Rajah Kolambu

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Rajah Kolambu was the chieftain of the Limasawa Island in Southern Leyte when the first mass in the Philippines was held. He was part of the social elite of the Butwan polity.

Arrival of Magellan

Upon the arrival of the Europeans in the island, the natives clambered up the rowing boats and received gifts, wherein such action was disliked by Kolambu. The Limasawa leader, on the other hand, offered a basket of ginger and a bar of gold, which Ferdinand Magellan refused to accept.

Kolambu and his brother Rajah Awi were the first datus of the archipelago who attended the mass. They forged a blood compact with Magellan who had claimed ownership of the islands in the name of King Charles. Magellan had named it on 16 March 1521 as the Archipelago of Saint Lazarus.

It was Kolambu who offered to guide the Spaniards to the island of Cebu, where they met its leader, Rajah Humabon.


It is believed that the island of Limasawa was named after the relationship of Rajah Kolambu and his five wives. The name is a portmanteau of the Visayan words “lima”, which means five, and “asawa”, which means wife.




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