Rajah Humabon of Cebu was friendly towards Magellan and the Spaniards, both he and his queen Hara Amihan were baptized as Christians. Afterward, Rajah Humabon and his ally Datu Zula convinced Magellan to kill their enemy, Datu Lapu-Lapu, on Mactan. Magellan had wished to convert Datu Lapu-Lapu to Christianity, as he had Rajah Humabon, a proposal to which Datu Lapu-Lapu was dismissive. On the morning of April 27, 1521, Magellan sailed to Mactan with an army of men. During the resulting Battle of Mactan against native forces led by Datu Lapu-Lapu, Magellan was shot by a poisonous arrow and later surrounded and finished off with spears and other weapons.
Pigafetta and Ginés de Mafra provided written documents of the events culminating in Magellan's death:
"When morning came, forty-nine of us leaped into the water up to our thighs, and walked through water for more than two cross-bow flights before we could reach the shore. The boats could not approach nearer because of certain rocks in the water. The other eleven men remained behind to guard the boats. When we reached land, [the natives] had formed in three divisions to the number of more than one thousand five hundred people. When they saw us, they charged down upon us with exceeding loud cries... The musketeers and crossbow-men shot from a distance for about a half-hour, but uselessly... Recognizing the captain, so many turned upon him that they knocked his helmet off his head twice... A native hurled a bamboo spear into the captain's face, but the latter immediately killed him with his lance, which he left in the native's body. Then, trying to lay hand on sword, he could draw it out but halfway, because he had been wounded in the arm with a bamboo spear. When the natives saw that, they all hurled themselves upon him. One of them wounded him on the left leg with a large cutlass, which resembles a scimitar, only being larger. That caused the captain to fall face downward, when immediately they rushed upon him with iron and bamboo spears and with their cutlasses, until they killed our mirror, our light, our comfort, and our true guide. When they wounded him, he turned back many times to see whether we were all in the boats. Thereupon, beholding him dead, we, wounded, retreated, as best we could, to the boats, which were already pulling off."
Magellan provided in his will that Enrique, his interpreter, was to be freed upon his death. However, after the Battle of Mactan, the remaining ships' masters refused to free Enrique. Enrique escaped his indenture on May 1 with the aid of Rajah Humabon, amid the deaths of almost 30 crewmen. Pigafetta had been jotting down words in the Visayan language, both Butuanon and Cebuano—which he started at Mazaua on Friday, 29 March and grew to a total of 145 words—and was apparently able to continue communications during the rest of the voyage. The Spaniards offered the natives merchandise in exchange for Magellan's body, but they were declined and so his body was never recovered.