Tradition Comes to Jersey City....
On March 17, 1521, a Portuguese named Ferdinand Magellan, who offered
his services to the King of Spain, first sighted the island of Samar.
This event marked the coming of the first Spaniards in the
Philippines. Guided by Rajah Kulambu, then ruler of Limasawa Island,
Magellan and his men entered the harbor of Cebu on April 8, 1521.
Magellan then instructed his Malay slave, Enrique, to assure the
Cebuanos that they came as friends. Cebu at that time was already sprawling trading port in Malay Archipelago. A Moslem vessel was anchored on the bay but showed not hostilities. An Arab garbed trader even facilitated the the communication. It was historic meeting in the sense that the Moslem faith that propagated east and the Christianity that spread west from their common birthplace in the Middle east now met coming from opposite directions. Then ruler Rajah Humabon welcomed
the Spaniards and on April 15, a Mass was celebrated. The chieftain, his wife
Queen Juana and around 800 natives became Christians. Magellan presented
Juana an image of the Infant Jesus which later became the patron of Cebu. Thirteen days
after the first mass in Cebu, Magellan met his death when he engaged
in battle Mactan chieftain Lapulapu. Rajah Humabon witnessed the
vulnerability of the explorer then plotted to kill the officers after inviting
them ashore. On May 1, 1521 the remaining crew of Magellan left Cebu.
The expedition that once came in the name of God turned into one that was reduced to pirating. Sebastian El Cano and the emancipated crew of 18 men struggled back to Spain onboard the Victoria, first ship to go around the world.
Forty-four years later, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, together with
Augustinian Father Andres de Urdaneta, landed in Cebu on April 27,
1565, destroying the remaining settlements. The natives
fearing vengeance by the European every time tall ships were sighted
run up the hills. The city was burn to the ground. After the destruction,
they found from one of the burned houses the image of the Sto. Nino.
Legazpi then founded what is now known as Cebu City, formerly La Villa
del Santissimo Nombre de Jesus. And finally, on August 6, 1569, Legazpi
(Hernando Cortez of the Philippines) was appointed Governor and
Captain General by Spain's King Philip II through a royal cedula. Thus,
Cebu, as a province, was also born. The Santo Nino Ican survived and the tradition
continued and was brought to Jersey City and celebrated in the month of
January every year. It came to America after all it was Friar Andres de Urdaneta who
who plotted the first east ward crossing of the Pacific that started the Galleon Trade
in 1565. An explorer who turned into a priest then navigated his way to America.
Nestor Palugod Enriquez
email@example.com Nestor Palugod Enriquez