Cebu:Queen City of the South (Part 3)

CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal - The Freeman

In the book CEBU: History of its Four Cities & Forty Nine Municipalities written by Lawyer Lavilles and published in 1965, this is an opening article on the history of the City of Cebu:

 “Immediately after Magellan’s death, the remnants of his expedition selected Duarte Barbosa, his brother-in-law, and Captain Juan Serrano as joint commanders, and prepared to sail away. But Humabon requested that they first attend a banquet which he was tendering as a gesture of friendship. Serrano suspected treachery, but Barbosa urged that they accept the invitation, otherwise they might be accused of cowardice. In the banquet held on May 1, four days after the debacle on the beach of March, 27 Spaniards, including their two commanders, were massacred.

“Seeing what happened on shore, the Spaniards on the ships hastily selected Sebastian del Cano as commander and raised sail homeward bound. The return journey, made on the ship Victoria, sailed via the Indian Ocean and the Cape of Good Hope reached Spain on September 6, 1522. It was the first circumnavigation of the world made by continually sailing westward. And it also proved, for the first time, the roundness of the earth.

“It was not nearly 40 years later that another Spanish expedition under Legaspi and Urdaneta was sent to take possession of the Islands. The expedition sailed from Mexico on November 21, 1564, and reached the port of Cebu on April 27, 1565.

“Tupas, the ruler of Cebu after Humabon, appeared friendly to him and his men. But the natives were soon noticed to be secretly arming themselves. Legaspi forthwith ordered the attack of Cebu. As soon as the Spanish guns and cannons began firing, the natives fled to the mountains. Their village was destroyed by fire. But it was soon rebuilt by Legaspi and his men and fortified with palisades and heavy artillery.

“Legaspi was accompanied in his expedition by Urdaneta and four other Augustinians. He called the new settlement as San Miguel; but he later renamed it the City of the Most Holy Name of Jesus after the discovery of an image of the Holy Child of Jesus in an unburned house. The present Augustinian Church, which houses the image of the Holy Infant Jesus, stands on the exact spot where the image was first found. The first chapel was built in the year 1601. It was burned in 1628 and rebuilt in 1740."

Note: Lavilles was considered as the “brains” of the Cebu City Charter. He was a councilor of the then municipality of Cebu, in whose honor a street in Tinago has been renamed from Bagumbayan to his name.

To be continued.

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