The three-day Battle of Mat-an (Mactan) – Part 2
CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal (The Freeman) - October 4, 2019 - 12:00am

Professor Quimat wrote the reaction of Ferdinand Magellan when Lapulapu refused to pay tribute: “Magallanes, to save his face, demanded again for the tribute and tried to scare Lapulapu with his formidable armed forces complete for any battle. This threat did not scare Lapulapu a bit and he told the emissary of Magallanes: Wa koy agawon gawas kanako” (I have no master but myself.) “Wa koy yukbu-ang hari, ang akong alagad alang rah sah akong mga tawoh.” (I bow before no king, I owe my allegiance only to my people.) When the emissary returned and reported the words of Lapulapu, Magallanes realized that he was in danger. With his three Spanish galleons he thought he could scare Lapulapu by his might, no less than an armada of a world power, Spain, Magalhaes (spelled as it is) made a grave mistake.”

Professor Quimat then narrated the events of mainland Sugbu, the Kingdom of Humabon, a cousin of Lapulapu. She wrote: “Magalhaes forgot that he was allowed by King Humabon to anchor at the port without usual payment of tribute as was the custom done by all foreign traders as soon as they anchored because of the interference of the two chiefs of Limasawa who interceded in his behalf. Magellan was expected to be grateful to Humabon for allowing him to land in Cebu. Magellan could not afford to pay any tribute and so he forced himself and his men into the midst of the natives of Sugbu, whatever cost may be. Magellan took with them young barbarian mercenaries that empires in Europe hired in their wars. Magalhaes tried to win back the lavish generosity of King Humabon which he sensed was already diminishing. He returned the image of the Child Jesus which was among their loot from the natives to Hara Humamai and Hari Humabon which gesture made the native king to ask the other chiefs, Lapu-Lapu and Zola to help feed the intruders. But Lapulapu was determined to give a lesson to Magalhaes. King Lapulapu was prepared. The natives were irked and every little movement of Magallanes and his men were noted and secretly evaluated and accounted.”

Page 40 reads: “Humabon realized how despicable Magellan was! The native king was really humab-on (meaning fond of ambush). Immediately he made a secret consultations with Lapulapu whose regard for Magalhaes and his men had become very low when he found out that they were forcing the natives to give them food and that their other activities like digging graves were those of the barbarians and the hungry; they were to be killed according to the laws of the natives.”

“The ‘Lagda Nih Calanciao’ was observed by the natives of Sugbu and all the natives of the Bisayan islands then. To Lapulapu, Magalhaes and his men were barbarians ravaging places they could come into and if they were sent by a king, he does not deserve his respect which he showed very openly by his treatment of Magallanes.” (To be continued)

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