The first man to go around the world is always subject to dispute. Is it Ferdinand Magellan or Sebastian Elcano? Behind these two Europeans, there is a possibility that Enrique was the first man to go around the world. What is even amazing is there is a possibility that Enrique was a Pilipino.
Magellan before coming to the Philippines sailed for Portugal. He volunteered for an expedition to the Moluccas, known as Spice Islands. His ship reached Malacca and had he gone hundred more miles north he could have landed in the Philippines that he did years later coming from the opposite direction. Sometime during his stay in Moluccas he picked up a Malay boy who came back with him to Europe. The boy was given the name Enrique and this is just another speculation of mine that this was probably done after the great Portuguese , King Henry , the Navigator (angilized for Enrique). Magellan left Portugal and persuaded the King of Spain to finance his westward voyage.
The rest is history but Magellan was killed in Mactan Island before he could really complete the circumnavigation of the word. Sebastian Elcano successfully steered the only remaining vessel, Victoria back to Seville, Spain. Where did Enrique fit in this historic voyage? He was aboard the ship when it landed in the Philippines in 1521. He served as Magellan interpreter and even Pigafetta the expedition's historian did not trust him because the way he mingled with the local Pilipinos. He was very friendly and spoke the dialects well with the natives. Trade and commerce between these islands as far as Indonesia was already well established. People from the Philippines were already sailing the region. It is very probable that Enrique was visiting Malucca Island when Magellan first came in contact with him . When Magellan discovered the Philippines, it was also Enrique's homecoming. That day should be as marked as the day when the first man went around the world as significant as man landing in the moon. It is only fitting that the first man to accomplice the feat would come from the descendants of the ancient mariners of the Pacific.
From Italian Chronicler Antonio Pigafetta's writings, Roces claimed, the slave which Magellan named Enrique might be a Cebuano. He urged the Cebu Historical Association to petition the Manila Historical Association to study the facts related to the issue and decide if these have merit.
The former education secretary held a press conference at the CAP Cebu, Art Center Sunday afternoon to answer questions from local historians concerning the issue.
At the same time, he presented to the museum a narrative account by Pigafetta of the first circumnavigation of the world. The two volumes consist of the original facsimile in the Beinecke rare book and manuscript library of Yale University in French and an English translation by R.A. Skelton.
Roces said one way of determining whether Enrique was Cebuano is to study the languages, not only of the Philippines, but also of the neighboring countries such as Malaysia.
In studying Pigafetta's writings, Roces said he came across words used by Enrique that exist in the Cebuano language.
Enrique was said to have been able to communicate with King Humabon of Cebu. The Filipinos owe it to themselves to correct the inaccuracy, he said.(PNA)
Enrique was also the first Pilipino to come to America..
-5 centuries later, Enrique's great great grandson speaks up as:Nestor Palugod Enriquez
-Views and contributions by others will be posted later.
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Enrique, the first circumnavigator Website