28th of April 1521
Magallanes deployed forty-nine armored men with swords, axes, shields, crossbows and guns then sailed for Mactan in the morning. A hundred of native warriors who converted to Christianity also came to their aid and they are all set for a war against Datu Lapu-Lapu and his warriors…
Lapu-Lapu’s warriors prepared themselves for the war. As they see the Spaniard ships approaching, Lapu-Lapu ordered them to form three divisions to the number of more than one thousand five hundred men. Lapu-Lapu led the uproar and shouted “Luba! Bara!” And everyone roared in unison with Lapu-Lapu.
The shuttering uproar terrified the Spaniards. To their fear, the crossbow-men and musketeers started to pull the triggers and shot the warriors from a distance for about half an hour but all were useless. The native warriors became louder and started to laugh after the gunfires, trying to ridicule the Spanish weapons.
The big ships were stuck on the big rocks as if the heavens are on the side of the native warriors and they cannot go close to the shores of Mactan. They cannot deploy the cannons on the ground. So Magallanes commanded, “Let us leap into the waters! Leave the cannons in the ship! They are too heavy for us in the waters. Let us go on the other side and burn those houses.”
The burning houses caught the attention of Lapu-Lapu and his warriors. They ran quickly with great fury. Lapu-Lapu screamed, “Archers! Pull the arrows! Warriors! Rip their heads off!” The barrage of arrows rained on the Spaniards but the strong helmets and shields left no permanent damage.
One of the sharpest archers of Lapu-Lapu’s noticed Magallanes in command. His arrow had a poison and locked Magallanes on his aim. Magallanes got hit on the legs and he shouted in pain, “ Frontal Assault!” Seeing Magallanes fall on his knees, the Spaniards did not obey his Frontal Assault command instead, they ran away going back to the ship.
Fifteen of Magallanes’ men were left standing on the ground to protect and die for him. Five of them got hit on the legs with the poisoned arrows. The mortars and the cannons were of no help as they were left in the hands of Lapu-Lapu and the one thousand five hundred warriors surrounding them.
Lapu-Lapu in air of pride said, “I know you will not understand what I shall say. You underestimated us and now you are kneeling with no strength. I am Datu Lapu-Lapu! Luba! Bara!” And everyone shouted with him and so many were the bamboo spears and stones hurled at Magallanes and his men while some of the Spaniards managed to escape.
Magallanes fought until the end like a warlord. He shot the warriors using his gun until he ran out of ammunition. He pulled his sword at the last seconds of his life but it was too late. A bamboo spear hit his face, he turned around one last time to signal his men to run away and escape. He looked at the ship as if telling them, “Leave! Leave! We fought a good fight. Continue and finish our true mission.” The original mission of Magallanes to go to the Spice Islands was halted by Datu Lapu-Lapu. And a man on the ship shouted in a loud cry, “Our Mirror! Our Light! Our Comfort! Our True Guide!” His name was Antonio, a very good friend of Magallanes and the chronicler of his crew. He wept while the boat sailed back in retreat. He wept at Magallanes who fell face down on the ground while fifty native warriors with large cutlass and bamboo spears putting an end to his voyage.
Datu Lapu-Lapu and his warriors shouted in victory. They danced around the campfire with the heads of Magallanes and his men laid on top of the bamboo spears near the campfire.
Rajah Humabon received the news of Datu Lapu-Lapu’s victory over the Armada of Magallanes. Humabon was so terrified. He did not know what to do until Juana, his wife, came in.” Did you receive the news?” Juana hurriedly asked without knocking on the door. “I do not know what to do,” Humabon answered with a blank face. “Before the Spaniards arrive here at our kingdom, let’s kill them all. Let’s arrange a feast – a poisoned feast,” Juana suggested with a grin on her face.
The Spaniards arrived at the Kingdom of Humabon. They grieved the loss of Magallanes and some of their men, and told Humabon of what happened in the battle. Then Juana interrupted them all and suggested to eat first after a long journey and a terrifying battle.
Some of the Spaniards did not join the dinner since they were grieving and not having any appetite to eat. When one of them went to the dining hall to get a glass of water, he accidentally dropped his glass and was shocked at what he saw. All the Spaniards inside the dining hall were lying down on the floor. He was shocked at what happened so he ran as fast as he could telling the other Spaniards to escape. They all headed to the ship like rats chased by a cat.
The Spaniards vanished from the Island. Rajah Humabon and Hara Amihan can now take a breather for what had happened the past month.
Years passed by they lived in temporary peace. Rajah Humabon began to age and felt too old for the position. Rajah Tupas inherited the throne after Humabon ended his reign.
Exactly 44 Years Later…
28th of April 1565
Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and his expedition returned with a vengeance. They burned all the houses and bombarded all the villages. The Augustinian Friars were with the expedition and went over the place to look around. So many dead people all over. The Augustinians were led by their Prior Andres de Urdaneta. While walking around, a soldier named, Juan Camus ran towards him saying, “I found Hesus! I found Hesus!” He was catching his breath then he added, “It was a miracle Father! The house was burnt to ashes and I found a box in the middle of it. I was very curious why the box was still there so I opened it. I saw a black Hesus in it. Though burnt but it did not turn to ashes. Amazing!” The prior was surprised with what Juan Camus reported and said, “ This is The Sto Niño or what we call The Holy Child,” in amazement he added, “a miracle indeed!”
May 8th 1565
Rajah Tupas submitted to Miguel Lopez and accepted the Spanish rulers.
July 3rd 1565
Miguel Lopez named the city – “ Villa de San Miguel de Cebu.” In 1567 Cebu garrison was reinforced with the arrival of 2100 soldiers from New Spain (Mexico) and they fortified the city and was called Fuerte de San Pedro.
And the rest is History…
Note: This is a work of art. All characters are real historical figures but conversations are taken from the imagination of the writer.