This page is in tribute to Professor Alex Fabros who corrupted my way of thinking with this joke "Magellen was the first Western Tourist to get mugged in the Philippines".


Magellen was Mugged

When I was in elementary school in California we learned about how the great Ferdinand Maggellen attempted to circumnavigate the Earth. My elementary teacher told us he was struck with an illness and died before completing his journey. She didn't say anything about the Philippines or how Magellen really died. I never heard anything about Lapu Lapu and the battle of Mactan island. Seems like Magellen got struck by the Lapu Lapu illness.

My impression of Lapu-lapu back then was a a savage jumping up and down on the beach chanting “I’m going cut your head off!” I remember being told that pre-Hispanic Filipinos were head hunters. So if they’re headhunters they must have engineered weapons big enough to lap off a human head.  So the more I dug into the history I found some pretty elaborate weaponry. Seems like they’re not so primitive after all.


History before the Spanish came

There was a lot more history before the Spanish interrupted the evolution of these islands. Arabs, Asian Indians, Chinese, Indonesians, Malaysians and other neighboring countries shared culture, history, and trade for possibly 70,000 years when there was a peninsula that joined these island countries. This land mass was called the Sundaland Peninsula.
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Off the Record

If you research the battle of Mactan you'll probably run across stories being told that there were 1500 warriors against Magellen and his 49 soldiers. Remember that the event was documented by the Spanish and I'm sure the numbers were exagerrated.

For the Record

There really isn't enough evidence that Datu Lapu Lapu actually killed Magellen, it could have been any of the warriors. Lapu Lapu reject colonial rule and decided to fight against the Spanish. He was Muslim by faith and we all know that the Muslims were never conquered by the Spanish.

Magellen's head was indeed decapitated as it is custom for the conquering warriors to keep a war trophy and since Lapu Lapu was chief then it may have been bestowed on him to do the honors. The remains of Ferdinand Magellen were never recovered.