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Fernão de Magalhães

With the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan on the island of Leyte (16 March 1521) began the modern era in the Philippines. Magellan had been commissioned by the order of the King of Spain to find a sea route to the west across the Pacific led to benefit from the riches of India, as the eastern route past the Cape of Good Hope was blocked by the Portuguese. With the help of the priests who accompanied his expedition, converted Magellan, the leader of Samar / Leyte and Cebu to the Christian faith, baptized their families and followers, and let them swear allegiance to Spain.

After this promising start, from a Spanish perspective, Magellan was involved in a skirmish with the tribal chief Lapu-lapu of Mactan and killed. The expedition continued on its way. Finally - three years after it had left Spain - completed a stray emaciated ship with 22 men aboard, four of them Indians, the first circumnavigation. The company had lost four ships and 252 men, but the survivors had brought a valuable cargo with them, spices from the Moluccas, adequate to make up the expenses for the expedition.

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