(from left to right) Dr. Danilo Gerona, Professor IV and Director of the Magellan Studies Center at the Partido State University, Camarines Sur; Dr. Ambeth R. Ocampo, Associate Professor and Former Chairman of the Department of History, School of Social Sciences in Ateneo de Manila University; Ambassador Celia Anna M. Feria, Philippine Ambassador to Portugal; Dr. Rene Escalante, Chairman of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines; Dr. Felice Noelle Rodriguez, Visiting Professor at the Ateneo de Zamboanga University; and Dr. Francis M. Navarro, Assistant Professor at the Department of History, Ateneo De Manila University
The Philippine Embassy in Lisbon ended their 2019 cycle of activities with a Conference entitled “Magalhães, Magallanes, Magellan: Magellan in Philippine History through Philippine Historians”, which took place as the iconic Sociedade de Geografia de Lisboa, on 4 December 2019.
The Conference, which received widespread coverage in the leading Portuguese daily, Diario de Noticias, was well attended by an audience of over 100 guests , which included historians, writers, diplomats, Portuguese government and media representatives, members of the Filipino community, and history buffs from all over Portugal and as far as France and Spain. It brought together five of the Philippines’ leading historians to talk about Ferdinand Magellan in Philippines history, bringing to Portugal the Philippine narratives on Magellan and Lapu-Lapu.
The five historians, and their respective topics were: Dr. Rene Escalante, Chairman of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, who spoke on Magellan and the Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines; Dr. Francis M. Navarro Assistant Professor at the Department of History of the Ateneo De Manila University, who elaborated on Philippines at the time of arrival of Magellan; Dr. Felice Noelle Rodriguez, Visiting Professor at the Ateneo de Zamboanga University, who spoke on The Malay World Magellan Stepped into: Melaka and Cebu, Trading, Raiding and Interconnections; Dr. Danilo Gerona, Professor IV and Director of the Magellan Studies Center at the Partido State University, Camarines Sur, who spoke on Magellan and the Battle of Mactan; and Professor Ambeth R. Ocampo, Associate Professor and Former Chairman of the Department of History, School of Social Sciences of the Ateneo de Manila University ( also the former Chairman of the National Historical Commission and of the National Commission of Cultural and the Arts), whose topic as Remembering Magellan in the last five centuries.
In her opening remarks, Philippine Ambassador to Portugal Celia Anna M. Feria, expressed her thanks to the Portuguese Foreign Ministry and the Estructura de Missao for their support of this initiative of the Philippine Embassy, as well as to the Sociedade Geografia de Lisboa for their keen interest in hosting a first ever conference by 5 Filipino historians in their almost 150 years of existence. She also added that the aim of the conference was not to rewrite our (Philippines) history, but rather like deconstructed food, the idea was to take elements of our history to study the narratives. She further added that “We are here to share a story from a precise period in our history, one where magnanimity and humanity are central themes around Magellan’s participation in our history.”
(from left to right) Comandante Filipe Mendes Pinto, Vice-president of Sociedade de Geografia de Lisboa; Ambassador Celia Anna M. Feria, Philippine Ambassador to Portugal; Prof. Luis Aires-Barros, President of Sociedade de Geografia de Lisboa; Ambassador Álvaro Mendonça e Moura, Secretary General of Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and Ambassador Fernando Ramos Machado, President of Asian Commission, Sociedade de Geografia de Lisboa. Ambassador Celia Anna M. Feria in her remarks emphasized “We are here to share a story from a precise period in our history, one were magnanimity and humanity are central themes around Ferdinand Magellan’s participation in our history and 500 years later, we are here to tell you our story.”
On behalf of the Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva, Ambassador Alvaro Mendonça e Moura, Secretary General of the Portuguese Foreign Ministry, on his part shed light on the Portuguese perspective to the 5th Centennial commemorations of the first circumnavigation by the Magellan-El Cano expedition. Among others, Ambassador Mendonça e Moura noted that in leading the expedition, Ferdinand Magellan “projected the principles of innovation and knowledge”. He also added that the legacy of “Fernao Magalhaes” is very relevant on many fronts: it was an investment in knowledge; it allowed for an exchange of values between cultures; and it gave attention to the Oceans.
Dr. Rene Escalante, Chairman of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines and Vice-Chairperson of the National Quincentennial Committee discussing “Victory and Humanity”, the Filipino way of commemorating the 500th anniversary of the circumnavigation of the world by Magellan.
The day after the conference the 5 Philippine historians accompanied by Ambassador Feria, headed to Sabrosa in the Tras os Montes region of Portugal, where it is said the Ferdinand Magellan is from. The group paid a courtesy call on the Mayor of Sabrosa, Dr. Domingo Manuel Alves Carvas, accompanied by Dr. Jose Manuel Marques, the former Mayor of Sabrosa and currently the President of the Estrutura de Missão para as Comemorações de Fernão de Magalhães.
The Conference, is the 4th installment of the Magellan Lecture Series organized by the Philippine Embassy since 2017. The Conference was made possible by the support of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines and by the generous support from the former Senator and now Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda. The lectures presented in this Conferences will be published by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, and translations into Portuguese and in Spanish are in the works.
Courtesy Call of the five (5) Philippine historians to the Mayor of Sabrosa, Portugal. Dr. Domingos Manuel Alves Carvas (center), in the presence of Dr. Jose Manuel Marquez, President of the Estrutura de Missão para as Comemorações de Fernão de Magalhães
Ambassador Celia Anna M. Feria and the five (5) Philippine historians visited the one of Sabrosa’s historical landmark, the House of Ferdinand Magellan, accompanied by the Vice Mayor of António Ribeiro da Graça (2nd from left); and Filipino artist, Kristoffer Ardena, who is working with the Philippine Embassy in Lisbon for a art project between the children of Sabrosa and Cebu.