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READINGS IN PHILIPPINE HISTORY (GED105)
Position Paper: The First Mass Site in the Philippines
Submitted by:
Joshua S. Molleno from
BS Psychology 1104
Submitted to:
Mr. Bernardo P. Labosta Jr.
GED 105 Instructor
November 04, 2021
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The First Mass Site in the Philippines
The first Holy Mass is commonly associated with the arrival of Christianity to Philippine coasts.
However, for decades, countless Filipinos, including top professionals in education, history,
religion, politics, and other fields, have debated the exact location of the 'First Mass' on Easter
Sunday, with both Butuan City and Limasawa claiming to be the site of this important religious
ceremony.
NHI's numerous trials and findings show that Antonio Pigafetta's story "First Voyage Around the
World" is the most credible and reputable source for the Philippines' Christian beginnings. This
account was written by a key eyewitness to the event and depicts the political, economic,
commercial, and religious conditions of the country. It includes descriptions of the islands and
their peoples, their history, and records of the catholic missions. It offers two key reasons that
explain why the Philippines' first mass was held at Limasawa rather than Butuan.
The first point is Pigafetta's route and chart of "Mazzaua Island," the location of the first mass.
Butuan is a city in Caraga Region, while Limasawa is an island off the southwestern corner of
Leyte. Butuan, as reported, is a river hamlet near the Agusan River's delta, which isn't mentioned
in the witness's story. Mazaua is located nine and two-thirds latitude north of the Arctic pole and
one hundred and sixty-two degrees longitude south of the demarcation line.
The island's description matches that of Limasawa, a small island off Leyte's southern edge with
coordinates of 9 degrees and 54 degrees north. The absence of a reference to the river that runs
through Mazaua Island, as well as topographical evidence that the first mass was held in Limasawa.
Second, When Magellan visited the island, he was accompanied by two great kings, the King of
Mazaua and the King of Butuan, who provided supporting evidence. The latter is a visitor from
Mazaua, and his territory is on Butuan, a distinct island. As a result, Mazaua cannot be considered
Butuan.
Triana, the island town's principal barangay, is another piece of evidence that Limasawa Island
was the true site of the Easter Sunday Mass. It's in the Limasawa municipality. Magellan himself
gave the barrio its name. Magellan married Beatriz Barbosa in the major church of Triana, a suburb
of Seville, Spain.
In an article titled “Butuan or Limasawa? The Site of the First Mass in the Philippines: A
Reexamination of the Evidence”, which Father Miguel Bernad, S.J. authored. Fr. Miguel was a
professor and researcher of Saint Xavier University, Cagayan de Oro in Mindanao who went to
Mazaua, Butuan City and Limasawa, Southern Leyte to study the Mass held during Magellan's
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expedition. He conducted research works in Spain and other places related to Magellan's Mass. In
his research, he discovered in the map of Pigafetta that Mazaua was placed in the southern tip of
Leyte. The modern maps will show that this jibes with Limasawa, not in Butuan. Thus, he came
into a conclusion that Magellan and his
"Butuan or Limasawa?" was the title of an article. Father Miguel Bernad, S.J. wrote "The Site of
the First Mass in the Philippines: A Reexamination of the Evidence." Fr. Miguel was a professor
and researcher at Saint Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro, Mindanao, who traveled to Mazaua,
Butuan City, and Limasawa, Southern Leyte, to research the Mass celebrated during Magellan's
expedition. He carried out studies in Spain and other locations associated with Magellan's Mass.
During his investigation, he discovered that Mazaua was located in the southern tip of Leyte on
the Pigafetta map. Modern maps reveal that this corresponds to Limasawa, not Butuan. As a result,
he came to the conclusion that Magellan and his companions landed and held the Mass in
Limasawa, Southern Leyte.
Francisco Albo joined the Magellan voyage as a pilot in Magellan's flagship, according to the
evidence in Albo's log-book. After circumnavigating the globe with Sebastian Elcano, he was one
of the eighteen survivors who returned. While they were traveling southward in the Atlantic along
the coast of South America, off Brazil, Albo began keeping his own diaryjust a log-book about
the voyage out. His account of their arrival in Philippine territorial seas. Events reported in his
journal corresponded to Pigafetta's manuscripts, but names of places differed, such as Albo, an
island known as "Yunagan" in Pigafetta's account, which was known as "Samal" or Samar in
Pigafetta's account. Albo refers to an island where they anchored and re-supplied water as "Gada,"
but Pigafetta refers to it as "Acquada." Regardless, it implies the same thing, whether "Gada" or
"Acquada." Both relate to the island of Homonhon, off the coast of Guiaun Point in Eastern Samar,
where they re-united.
Water was provided, and the Indians graciously provided supplies. Finally, although it is not
clearly stated in Albo's LogBook that Magellan and his crew were in Masaua for a week and on
Easter Sunday when the First Mass was celebrated, it was termed "Seilani" in Albo's logbook and
"Ceylon" in Pigafetta's account. However, Albo does mention the cross being planted on a
mountaintop after the mass, from where three islands to the west and southwest could be seen.
However, the southern part of Limasawa matches this description as well. It doesn't fit the Butuan
coast, where no islands can be seen to the south or southwest, but only to the north.
Finally, on June 19, 1960, Republic Act No. 2733, often known as the Limasawa Law, was passed
without the permission of the Executive. The spot in Magallanes, Limasawa Island in the Province
of Leyte, where the first Mass in the Philippines was held, was also named a national shrine to
commemorate the birth of Christianity in the Philippines, according to the legislative act.
Similarly, Limasawa Island is said to be the pilgrimage location of the first Catholic mass in Asia,
which was celebrated on Easter Sunday, March 31, 1521, by Father Pedro de Valderrama under
Ferdinand Magellan's armada.

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READINGS IN PHILIPPINE HISTORY (GED105) Position Paper: The First Mass Site in the Philippines Submitted by: Joshua S. Molleno from BS Psychology 1104 Submitted to: Mr. Bernardo P. Labosta Jr. GED 105 Instructor November 04, 2021 The First Mass Site in the Philippines The first Holy Mass is commonly associated with the arrival of Christianity to Philippine coasts. However, for decades, countless Filipinos, including top professionals in education, history, religion, politics, and other fields, have debated the exact location of the 'First Mass' on Easter Sunday, with both Butuan City and Limasawa claiming to be the site of this important religious ceremony. NHI's numerous trials and findings show that Antonio Pigafetta's story "First Voyage Around the World" is the most credible and reputable source for the Philippines' Christian beginnings. This account was written by a key eyewitness to the event and depicts the political, economic, commercial, and religious conditions of the country. It includes descriptions of the islands and their peoples, their history, and records of the catholic missions. It offers two key reasons that explain why the Philippines' first mass was held at Limasawa rather than Butuan. The first point is Pigafetta's route and chart of "Mazzaua Island," the location of the first mass. Butuan is a city in Caraga Region, while Limasawa is an island off the southwestern corner of Leyte. Butuan, as reported, is a river hamlet near the Agusan River's delta, which isn't mentioned in the witness's story. Mazaua is located nine and two-thirds latitude north of the Arctic pole and one hundred and sixty-two degrees longitude south of the demarcation line. The island's description matches that of Limasawa, a small island off Leyte's southern edge with coordinates of 9 degrees and 54 degrees north. The absence of a reference to the river that runs through Mazaua Island, as well as topographical evidence that the first mass was held in Limasawa. Second, When Magellan visited the island, he was accompanied by two great kings, the King of Mazaua and the King of Butuan, who provided supporting evidence. The latter is a visitor from Mazaua, and his territory is on Butuan, a distinct island. As a result, Mazaua cannot be considered Butuan. Triana, the island town's principal barangay, is another piece of evidence that Limasawa Island was the true site of the Easter Sunday Mass. It's in the Limasawa municipality. Magellan himself gave the barrio its name. Magellan married Beatriz Barbosa in the major church of Triana, a suburb of Seville, Spain. In an article titled “Butuan or Limasawa? The Site of the First Mass in the Philippines: A Reexamination of the Evidence”, which Father Miguel Bernad, S.J. authored. Fr. Miguel was a professor and researcher of Saint Xavier University, Cagayan de Oro in Mindanao who went to Mazaua, Butuan City and Limasawa, Southern Leyte to study the Mass held during Magellan's expedition. He conducted research works in Spain and other places related to Magellan's Mass. In his research, he discovered in the map of Pigafetta that Mazaua was placed in the southern tip of Leyte. The modern maps will show that this jibes with Limasawa, not in Butuan. Thus, he came into a conclusion that Magellan and his "Butuan or Limasawa?" was the title of an article. Father Miguel Bernad, S.J. wrote "The Site of the First Mass in the Philippines: A Reexamination of the Evidence." Fr. Miguel was a professor and researcher at Saint Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro, Mindanao, who traveled to Mazaua, Butuan City, and Limasawa, Southern Leyte, to research the Mass celebrated during Magellan's expedition. He carried out studies in Spain and other locations associated with Magellan's Mass. During his investigation, he discovered that Mazaua was located in the southern tip of Leyte on the Pigafetta map. Modern maps reveal that this corresponds to Limasawa, not Butuan. As a result, he came to the conclusion that Magellan and his companions landed and held the Mass in Limasawa, Southern Leyte. Francisco Albo joined the Magellan voyage as a pilot in Magellan's flagship, according to the evidence in Albo's log-book. After circumnavigating the globe with Sebastian Elcano, he was one of the eighteen survivors who returned. While they were traveling southward in the Atlantic along the coast of South America, off Brazil, Albo began keeping his own diary—just a log-book about the voyage out. His account of their arrival in Philippine territorial seas. Events reported in his journal corresponded to Pigafetta's manuscripts, but names of places differed, such as Albo, an island known as "Yunagan" in Pigafetta's account, which was known as "Samal" or Samar in Pigafetta's account. Albo refers to an island where they anchored and re-supplied water as "Gada," but Pigafetta refers to it as "Acquada." Regardless, it implies the same thing, whether "Gada" or "Acquada." Both relate to the island of Homonhon, off the coast of Guiaun Point in Eastern Samar, where they re-united. Water was provided, and the Indians graciously provided supplies. Finally, although it is not clearly stated in Albo's LogBook that Magellan and his crew were in Masaua for a week and on Easter Sunday when the First Mass was celebrated, it was termed "Seilani" in Albo's logbook and "Ceylon" in Pigafetta's account. However, Albo does mention the cross being planted on a mountaintop after the mass, from where three islands to the west and southwest could be seen. However, the southern part of Limasawa matches this description as well. It doesn't fit the Butuan coast, where no islands can be seen to the south or southwest, but only to the north. Finally, on June 19, 1960, Republic Act No. 2733, often known as the Limasawa Law, was passed without the permission of the Executive. The spot in Magallanes, Limasawa Island in the Province of Leyte, where the first Mass in the Philippines was held, was also named a national shrine to commemorate the birth of Christianity in the Philippines, according to the legislative act. Similarly, Limasawa Island is said to be the pilgrimage location of the first Catholic mass in Asia, which was celebrated on Easter Sunday, March 31, 1521, by Father Pedro de Valderrama under Ferdinand Magellan's armada. Name: Description: ...
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