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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Islam is not an Interloper that came to a Christian Country: Lapu-Lapu, the First Filipino Hero

Many of us Filipinos are not aware that Islam is 141 years older than Christianity in the Philippines. Our history tells that Magellan used swords and making friendships to the people in this country to propagate Christianity. While Makhdum, an Arabian trader, missionary and scholar used his persuasive powers to introduce Islam in Philippines.

Courtesy of Leo Florendo: Lapu-Lapu (Shrine, Mactan) First Filipino Hero
The Christian religion came to our land when, on March 16, 1521, Ferdinand Magellan landed on Homonhon Island of Samar on an expedition sent by King Philip of Spain. The primary objective of the expedition was to conquer some spicy islands and to spread Christianity. The inhabitants of Homonhon Island, who were pagans, were the first to be converted.

The expedition took Magellan and his forces to Limasawa - (famous for the first mass in the Philippines officiated on Easter Sunday of March 31, 1521 by Father Pedro de Valderrama under the fleet of Ferdinand Magellan), Panay and Cebu also. While the people of Panay accepted the new religion, Lapu-Lapu in Cebu opposed him. A war ensued, and Magellan was killed. Following his death, King Philip sent more expeditions, with soldiers and preachers, to spread Christianity. As a result, the Philippines became the first Christian country in Asia.

In contrast to the general welcome Christianity received in the archipelago, it found resistance in Mindanao where the inhabitants were already Muslims. Makhdum/Mukhdum, an Arabian trader, missionary and scholar who arrived in Tubig Indangan,Simunul, Tawi-Tawi in 1380, introduced Islam in the Philippines. He introduced Islam with his persuasive powers, not with swords and making friendships method as Magellan did.

The point I wanted to make is that Islam is not an interloper that came to a Christian country. It has been in the Philippines for approximately 637 years, compared to the 496 years that Christianity has been here..

Sources of Ideas: Limasawa, Islam in Philippines, Lapu-Lapu

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