A historic moment took place on Tuesday, March 16, as the ship retracing the route of the first-ever circumnavigation of the world arrived in Guiuan, Eastern Samar.
Named after the captain of the Armada de Maluco vessel used during the Magellan-Elcano expedition, the Spanish Navy Training Ship Juan Sebastian Elcano has been sailing since October 2020 to mark the event.
It arrived on the island located in Eastern Visayas some five hundred years later not only to mark the expedition, but also to celebrate the relations between the Philippines and Spanish nation.
“Today, we commemorate the historical moment with the same spirit of friendship and cooperation that nourishes our fraternal relations, and thus also inaugurate a series of historical markers that will remain forever as a reference of the Magellan-Elcano maritime route in the Philippines, only 500 years later,” the Embassy of Spain in the Philippines said.
The National Historical Commission together with the Suluan Quincentennial Committee commemorated the event in the island-barangay of Suluan in Guiuan, Eastern Samar, where the ship carrying Magellan was believed to have first anchored in the country.
According to a Samar Weekly Express report, the Philippine Coast Guard BRP Suluan as well as the Philippine Navy met the Elcano ship before joining a fluvial parade the local government unit of Suluan and Manicani islands organized to mark the momentous event.
Meanwhile, the second of the 34 markers along the first circumnavigation in the country is set to be unveiled today, March 17, in Homonhon island, also in Guiuan, Eastern, Samar.
Apart from the first circumnavigation in the world, the Philippines — a predominantly Christian country — also marks the 500th year of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines.
It was on March 31, 1521, when Magellan and his companions were said to have held the first-ever Christian mass in the Philippines at Limasawa in Southern, Leyte.