MAGELLAN- a second account!

Discussion in 'Filipino Martial Arts - General' started by Sun_Helmet, May 15, 2004.

  1. Sun_Helmet

    Sun_Helmet Orange Belt

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    Fernando Oliveira, the other account of Magellan's voyages. from the writings of Karl Heinz Weiznor and Pedro Sastre.

    In April 1911 the German historian Dr. Walther Vogel wrote about a certain Fernando Oliveira in the German nautical journal Marine- Rundschau. Oliveira was a contemporary of Magellan, but Oliveira's account had never been published whole in English. The manuscript is located in the University Library of Leiden, Netherlands. It was further researched and translated respectively by Dr. Karl- Heinzs Wioznek and the Dutchman Pedro Sastre in English.

    Oliveira's Magellan account was ignored throughout the centuries because it was tucked within the contents of a larger voluminous work based on his scholarly manuals on the Art of Naval Warfare and the Art of Shipbuilding in the 16th century.

    Unlike Magellan's official biographer Antonio Pigafetta, Oliveira was known more for his own accomplishments as a nautical encyclopedist, the first author who systematically wrote about all branches of the nautical and maritime sciences, and less about his time with Magellan. Oliveira was also a scholar of linguistics, a Portugese historian, and an author of Civil Law. In addition he was also an experienced seaman, soldier, diplomat, and fought against the English as an employed soldier of the French army in 1545. The finding and publication of Oliveira's account is an important source in piecing together the puzzle and falsehoods propagated by the various edited Pigafetta interpretations of Magellan's life and death.

    Account of the Battle of Mactan, April 27, 1521 by Fernando Oliveira:

    "Magellan, undertook to do him (CiLapu Lapu) some damage or humble him, and decided to set out for that land with some armed men and make a strike in his lands, as in fact he did set out with sixty men armed with (h)arquebuses, and commenced to burn his huts and cut palm trees. At this the king took steps to defend his land with many people, and gave battle against him. However, as long as our gunpowder lasted, those of that land did not dare to close with them; but when it was used up, they surrounded us on all sides, and since they were incomparably more numerous, they prevailed, and our men were not able to defend themselves or escape, and fighting until they were exhausted, some died, and Magellan among them, who, when he was alive, did not want the king his friend to aid him with his men who were there at that time, saying that with divine favor, the Christians would be enough to conquer that whole rabble. But when he was dead the king (Humabon) rushed in and saved those many who were wounded and ordered them carried back to the ships, because he was afraid that all those other enemies of his would get together and seize them."

    In summary, Oliveira's account supports
    1. The use of firearms as primary weapons to buy Magellan time
    2. The larger land force by Lapu Lapu
    3. That Magellan's men were aided by rival tribal king Humabon's men in their escape which somewhat defers from Pigafetta's account that the Spaniards fought back by themselves to gain escape.
    4. Had less poetic flourish than Pigafetta's account


    Oliveira's description appears to be more tactically sound, since Lapu Lapu's men would most likely not have gone after the retreating Spaniards by wading into hostile waters inhabited by an equally large enemy force armed and awaiting in their boats. Pigafetta somewhat supports this by a slight mention of some of Humabon's men falling to Spanish cannon fire during the retreat.

    --Rafael --
    Sayoc Kali
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  2. Grasshoppah

    Grasshoppah Guest

    In the book Philippine History updated edition by Gregorio F. Zaida on page 49, I found that King Humabon of Cebu and other chieftains submitted to Spanish sovereignty.
    At dawn on April 27, 1521, Magellan invaded Mactan with an assault force of 60 steel-clad Europeans in three ships and 1,000 Cebuano warriors in 80 boats.
    This makes me wonder if the Cebuano warriors were proud to use the name Eskrima and Arnis if they submitted to the Spanish. Isn't this where the name of the Filipino Martial arts name came from.
    This also makes me wonder if Lapu Lapu was against the Spanish and was victorious over them, were the Cebuano warriors proud that Lapu Lapu defeated the Spanish when they were willing to watch Magellan take over Mactan.
    Its also makes me wonder if Lapu Lapu would have claimed to have used Eskrima or Arnis.
     
  3. Sun_Helmet

    Sun_Helmet Orange Belt

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    Lapu Lapu, Humabon and others didn't care what the art was called... since they never named it for the Spaniards who were the only ones taking notes.

    What our Filipino warriors of old would probably think of the terminology game would be interesting.

    Probably a lot of confused, bemused looks and smirks... they didn't care what the moves were called... just that they worked.

    The Cebuanos under Humabon sided with who they thought would win the battle... they didn't care beyond their own interests. Once Lapu Lapu won, they turned sides and slaughtered Magellan's own men the following night and then became allies for the time being with Lapu Lapu.

    Tribal leaders at that time didn't think about other tribes as allies just because they came from the same area... they considered thier own tribe as the most important. Thus, they were willing to side with who they felt would help them out the most.

    One of the reasons Divide and Conquer methods worked so well on the islands.
    --Rafael--
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  4. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons A Student of Martial Arts

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    I liked the history of this thread.

    I have made it sticky for those who come hear to read.

    Thank You
    :asian:
     
  5. dearnis.com

    dearnis.com Master Black Belt

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    Thanks for shareing Tuhon R.!!
     
  6. After reading Sun Helmet's post on another account of Magellan's death (thanks by the way for posting this), I was curious as to whether or not there was an account of the Battle of Mactan from the perspective of the Cebuanos. After asking around I came up with some really good information. I friend of mine, who is from Cebu, remembers an oral account transcribed into paper which she had to read for an Anthropology course. A few emails and a lot of questions later, I was able to find the title of this account: "Aginid Bayok Sa Atong Tawarik", transcribed by Jovito S. Abellan in the 1950s (http://www.sunstar.com.ph/static/ceb/2003/12/02/life/local.art.hero.html). The account, in book form, is written in Classical (or "deep") Cebuano or Sugboanon Bisaya using both Roman alphabets and the Filipino alphabets called Baybayin. Explanations of words and concepts are in Modern Cebuano--there is no English.

    These are the preliminary information I've collected so far about the contents of the book (still needs verification):

    1). (first things first... :rolleyes: ) There is mention of Balintawak in this book, but it is used as a proper name, specifically a girl's name. *So, far we have Balintawak as a region or area in the outskirts of Manila ("the Cry of Balintawak", balintawak as part of a woman's traditional blouse, a particular arching style of the sleeves, and now, as a proper female name in Cebuano.*

    2). Datu Humabon is addressed as Hari Humab-on (meaning the Ambusher) Mamambad (Devourer).

    3). Magellan's guide, Enrique is addressed as Makiyong, and as someone who worked closely with Hari Humabon, advising him about the Spaniards, addressed as Kastila.

    4). Lapu Lapu's reasons for going against Magellan seems to be unjustified taxation and other peripheral crimes against his people by the Spaniards (like rape).

    5). Supposedly there's more details regarding the battle, and the events that tranpired afterwards, in which Humabon assassinated the remainder of Magellan's men.

    That's all I have so far, and keep in mind these are just bits and pieces I was able to get from those who have read this account, so much of it still needs to be verified.

    I plan to check this book out personally when I go to Cebu, at the end of this year or the beginning of next year (since my training colleagues and I will be going there to get our skills checked on by others in Balintawak). In the mean time, if anyone here has plans to visit the Philippines this year, and you are interested in some history, please check this out for the rest of us.

    Bart, I understand WEKAF will be conducting a conference next week, if you are going to Cebu--or any others--here's the information on location and experts you might want to see about this book:

    a). The best place to look first would be the Cebu Normal University Museum, and the person you want to talk to is Dr. Romola "Moling" Ouano Sebellan

    b). Also visit Southwestern University, and their Aznar Museum.

    c). And visit University of San Carlos, Cebuano Studies Center.

    I was told these were the big three Universities in Cebu, so it shouldn't be too hard to locate.
     
  7. bart

    bart Brown Belt

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    Thanks Joe, Aznar and UCS were already on my list. I'll be sure to get to Cebu Normal as well. I've had the pleasure of reading some of Abellana's other works in small translations here and there. I also know Latin and Spanish so I intend to read some of the writings of the Friars while I'm there as well.
     
  8. bart

    bart Brown Belt

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    Hey There,

    I didn't in fact make it to the museums. The trip was packed with a lot more work with the tournament than I had planned. I did make it to the University of the Visayas which had a very nice Jose Rizal museum which included some of his fencing gear. I'm going to return to Cebu in either January or June of next year. I'm planning to stay longer then and I'll try to get in to those museums then. For those interested in going there, they have limited hours so it would be best to contact them ahead of time to guarantee that they will be open when you get there. That was my mistake this time. They were open when I was committed elsewhere and closed when I wasn't.

    I was able to squeeze in some private lessons with the San Miguel Eskrima GM's with my friends and that was very rewarding. There's always a lot more to learn.
     
  9. Lobo

    Lobo Yellow Belt

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    Why does the death of a fellow portuguese explorer matter so much? Was it a turning point in Philipine history? The Spaniards still maintained much possesion of Philipines even after Magellan had been killed. The fact that Magellan had been killed by an Arnis weapon doesn't make art any better also considering the Spanish forces were greatly outnumbered. Although i do love Arnis with all my heart!
     
  10. Sun_Helmet

    Sun_Helmet Orange Belt

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    That's incorrect. The field of battle was even with Humabon having an equal number of rival natives to support Magellan. Magellan in his hubris CHOSE to fight with fewer men. It has nothing to do with FMA techniques per se, but how history is recorded so that students of FMA can have a better idea of the culture from where it came.

    For example:
    Magellan's historian Antonio Pigafetta, described the weapons used against Magellan. The weapon that struck his lower limbs and initiated his death was described as a scimitar or cutlass. In the Italian translation it was also the same.

    Many have described these swords as Kampilans and we envision the 'v' tipped straight swords. It has been illustrated thus in many books and articles of the battle. However, after looking at old books of that time especially weapons catalogued by the Spanish government for their own studies, the kampilans of that day look very much like actual scimitars, not the straight bladed kind that the kampilans evolved into. The 'Campilanes' illustrated in the Resen'a Historica de la Guerra al Sur de Filipinas in 1857 were markedly different than the ones we see today. They are twice as wide where the tip widens, some bow out instead of the 'v' prongs, or in reverse, bow in at the tip instead of making the 'v', more of an exagerrated curve on the blade shape than a straight weapon. At the punto were tassels, similar to the ones we see on latter versions.

    I always wondered why the Portugese, Spanish and Italian had described the kampilans as scimitars, and that was due to the weapons looking more like a fatter classical scimitar from the Arabian Nights. A page of the catalogue is reproduced on page 213 of Muslims in the Philippines by Majul.

    [​IMG]



    --Rafael--
    Sayoc Kali

    "We fear them more than we do the Spanish"
    Lieutenant Geo. F. Teller, 2nd regiment INFTY, OR USV
    Stationed in Cavite July 18, 1898
     
  11. tshadowchaser

    tshadowchaser Sr. Grandmaster

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    Thanks for all this information.

    History of the arts is always welcome and well recieved and we need more such posts
     
  12. gurobuzz

    gurobuzz White Belt

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    I have spent time with the indigenous tribes of Bicol and gotten some of the oral history of the Simaron or Bugtongan the warriorsof Bicol. They were negrito farmers forced from their lands by the Spanish who faught for independence of rule. Quite interesting and eye opening were the accounts of teaching agos and Iwas.
     

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