Ferdinand Magellan dies
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.
Searching for a way to control the native population after he leaves the island, Magellan persuades one of the local chiefs to convert to Christianity (referred to by Antonio as the "Christian King"). Magellan hopes to make this chieftain supreme over the remaining local tribes and loyal to the King of Spain. To bolster this chief's local supremacy, Magellan decides that a show of force, particularly the power of his muskets and cannon, against a neighboring tribe will impress the natives into submission.
Magellan orders an attack but miscalculates. He does not take into account that the reefs along the island's beach will not allow his ships to get into effective range for their cannon. As the battle is joined along the beach, the Spanish fire their muskets ineffectively from too far a distance despite Magellan's attempt to order his crew to cease-fire. Emboldened, the natives rush into the water flinging spears at the unprotected legs and feet of the Spanish. The crew abandons Magellan in panic and the Captain is soon overwhelmed:
"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, those men had formed in three divisions to the number of more than one thousand five hundred persons. When they saw us, they charged down upon us with exceeding loud cries, two divisions on our flanks and the other on our front.
The Battle of Mactan was fought in the Philippines on April 27, 1521. The warriors of Lapu-Lapu, a native chieftain of Mactan Island, defeated Spanish soldiers under the command of Portuguese-born Spanish explorer Ferdinand Magellan.
On March 17, 1521, Magellan sighted the mountains of what is now Samar while on a mission to find a westward route to the Moluccas Islands for Spain. This event marked the arrival of the first Spaniards in the Philippines. The following day, Magellan ordered his men to anchor their ships on the shores of Homonhon Island. There, he befriended Rajah Calambu the chieftain of Limasawa, who guided him to Cebu. Communicating through his interpreter, Enrique, Magellan befriended Rajah Humabon, the tribal chief of Cebu. He, and his queen were baptized into the Catholic faith, taking the Christian names Carlos, in honor of King Charles of Spain, and Juana, in honor of King Charles' mother. To commemorate this event, Magellan gave Juana the Santo Niño, an image of the infant Jesus, as a symbol of their new alliance. As a result of Magellan’s influence with Rajah Humabon, an order had been issued to the nearby chiefs that each of them were to provide food supplies for the ships, and was to pay forms of tribute to the king of Spain. Had the order been disobeyed, Magellan himself would see that those who failed were put to death, and that their property would be appropriated for the king’s use. Various chiefs opposed the order, but obeyed it nonetheless. However, Datu Lapu-Lapu, one of the two chiefs within the island of Mactan, was the only chieftain to show his opposition. He refused to accept the authority of Rajah Humabon in these matters. This opposition proved to be influential when Antonio Pigafetta, Magellan’s voyage chronicler, writes,
On Friday, April twenty-six, Zula, the second chief of the island of Mactan, sent one of his sons to present two goats to the captain-general, and to say that he would send him all that he had promised, but that he had not been able to send it to him because of the other chief Lapu-Lapu, who refused to obey the king of Spain.
Rajah Humabon, and Datu Zula suggested Magellan to go to the island of Mactan, and kill rival chieftain Datu Lapu-Lapu. Magellan agreed, and prepared for battle. Pigafetta writes,
At midnight, sixty of us set out armed with corselets and helmets, together with the Christian king, the prince, some of the chief men, and twenty or thirty balanguais. We reached Mactan three hours before dawn. The captain did not wish to fight then, but sent a message to the natives by the Moro to the effect that if they would obey the king of Spain, recognize the Christian king as their sovereign, and pay us our tribute, he would be their friend; but that if they wished otherwise, they should wait to see how our lances wounded. They replied that if we had lances they had lances of bamboo and stakes hardened with fire. [they asked us] not to proceed to attack them at once, but to wait until morning, so that they might have more men. They said that in order to induce us to go in search of them; for they had dug certain pit holes between the houses in order that we might fall into them.