TACLOBAN CITY—Ten historical markers will be unveiled in Leyte and Samar provinces between March and April this year in areas that were part of the world’s first circumnavigation.
The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) National Quincentennial Committee (NQC) has picked these sites given their direct links to the events in 1521, Department of Tourism Eastern Visayas Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes said.
“These markers play a significant role in making people aware that these communities were part of the first circumnavigation. This is part of telling our story as we celebrate the 500th anniversary of Ferdinand Magellan’s landing in Eastern Samar and the First Mass in Southern Leyte,” Tiopes said in an interview.
Markers will be unveiled in Calicoan and Suluan islands in Guiuan, Eastern Samar, as well as at the newly restored Guiuan Church on March 16.
On March 18, a marker will be unveiled in Homonhon Island also in Guiuan, marking the 500th anniversary of the Philippine-Spanish Contact.
Markers will also be unveiled in Hinunangan, Leyte (March 25); Limasawa, Southern Leyte (March 29); Combado, Maasin City in Southern Leyte (April 4); Canigao Island, Matalom, Leyte; Himokian Islet in Hindang, Leyte; and Baybay City, Leyte (April 5).
Limasawa Island, the smallest town in the province of Southern Leyte, is the site of the First Catholic Mass in Asia, officiated on Easter Sunday, March 31, 1521, by Father Pedro de Valderrama under the fleet of Ferdinand Magellan.
Two weeks before the mass on March 16, 1521, Magellan landed in Homonhon Island in Guiuan, Eastern Samar where his crew managed to gather some food and water.
Since last year, the National Quincentennial Committee of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines has planned several activities for the celebrations but some non-religious activities may not proceed due to movement restrictions. PNAImage credits: PNA Tacloban photo