MAZAUA, the island-port where Magellan's fleet anchored March-April 1521. An Easter mass was held here, a cross planted Sunday March 31, accdg. to Antonio Pigafetta, sole eyewitness to write about the mass. Eyewitness Francisco Albo only wrote of the cross planting.This map is in Manuscript 24224, one of 4 extant codices of Pigafetta's account on Magellan's voyage. Note the shape of the isle, compare it with Limasawa. Eyewitness Gines de Mafra wrote Mazaua's area was about 3,930 hectares. For this item, see Page 56 of http://www.xeniaeditrice.it/mazaua.pdf. A Table of Correspondence listing properties of Mazaua juxtaposed against Limasawa's is on the last frame. Save for the two being islands, they have nothing in common starting with the most obvious, their names. OF 181 LOCAL LANGUAGES ONLY BUTUANON (and scion Tausog) HAS THE WORD "MASAWA." It means bright. The supreme irony: No mass is mentioned in the Limasawa story.
Limasawa Island: Is this Mazaua? The island pointed to by Combes' invention, the placename "Limasawa." Note the isle's shape. It has an area of 698 hectares, just 17% of Mazaua's. Its shoreline is steep-to, negating the notion 83% of its mass has eroded. The word Limasawa exists nowhere outside of Combes' 3-paragraph story. It ironically meant, 1) This is not Mazaua as told in the story of my source, Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas; 2) There was never a mass held at this isle or anywhere on Easter Sunday, March 31, 1521. Look for the word "misa" in Combes. If you, dear reader, can find it I'll give you ONE MILLION PESOS (P1Million) as prize.
1523. First published account of Magellan's voyage by Maximilianus Transylvanus based on interviews with survivors. It was an instant hit and saturated the market, making it impossible for Antonio Pigafetta to publish his account. Pigafetta's original work/s were never published and are deemed lost; the extant manuscripts are apographs. Maximilian popularized "Massana" or "Messana" in place of "Mazaua". The name posed an insurmountable problem to Catholic writers of the 17th century whose solution was to invent names--other than "Messana"--e.g., Dimasawa, Limasawa, Simasaua. In 1908 a government body rejecting all names--even Masaua!--declared "Limasawa" the true name. See my discussion on this at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:First_mass_in_the_Philippines#Jose_P._Rizal_in_the_making_of_the_Limasawa_hoax. Above image is part of Wiki Commons.
1903. The 1888 English translation by Henry Stevens of Maximilian's account published in Blair and Robertson's Vol. I. The word "Massana" appears in the last line before the footnotes. Robertson's English translation of Antonio Pigafetta's account based on 1894 transcription by Andrea da Mosto introduced the correct name of the port, Mazaua. Even today, February 2012, government historians refuse to use the name, and still think the port is Limasawa! Stevens wrongly thinks Massana is today's Maasin. The above image may be viewed at
1525. Cover page of the first published version of Antonio Pigafetta's account. This book, in French, does not actually have the name of the translator. It was printed in Paris in 1525 by Simon de Colines which is why it's called the Colines edition. Based solely on an assertion of Giovanni Ramusio, sans proof or corroboration, it's supposed to have been the work of Jacques Fabri a.k.a. Jacques Lefèvre d'Étaples, (c.1455-1536) French Renaissance humanist and theologian who's known to have translated the Bible into common man's French. His abridgment of Pigafetta's account introduced a number of errors, e.g., altering Mazaua to "Massana" adopting Maximilianus' widely accepted word.
1969. The modern facsimile edition of Colines with English translation with notations by Paula Spurlin Paige. In the Philippines, I have seen two copies of the book, one at the U.P. Main Library in Diliman, and at Butuan City Public Library. A used copy can be bought online for $19.95.
Page 16 of the Colines, left side, has the name "Massana" for the port of March-April 1521, instead of "Mazaua" or "Mazzaua" as found in the extant authentic Pigafetta manuscripts (Italian Ambrosiana, and the French codices, Nancy-Yale, Ms. 5650, and Ms 24224). "Massana", Maximilianus' word, is familiar to Europeans as it sounds like "Messana" a kind of sail and "Messina" the port of entry of the plague that ravaged Europe. It would cause an insurmountable difficulty to Jesuit chroniclers of the 17th century that would lead to the invented placenames, "Dimasawa" (1663), and "Limasawa" (1667), all of which were coined to negate the isle it referred to is "Massana" (Mazaua). In 1800, Carlo Amoretti would, out of ignorance of what Limasawa meant--he had not read the three- paragraph Limasawa story by Fr. Francisco Combes--make the two one and the same. Amoretti's error persists up to this time of writing (17 July 2014).
1536. Giovanni Battista Ramusio, leading travel writer of the Renaissance age. His translation of Antonio Pigafetta's account of Magellan's voyage replaced "Mazaua", island-port of March-April 1521, with "Buthuam," which in 1521 and until today, 2011, is contiguous with "continental" Mindanao and was, is not, and will likely never be an island within our lifetime. Ramusio's Primo volume has been digitized and published online, and can be accessed at http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k58733t/f2.image
1536. Italian retranslation of the Antonio Pigafetta account of the French transcript called "Colines." This too did not have the name of its translator. For discussion on its historiography go to http://www.williamreesecompany.com/catalogs/cat281.pdf It appeared in Ramusio's 1554 edition of Viaggi...without attribution as to who the translator was. In the 1560 version of the book authorship was ascribed to G.B. Ramusio, three years after his death. No one ever contested Ramusio's authorship, but Henry Harisse said it was a plagiarism without offering any evidence or reasoned argument, see Page 250 of Bibliotheca America Vetustissima, http://www.archive.org/details/cihm_05616
1563. Edition of Ramusio's Delle navigationi et viaggi which contains the 1536 Italian retranslation. This edition already names Ramusio as translator of the Pigafetta account. This image was taken of the copy at the Philippines' National Library. This page may be accessed online at http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k58733t/f1.image.
Page 356 (verso) of Ramusio's story that talks of anchoring at "Buthuan" on the 28th of March 1521. The authentic Antonio Pigafetta account locates the port where Magellan's fleet anchored at an island named "Mazaua." How this error came about is so mystifying as to be beyond human reckoning. No one has attempted to explain what to me is inexplicable. You can access this page online at http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k58733t/f798.image.
Page 357 (recto) of 1563 Ramusio edition that talks of a "messa" on "All'ultimo' di Marzo" (31 March 1521) at "Buthuan" where they had anchored earlier on 28 March. Almost all religious writers from the 18th all the way to early 20th centuries adopted this "Buthuan" view. This is not the Ramusio source of Combes whose Limasawa story totally disregarded any notion of an Easter mass anywhere in the Philippine archipelago. You may access this page online at http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k58733t/f800.image.
Page 358 of Ramusio story continues the Easter week episode at "Buthuan" with the planting of a cross at the highest hill. This edition of Ramusio was what came into the hands of Jesuit priest Fr. Francisco Colin who wrote in 1663 that Magellan's fleet anchored at "Butuan" on Easter week where a mass was held on March 31, 1521 followed by the planting of a cross in the afternoon. From Butuan the fleet sailed and passed at an isle Colin christened "Dimasaua," an invented name not found in any account of the circumnavigation. He meant by this that it is not the "Mazagua" in Antonio de Herrera's account, his other source, where an Easter Sunday mass was held which he (Colin) already located at Butuan. Online this page may be accessed at http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k58733t/f802.image.
1550. Cover page of the facsimile edition of the English translation by Richard Eden of Ramusio's corrupted 1536 translation of Antonio Pigafetta's account. An edition has been digitized and published on the Internet, go to http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924020424234
Page 224 of Eden's English translation that speaks of the Butuan anchorage, the Easter Sunday mass on 31 March 1521, and the planting of a cross. Eden uses a very quaint English and the orthography as well as font are difficult for the modern person to "decipher."
1601. Cover page of Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas book on Spain's Empire
Herrera's narration of the Mazaua (he spells it Mazagua, the gu has the value of w which is absent in the Spanish alphabet) event, a faithful reconstruction similar to Antonio Pigafetta's account. Herrera cites his authority as Andres de San Martin, the fleet chief cosmographer. Herrera and Gines de Mafra are the only accounts that speak of the kings of Cebu and Mazaua as blood relatives. Herrera's "Mazagua" is source of Colin's and Combes' neologisms, their prefixes were meant to negate it. Herrera's book is accessible at http://www.memoriachilena.cl/temas/documentos.asp?id_ut=historiageneraldeloshechosdeloscastellanos
1625. Samuel Purchas book of travels contains the English translation of Magellan's expedition by Ramusio. This is a different version that contain no reference to a mass at Butuan. This is what came into the hands of Fr. Francisco Combes, 1667, who wrote a 3-paragraph epitome of the Easter week at Butuan. Up until this writing (27 February 2012) Catholic and government historians of the Philippines insist Combes' Limasawa is "site of the first mass." There is nothing in Combes' story that refers to a mass. The word "missa" is not found in his three paragraphs. See above at http://international.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=rbdk&fileName=d0401//rbdkd0401.db&recNum=4&itemLink=r%3Fintldl%2Frbdkbib%3A%40field%28NUMBER%2B%40od1%28rbdk%2Bd0401%29%29&linkText=0
Page 39 of the English translation of Ramusio by Samuel Purchas. Here is narrated the Easter week incident at the port of "Buthuan" where a cross is planted atop the highest hill. No mass is mentioned. This version of the Ramusio narrative is what came to the hands of Fr. Francisco Combes. The Library of Congress has digitized and published Purchas' book. Above page is at http://international.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=rbdk&fileName=d0401//rbdkd0401.db&recNum=272&itemLink=r%3Fintldl%2Frbdkbib%3A%40field(NUMBER%2B%40od1(rbdk%2Bd0401))&linkText=0)
1663. Cover page of Fr. Francisco Colin, S.J., that contains a tortured rendition of the Easter week of Magellan's anchorage. Colin, adopts the Ramusio story the fleet stayed at Butuan where a Sunday mass is held and a cross planted at a hill. He invents a name, "Dimasaua", pointing to the Leyte isle now known as "Limasawa." In Ramusio's narration, the fleet left Butuan and found itself in "Messana." Colin repudiated this name thinking it will contradict his Butuan mass. His name, Dimasaua, consists of the Bisayan prefix, di, meaning "no" or "not" and Herrera's "Mazagua," thus his invention signifies, "This is not Mazaua where Herrera locates the Easter mass which I already placed at Butuan." Colin's book has been digitized and may be accessed at http://bibliotecadigitalhispanica.bne.es/view/action/nmets.do?DOCCHOICE=2163611.xml&dvs=1343788372666~614&locale=en_US&search_terms=&adjacency=&VIEWER_URL=/view/action/nmets.do?&DELIVERY_RULE_ID=4&usePid1=true&usePid2=true
Page 134 of Colin's rendition of the Easter week at Butuan, as Ramusio had written which Herrera located at Mazaua as did Antonio Pigefetta. Colin's operation, adopting Ramusio, was based on the belief it was the eyewitness account of Pigafetta. Unknown to him it was a corrupted Pigafetta. Colin's Dimasawa would be rejected by the next Jesuit to write on the event, Fr. Francisco Combes, who will invent his own name for the Leyte isle. He named the isle "Limasaua."
1667. Cover page of Fr. Francisco Combes' book where for the first time the word "Limasaua" enters Magellanic literature. The word is not found in any primary or secondary accounts of Magellan's voyage. It does not come from any Philippine language. It is an invention of Combes. Biblioteca Digital Hispanica has published Combes' book at http://bibliotecadigitalhispanica.bne.es/view/action/nmets.do?DOCCHOICE=2163659.xml&dvs=1343788933473~259&locale=en_US&search_terms=&adjacency=&VIEWER_URL=/view/action/nmets.do?&DELIVERY_RULE_ID=4&usePid1=true&usePid2=true
Combes' Limasawa story is only 3 paragraphs. Combes adopts Ramusio's story, represented by Purchas' translation. Thus Magellan's port on Easter week is Butuan! There is no reference to a mass. The word "missa" is absent. He rejects Colin's name for the Leyte isle and coins "Limasaua" which signifies his repudiation of a mass having been held anywhere on Easter Sunday, 31 March 1521. All the more does it reject Herrera's "Mazagua" the port of the Armada de Molucca during Easter week. His Limasaua is an inverse of what Mazaua stands for to Catholcs. This is the supreme irony of Limasawa, it's believed to be "site of the first mass." The word "Limasawa" is a linguistic solution to a historiographical and geographical impossibility, a futile attempt to square the circle.
English translation of Combes' Limasawa story by Fr. Miguel A. Bernad who unbelievably--having read the three paragraphs--wrote the "first mass" was held at Limasawa. Combes precisely renamed the Leyte isle "Limasaua" to differentiate it from Colin's "Dimasaua" because his story negates the Mazaua story but also dismisses the idea a mass was ever held in the archipelago on March 31, 1521. Combes story is so wrong in all aspects, it can't be source of our historical view of the Mazaua episode. Bernad's article has been digitized at http://books.google.com.ph/books?id=NbG7kHtBma8C&pg=PA1&dq=Limasawa&ei=7K9MSY-IGY3WlQTLpKzWBA&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Limasawa&f=false. For a large format of Bernad's translation which appeared in Kinaadman journal, Xavier University, go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/ginesdemafra/7017367631/sizes/l/in/photostream/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/ginesdemafra/7017393043/sizes/l/in/photostream/
1734. This magnificent map by Fr. Pedro Murillo Velarde showed for the first time Combes' island of Limasawa. The map became an instantaneous hit in Europe and was widely plagiarized. Murillo thought the isle had two names, Dimasawa and Limasawa. In one edition, the title cartouche related the arrival of Magellan in Butuan where, Murillo wrote, an Easter Sunday mass was held and a cross planted on 31 March 1521. Combes' story does not coincide with this view. He rejected the idea a mass was ever held on that date anywhere in the archipelago. Another edition of this map may be accessed at http://bibliotecadigitalhispanica.bne.es/view/action/singleViewer.do?dvs=1343790991107~409&locale=en_US&VIEWER_URL=/view/action/singleViewer.do?&DELIVERY_RULE_ID=10&frameId=1&usePid1=true&usePid2=true
1734. The leading cartographer of the Age of Enlightenment, Jacques Nicholas Bellin, lost no time making a copy of Murillo's map. That same year he had his copy published. He credited Murillo as his authority, attesting to Bellin's decency, integrity, honesty, morality. This map would be used by Carlo Amoretti to say Limasawa and Antonio Pigafetta's Mazaua are one and the same, unwittingly equating two mutually exclusive entities.
1800. Carlo Amoretti edition of Antonio Pigafetta's account of the first circumnavigation of the world. Amoretti was conservator of Ambrosiana library at Milan, Italy. He chanced upon the extant Italian manuscript of Pigafetta. In 1800 his transcription and footnotes saw print. Without having read Combes, he conjectured that Pigafetta's Mazaua (in fact he used "Messana", the name for the port popularized by Maximilianus Transylvanus) "may be" the Limasaua that he saw in a map by Jacques N. Bellin. He was equating Mazaua with its inverse. Harvard University has digitized Amoretti's book at http://pds.lib.harvard.edu/pds/view/12162091?n=7&imagesize=1200&jp2Res=.25&printThumbnails=no
Amoretti's footnote (a) surmises the Limasawa in Bellin's map "may" be "Messana." This conjecture is borne of ignorance of what Combes meant by his coined placename, Limasawa, which as earlier explained was a rejection of the Mazagua of Herrera. Amoretti never read Combes' three-paragraph story, a fact common to almost all who say the port of Magellan is Limasawa.
To support his supposition, Amoretti asserts Mazaua and Limasaua are in the same latitude, Pigafetta's 9 deg. and 40' North. Limasawa is in 9 deg. 56' N. There are three eyewitness latitudes for Mazaua, 9 deg. N (The Genoese Pilot's), 9 deg. 20' N (Francisco Albo's), and 9 deg. 40' N (Pigafetta's).
The Amoretti conjecture borne of ignorance of "Limasawa", an invented word of Fr. Francisco Combes, 1667, pointing to an isle in Leyte, the Philippines, meant to negate it was the Mazaua in Antonio de Herrera's account and at the same time deny an Easter mass was held anywhere in the Philippines on 31 March 1521.
1803. Two years after Amoretti's book came out, James Burney published Discoveries in the South Sea or Pacific Ocean, Part I. On Page 61 is this note, “Believed to be the island, marked in some of the present charts, Limasava, near the south end of the island of Leyte. Pigafetta calls its latitude 9o 40’ North, and its distance from Humunu 25 leagues. French Copy, p. 87.” See http://books.google.com/books?id=Mf0nAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=James+Burney&ei=I-a4SfelCZL-lQS6tPzuCw#PPR1,M1. Succeeding historians would repeat Amoretti's surmise fulfilling the Goebellian "dictum" that an untruth repeated often enough becomes "truth."
1899. First time "Limasawa first mass" was ever asserted. Spanish translation of Carlo Amoretti by Manuel Walls y Merino which was read by Philippine historians and scholars of that time and thus was source of their notions of Magellan's voyage. The image above comes from the Harvard website, at http://pds.lib.harvard.edu/pds/view/11301550?n=1&imagesize=1200&jp2Res=.25&printThumbnails=no.
Note 67 on Page 135, Walls asserts Antonio Pigafetta's account states the "first mass" was celebrated in an isle that is now called "Limasaua." In fact nowhere does Pigafetta say the "first mass" was held at Limasaua. The word "Limasaua" is not found in any firsthand or secondhand account of Magellan's voyage. It was invented in 1667 by Fr. Francisco Combes. And in the Limasaua story of Combes nowhere is there mention of a mass on 31 March 1521. Philippine historians, writers, scholars have uncritically adopted Walls' assertion. But most don't even know it comes from Walls; few living historians have read his edition of Amoretti.
1953. The National Historical Institute, then known as National Historical Committee, made a ruling that based on a remark by Jayme de Veyra who chanced upon it from the writing of Dr. H. Trinidad Pardo de Tavera, the "site of the first mass" was Limasawa. Which was a way of saying an assertion is its own proof. Miguel A. Bernad called this "apodictic," a ten-ton word that would crush any contrary view. The word means incontrovertible. In logic this is called the fallacy of hyperbole.
1981. The author of this piece of junk is referring to latitude which is expressed in North not East which is for longitude. This kind of nonsense has no place even in amateur navigational writing. Is it any wonder the author would write 18 years later the 1998 Report of NHI on the Mazaua landfall conundrum ("site of the first mass" issue to most of us) that has all sorts of puerility like Magellan being able to make port even where there is no anchorage.
1998. The National Historical Institute of the Philippines came up with a number of historical gems to astound the world of Renaissance navigation history, Magellan scholarship, and Mazaua historiography. Composed of persons with no standing in those fields, it rejected the account of Gines de Mafra as fake, it ignored de Mafra's testimony the port was west of Mazaua thus locating the anchorage east of Limasawa, a lee shore. In its meeting of December 17, they had accepted all these. They twisted the framework, making it appear we were arguing Butuan was site of the first mass. After I had traced the Butuan error to Ramusio! The NHI finding is casuistry, dishonesty, and travesty of the search for truth. The NHI report is published in full at Wikipedia, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:First_mass_in_the_Philippines#Antonio_de_Herrera.27s_Mazaua
2008. Invitation--that I declined--to another amateur review on the Mazaua issue by dilettantes in Renaisssance navigation, Magellan scholarship, and Mazaua historiography. At this stage in the game, I had them measured and knew I would face those whose bona fides lay elsewhere. In 2009 Ambeth Ocampo and co. came up with another hogwash saying, "Limasawa is site of the first mass." It turns out not one of the signatories ever read the Limasawa story of Fr. Francisco Combes. If they had, they would have found it does not refer to a mass, the word "misa" (mass) is not found in the story at all; that Limasawa is not the port of March-April 1521 where Magellan's fleet anchored. Mazaua, the true anchorage, is where an Easter mass was celebrated on March 31, 1521.
2009. On June 15, 2009 NHI Chair Ambeth Ocampo affirmed the 1998 finding of the Gancayco panel--knowing full well it was deceitful and an incompetent work to boot--and once more declared Limasawa was "site of the first mass." Those who concurred were Dr. Benito J. Legarda Jr., Fr. Jose M. Cruz, SJ., Prudencia C. Cruz, Dr. Celestina Boncan of U.P., Prof. Ricardo Jose also of U.P., Dr. Serafin D. Quiazon, Corazon S. Alvina, Heidi K. Gloria, Pedro Picornell. May I reiterate my challenge: If any of them can point--just point, no need for argumentation--to the word "missa" in the Limasawa story, I will give an all-expense-paid trip around the world to the first to do so. For more on this see https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.316964213501.197713.761273501&type=3#!/photo.php?fbid=10150402756668502&set=a.316964213501.197713.761273501&type=3&theater
This vast sum has been set aside this FY 2012 by the Department of Tourism and the Provincial Government of Southern Leyte for monuments to commemorate a ghost event. Imelda Marcos spent hundreds of millions of pesos to build a shrine at Limasawa and hold an extravaganza at the inauguration where the entire Martial Law Regime, the Catholic heirarchy, and the diplomatic corps attended. How many more hundreds of millions of pesos of taxpayers' money shall we waste for an imagined event at Limasawa? Is it time to criminalize hoaxes like this so historians will be more careful? Perhaps we ought to make deliberate historical lies a heinous crime punishable by death.
ANALYTICAL DEFINITION. This Table of Correspondence is an inventory of all properties of and information on Mazaua. These are juxtaposed against those of Limasawa's. At no point does Mazaua coincide with Limasawa. They have nothing in common. Save both are islands like all 7,100+ isles of the archipelago. Before historians sought to know Mazaua by asking, "Where is the site of the first mass, Limasawa or Butuan?" Since it's not Butuan therefore...For a larger file of this Table, click http://www.flickr.com/photos/ginesdemafra/8356731134/sizes/k/