Homonhon Island – Embassy of Spain to the Philippines Ambassador Jorge Moragas Sanchez and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Roger Mercado led the wreath-laying ceremonies commemorating the 501st anniversary of the Philippine-Spanish Contact at the Homonhon Quincentennial Marker, Homonhon Island, Guiuan, Eastern Samar on 18 March 2022, at 10:00 a.m.

The commemorative program was led by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), in coordination with the Municipal Government of Guiuan and other national and local government agencies.

NHCP Chairman Dr. Rene R. Escalante joined Ambassador Moragas and Secretary Mercado in the wreath-laying ceremony. Eastern Samar Vice Governor Maria Caridad S. Goteesan, Guiuan Mayor Annaliza G. Kwan, and Ms. Cora Basada (representative of Congresswoman Maria Fe R. Abunda, also witnessed the event.

Mayor Kwan welcomed the guests and Guiuananos present at the event. Dr. Rene Escalante and Vice Governor Goteesan delivered their messages and were followed by the keynote speeches of the guests of honor, Assistant Caballes and Ambassador Moragas.

The program also highlighted the unveiling of the Homonhon historical marker and turn-over ceremony of the Newly Restored Ferdinand Magellan’s Rock.

The Closing Ceremonies of the Samar and Suluan Part of the 2021 Quincentennial Commemoration in the Philippines were held at the Veterans’ Park, Calicoan Island, and the Suluan Covered Court, Suluan Island, Guiuan on 16 and 17 March, respectively.

It was on 18 March 1521 when Ferdinand Magellan and his crew anchored off in Homonhon Island to seek refuge and freshwater after a harrowing crossing of the Pacific Ocean. In a nearby stream, the crew set up camp, and despite the language barrier between the people of Suluan and the Spaniards, our ancestors welcomed them. The people of Suluan provided the Spaniards food to help them regain strength even though the expedition landed on one of the most sacred islands in the region.

The NHCP is the national government agency mandated to promote and preserve Philippine history through its museums and publications and preserve the nation’s historical heritage.