The Filipino Hero Who Killed Ferdinand Magellan

Ferdinand Magellan is remembered in the west as the intrepid Portuguese explorer who led the first voyage to circumnavigate the globe, but for the Philippines he is just another white man who fell to his death attempting to conquer lands that did not belong to him. The real hero—for the Filipinos—is Lapu-Lapu, the tribal chief who famously vanquished Magellan becoming the first Filipino hero to successfully resist colonization by a foreign power. Magellan’s conflict with the proud and unyielding chief resulted in his death, which cut short Magellan’s goals of becoming the first person in the world to circumnavigate the world.

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Magellan’s last battle, island of Mactan, 1521. Painting by Gregory Manchess

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