Spanish ship ‘Elcano’ to visit the PH to re-enact world’s first circumnavigation 500 years ago

Published March 7, 2021, 11:26 AM

by Roy Mabasa

Just in time for the Philippine Quincentennial celebration, the Spanish training ship Juan Sebastián Elcano will arrive in the country to re-enact one of the most significant achievements in the history of mankind – the first circumnavigation of the world.

(Embassy of Spain in the Philippines FACEBOOK)

The Philippine leg of the navigation is a key part of the tour around the world that the Spanish training ship is making to commemorate the Magallanes-Elcano expedition route that made circumnavigation possible for the first time ever around the globe, the Spanish Embassy said in a statement over the weekend.

According to the schedule, the commonly known “Elcano” will arrive in Guiuan (Eastern Samar) on March 16, 2021, in Suluan and Homonhon Islands until 18th March, and later in Cebu from March 20-22. These are the very places where the Spanish expedition made its first visual contact, landing and human encounter exactly on those exact dates 500 years ago.

“The space and time coincidence will help to better visualize the special feeling that the expeditioners felt when arriving and gazing at the beauty of this country and discovered the humanity of its people,” the Spanish Embassy said in the statement.

Built in 1928, the “Elcano” is a four-mast brig-schooner, with a length of 113 meters, and is the third highest ship in the world. This is the 10th time that Elcano will make a tour around the world.

The Spanish training ship is named after the Castillan explorer who joined the expedition of Ferdinand Magellan composed of five ships and 238 men that left Seville, Spain in September 1519 and reached the Philippine islands in 1521.

After the death of Magellan in the Philippines, it was Elcano, in command of the ship Victoria, who concluded the first voyage around the world by returning to Spain three years later with ony 18 survivors left onboard.