First Mass in the Philippines

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A detail of Carlos V. Francisco's First Mass in the Philippines painting

The first Catholic mass in the Philippines was on Easter Sunday March 31, 1521[1] in an island named Mazaua by eyewitnesses Antonio Pigafetta, Ginés de Mafra, Francisco Albo, the Genoese pilot, and Martín de Ayamonte, at a location widely—and mistakenly—believed to be Limasawa, a town islet to the tip of Southern Leyte province.[2] Because of this widespread mistaken belief, Limasawa is often said to be the birthplace of Roman Catholicism in the country.

The historical event, viewed largely in its religious context in the Philippines but more comprehensively in its global context as a fleeting episode of the 1,081-day circumnavigation of the world, came to pass when Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan and his Armada de Molucca of three sailing ships, landed in the western port of the island of Mazaua.

They said the Catholic Mass in retrospect of the near death voyage they undertook from the tip of Argentina, crossing the Pacific Ocean and just by accident landed in Leyte. The hospitality of the indigenous natives that saw them is the primary reason they survived. Contrary to accounts that some natives converted and joined the Mass, it can be assumed that the indigenous was just as curious as they observe the lost Spaniards.

The indigenous guide them to a natural harbor and gave them food as the normal culture in South East Asia.

Etymology of the word Limasawa[edit]

The placename Limasawa is not found in any primary or secondary account of Magellan's voyage. It is not found in any language of the Philippines. It may be traced only as far back as 1667 in a historical study of the evangelization of southern Philippines, specifically Mindanao, Historia de Mindanao y Joló, por el p. Francisco Combés ... Obra publicada en Madrid en 1667, written by Fr. Francisco Combés, S.J. The word Limasaua is shown once on one plate of the book[3] and five times on the next plate, which describes Magellan's sojourn in Philippine waters.[4]

This placename, Limasawa, is the name of an isle west of Panaon, in Southeast Leyte, and east of Bohol. Four years before Combés, in 1664, the same isle was named Dimasaua by Fr. Francisco Colín, S.J., to signify that it was not the island "Mazagua" where an Easter mass was reported by Spanish historian Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas. De Herrera is the only historian whose faithful account of the Mazaua incident with the correct name—Mazaua, or as pronounced, "masawa"—was ever published from the 16th century up to the very start of 1933 when the eyewitness account of Martín de Ayamonte saw print. Ayamonte's spelling of the name was "Maçava" with a cedilla, a c with a tail, which was an archaic form of the sound s, and v with the value w which is absent in the alphabets of Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and other Romance languages.

Both Combés and Colín had adopted a 1536 story originating with Giovanni Battista Ramusio that the island where Magellan's fleet landed was Butuan. Ramusio, in translating a French text of Antonio Pigafetta, had erroneously replaced Mazaua with "Buthuan" which appears as "Mazaua" in the authentic account of Antonio Pigafetta of which there are four manuscripts that have survived. (All the four extant manuscripts are mere copies of originals.) From 1536 until the 19th century, Ramusio's "Buthuan" error was reflected in historical accounts of Magellan's sojourn in Philippine waters. There are a number of versions of Ramusio, the one adopted by Colín talks of a mass in "Buthuan"; this version is represented by the English translation of Richard Eden contained in pages 255-256, Three English books on America. [? 1511] - 1555 A.D. Being chiefly Translations, Compilations, &c., by Richard Eden, From the Writings, Maps, &c., of… (1885), Publisher: Birmingham, [Printed by Turnbull & Spears, Edinburgh]. The one adopted by Combés is a version of Ramusio represented by the English translation by Samuel Purchas—it does not mention any mass anywhere in the archipelago of San Lazaro.

Along the same spirit of invention, there were others who came up with their own imagined names and various spellings: Limasaoa, Limasana, Limasagua, Dimasaua, Dimasava, Dimasagua, Simasaua.

Combés's Limasawa and Pigafetta's Mazaua[edit]

This error—replacing Mazaua with "Buthuan" or Butuan—was detected in 1800 by Carlo Amoretti who, unfortunately, made his own geographical blunder. He equated Magellan's Mazaua with Combés's Limasawa.[5]

Carlo Amoretti was a conservator at the Ambrosiana Library at Milan where he discovered the lost Italian manuscript of Pigafetta in 1798. Amoretti lost no time transcribing the codex. Amoretti, in a footnote, said Magellan's Mazaua may be the "Limasava" found in the map of the Philippines by Jacques N. Bellin. He asserted both Limasawa and Mazaua are in Pigafetta's latitude 9° 40' North.[6] This is patently wrong. Limasawa is at 9° 56 minutes N; while Mazaua was spotted at three different latitudes, Pigafetta's 9° 40' North, at Francisco Albo's 9° 20' North, and The Genoese Pilot's 9° North. A second-hand source, Antonio de Brito, the Portuguese squadron leader who seized flagship Trinidad at Amboina, wrote a report to the Portuguese king that Mazaua was at 9° North, information derived from captured documents. Scholars assume Brito's source was The Genoese Pilot, a belief not supported by concrete evidence but is nevertheless unchallenged.

Magellan scholars and navigation historians, with the sole exception of French maritime historian Leonce Peillard, have universally accepted Amoretti's dictum. In the Philippines, this dictum was altered by historians who rephrased Amoretti's assertion by removing the name "Mazaua" and replacing it with the phrase "site of the first mass." This is summed up by the classic proposition, "Where is the site of the first mass, Limasawa or Butuan?" Carlo Amoretti's authorship is also omitted so that in historical studies on the Mazaua incident Amoretti is the unheard of, unsung, unhonoured author of a famous dictum. This question is a fallacious dilemma, Mazaua is being equated with an island without anchorage, Limasawa; just as erroneous is its being equated with Butuan that is not an island. Mazaua was an island with an excellent harbor. Apropos to anchorage, the Coast Pilot of 1927 published by the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey states, "Limasawa is fringed by a narrow, steep-to reef off which the water is too deep to afford good anchorage for large vessels."

Both Fr. Francisco Combés, S.J., and Carlo Amoretti had read not one single eyewitness account, save, in the case of the latter, the Italian extant manuscript known as the Ambrosiana codex. Most important they both had not read the account of Ginés de Mafra, the only crewmember who came back to Mazaua in 1543, staying there with 99 other crewmates for six months. The Magellan visit was only for 7 days. Ginés de Mafra was part of the expedition under the command of Ruy Lopez de Villalobos. In his testimony, de Mafra said the port of Mazaua was west of the island, This contradicts the now-popular belief it was east, as affirmed four times by the National Historical Institute of the Philippines. On June 19, 1960, Republic Act No. 2733, called the "Limasawa Law", was enacted without being signed by the President of the Philippines. The legislative fiat declared "The site in Magallanes, Limasawa Island in the Province of Leyte, where the first Mass in the Philippines was held is hereby declared a national shrine to commemorate the birth of Christianity in the Philippines."[7] Magallanes is east of the island of Limasawa.

In 1995 then Congresswoman Ching Plaza of Agusan del Norte-Butuan City filed a bill in Congress contesting the Limasawa hypothesis and asserting the "site of the first mass" was Butuan. (It will be seen here that up to this point no one save historian William Henry Scott had suspected the Butuan notion came from the garbled translation of Pigafetta by Giovanni Battista Ramusio). The Committee on Education of Congress forwarded the question to the National Historical Institute which prompted it to form the Gancayco Panel headed by then retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Emilio Gancayco which, in 1998, issued a resolution in favor of Limasawa Island claim. The Chair of NHI, Dr. Samuel K. Tan, in 1998 categorically stated in a press conference and in a letter addressed to Vicente C. de Jesus that NHI was adopting the Gancayco "Resolution." The exact text of Tan's letter reads: "April 6. 1998/ Dear Mr. De Jesus,/Please find attached copy of the Resolution of the Hearing Panel on the First mass issue. The National Historical Institute is adopting said Resolution. With kind regards, Sincerely yours, SAMUEL K. TAN, Chairman and Executive Director." Historians who have written on the "first mass" controversy thereafter invoked this decision of the National Historical Institute, among them Peter Schreurs, Rolando O. Borrinaga, as the final word on the issue.[8] In 2006, Father Joesilo Amalla, curator of Butuan Diocesan Liturgical Museum, resolved to petition the National Historical Institute (NHI) to study "new evidence" indicating that the first Mass in the Philippines was held in his Agusan del Norte province and not on Limasawa Island, Southern Leyte province. Father Amalla also serves as trustee of the Butuan City Cultural and Historical Foundation Inc. (BCHFI). Journals of an early Spanish expedition record that a Mass took place on "Mazaua," but the historical foundation contended that the Mass was held in Masao, a spit and not an island that is part of Butuan.[9] Mazaua was an island surrounded by sea water and had an area, according to Ginés de Mafra, of three to four leguas (9 to 12 square nautical miles) which converts to an area of from 2213 up to 3930 hectares. Masao was a mangrove facing Butuan Bay and was never and is not an island.

Magellan and his Armada found ready anchorage at Mazaua. So did Ginés de Mafra and his 90+ crewmates. So did Bernardo de la Torre and his men in April 1544. So did Garcia Escalante de Alvarado in October 1544.

On the other hand, the Coast Pilot describe Limasawa as having no suitable anchorage. The Coast Pilot of 1927 published by the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey states, "Limasawa is fringed by a narrow, steep-to reef off which the water is too deep to afford good anchorage for large vessels."[10]

Two dissimilar islands, one with a good anchorage and the other with no anchorage, cannot be one and the same.

Landing on Philippine shores[edit]

When Ferdinand Magellan and his European crew sailed from San Lucar de Barrameda for an expedition to search for spices, these folks landed on the Philippines after their voyage from other proximate areas. On March 28, 1521, while at sea, they saw a bonfire which turned out to be Mazaua where they anchored.[11]

Blood compact[edit]

An image universally believed to be that of Antonio Pigafetta—the chronicler of Magellan during the expedition who recorded the historical event. In fact this image is of another Pigafetta. The Vicentine diarist's account has been exploited by many historians to identify the place where the event actually happened. Pigafetta together with the rest of Magellan's fleet stayed in Mazaua for only seven days. Twenty-two years later, one sole member of the crew, Ginés de Mafra, revisited the isle staying there with some 90 plus mates for about six months. De Mafra wrote a firsthand account of the Magellan voyage. It was introduced to Mazaua historiography only in 2000 at the international conference of The Society for the History of Discoveries held at the U.S. Library of Congress at Washington D.C.

The island's sovereign ruler was Rajah Siaiu. When Magellan and comrades set foot on the grounds of Mazaua, he befriended the Rajah together with his brother Rajah Kulambu of Butuan. In those days, it was customary among the indigenous—and in most of southeast Asia—to seal friendship with a blood compact. On instigation of Magellan who had heard the Malayan term for it, casi casi, the new friends performed the ritual. Ginés de Mafra gave the most vivid description of the incident: "[They] drew blood from the chests of both men, to toss it into a glass so that the blood unites, to mix it with wine, then [for] both to drink a half." This was the first recorded blood compact between Filipinos and Spaniards. Gifts were exchanged by the two parties when the celebration had ended.[12][13]

First mass[edit]

On March 31, 1521, an Easter Sunday, Magellan ordered a mass to be celebrated which was officiated by Friar Pedro Valderrama, the Andalusion chaplain of the fleet, the only priest then. Conducted near the shores of the island, the Holy First Mass marked the birth of Roman Catholicism in the Philippines. Colambu and Siaiu were the first natives of the archipelago, which was not yet named "Philippines" until the expedition of Ruy Lopez de Villalobos in 1543, to attend the mass among other Mazaua inhabitants, together with visitors from Butuan who came with the entourage of Rajah Colambu, king of Butuan.[12][14]

Planting of the cross[edit]

In the afternoon of the same day, Magellan instructed his comrades to plant a cross on the top of the hill overlooking the sea, southwest of the island as shown in the map of Mazaua in all the extant French manuscripts of Antonio Pigafetta, i.e., MSS Nancy-Libri-Phillipps-Beinecke-Yale, 5650 and 24224. Magellan's chronicler, Antonio Pigafetta, who recorded the event said:

"After the cross was erected in position, each of us repeated a Pater Noster and an Ave Maria, and adored the cross; and the kings [Colambu and Siaiu] did the same."[15]

Magellan then took ownership of the islands where he had landed in the name of King Charles V which he had named earlier on March 16 Archipelago of St. Lazarus[disambiguation needed] because it was the day of the saint when the Armada reached the archipelago.[12][14]

Proclamation of the national shrine[edit]

In 1800, Carlo Amoretti, a conservator,i.e., "Dottori del Collegio Ambrosiano" at the Ambrosiana library in Milan, published his transcription of a newly discovered authentic extant manuscript, the only extant codex in Italian of Antonio Pigafetta. In his edition of what is now popularly called the Ambrosiana codex, Amoretti equated Mazaua—which he called "Messana" and/or "Massana," the name popularized by Maximilianus Transylvanus—with Combés's Limasawa. In 1905, Philippines scholar James A. Robertson translated Pigafetta's manuscript for the Philippine Islands, 1493-1898, a 55-volume collection of Spanish documents on Philippine history translated into English and transcribed, translated, annotated and edited by himself. In the translation, based on the Italian transcription by Andrea da Mosto which finally established the text of the Italian manuscript, Robertson asserted in footnote No. 26 in volume 33 that "Mazaua" was "now called the island of Limasawa."[1] In actuality, Robertson was paraphrasing the dictum of Carlo Amoretti,except that he used the correct name, "Mazaua" and not "Messana" or "Massana" which Amoretti used interchangeably.

To be precise, Amoretti's surmise was that "Messana" may be the "Limasava" found in the map of Jacques N. Bellin. This map was a copy of Fr. Pedro Murillo Velarde's which for the first time shows an island sandwiched between Bohol and Panaon, the southmost island of Leyte. Limasava (the value of v is w which is absent in the Spanish alphabet) was the placename invented or fabricated by Fr. Francisco Combés, S.J., who had not read a single primary or secondary account of Magellan's expedition. His view of the Magellan voyage was based on the corrupted version of Antonio Pigafetta's account written by Giovanni Battista Ramusio. Ramusio wrote that the anchorage of Magellan's fleet from March 28-April 4, 1521 was "Buthuan". In one version Ramusio wrote in "Buthuan" an Easter mass was held by Magellan, his men, and inhabitants there. Ramusio replaced Mazaua with "Buthuan". Combés dismissed the version of Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas who wrote a faithful story of the incident which names the island-port of Magellan's fleet as Mazaua. Combés also dismissed the name "Dimasava" given to the same Leyte isle by Fr. Francisco Colín, S.J., five years earlier in 1663. Like Combés, Colín also had dismissed de Herrera in favor of Ramusio. Colín's version of Ramusio talks of a mass held on March 31, 1521; Combés's had another version which talks of no mass at all. Combés' "Limasaua" thus is a negation of de Herrera's Mazaua, where an Easter mass was held. Colín's Dimasava means "this is not the island where a mass was held." The prefix "di" is Bisaya for "not" or "no." Since Combés story does not talk of a mass being held anywhere, he coined another word by using a different prefix, "Li" which is absent in any Philippine language or Spanish. Limasawa is a pure invention.

On June 19, 1960, Republic Act No. 2733 was passed by Congress declaring "... Magallanes, Limasawa Island in the Province of Leyte, where the first Mass in the Philippines was held is hereby declared a national shrine to commemorate the birth of Christianity in the Philippines."[16][7] Unknown to the lawmakers the basis of the law was Amoretti's equating Pigafetta's Mazaua with Combés's "Limasaua" which four years earlier Colín called "Dimasaua" expressly to signify it is not Mazaua. Here is Combés' Limasawa story, as translated by the foremost Limasawa first mass writer, Fr. Miguel Bernad: “The first time that the royal standards of the Faith were seen to fly in this island [of Mindanao] was when the Archipelago was first discovered by the Admiral Alonso de Magallanes. He followed a new and difficult route [across the Pacific] , entering by the Strait of Siargao, formed by that island and that of Leyte, and landing at the island of Limasaua which is at the entrance of that Strait. Amazed by the novelty and strangeness of the [Spanish] nation and the ships, the barbarians of that island welcomed them and gave them good refreshments.

“While at Limasaua, enjoying rest and good treatment, they heard of the River of Butuan, whose chieftain was more powerful. His reputation attracted our men thither to see for themselves or be disillusioned, their curiosity sharpened by the fact that the place was nearby. The barbarian [chief] lived up to our men’s expectations, providing them with the food they needed….Magellan contented himself with having them do reverence to the cross which is erected upon a hillock as a sign to future generations of their alliance….The solemnity with which the cross was erected and the deep piety shown by the Spaniards, and by the natives following the example of the Spaniards, engendered great respect for the cross.

“Not finding in Butuan the facilities required by the ships, they returned to Limasaua to seek further advice in planning their future route. The Prince of Limasaua told them of the three most powerful nations among the Pintados [Visayans], namely those of Caraga, Samar, and Zebu. The nearness of Zebu, the facilities of its port, and the more developed social structure (being more monarchial) aroused everyone’s desire to go thither. Thus, guided by the chief of Limasaua, passing between Bool and Leyte and close to the Camotes Islands, they entered the harbor of Cebu by the Mandawe entrance on the 7th of April 1521, having departed from Limasaua on the first day of that month.”

The law and the flawed historiography behind it remains. It has been reaffirmed more than four times by the Philippines' National Historical Institute (NHI). The framework against which the NHI has viewed the issue is expressed in the proposition, "Where is the site of the first mass in the Philippines, Limasawa or Butuan?" In the most comprehensive study so far undertaken on the issue by Vicente Calibo de Jesus, he showed that this question consists of the fallacy of the false dichotomous question or the fallacy of the false dilemma. It limits the reader to choose between two erroneous or false alternatives: Limasawa that has no anchorage, and Butuan which is not an island. Mazaua was a port with an excellent anchorage. And to repeat a glaring fact, there is no mention of a mass in the three-paragraph Limasawa story.

Mazaua or Limasawa[edit]

In 1995 a bill was filed by then Congresswoman Charito B. Plaza of Agusan del Norte claiming the Easter mass on March 31, 1521 was held at Butuan not Limasawa. The bill's contention was that the wooden boat called "balanghai" dug up at Butuan proved it was Mazaua.

The Philippine Congress referred the matter to the National Historical Institute (NHI) for it to study the issue and recommend a historical finding. The NHI created a panel headed by retired Associate Supreme Court Justice Emilio Gangcayco, and members Bartolome C. Fernandez Jr. and Dr. Ma. Luisa T. Camagay, and ex-officio members, Dr. Samuel K. Tan, Chairman-Executive Director, NHI; Asst. Director Emelita V. Almosara; and Prof. Augusto V. de Viana, who was secretary of the Panel and keeps the minutes of all the Panel meetings. No panel members were experienced in Magellan historiography or in Renaissance navigation history except Dr. Tan who co-wrote a five-page article with Isagani Medina (1981). An Evaluation of the Controversy on the First Mass in the Philippines. Manila: National Historical Institute. pp. 31–35. ISSN 0115-3927. 

In the course of the two-year investigation by the NHI, the Ginés de Mafra account was claimed to be discovered by Vicente Calibo de Jesus who advised the panel of the implications of de Mafra's testimony among which was that Mazaua was an island separated from 1521 Butuan by some 45 nautical miles (83 km), that the port was located west of Mazaua and that it had a good anchorage, and that the circumference of the isle was 3-4 leagues or 9 to 12 nautical miles (22 km). Another claim of de Jesus was that Limasawa, according to an expert Philippine Coast Guard captain, had no natural anchorage.

In the morning of Tuesday, December 17, 1996 the entire NHI panel met to deliberate on the various studies submitted by the pro-Limasawa and by then pro-Mazaua sides. The panel accepted the findings of Mr. de Jesus, especially his analysis of the testimony of Ginés de Mafra changing the parameters of the whole discussion. Whereas before de Mafra it was a question of whether the harbor was Limasawa or Butuan it now became clear that Mazaua was an island separate from Butuan and that it had a precise area and good anchorage.

On March 31, 1998, the National Historical Institute chose to adopt the finding of the Gancayco Panel which dismissed the Ginés de Mafra account as fake and forthwith unilaterally reverted the discussion to pre-de Mafra context which was back to whether the site of the first mass was Limasawa, the isle without anchorage, or Butuan, which is not an isle. The NHI reaffairmed its previous pronouncements that Limasawa is Magellan's port.

The exact status of the findings is uncertain. On the day NHI announced to the media the panel's finding, then NHI Chair-Executive Director Dr. Samuel K. Tan stated it was the official stand of the Institute. The finding is variously cited as such by Philippine historians. The NHI has not officially nor publicly disavowed it. Incumbent NHI Chair Ambeth R. Ocampo privately confide the Board of Directors has not approved the panel's finding. On March 27, 2006 Ocampo wrote a letter to Mr. Alfredo M. Rafanan, Secretary of the Provincial Board of Agusan del Norte, affirming NHI's past findings not excluding the Gancayco Panel's.

On June 15, 2009 NHI Chair Ambeth R. Ocampo together with Benito J. Legarda Jr., Fr. Jose M. Cruz, SJ., Prudencia C. Cruz, Dr. Celestina Boncan of U.P., Prof. Ricardo Jose also of U.P., Serafin D. Quiazon, Corazon S. Alvina, Heidi K. Gloria, Pedro Picornell affirmed the NHI-Gancayco panel findings as valid and affirmed its previous pronouncements that Limasawa is Magellan's port.[17]

Supposed first mass by Odoric of Pordenone[edit]

Odoric of Pordenone, an Italian and Franciscan friar and missionary explorer, is heartily believed by many Pangasinenses to have celebrated the first mass in Pangasinan in around 1324 that would have predated the mass held in 1521 by Ferdinand Magellan, which is generally regarded as the first mass in the Philippines. But there is no account saying this. He is also alleged to have baptized the natives of Bolinao, Pangasinann. However, historian William Henry Scott concluded after examining Odoric's writings about his travels that he likely never set foot on Philippine soil and, if he did, there is no reason to think that he celebrated mass.

Troubled Legacy[edit]

The Roman Catholic religion brought by Magellan holds a distinction of being claimed by 80% of the Philippine population, 2% percent composed of Protestant denominations and 11% percent either to the Philippine Independent Church (Aglipayan), Iglesia ni Cristo and others. The remaining percentage belongs to Islam and others.

In 1984 Imelda Marcos had a multi-million pesos Shrine of the First Holy Mass built, an edifice made of steel, bricks and polished concrete, and erected on top of a hill overlooking barangay Magallanes, Limasawa. A super typhoon completely wiped this out just a few months later. Another shrine was inaugurated in 2005.[18]

Limasawa celebrates the historic and religious coming of the Spaniards every March 31 with a cultural presentation and anniversary program dubbed as Sinugdan, meaning "beginning.".[19] Yet this has no reference at all to a Catholic mass being held on March 31, 1521.

Indeed, his "Limassaua" was meant to signify that the southern Leyte isle was not the "Mazaua" in the historical account of Magellan's voyage of Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas which Combés dismissed as untrue in favor of the garbled account of Giovanni Battista Ramusio who wrote the place of anchorage from March 31-April 4, 1521 was Butuan replacing unintentionally Mazaua.[citation needed]

Combés had not read a single firsthand or eyewitness account of Magellan's voyage. His invention, "Limasawa", was meant to repudiate the idea the anchorage was Magellan's Mazaua since he thought it was "Buthuan" as Ramusio said.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b Valencia, Linda B. "Limasawa: Site of the First Mass". Philippines News Agency ( Archived from the original on 2007-10-15. Retrieved 2007-11-12. 
  2. ^ M.c. Halili (2004). Philippine history. Rex Bookstore, Inc. pp. 72–73. ISBN 978-971-23-3934-9. 
  3. ^ Combes, P. Francisco (1897). "Entrada de la Religion Christiana en Estas Islas de Mindinao, y Iolo (second of eight books)". Historia de Mindinao y Jolo (in Spanish). Madrid. pp. 77–78 (plate 133. Retrieved 2008-12-12. 
  4. ^ Combes, P. Francisco (1897). "Entrada de la Religion Christiana en Estas Islas de Mindinao, y Iolo (second of eight books)". Historia de Mindinao y Jolo (in Spanish). Madrid. pp. 79–80 (plate 134. Retrieved 2008-12-12. 
  5. ^ Amoretti, Charles (1812). "Pigfetta's voyage Round the World". In Pinkerton, John. A General Collection of the Best and Most Interesting Voyages and Travels in All Parts of the World. p. 330. , Author's footnote: "† We shall presently see that the Kings in question ruled over two countries on the eastern coast of Mindinao, one of which was called Butuan, the other Calayan. The first had retained its name, the second is now called Caragua. The King of Butuan was at the same time King of Massana, or Mazzana, probably the Limassawa of Bellin."
  6. ^ Amoretti, Charles (1812). "Pigfetta's voyage Round the World". In Pinkerton, John. A General Collection of the Best and Most Interesting Voyages and Travels in All Parts of the World. p. 333. , "The island of Massana lies in latitude nine degrees forty minutes north, and in longitude one hundred and fifty-two degrees west of the line of demarcation. It is twenty-five leagues distant from the island of Humunu‡." and in a footnote (incorrectly, concerning latitude), "‡ Limasawa is indeed in the latitude listed; but in the longitude is elsewhere, the error is considerable."
  7. ^ a b "Legislations on Culture in the Philippines". Philippine Culture and Information (Philippine Information Agency). 1998-06-18. Retrieved 2007-11-15. 
  8. ^ Ben Serrano (April 4, 2006). "Butuan reclaims part as first mass venue". Retrieved 2008-12-13. 
  9. ^ "New evidence cited on Philippine 'first Mass' site"., quoting UCANews. 4 May 2006. Retrieved 2008-12-13. 
  10. ^ "South Coast of Leyte". United States Coast Pilot, Philippine Islands 1. U.S. Department of Commerce. 1927. p. 335. 
  11. ^ "A short Philippine History before the 1898 Revolution". Newsletter of the District of Asia. 2001. Retrieved 2007-11-12. 
  12. ^ a b c Agoncillo, Teodoro A. (1974). Introduction to Filipino History. Quezon City, Philippines: GAROTECH Publishing. ISBN 971-10-2409-8. 
  13. ^ Mercado, Monina A. (Editor) (1985). Dioramas:a visual history of the Philippines. Metro Manila, Philippines: Ayala Museum. 
  14. ^ a b Agoncillo, Teodoro A. (1962 by Del Carmen Juliana). Philippine History. Manila, Philippines: Inang Wika Publishing Co. 
  15. ^ Pigfetta, Antonio (ca. 1525). Helen, Emma; Robinson, James Alexander, eds. The Philippine Islands 1493-1898. BiblioBazaar, LLC (published c. 1905). p. 129. ISBN 978-1-4264-6706-6.  ISBN 1-4264-6706-0, ISBN 978-1-4264-6706-6
  16. ^ Serrano, Ben (2007-04-04). "Butuan reclaims part as first mass venue". Sunstar Cagayan de Oro ( Retrieved 2007-11-12. 
  17. ^ "Was First Mass held in Limasawa or Butuan? Church urged to help settle controversy". April 3, 2012. 
  18. ^ Borrinaga, Rolando O. (2007-04-14). "The right place for disputed first Mass in Limasawa". Inquirer Visayas ( Retrieved 2007-11-12. 
  19. ^ "Southern Leyte Is Famous For...". Wow Philippines. Retrieved 2007-11-15. 

See also[edit]