The three-day Battle of Mat-an (Mactan) – Last of four parts
CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal (The Freeman) - October 9, 2019 - 12:00am

Professor Quimat continued with her vivid narration of the day of the battle, April 27, 1521: “But there was no answer from Lapulapu and his men who were then on the shores waiting for Magalhaes’ men. The day dawned and brightened the shores which could be seen. Magalhaes ordered his men to jump into the sea and wade to the shores while the Spanish galleon floated and continued bombarding the island. A hand to hand combat ensued and Lapulapu saw that his men used also the firewood to beat the heads of the intruders. Of course, Lapulapu and his men were ready for the battle against Magellan. The natives had their arms, cutlasses, arrows, cuirasses, javelins, bolos, daggers, lances, arquebuses, bows and arrows.

“When some of the Spanish soldiers were near the seashore, they were met by a mighty force of the natives that at the break of the day, the sea was red with blood. Magalhaes was scared when he saw that most of his men were either captured or killed but he could not run back to their ships. He had been hit and bleeding. He rushed towards the center to be with his men fighting but Lapulapu was there; for sure the young native leader was there! Lapulapu himself looked for Magalhaes and when he saw him, in one strong throw of a pestle, the side of Magalhaes was cut and blood gushed out in spurts. And as Pigafetta wrote about his boss, ‘the leader of the white intruders fell into the shallow water and died with the big opening in his side gushing with blood.’

“Magellans chronicler, Pigafetta wrote further to describe when Magellan lay dead, ‘our mirror, our light, our comfort and guide and our tour guide… was killed.’ Several Spaniards were captured and many lay dead side by side with Magellan. Nobody bothered to get the dead body of Magellan.”

This was how the battle ended: “The fight continued raging the next days till finally in the evening of April 30, 1521 when some of their dead began to stink and the Spaniards felt their shameful defeat was at hand, all went to their ships for safety and left for the port of Subgu.”

This is what happened when the Spaniards came back to Sugbu: “When they reached the port of Sugbu on May 1, 1521, they reported to king Humabon all that had happened to them. But, rude as they were in spite of their defeat in Mat-an, the Spaniards demanded from king Humabon a royal reception. The native king gave the Spaniards a sumptuous banquet with poisoned food. “Of the Spaniards who retreated to Mat-an, only 18 were left to survive the poison and so there was a necessity that two of the ships must be burned. So they and the 18 men left for Spain in the ‘Victoria’ and arrived on October 18, 1522.”

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