I recently read a fascinating article written by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard “Another Look at Magellan’s Journey Around the World” in Journey of 100 Years: Reflections on the Centennial of Philippine Independence. The essay is only eight pages long but what it does is ‘whet’ our appetite for a more in-depth inquiry into Magellan’s expedition and particularly the alleged “discovery” of the Philippine islands. One of the sources Brainard used is a translated work of Paige’s The Voyage of Magellan: The Journal of Antonio Pigafetta (NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1969). Here’s an excerpt of the last paragraphs of the article which are pertinent questions for consideration:

“. . . why have historians always referred to Magellan’s death as a result of his involvement in tribal warfare? Was it very difficult for Pigafetta and other Western historians to consider that Magellan had been outwitted by the peoples of Cebu and Mactan, that in fact the people there had not wanted Spanish presence fro the very start? Was it too humiliating to say that what occured was a real battle, a war, the local people versus the Spaniards, and that in this battle, the Spaniards lost? Or was it a political maneuver to say that the people welcomed them and Catholicism so that they could more easily finance future expeditions to the Philippines?”

Along with the other articles in this book, I believe it is a must-read for anyone interested in the post-colonial experience especially those who are suffering from “post-colonial depression!).

Amazon gives you more info on this book at:


One thought on “Magellan

  1. When I lived in the Marshall Islands and the Fiji Islands teh islanders laughed at Magellen quite a bit. This supposed great navagator traveled through some of the area of the Pacific with huge island chains and couldnt find any of the islands.

    Soudns liek an interesting book.

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