Pedro de Valderrama

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‘’’Pedro de Valderrama’’’ was an Augustinian friar and missionary from the Magellan-Elcano First Circumnavigation of the World. In the expedition, he was joined by two friars: the first one joined Juan de Cartagena's Mutiny then later marooned in the Patagonian desert along with Juan de Cartegena and the second friar died on the voyage and did not make it to Southeast Asia. In the Philippines, Valderrama celebrated the first recorded mass and baptism in 1521 in Masawa (Limasawa) and Sugbu (Cebu), respectively.


First Mass

Main article: First Mass in the Philippines

The First Mass in the Philippines was held on 31 March 1521 on the island of Limasawa, Southern Leyte by the expedition of Ferdinand Magellan.

After resting and gathering supplies for two weeks on the island of Homonhon, Magellan and the crew left the island to continue sailing in search of Moluccas. On the morning of 28 March, they saw the island of Limasawa and encountered some natives in canoes whom they befriended and exchanged gifts with. On Sunday 31 March, Easter Day, Magellan and fifty of his men came ashore to Limasawa. He ordered the expedition's chaplain, Fray Pedro de Valderrama, to celebrate Easter Sunday mass. It was only a few days after the blood compact between Magellan and Rajah Kolambu of Leyte; because of this alliance, the rajah allowed Magellan and his men to come ashore to celebrate mass. Rajah Kolambu was also invited to the mass along with Rajah Siagu of Butuan, his brother.

The mass was then attended by the two rajahs, Magellan, and members of the crew, among them Antonio Pigafetta, Gines de Mafra, and Francisco Albo who would thereafter write accounts of the first mass.

According to Pigafetta's account, Magellan “threw much rose muscat water over those two kings,” largely interpreted as the baptism of the two rajahs. The two rajahs then participated in the mass, kissing the cross in the same way as the members of the expedition did, and receiving communion. After the mass, Magellan asked that a cross be installed at the highest peak, explaining that the cross would defend them from harm. To this the two rajahs agreed, and the cross was set up on two hills on the western side of Limasawa.


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