Historic marker for quincentennial commemoration of the world's 1st circumnavigation to be installed in Glan

Standing from the proposed site where the historical marker would be erected, Batulaki village chair Christopher S. Talangin, 39, pinpointed Nangan cove where the remaining crew of Magellan-led Elcano expedition dropped anchor to escape wrath of the raging storm. Photo by Aquiles Z. Zonio

By Aquiles Z. Zonio

GLAN, Sarangani Province – A historical marker is set to be installed here on a hill overlooking Nanga cove in Purok Mabuhay in the coastal village of Batulaki where the remaining crew of Magellan-led El Cano expedition dropped anchor on October 26,1521 to escape the wrath of a raging storm while on their way to circumnavigate the world.

Antonio Pigafetta, a Venetian scholar and explorer, who joined the expedition led by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan mentioned in his chronicle “Biraham Batulach” now known as Barangay Batulaki in Glan where they sought temporary sanctuary.

They left Batulaki on Oct. 27,1521 to continue their journey in search for the Spice Islands, Moluccas.

Magellan, whose voyage was bankrolled by King Charles I of Spain, was killed in the now famous battle of Mactan. During the expedition, Pigafetta served as Magellan's assistant and kept an accurate journal of their entire trip.

Pigafetta was one of the 18 men, out of approximately 240 who set out three years earlier, who succeeded in completing the trip back to Spain in 1522. According to history, these men were the first to complete the circumnavigation of the world.

The installation of a historical landmark here is part of the 500-year commemoration of the first circumnavigation of the world.

The Philippines joined with other countries like Portugal and Spain in the commemoration.

In a letter to Glan mayor Vivien B. Yap dated Oct. 20,2020, Rene R. Escalante, chair of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines and the same time executive director of the National Quincentennial Committee(NQC), outlined the counterpart of the local government units involved in the implementation of the project.

President Duterte created the NQC by virtue of Executive Order No. 55 in 2018 which was subsequently modified by Executive Order No. 103 issued in January last year.

The NHCP identified 32 other sites in the country, aside from Batulaki, where the historical markers will be unveiled and subsequently erected.

The local government of Glan had already complied with the requirements set by the NQC.

Among the requirements set by the NQC for the participating LGUs include provision of a 30-square meter lot with at least 5-meter buffer zone around the marker, funding and implementation of the site development, transfer of the marker to the actual site (NQC will ship the marker to the respective LGU), funding and provision of a base where the marker will be erected and installation of the marker.

Christopher S. Talangin, chair of the Batulaki village, told the Mindanao Bulletin that the Ramirez family, one of the oldest residents of the area, had already donated a 300-square meter lot located at the vantage point overlooking Nanga cove.

“The Ramirez family donated not just 30 square meter but 300 square meter of their property. They had already executed a deed of donation in favor of the government,” Talangin bared.

Talangin added that he had already requested the municipal government to open up a road leading to the site.

“The site is less than a kilometer away from the national highway. In a week’s time, I expect the road to be finished. We’ve done our part in looking for the site, now it’s up to the municipal government to open up the road and develop the site,” Talangin said.

Joseph Hulguin, Yap's consultant and the one designated to monitor the actual implementation of the project, told the Mindanao Bulletin the local government had already set aside the necessary funds for the project and that the necessary legislative measures had already been passed designating a portion of the Ramirez property as site for the Quincentennial Marker of the first circumnavigation of the world in this part of the country.

“Full preparations are being done by the LGU and we are in close contact with the NQC to ensure the successful installation of the historical marker in Balutaki, Glan. It’s a great honor for this town to be part of this historic event,” Hulguin claimed.

The 2021 Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines with the theme “Victory and Humanity” has lined up several activities which include, among others, the 500th anniversary of the Victory of Mactan on April 27; 500th anniversary of the Philippine part in the first circumnavigation of the world on March 16 to Oct. 29; 500th anniversary of the introduction of Christianity to the Philippines slated on April 14.


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