Spanish Expeditions to the Philippines
The Magellan Expedition
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Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese in the service of the Spanish crown, was looking for a westward route to the to the Spice Islands of Indonesia. On March 16, 1521, Magellan's expedition landed on Homonhon island in the Philippines. He was the first European to reach the islands. Rajah Humabon of Cebu was friendly with Magellan and embraced Christianity, but their enemy, Lapu-Lapu was not. Humabon wanted Magellan to kill Lapu-Lapu while Magellan wanted to convert Lapu-Lapu into Christianity. On April 17, 1521, Magellan sailed to Mactan and ensuing battle killed Magellan by the natives lead by Lapu-Lapu. Out of ...view middle of the document...
Only the last two actually reached the Philippines; and only Legazpi succeeded in colonizing the Islands.
The Villalobos Expedition
Ruy Lopez de Villalobos set sail for the Philippines from Navidad, Mexico on November 1, 1542. He followed the route taken by Magellan and reached Mindanao on February 2, 1543. He established a colony in Sarangani but could not stay long because of insufficient food supply. His fleet left the island and landed on Tidore in the Moluccas, where they were captured by the Portuguese.
Villalobos is remembered for naming our country “Islas Filipinas,” in honor of King Charles’ son, Prince Philip, who later became king of Spain.
The Legazpi Expedition
Since none of the expedition after Magellan from Loaisa to Villalobos had succeeded in taking over the Philippines, King Charles I stopped sending colonizers to the Islands. However, when Philip II succeeded his father to the throne in 1556, he instructed Luis de Velasco, the viceroy of Mexico, to prepare a new expedition – to be headed by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, who would be accompanied by Andres de Urdaneta, a priest who had survived the Loaisa mission.
On February 13, 1565, Legaspi's expedition landed in Cebu island. After a short struggle with the natives, he proceeded to Leyte, then to Camiguin and to Bohol. There Legaspi made a blood compact with the chieftain, Datu Sikatuna as a sign of friendship. Legaspi was able to obtain spices and gold in Bohol due to his friendship with Sikatuna. On April 27, 1565, Legaspi returned to Cebu; destroyed the town of Raja Tupas and establish a settlement. On orders of the King Philip II, 2,100 men arrived from Mexico. They built the the port of Fuerza de San Pedro which became the Spanish trading outpost and stronghold for the region.
Hearing of the riches of Manila, an expedition of 300 men headed by Martin de Goiti left Cebu for Manila. They found the islands of Panay and Mindoro. Goiti arrived in Manila on May 8, 1570. At first they were welcomed by the natives and formed an alliance with Rajah Suliman, their Muslim king but as the locals sensed the true objectives of the Spaniards, a battle between the troops of Suliman and the Spaniards erupted. Because the Spaniards are more heavily armed, the Spaniards were able to conquer Manila. Soon after Miguel Lopez de Legazpi arrived to join Goiti in Manila. Legaspi built alliances and made peace with...