The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) has finished installing the four quincentennial markers celebrating the Magellan-Elcano voyage at the important landing places in Palawan, the last of which was in Barangay Buliluyan in Bataraza town.
The fourth of four markers were unveiled in Buliluyan on November 9 in an event led by municipal government officials and local representatives of the NHCP.
The marker is one of 34 honoring the quincentennial commemoration, or the 500th anniversary of the first voyage of the world, that has been placed around the country. The first three were presented in Aborlan, Balabac, and Brooke’s Point.
Prof. Michael Angelo Doblado, director of the Palawan Studies Center (PSC) and coordinator of the National Quincentennial Committee (NQC), said during the unveiling that the Buliluyan landing is “very significant” and that the location was fortunate to be one of the areas where Ferdinand Magellan’s crew passed through and landed on September 15, 1521.
They captured the then-governor of Palawan, Tuan Mahamud, but released him thereafter on October 1, 1521.
Mahamud struck a deal with the voyagers after his release, and before they continued on their trip, he handed them food supplies.
“Kapansin-pansin na sobrang bait ng ating mga ninuno. Binigyan pa sila ng mga pagkain pabalik na magagamit sa kanilang paglalakbay. Ginantihan din ito ng mga mamahaling tela ng mga dayuhan,” Doblado stated.
“Napakaswerte ng barangay na ito na mapabilang sa navigation ng grupo ni Magellan. At ang marker na ito ay magsisilbing pananda na minsan sa kasaysayan, ang Bataraza, ang Buliluyan, ay tumulong sa mga dayuhan na ipagpatuloy ang kanilang paglalakbay at makabalik sa kanilang pinanggalingan,” he added.
Meanwhile, after the unveiling ceremony, the marker was officially turned over to the local government for management and safekeeping. It was accepted by vice mayor Kennedy Jaafar.
Doblado hopes the municipal government of Bataraza will take care of the marker as an important symbol of Palawan’s role in the history of circumnavigation.
The local administration also promised the NHCP that it would maintain the marker for use in youth education and research to help them understand how important Bataraza is in global history.
“Isang karangalan ito sa atin na napasama ang ating bayan, ang Buliluyan sa mahalagang navigation ng Magellan-Elcano. Atin itong aalagan at ipi-preserba dahil tatak ito ng ating kasaysayan,” municipal administrator Valentino Palasigue, who represented mayor Abraham Ibba, said in his speech.