Seventh of April 1521 on the Spanish Calendar
The scorching heat of the sun welcomed the Armada de Molucca led by Fernando de Magallanes on the shore of the small island which later will be known as Sugbu.
“Welcome to Pulua Kang Daya!” greeted Rajah Humabon with a friendly gesture then translated by Enrique to Magallanes. Fernando de Magallanes greeted the royal couple with a kiss in response and then commanded his crew to plant the cross on the shore.
“Their armors and weapons look stunningly powerful and elegant,” Hara Amihan secretly whispered to her husband Humabon while the crewmen are busy fortifying the cross.
“I’d love to wear them on my body,” Humabon cautiously replied with a grin on his face.
The cross of the Spaniards towered them all and after they finished fortifying, both parties went to the hall to arrange the baptism.
“The God of power and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has freed you from sin and brought you to new life through water and the Holy Spirit. He now anoints you with the chrism of salvation, so that, united with his people, you may remain forever a member of Christ who is Priest, Prophet and King. You are named, ‘Carlos,’ in honor of King Charles of Spain,” announced the friar in a loud voice.
The friar also baptized Hara Amihan and named her Queen Juana and 800 of the subjects of Rajah Humabon were also baptized to Catholic Faith. Magallanes in his delight gave Queen Juana a gift.
“Thank you so much!” expressed Juana while kissing the gift. Magellan looked at her and replied with a smile. Carlos then interrupted the exchange of gifts and invited Magallanes, the friars and 800 newly baptized men to a very big feast with the loud beat of drums and graceful dancing. His subjects were shouting with praise, “Pit Señor! Pit Señor!”
After the party Juana and Carlos, formerly Hara Amihan and Rajah Humabon, were alone.
“A wooden boy,” Juana said in frustration, “They have gold and silver and they’ll give me this toy as a gift?”
“All right,” said Carlos, trying to comfort her with a hug from the back,” Take it easy, this not just an ordinary toy. This is an idol. They respect this idol and we should show our respect as well.”
Carlos reached out for something under his bed as he stumbled for words,” Look at this golden cutlass. Isn’t this splendid?”
Juana with a surprised look on her face kissed Carlos good night.
“This can’t really be happening,” Carlos grunted as he pulled his feet out of bed. “That was a horrible nightmare!” He ran quickly to search for the supplies and found out that his nightmare became a reality. The supplies for his Kingdom are not enough for the month and his visitors. The feast consumed much more than he expected.
Later that morning Carlos ordered and issued to the nearby chiefs that each of them were to provide food supplies for the expedition and convert the chiefs and their subjects to Christianity. The chiefs obeyed the order not knowing Carlos had plans of secretly taking advantage of their supplies. But one chieftain is not in agreement.
Datu Lapu-Lapu, one of the chiefs within the Island of Mactan, received the order and became furious, “Who is he to take the fruits of labor from my subjects?”
“Tell him,” Datu Lapu-Lapu in a loud and angry voice,” Not a single grain of rice will go to the stomachs of those hypocrite Spaniards!” He said this to the messenger and the man with the orders ran away clumsily.
26th of April 1521
Datu Zula, the second chief of the Pulu of Mactan, sent one of his sons to present two goats to Magallanes and to say,” My father’s allegiance is to you my Lord. He sent me here to assure you of our promised supplies. We support you but our balanguais that contained the supplies were blocked by Datu Lapu-Lapu .”
Carlos then talked to Magallanes with his translator Enrique, “You should go to Mactan with your Spaniard crew to show Datu Lapu-Lapu how powerful Spain is. I will be with you.”
At midnight sixty of the Spaniards armed with corselets and helmets together with the prince, some of the chief men and twenty-five balanguais. They reached Mactan before dawn. Magallanes sent a messenger to Datu Lapu-Lapu telling him:
“I wish not to harm you. I only ask you to pay us our tribute, to recognize the authority of Carlos formerly Rajah Humabon and obey the King of Spain, then you will become our friends. Otherwise, you will see our power and how we will destroy you.”
Datu Lapu-Lapu understood the message and told the messenger in reply, “I will make you an example of how I will destroy Spain.” Lapu-Lapu’s warriors hurled a bamboo spear to the leg of the messenger. The messenger cowardly ran and Lapu-Lapu’s warriors threw big stones while mocking and laughing at the coward messenger.
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…
To be continued…
Note: This is a work of art. All characters are real historical figures but conversations are taken from the imagination of the writer.