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Flight chronicles of the backpacker Tutubi, with travelogues, pictures/photos/videos, travel guides, independent and honest reviews, affordable, recommended resorts and hotels (including inns, guesthouses, pension houses, lodges, hostels, condotels, bed and breakfast and other cheap accommodations), commuting guides, routes (sometimes street maps and GPS coordinates/waypoints) and driving directions to answer "how to get there" questions, information and tips on tourism, budget travel and living in Philippines, Exotic Asia and beyond!

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    First Mass Controversy: Magellan's Mazaua, Limasawa or Butuan?

    It's the 489th anniversary of the historic first mass in the Philippines where Ferdinand Magellan (Fernao de Magalhaes, Fernando Magallanes), a Portuguese in the service of the Spanish crown, celebrated the Catholic rite on Easter Sunday of 1521.

    The day, March 31, 1521, was on an island recorded by Magellan's chronicler as Mazaua but the issue on Mazaua's exact location is still hot debated by several groups that even the National Historical Institutes stand on the issue is not accepted.

    The official NHI stand points to Limasawa Island off the coast of Leyte, an island without a harbor making it impossible to be the lost harbor of Magellan according to others. Another claim is that Mazaua is in Butuan, but Butuan is not an island (unless geomorphologists can really prove the island of Mazaua is now part of Butuan where the balangay boats were excavated). The third claim is the area of Pinamanculan-Bancasi.

    The issue can only be settled unless archeologists can dig up artifacts attesting to the claims or any person who witnessed the event resurrects on Easter Sunday.

    The latter seems improbable and the former needs lots of money and time. For now the controversy and debate will go on the issue: “Where is the site of the first mass?"

    Annually, a Tridentine Mass is held at Bood Promontory in Pinamanculan, Butuan to commemorate the first mass while there's also a commemoration in Magallanes, Limasawa island, Southern Leyte (that still some quarters claim happened in Barangay Triana, not Magallanes)

    Are you still not confused? :P

    489 years and counting, that's how long the search for Magellan's lost harbor has been going on.

    first mass in the philippines limasawa leyteThe First Mass in the Philippines on Limasawa Island, Leyte depiction at the neo-classical Leyte Provincial Capitol. Another bas relief features the MacArthur landing in Palo near the end of World War II

    ---

    Other significant events of March 1521:

    March 28, 1521, Ferdinand Magellan's three ship Armada de Molucca anchored on Mazaua

    The first blood compact in the islands, to be known later as The Philippines, happened between Ferdinand Magellan and Raia Siaiu. (This is contrary to the misinformed claims of some Boholanos that the Sandugo, the blood compact between Legazpi and Sikatuna in the island of Bohol was the first treaty of "friendship." The said Sandugo was also not honored by the Spaniards when they later enslaved the Filipinos so why celebrate the historically-inaccurate Sandugo Festival?)

    Magellan then took ownership of the island group and named it Islas de San Lazaro for it was the feast day of San. Lazaro. The name shall only be changed to Islas de Filipinas, by Ruy Lopez de Villalobos more than two decades later.

    Labels:


    posted by backpacking philippines @ 9:49 PM,

    6 Comments:

    At Apr 1, 2010, 1:58:00 PM, OpenID docgelo said...

    wow, thanks for sharing a piece of history.
    have a blessed holy week, tutubi =)

     
    At Apr 2, 2010, 2:04:00 PM, Blogger Vicente Calibo de Jesus said...

    The Limasawa story: There is absolutely no reference to an Easter Sunday mass

    The author of the Limasawa story was a Spanish missionary who had not read one single eyewitness account of Magellan's voyage.

    Fr. Francisco Combes, S.J., had two contradictory sources, one (Giovanni Battista Ramusio) said the port of March-April 1521 was Butuan. The second (Antonio de Herrera) pointed to Mazaua as the island-port where the fleet was moored for the same period.

    Combes adopted Ramusio. He invented the word "Limasaua" to negate the story of Herrera that the port was Mazaua. Not only that, Combes not only disregarded Mazaua, he also completely disregarded the idea there was an Easter Sunday mass held anywhere in the Philippines.

    You can read Combes story at Facebook, click http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?v=app_2347471856&id=761273501#!/note.php?note_id=382721419812

    VICENTE CALIBO DE JESUS
    ginesdemafra@gmail.com

     
    At Apr 4, 2010, 11:47:00 AM, Anonymous Traveler on Foot said...

    According to Ambeth O. this first mass was held on Easter, so Happy Easter to you and your wonderful family tutubi!

     
    At Apr 24, 2010, 7:06:00 PM, Anonymous grasya said...

    hrrmm this is a good reference for my travels - http://www.grasya.com

     
    At Jul 12, 2011, 10:08:00 AM, Blogger Vicente Calibo de Jesus said...

    I believe no one questions a mass was held at Mazaua on 31 March 1521, an Easter Sunday. The question is: Is Limasawa Mazaua?

    Last January, I launched a global contest where the prize is an all-expense paid trip around the world. It's a very simple contest. All one has to do is point to the word "missa" in the Limasawa story by Fr. Francisco Combes, the author of the Limasawa story.

    No need to write anything. No need to argue. No need to say anything. All one must do is encircle the word "missa" in the three (!) paragraphs of Combes story. Send this to me with your name and address and telephone no. and email so I can contact you in an instant.

    I gave Dr. Ambeth Ocampo and the entire NHI the chance to have the first crack at this. It's now six months. No one among them has seen the word.

    Anyone out there who can?

     
    At Oct 2, 2012, 11:48:00 AM, Blogger Vicente Calibo de Jesus said...

    We have increased to TWO MILLION PESOS the amount you can win if you can point to the word "missa" (mass) in the Limasawa story. All that you have to do is point, no need to argue, no need to write anything even one word.

    To be fair, we are also increasing your chances of winning...

    If you can't find the word, you can still win the prize money if you can find any veiled reference, a hint, or a glimmer of a hint of an Easter Sunday mass in Fr. Francisco Combes' Limasawa story.

    If not, you can still win the TWO MILLION if you can find in any primary or secondary account the word "Limasawa."

    If you can't, you can still win that money if you can show the word "Limasawa" is found in any Philippine language (there are some 170), or in the various languages of those who were in Magellan's fleet, e.g., French, Italian, Spanish.

    If you still can't, you have another chance. In the story, Combe' says the captain-general was named "Alonso" Magallanes. Point to any primary, secondary document that says the name of Magelan is "Alonso."

    If you can't, here another chance to win TWO MILLION PESOS, show me any primary or secondary account that says the fleet entered through Siargao as Combes writes.

    If again, you can't, here's one more chance: Combes wrote the fleet's first landfall is Limasawa. Now find any primary or secondary source that says the first stop is an island named "Limasawa."

    Combes writes the fleet went to Butuan where a cross was planted. Now point to any primary or secondary account that says the fleet went to Butuan. If you can, you'll win the award.

    Ok. I'll leave you now to try to win the prize money.

     

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