Three historical markers unveiled in Guiuan, E. Samar

BORONGAN CITY, March 21 (PIA) -- Three very significant historical markers were unveiled in Guiuan, E. Samar on March 16, 17, and 18, 2021.

The unveiling of the markers is in commemoration of the Quincentennial of the First Circumnavigation of the World.

According to the National Quincentennial Committee, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCIP) called them quincentennial historical markers, each comes with a special pedestal constructed by the National Quincentennial Committee.

The NHCIP said that it features a globe as a finial to symbolize the first voyage around the world of humankind through the Magellan-Elcano expedition which further confirmed that the Earth was indeed round. Also, the pedestal has a relief depicting the episode of the expedition in a particular site, based on the sketches of muralist Derrick Macutay and executed in dust marble relief by sculptors Jonas Roces and Francis Apiles.

The NHCP ensured that the depictions are far from the typical orientalist approach by the foreign artists which imagined our ancestors as savages. The marker texts and the artworks blended together to exude "our" point of view of the events.

First Marker-Suluan Island

Suluan marker

On March 16, the party that unveiled the Suluan marker was led by Spanish Ambassador Jorge Morales, USec. Reynaldo Mapagu of the Department of National Defense and NHCIP Chairman Rene Escalante.

Depicted in the relief is the episode in Suluan in which a group of men riding on a boat saw the expedition approaching the island but ignored them. Feared that they would be attacked by the local inhabitants, Ferdinand Magellan, the captain-general of the expedition, decided not to land in Samar but anchored off Suluan instead on 16 March 1521.

Second marker –Homonhon Island

Homonhon marker

In Homonhon island, the place where Magellan and his men landed, E. Samar Governor Ben Evardone, Rep. Maria Fe Abunda and Spanish Ambassador Jorge Morales, and NHCP Chairperson Rene Escalante with Guiuan Mayor Analiz Kwan unveiled the marker the following day, March 17.

Depicted in the relief is the episode in Homonhon in which an unnamed ruler from Suluan, a nearby island, met Ferdinand Magellan, the captain-general of the expedition, on 18 March 1521. Upon knowing that the expedition crew members were starving and needing nourishment, the Suluan chief brought them whatever provision they had at that time and resupplied the expedition with food. Prior to this, the expedition had been in wandering for four months across the Pacific without food and water, according to the NHCIP.

Third Marker-Ngolos, (Calicoan Island) Guiuan, E. Samar

Samar marker

On March 18, no less than President Rodrigo Duterte, Sen. Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go, Spanish Ambassador Jorge Sanchez and Gov. Ben Evardone unveiled the third marker named Samar.

Depicted in the relief is the episode in a ship where Magellan seemed to be pointing to something, believed to be the landmass of Samar, though they did not land.

The marker had an inscription written in Filipino that points to the expedition route of the Magellan-El Cano to Maluku believed to be the Spice Island (part of Indonesia). They departed Guam on March 9, 1521, and headed on inadvertently to the island of Samar, they avoided the shores of Samar due to rocks (this is believed to be Calicoan, Guiuan, Eastern Samar). They then proceeded to Suluan waters (now part of Guiuan) on March 16, 1521. These islands Magellan named San Lazaro on March 17, 1521. The expedition reached the Philippines while looking for Spice Island. This historical marker is hailed as a commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the First Circumnavigation of the World.

Although the first three markers showed almost similar designs, the Guiuan local government unit believed that the church marker unveiled in December 2019 is also part of the historical events that the historical committee celebrated in Guiuan town, E. Samar in its Quincentennial.

The church marker said that the Purisima Concepcion parish church was erected in 1718 and has been improved and repaired over time, it took on severe damage in 2013 when Typhoon Yolanda destroyed the church. The National Museum effected its repair and was inaugurated on December 8, 2019. (nbq/PIA E. Samar)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (

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