Suluan is a small island in the Philippines, in the province of Eastern Samar. It lies east of Leyte Gulf, near Homonhon Island and Calicoan Island. The island was the first site of anchorage for Ferdinand Magellan's Spanish armada.
On March 17, 1521, after 98 days crossing the Pacific Ocean, Magellan's voyage dropped anchor on the island. Though Samar and Mindanao was their first land sightings from afar, Magellan's choice of anchoring on a much smaller island was meant as a security precaution as few people would have inhabited a small island such as Suluan. Laurence Bergreen's Over the Edge of the World details the landing "they headed to Suluan and dropped anchor for a few hours of respite." They then next dropped anchor at Homonhon Island, where they spent a week with the natives, and then to Limasawa, where the 1st ever Christian mass was held on March 31, 1521.
The name of Suluan Island is derived from the word "sulo", the Waray-waray word for torch which the locals would have used during fishing at at night. Suluan therefore, means torch-bearing people in reference to the local fishermen. From afar, prior to landing, the Spanish armada would have seen the torches the night before.
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