Who killed Lapu Lapu

How did Magellan die?

Ferdinand Magellan died on April 27, 1521 in a battle on the Philippine island of Mactan. His death was unnecessary and tragic in every way.

Just shortly before, after having crossed the Pacific for months, Magellan and his team had reached the first mainland in Asia - in view of the completely run out of provisions, practically doomed. So not only was survival saved, but also the first circumnavigation of the world as good as completed. The sea route across the unknown Pacific to Asia was successful.

Lapu-Lapu didn't play along

And the first contacts with the natives in the Philippines were peaceful and pleasant for the Europeans. The island population was even persuaded to recognize Christianity quickly.

One not, however. The island chief of Mactan, Lapu-Lapu, was unwilling to recognize the Spaniards and their beliefs as a new power. Feeling superior, Magellan then crossed over to Mactan with only a small group to settle things by force. But despite their firearms, the Europeans were pushed back on the coast by Lapu-Lapu and his islanders.

Magellan's death

Magellan is said to have fought to the end to enable his people to retreat - and was killed in the process. According to one observer's notes, he was first hit in the thigh by a poisoned arrow, and shortly afterwards injured so badly by two lances that he fell to the ground. His body could never be recovered because the rest of the crew were already on the run.

If one follows the reports of Magellan's chronicler, the Italian Pigafetta, this death naturally appears extremely tragic. On the other hand, it was the Europeans who attacked, not the islanders. It was one of the first successful defensive battles between the natives against the European colonialists. Lapu-Lapu is therefore considered a historical national hero in the Philippines today.

Author: Dr. Jörg Zorn