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Q: What was Carlo Amoretti's role in making the name Gatighan the waystation of Magellan's Armada into the isle named Limasawa What was his proof in saying Limasaua was Mazaua?
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Where did the first mass located in Limasawa or Butuan justify your answer?

The Limasawa story is a hoax The Philippines foremost hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal is on record the first Filipino and the first Philippine historiographer to have read an authentic Antonio Pigafetta account. He read the Carlo Amoretti edition of the Ambrosiana manuscript, the only Italian text of four extant manuscripts of Pigafetta's account of Magellan's voyage. Amoretti, conservator at a Milan library, had discovered in 1798 the lost Pigafetta manuscript, and in no time had his transcription of the cancelleresco script of the Ambrosiana codex. Amoretti is the unknown and unsung author of the notion Limasawa, a place name he saw on a map of Jacques N. Bellin, is Magellan's island-port Mazaua. Amoretti had not read the original story of Limasawa by Fr. Francisco Combés, S.J. who like Amoretti and Bellin had not read a single eyewitness account. W.A. Retana's edition of Combes has been digitized and published on the web at Before Amoretti's edition what Philippine historians and historiographers had read was the false story of Magellan's circumnavigation by Giovanni Battista Ramusio, 16th century travel writer. (Go to Ramusio's work, which Henry Harrisse charged is a plagiarism (see Page 250, Bibliotheca americana vetustissima. A description of works relating to America, published between 1492 and 1551, click, is the source of the geographical blunder making Butuan, in 16th century geographical conception a huge portion of Mindanao stretching from Surigao ending at Quipit in Zamboanga del Norte, instead of Mazaua the anchorage of Magellan's fleet from March 28-April 4, 1521. Mazaua was a tiny isle which eyewitness Ginés de Mafra said had a circumference of 3 to 4 leguas or an area of some 39.30 square miles or up to 3930 hectares. (For the mathematical conversion of circumference/perimeter of Mazaua, go to Page 56, click Rizal was researching in 1889, almost a century after Amoretti's book came out, at the British Museum at London, for his edition of Antonio Morga's Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas (Rizal's ed. is at;cc=philamer;view=toc;idno=AHZ9387.0001.001) and chanced upon Amoretti. Rizal forthwith wrote on 4 February 1889 Plaridel (Marcelo H. del Pilar), urging him to tell the Filipino intellectual community to study Italian so they can read "Italian manuscripts that deal with the first coming of the Spaniards in the Philippines. A companion of Magellan writes them. As I have no time to translate them on account of my numerous chores, it would be advisable that a countryman of ours translates them into Tagalog or Spanish so that it may be known how we were in 1520. Italian is easy. In one month it can be learned with the Method of Ahn. Now I am studying Dutch." By that time a number of scholars had already repeated unthinkingly Amoretti's "Limasawa may be Mazaua." At almost every repetition Amoretti's "may be" would become "is" with increasing degree of certainty without any proof and supportive argument added. Not one recalled the axiom, "To assert is not to prove." Amoretti offered one-and only one-argument to support his assertion: That Limasawa is in Pigafetta's latitude for Mazaua, 9 deg. 40 min. North. This is invalid on several points: 1) Limasawa is not in that latitude but at 9 deg. 56 min. N; 2) There are two other fixes for Mazaua, Albo's 9 deg. 20 min. N found in the London copy. This is unknown to Philippine historians who're know only of the Albo of the Madrid copy which is found in Navarette and read by most via Robertson's English translation. The third fix is The Genoese Pilot's 9 deg. N; 3) More to the point nowhere does Combes say his Limasawa is the port of March-April 1521. Combes, whose knowledge is based on Ramusio, dismissed the Mazaua account found in Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas. To be fair, Rizal did not endorse Amoretti's dictum. Indeed, he was oblivious to the Mazaua issue, his interest lay in ethnographical information in Amoretti. Even as he promoted the spread of Amoretti's edition, Rizal was in no way or form a promoter of the Limasawa=Mazaua idea. You can access the letter of Rizal at the website of Dr. Robert L. Yoder at Here is a chronological study of the evolution of the Limasawa "may be" idea from belief to orthodoxy, then myth which the National Historical Institute turned into an accidental hoax in 1998 in a "decision" of the Gancayco panel made up of retired Associate Justice Emilio Gancayco, historian Dr. Ma. Luisa T. Camagay, Atty. Bartolome C. Fernandez Jr., Dr. Samuel K. Tan, Asst. Dir. Emelita V. Almosara, and Dr. Augusto V. de Viana, secretary of the panel. Amoretti's Dictum…Tracing how a false assertion became historical orthodoxy 1667 Fr. Francisco Combés, S.J. writes a book Historia de las Islas de Mindanao, Iolo, y sus adyacentes...Madrid: Herederos de Pablo de Val, 1667. It contains a 3-paragraph epitome of Magellan's sojourn in Surigao Strait which says the port of March-April 1521 was Butuan, an idea lifted from Ramusio. There is no mention of an Easter mass on 31 March 1521. Combés talks of a cross being set up at Butuan. His three paragraphs were translated by pro-Limasawa writer, Fr. Miguel A. Bernad, and may be read at,M1. Combés had not read one single primary history of Mazaua; these came out only over a century after him: Antonio Pigafetta saw print only in 1800, some 135 years after the death of Combés. The others followed much later than Pigafetta: The Genoese Pilot, 1826; Francisco Albo, 1837; Ginés de Mafra, 1920; Martín de Ayamonte,1933. In fact Combes' Limasawa unintentionally took the place of Gatighan, the waystation on Magellan's fleet sailing to Cebu. Limasawa and Gatighan are one and the same. 1800 Carlo Amoretti published his Italian transcription, revision, with notes, of Antonio Pigafetta's manuscript known as Ambrosiana codex, entitled Primo viaggio intorno al globo terracqueo ossia Ragguaglio della nauigazione alle Indie orientali per la via d' occidente fatta dal caualiere Antonio Pigafetta...sulla squadra del capit. Magaglianes negli anni 1519-1522. Ora pubblicato per la prima volta , tratto da un codice ms. della Biblioteca Ambrosiana di Milano e corredato di note da Carlo Amoretti; contiene anche: Raccolta di vocaboli fatta dal caualiere Antonio Pigafetta ne' paesi, ove durante la navigazione fece qualche dimora. Con un Transunto del Trattato di nauigazione dello stesso autore, In Milano : nella stamperia di Giuseppe Galeazzi, 1800. In two footnotes, on Pages 66 and 72, Amoretti surmised that Magellan's port--which he named Massana and appears otherwise as Mazaua or Mazzaua in the clear calligraphic writing of the Beinecke-Yale codex, where the Armada de Molucca anchored from March 28 to April 4, 1521--may be the Limassava inJacques N. Bellin's map of the Philippines. On Page 72, Amoretti offers one proof in support of his guess: the latitude of Limassava is at Pigafetta's latitude for Mazaua at 9°40' North. He was mistaken on two counts, Limasawa is at 9°56' North while Mazaua had three latitude readings by three members of the Armada, 9°40' N by Pigafetta, 9°20' N by Francisco Albo, and 9° N by the Genoese Pilot. 1801 French translation of Amoretti's edition of Ambrosiana. The two notes are on Pages 79 in the book (Page 161 in pdf). Note on latitude is on Page 87 in the book (Page 169 in pdf). Click 1803 James Burney, Discoveries in the South Sea or Pacific Ocean, Part I, Page 61 in the book, Page 94 in the pdf, "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 90 40' North, and its distance from Humunu 25 leagues. French Copy, p. 87." Click,M1. 1814 John Pinkerton's English translation of Amoretti's French edition is printed. See Page 330 regarding Amoretti supposition Limasawa may be "Massana" or "Mazzana." URL:,M1 On latitude supposition, see Page 333, URL:,M1 1836 Sentence on Page 50 of An historical account of the circumnavigation of the globe, and of the progress of discovery in the Pacific Ocean, from the voyage of Magellan to the death of Cook. Illustrated by a portrait of Cook, engraved by Horsburgh after Dance; a facsimile of his observations of the transit of Venus in 1769; and twenty-one highly-finished engravings by Jackson states, "At a small island named Mazagua, and supposed to be the Limasawa of modern charts…", see 1874 Note 1, Page 79, Lord Stanley of Alderley, The First Voyage Round the World: "The King of Butuan was also King of the Island of Massaua, between Mindanao and Samar. Note, Milan edition." Click;cc=sea;idno=sea061;q1=Junk%20of%20Ciama;frm=frameset;view=image;seq=13;page=root;size=s Note 1, Page 83, Lord Stanley…: "If Massaua is the island of Limassava of Bellin's map, it is in 9 deg. 40 min. N. latitude, but in 190 deg. W. longitude from the line of demarcation. Note, Milan edition." Click 1889 Jose Rizal tells Marcelo H. del Pilar in a letter dated February 4 to get one Filipino to study Italian as he has seen a manuscript (Carlo Amoretti's 1800 edition of Pigafetta) that talks of the Philippines at the time of the entry of Spanish in the archipelago in the 16th century. Miguel Bernad, S.J., referred to this letter in his article (,M1) but failed to see its import; Bernad and all historians who have worked on this problem never saw this book as the source of the "Limasawa may be Mazaua" notion. Click,_London,_4_February_18____To_Marcelo_H._del_Pilar 1890 José Toribio Medina, Chilean historian, published the first Spanish translation of Carlo Amoretti's French edition of Antonio Pigafetta's Ambrosiana codex, in Colección de documentos ineditos para la historia de Chile, Tomo II, Pp. 417-524. This is the Pigafetta read by Fr. Pablo Pastells, S.J., which he cites in his edition of Francisco Colin's Labor evangelica de los obreros de la Compañia de Jesus en las islas Filipinas (1904). This has yet to be digitized and published on the Web. -- F.H.H. Guillemard, The Life of Ferdinand Magellan and the First Circumnavigation of the Globe 1480-1521, states on Page228-29, "[The fleet] arrived on the morning of March 28th at Mazzava or Mazaba, a small island which now appears upon the charts as Limassaua." Guillemard's biography even now is viewed as the premier biography in English on Magellan and has had deep impact on succeeding works on the circumnavigation. Guillemard was a meticulous, lucid thinker who observed rigorously the canon of evidence and logic. See 1897 Wenceslao E. Retana came out with an edition of Historia de Mindanao y Joló: por el p. Francisco Combés…Obra publicada en Madrid en 1667, y que ahora con la colaboración del p. Pablo Pastells ... sanca nuevamente á luz W. E. Retana. In a note, written by Pastells, it asserts the first mass was not held at Butuan but does not say it was in Limasaua, as Combés story is silent on this. Combés only talks of a cross being set up in Butuan which is his port for the March-April 4 period. See;cc=philamer;q1=Messana;rgn=full%20text;idno=aqn8199.0001.001;didno=aqn8199.0001.001;view=image;seq=00000078 1899 In Manuel Walls y Merino Spanish translation of Amoretti, Primer viaje al rededor el mundo, from the combined Italian, French, and English texts, footnote 67 on Pages 135-136 states: "Según este relato, parece evidente que la primera misa que se celebró en el archipiélago Filipino, lo fué en la isla que hoy se llama Limasaua." To be precise, Amoretti's words were tentative if probabilistic, "The King of Butuan was at the same time King of Massana, or Mazzana, probably the Limassava or Bellin." Click,M1 1903 Note 25, Vol. 2, Blair & Robertson, Page 64, states: "Regarding Mazaua (Massava, Mazagua) Stanley cites-in First Voyage by Magellan (Hakluyt Society Publications, no. 52), P. 79-a note in Milan edition of Pigafetta's relation, locating Massaua between Mindanao and Samar. It is doubtless the Limasaua of the present day, off the south point of Leyte." This is called in logic the fallacy of hyperbole. The idea Limasawa=Mazaua was never "doubtless" and there was never any proof nor is there today to back it up. Click;cc=philamer;idno=afk2830.0001.002;size=l;frm=frameset;seq=66. In Footnote 59, Page 193, of "Relation of the Western Islands Called Filipinas" by Captain Artieda, Vol. 3, BR, Robertson asserts, "Mazoga is the same as Massava of other early writers; it is now Limasaua Island." See;cc=philamer;idno=afk2830.0001.003;q1=Limasaua;size=S;frm=frameset;seq=191. 1906 Note 263, Vol. 33, B&R, "In MS. 5,650, 'Mazzaua;" in Eden, 'Messana;' in Mosto, 'Mazana,' while in the chart it appears as 'Mazzana;' Transylvanus, 'Massana;' and Albo, 'Masava.' It is now called the island of Limasaua, and has an area of about ten and one-half square miles." Click;cc=philamer;idno=afk2830.0001.033;q1=Mazzana;size=s;frm=frameset;seq=336. Robertson has been mistaken by some in the Philippines as the first to assert Limasaua is Mazaua, citing above as authority. Not to put too fine a point on it, it was Robertson's endorsement of the Kalantiaw Code, in an international conference in San Francisco, U.S.A., that ensured acceptance of this greatest hoax in Philippine history. Go to 1908 Committee made up by Trinidad Herminigildo Pardo de Tavera, Dr. Najeeb Mitry Saleeby, Carlos Everett Conant and Emerson B. Christie revised map of "The World Book Co." and spelled the name "Limasawa" by way of resolving the confusion of the many names the supposed anchorage of Magellan's fleet was then known to have, i.e., Limasaoa, Limasaua, Limasana, Limasava, Limasagua, Dimasaua, Dimasawa, Dimasagua, Simasaua, Masaua. This orthography was adopted by government's "Philippine Committee on Geographical Names" which was created in 1903 by Exec. Order No. 95 signed by American Civil Governor William Howard Taft. Tavera was its first chair. The Committee's thinking was wholly based on Tavera's one-sentence dictum that the mass of March 31, 1521 was not in Butuan but in Limasaua. No one traced this notion to "the Milan edition" and precisely to Amoretti. The discussion on how the Committee arrived at "Limasawa" go to;cc=philamer;q1=Limasawa;rgn=full%20text;idno=aqp4775.0001.001;didno=AQP4775.0001.001;view=image;seq=192;page=root;size=s;frm=frameset; Succeeding writings on Mazaua geography, referred to in Philippine historiography almost exclusively as "The site of the first mass…" including the pronunciamentos of the National Historical Institute from 1950 up to today, 25 May 2009, have been fossilized on this bedrock of Limasawa thinking-the one sentence Tavera remark which proves nothing, and is not even a clear notion of the historical fact it seeks to establish. 1996 Vicente Calibo de Jesus ( in a study submitted to the National Historical Institute, challenges the validity of the framework, "Where is the site of the first mass, Limasawa or Butuan?" He traces the Butuan error to Giovanni Battista Ramusio--as earlier pointed out by W. H. Scott in a short piece at Kinaadman, a journal published by Xavier U of Cagayan de Oro City-who mystifyingly and inexplicably replaced Mazaua, the island port, with Butuan which is not an island. De Jesus also traced the Limasawa error to Amoretti. The proposition, he points out, consists of the logical fallacy of the false dichotomous question which asks the reader to pick between two false options, Limasawa whose story has no reference to a mass and Butuan which is not an island and comes from a translation blunder. The solution, the study suggests, is to list all properties of Mazaua an operation called analytical definition. Only after making such an inventory should one ask, "Magellan's port, Mazaua: Is it Limasawa or Butuan?" In fact one will not ask that question anymore after a simple historiographical review of the literature. It also adds for the first time the revolutionary insights of Gines de Mafra, the only crewmember in Magellan's fleet, to return to Mazaua staying there for four to six months in 1543, and writing his account after his second stay. 1998 The NHI officially proclaims once more, for the 4th time, Mazaua was Limasawa; that the Ginés de Mafra account was fake even as it fully knew it's not; it decides the discussion must still be "Where is the site of the first mass…?" and so proceeded to shown Butuan was not the port of March-April 1521. The NHI "decision" is published on several sites on the Web, e.g.,, 2000 De Jesus brings the Mazaua issue to an international audience, The Society for the History of Discoveries, at its annual conference on October 13, 2000 held at the U.S. Library of Congress, Washington D.C. (Go to It was a deliberate move to yank Mazaua outside the stranglehold of casuists who have no bona fides in the first place. He reframed the issue out of its religious mooring which has served to obfuscate discussion, placing it in the context of the history of navigation, geography, exploration, discovery, archaeology. He predicted Mazaua will be found at latitude 9 degrees North, based on the correlation of testimonies of Pigafetta, Albo, The Genoese Pilot, Martin de Ayamonte, using de Mafra's testimony as the axial unifying, harmonizing, correlating principle to make a compelling historical fact. His paper, and its revised edition, are published on various sites, e.g.,,,,, 2001 A group of geologists, archaeologists led by the Philippines first geomorphologist, Dr. Ricarte S. Javelosa, discovers an isle exactly as predicted. The isle consists of the geo-political entities of Barangays Pinamanculan and Bancasi in Butuan City. Artefacts are found showing the isle was inhabited before the Spanish entrada. A bronze pestle, of European provenance, was also dug up at the isle but it hasn't been dated. A comprehensive excavation at a cove where most likely the Mazaua village was located has yet to be undertaken. This scientific investigation is discussed on Page 74 of his paper above. 2008 The National Historical Institute calls for another talk exercise although this time it obviously has learned, from my advice, that "Where is the site…?" is not a valid proposition. NHI refuses to apologize for its falsification of history, it pretends it has not done anything wrong, it assumes no new ground has been gained that removed the issue away from local, parochial, insular historiography and into global archaeology, nuclear science, geomorphology, and other allied physical sciences. It still operates under the delusion, as stated by former NHI Chair Samuel K. Tan and reaffirmed by its current Chair Ambeth Ocampo, that only NHI can proclaim "the ultimate truth" of any historical issue. No civilized group of historians has had to work under the weight of such self-delusion. And it forgets for over half a century it has been proclaiming out of incompetence and lack of true scholarship the ultimate untruth, that Limasawa is Mazaua. In 1998 it did this with impunity and lack of integrity. It might be apropos to remind NHI that no one among its rank has any bona fides in navigation history; and since Mazaua has become a legitimate issue among the world's experts in the history of geography, navigation, cartography, etc. shouldn't NHI first show its credentials before it enters the discussion? It may be in order, as a matter of punctilio to ask, What are the bona fides of NHI to enter the global discussion on Mazaua? Never mind if it has no credentials to sit in judgment which in any case is no way to find solution in a globlalized setting. For over half a century NHI has been asking the wrong question, "Where is the site …?" For more than 50 years it never knew "Limasaua" was an invention of one man who had not read a single firsthand account and who rejected the authentic story of Mazaua by Antonio de Herrera. That it never found out in all these years that the Butuan landfall was an error of the author of a 1536 Italian retranslation of Pigafetta that Giovanni Battista Ramusio plagiarized and grabbed in 1563 as his own, 27 years after it first appeared in print for three times anonymously. For over 50 years NHI never got wind of the fact Amoretti is the author of the Limasawa=Mazaua notion out of ignorance of meaning of the Combes' coined word "Limasawa." For all these years NHI did not know there was a crewmember of Magellan's fleet who wrote about Mazaua after his second visit to the isle and a stay of about six months. Not only did it not know, but when faced with Gines de Mafra's account NHI rejected it as fake, even as it knew fully well it was authentic. This is ignorance made unforgivable by its utter dishonesty. In today's globalized world what are its bona fides to make it worthy to sit as a reliable, upright, earnest, honest, competent, rational participant in the international conversation on Magellan's island-port?VICENTE CALIBO DE

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