
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      cebutouristspot 5 years ago from Cebu

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

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 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
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      cebutouristspot 5 years ago from Cebu

      @Indian Chef - Thanks appreciate the kind comment :D

    • Indian Chef profile image

      Indian Chef 5 years ago from New Delhi India

      Thanks cebytouristspot for this hub. very nice pictres.

    • cebutouristspot profile image
      Author

      cebutouristspot 5 years ago from Cebu

      @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.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 5 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...

    • 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.

    • cebutouristspot profile image
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      cebutouristspot 5 years ago from Cebu

      Your welcome :D

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

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

    • cebutouristspot profile image
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      cebutouristspot 5 years ago from Cebu

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

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      No problem! I'm just very curious

    • cebutouristspot profile image
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      cebutouristspot 5 years ago from Cebu

      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

      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

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

    • cebutouristspot profile image
      Author

      cebutouristspot 5 years ago from Cebu

      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.

    • 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.