The Picture Perfect Script: A Historical Novel

(Edited version for 70-90 minutes Show)

 

Scene 1 : The Knighting of Magellan

 

Historical Background: Literary Oration/History Telling

 

The surrender of the Moorish King Boabdil of Granada ended the 100 years of Muslim rule in Spain in the 15th century. In the Treaty of Tordesillas, Pope Alexander VI of the Vatican divided the world for exploration and conquest, and assigned to Portugal the East and to Spain the West. This opened up the Age of Discovery for the Western countries to expand their power to influence and acquire resources abundant in the “New World.”

 

Portuguese Ferdinand Magellan witnessed such historical geographical discoveries and desired to do his part.  Unable to convince King Manuel I of Portugal to finance his proposed “Armada de Maluco” to reach the Moluccas Spice Islands, Magellan found the novice young King Carlos I of Spain a willing sponsor to support the unproven venture of a 3-year journey across the seas.

 

Magellan (speaks/sings): 

 

Your Majesty, I come before you to pledge my loyalty and ask for your blessings, so I can undertake the voyage to the Moluccas Spice Islands!”

 

King Carlos responds: 

 

“I, Carlos King of Spain, by this power vested in me by God, knight and appoint thee, Ferdinand Magellan, Captain General of the Armada de Maluco. Go forth and plant the flag of Spain on the land you discover in my name. And may God bless you in your endeavor. Rise, Sir Ferdinand Magellan!” 

 

Magellan responds: 

 

“I, Ferdinand Magellan, Admiral of the Armada de Maluco, solemnly pledge before God, my loyalty to Your Majesty, Carlos I, King of Spain, and as your good subject, will carry out your royal orders in conducting the enterprise that I am about to undertake. So help me God!” 

 

Magellan (feeling triumphant)

 

“Thank you, Lord God for your command! Now I can achieve my dream of conquest!”

Magellan sings…The Impossible Dream

Action:

 (The summer day of August 10, 1519, King Carlos I knighted Magellan and appointed him Captain General of the fleet named Armada de Maluco amidst much royal fanfare, beating drums, and blaring trumpets.)

Spanish Court/ Knighting of Magellan

(Flamenco Dancers perform with Castanets & Spanish music)

SCENE II:  Magellan’s Fleet Sailing Out for Spices & Gold

 

Crossing the Pacific and Surviving the Storm

 

Historical Background:  Literary Oration/History Telling

 

On October 18, 1519, while at sea opposite Sierra Leone, Magellan, fearing the Portuguese fleet sent out to stop him, took the tortuous route to avoid capture. The voyagers encountered stormy seas, and the sailors fearful for their lives, implore St. Elmo and the Virgin Mary to spare them from impending death and disaster.

 

Magellan is attended by his servant, a Malayan slave sold to him and from whom he learned about the Islands near Maluco. Enrique spoke Visayan, the language of the Islands. While serving, Enrique had learned the Spanish language and later became Magellan’s Loyal Companion and Interpreter.

 

(Visayan Enrique prays aloud while struggling to stand up, showing his presence as part of the Armada de Maluco:)

 

“Lord God who rules the universe, We implore Thee, to grant us respite from this cruel journey across the seas. You guide us through this route to evade our enemy, must we perish from Nature’s mandate before we reach our destiny?

 

Your celestial sign consoles our soul, with fervor and courage we take them all! As we sail through your gate of call, of stormy wind and forceful toll!

 

With angry wrath, you cast your rod. Disturbing our course, of fearful cast. We travel forth the untrodden path, with unyielding faith and loyal heart.

 

Now guide us back, to see the light, and restore our faith in your unblemished might.”

 

On December 13, 1519, the Armada de Maluco landed in Sugar Loaf Bay  on the Feast Day of St. Lucy. Hence, Magellan named it Santa Lucia Bay at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The sailors were met by the Guarani tribe who offered armaments, knives, hatchets, lances, and other weapons in exchange for trading their virgins and other women. The happy times rolled on until Christmas Day, and on December 26, 1521, Magellan decided to leave Santa Lucia Bay and farewells were made amidst dancing and singing by the natives.

 

Action:

The sailors were tired and well spent after being exhausted from the rough seas. Completely fatigued, they sprawled on the ground.

The Women of Corcovado Dancing

 

 (Song: “Santa Lucia”)    

SCENE III:  The Coming of the Cross

The landing in Cebu, Befriending the Natives, First Mass in Mazaua, Rajah Humabon with Court and Harem, Conversion & Baptism of Rajah Humabon & 800 Natives, Gifting of the Santo Nino, Enrique & Princess Agana 

Historical Background:Literary Oration/History Telling

 

On March 16, 1521, after more than 3 months crossing the expansive and hazardous Pacific Ocean and with only 3 of his 5 ships left, Ferdinand Magellan and the “Armada de Maluco”reached the Archipelago of San Lazarus with 175 men.  On Easter Sunday March 31, 1521, the First Mass was celebrated in an island named MAZAUA. After befriending the natives,  Magellan and his Armada de Maluco were guided to Cebu island to meet with Rajah Humabon on April 3, 1521. 

 

With Rajah Humabon’s permission, Magellan was allowed to bury 2 of his dead men,  in the middle of the town of Cebu, making the place a Christian cemetery.  This solemn Christian funeral impressed the people of Cebu. 

 

On April 14, 1521, the Christianization process started with the conversion and baptism of Rajah Humabon, his chief wife Hara Amihan, sons and daughters and 800 other native converts. This was a most significant day in the history of Christianity in the Philippines. 

 

At the baptismal ceremony, Ferdinand Magellan gives the icon of the SANTO NINO to the local queen, Hara Amihan, as a gift for being converted as a Christian. The new converts sing the Santo Nino song with Sinulog dancing. 

 

 

Action:

  • The Harem/Rajah Humabon’s Harem, Princess Agana. (Rajah Humabon and his court wait patiently for the visit of another chieftain, Lakan Lapulapu and his family. Hara Lai-lani brings her 3 lovely daughters to be presented to the Rajah and to entertain the court with their dancing. After their graceful performance, the Rajah chooses Princess Agana to be a member of the harem. This act seals the alliance between Rajah Humabon of Cebu and Lakan Lapu-Lapu of Mactan. In a ceremonial response, Lakan Lapu-Lapu demonstrates his formidable skills in KALI SILAT. Meanwhile, Enrique meets and falls in love with Princess Agana) 
  • Sinulog
  • Princess Agana sings (Visayan Song)

SCENE IV: The Coming of the Sword

 

Magellan’s Strategy of Divide and Conquer, Lakan Lapu-Lapu’s Defiance, Attack on the Village of Bulaya, and Agurang Agay-Agay’s Sad Song 

 

Historical Background:Literary Oration/History Telling

 

After Rajah Humabon converted as a Christian, Magellan presented to him the strategic advantage of being a Christian warrior aligned with the Spanish forces of Carlos I. This assurance of increased power prompted Humabon to order all his chieftains to convert as Christians. However, some defied his command, among them Lakan Lapu-Lapu. 

 

Determined to have Rajah Humabon be made the undisputed ruler, Magellan ordered all the independent chieftains to acknowledge Rajah Humabon, and warned any refusal to recognize the Rajah would mean death and the confiscation of their property. To enforce his message, Magellan sent a detachment to a peaceful village called Bulaya, where the inhabitants refused to obey Rajah Humabon. 

 

After scorching the village, the Spanish soldiers found the old lady Agurang Agay-Agay returning to the village with her grandchild, and they asked for the whereabouts of other natives. Agurang Agay-Agay refused to disclose this information, so they ended up tying her to a coconut tree and accused her of idol worship. She was whipped and after 2 strokes, she fainted and collapsed. 

 

The burning embers of the torched village of Bulaya remind the natives of the curse of conquest. Manuel, a native member of the Spanish detachment, disgusted with the dastardly act of his companions, turns around while gazing at the burning ruins, utters angry thoughts crying out:

 

“Why must I be a party to this ignoble act?

Obedient fool, I trusted the words of my commander,

But is it right to force our will against their sacred values?

Why not win them with acts of love and kindness?

How unchristian it is to use the sword to convert!

 

I felt the chill and discomfort of my act as it contradicts the spirit of my faith.

I am saddened to bear witness to the agony and pain inflicted to the natives of Bulaya.

Was it their fault to oppose conversion from their belief of ancient tradition?

Or should they be faulted for not willing to be ruled under Spain instead of their own?

But we all play the game, for fear is all encompassing; the convenient way is just to go along.

This imbalance of justice will not be forgotten nor will it ever be forgiven. That day will surely come when justice will prevail!” 

 

Action:

The Burning of Bulaya

 Agurang Agay-Agay sings a Sad Tagalog/ Visayan song

 

 

SCENE V: The Battle of Mactan

 

Magellan Defies His Own Council’s Advice and Prepares To Fight Lakan Lapu-lapu, The Decisive Outcome of the Battle of Mactan. 

 

Historical Background: Literary Oration/History Telling

 

Ferdinand Magellan wanted to show the Natives the power of Spain by subduing a rebel chieftain. The defiance of Lapu-Lapu needed a response and such unwillingness to comply with Magellan’s command would not be tolerated. Magellan, contaminated with the venom of success and feeling invulnerable due to his miraculous healing power and influence at conversion, galvanized his resolve. He boasted to Rajah Humabon that he would need no more than 20 men from each of his ships, and he himself would lead the assault in battle to punish Lakan Lapu-Lapu and the inhabitants of Mactan.

 

“In the stillness of the evening before the battle, Magellan looking sternly into the distant shore of Mactan, utters his thoughts (Very soft, slow strains of “Impossible Dream” music):

 

“Oh, cause that destined me to undertake this noble task,

Is this campaign well measured to bring the desired result?

Uncertain and unsure, I launch my tepid spirit onward,

Not knowing where to thrust my unfriendly sword.

 

Tomorrow’s date is set and done, while heaven roars in majestic sound;

To watch and see how Spain sublimely protects its faith with blood and force.

A mistake perhaps or folly, that king must do and knights implement,

To right a wrong or do a deed at all expense.”

 

Lakan Lapu-Lapu’s request to wait until morning, the 27th day of April 1521, to conduct the engagement is acquiesced by Magellan. The glowing sun begins to rise as Magellan’s soldiers prepare their body armor for battle. Drifting woods hit the broadside of the command ship, TRINIDAD, as debris crashed into the stern of the galleon ship, alerting the Spaniards that they are hitting low tide and are being pushed back into the sea. Although apprehension was written all over their faces, Magellan seemed oblivious to his men’s concern as he addressed his men and inspired them with a firm call to action.

Magellan and his men go into battle formation. The natives were at a distance concealing themselves and their armaments behind bushes and treetops.  The coconut groves abundantly landscaped the natural fortification of the Natives. Magellan, unable to inflict any damage to the Natives, ordered his men to torch their homes. 

 

ACTION: Fighting continues

 

It is a piteous sight as the Mactan warriors pounced upon him mercilessly, and the sea of angry Natives fell on his lifeless body ---each one contributing to his demise with the point of their spears and bolos.  If at all, it is a welcoming coupe de grace that no one person could lay claim to Magellan’s death, for it took the whole tribe to end his unyielding spirit.

 

“Lakan Lapu-Lapu gives Magellan a noble death ---a strike to the heart with his sundang! Magellan looks at Lapu-Lapu, and draws his last breath, as Lapu-Lapu stands tall and looks at his people. He raises his sundang to signal that death has come to Magellan. With his death, the sky darkened and a lightning ray streaked the high heavens as if to signal the conclusion of a saga and the end of a dream.” As conqueror of conquerors, Lakan Lapu-Lapu earned for himself the plaudit of disbelievers as the noblest soldier in the history of war in the Pacific.”

 

And while the dead body of Ferdinand Magellan lay prostrate on the sands of Mactan, Lakan Lapu-Lapu, in response to Rajah Humabon’s request for the body of Magellan, issued his stern warning, a cry that reverberated around the globe:

 

Lakan Lapu-Lapu shouts:

 

For all the riches in the world, I will not relinquish Magellan’s body. We will make him live amongst us, to remind the people of Mactan that we surrender to no man, and that any adventurer who comes to dominate our people shall himself be dominated!”

 

Lakan Lapu-Lapu speaks, addressing his weary tribesman and Bathala:

 

“Bathala, by your design we slew these wicked men,

From distant lands they came, they took, they changed our way of living;

Unmindful Msters, they trampled our sacred shores,

For in their mind, we are meek, humble and weak.

This land which we have is always ours.

When time began we tilled this land.

 

What right have they to claim a deed

When no amount was paid?

The might of the Sword is not the key;

Nor the Cross, the symbol for them to stay.

It is not the price for them to make,

For in our hearts, this land is ours to keep.”

 

“For all the riches in the world, I will not relinquish Magellan’s body. We will make him live amongst us, to remind the people of Mactan that we surrender to no man, and that any adventurer who comes to dominate our people shall himself be dominated!”

 

 

(End of Scene 5)

 

MUSIC/SONG: Ang Bayan Kong Pilipinas” (sing with audience)

 

Ang bayan kong Pilipinas,

Lupain ng ginto’t bulaklak.

Pag-ibig ang sa kanyang palad

Nag-alay ng ganda’t dilag.

At sa kanyang yumi and ganda,

Dayuhan ay nahalina.

Bayan ko, binihag ka,

Nasadlak sa dusa.

 

Ibon mang may laying lumipad,

Kulungin mo at umiiyak!

Bayan pa kayang sakdal dilag

Ang di-magnasang makaalpas?

Pilipinas kong minumutya

Pugad ng luha ko’t dalita

Aking adhika

Makita kang sakdal laya!

 

Action: The battle scene/ Lakan Lapu-lapu kills Magellan

 

 “It is the duty of every Filipino to advocate for the Renaissance of Philippine Art, Culture, and Tradition now and until the end of time.”

~Cristo Rey Alunan

The Battle of Mactan: Magellan's Noble Death

 

 Ferdinand Magellan wanted to show the Natives the power of Spain by subduing a rebel chieftain. The defiance of Lapu-Lapu needed a response and such unwillingness to comply with Magellan’s command would not be tolerated. He boasted to Rajah Humabon that he would need no more than 20 men from each of his ships, and he himself would lead the assault in battle to punish Lakan Lapu-Lapu and the inhabitants of Mactan.

 

 (In the stillness of the evening before the battle, Magellan looking sternly into the distant shore of Mactan, utters his thoughts)

 

“Oh, cause that destined me to undertake this noble task,

Is this campaign well measured to bring the desired result?

Tomorrow’s date is set and done, while heaven roars in majestic sound;

To watch and see how Spain sublimely protects its faith with blood and force.

A mistake perhaps or folly, that king must do and knights implement,

To right a wrong or do a deed at all expense.”

 

The Final Attack

 Lakan Lapu-Lapu’s request to wait until morning, the 27th day of April 1521, to conduct the engagement is acquiesced by Magellan. The glowing sun begins to rise as Magellan’s soldiers prepare their body armor for battle. Drifting woods hit the broadside of the command ship, TRINIDAD, as debris crashed into the stern of the galleon ship, alerting the Spaniards that they are hitting low tide and are being pushed back into the sea. Although apprehension was written all over their faces, Magellan seemed oblivious to his men’s concern as he addressed his men and inspired them with a firm call to action.Magellan and his men go into battle formation. The natives were at a distance concealing themselves and their armaments behind bushes and treetops.  The coconut groves abundantly landscaped the natural fortification of the Natives. Magellan, unable to inflict any damage to the Natives, ordered his men to torch their homes.

 

The Spaniards were caught by surprise by the sudden audacity of the Natives. They did not anticipate an avalanche of human courage displayed before their very eyes as Natives rushed forward to defend their homes against the volley of harquebusiers’ fire that horrified the multitude. Magellan was shocked and surprised, confused perhaps, by the abundant response from the Natives. This unexpected reaction was too much for the conquistadores to bear and Magellan signaled his men to retreat. This retrograde proved costly as the fearful Spaniards decided to run for their lives in a rout. Magellan heroically held his ground with 8 fearless Castilians who behind, but their ranks were overrun.

 

 In the distance, Rajah Humabon seeing Magellan in retreat, ordered his finest guards to rally to Magellan’s side. In the Spanish ship TRINIDAD, Duarte Barbosa, Magellan’s brother-in-law who had just awaken from a drunken stupor, seeing Natives about to join Magellan’s forces, thought they were to overcome him. Barbosa ordered his cannoners to fire at them, killing 4 of Rajah Humabon’s finest warriors being annihilated by “friendly fire”---eliciting scorn and disdain from Rajah Humabon and his warriors. Rajah Humabon thunders: Fool! Blundering idiots! Is this the Castilian way of doing battle?  Curse the day I sent my troops to defend these idiots. Their drunkenness and lack of unity amongst themselves shadow their own defeat. Woe is this day! Rajah Humabon commands: Pull out our warriors and save them from the fools. They need not die helping these drunken adventurers!”

 

The war is over for Rajah Humabon. He sulks as Magellan continues to fight for dear life. Despite the withdrawal of the Cebuanos, the Natives of Mactan did not stop their offensive attack. Magellan, hard-pressed from all sides with Antonio and Enrique, stood his ground.  In an act of unusual gallantry, Magellan orders: “Fall back, Enrique! Fall back, Antonio!

 

The Death of Magellan

Just then a javelin was thrown and Enrique was quick to parry it away, but instead of hitting Magellan, it deflected and hit Enrique slightly in the face. Enrique continued with his retreat while Don Antonio is not far behind. Magellan, concerned for the safety of his 2 trusted men, turned around and covered their retreat. He had just felled Katalanand was catching up with Don Antonio, when a poisoned arrow hits him in the right leg. Magellan staggered and as he fell, his helmet was knocked off his head.

 

Don Antonio comes back to rally his fallen Captain General, but as Magellan raises his hand, a bamboo spear strikes his face. Instead of grabbing Antonio’s hand, he ordered,“Go Antonio, go!”  He manages to stand and tries to draw his sword from his scabbard, but unfortunately, he could not, for another spear had wounded his right arm. Don Antonio, horrified, could only witness the gory sight, as he was helpless to save his mentor. Enraged by the desperate situation Magellan is in, Antonio was about to help him, but Gunsang Sundang slashes Magellan on his left leg, causing him to fall ---with his face downward, knocking his helmet off one more time.

 

It is a piteous sight as the Mactan warriors pounced upon him mercilessly, and the sea of angry Natives fell on his lifeless body ---each one contributing to his demise with the point of their spears and bolos.  If at all, it is a welcoming coupe de grace that no one person could lay claim to Magellan’s death, for it took the whole tribe to end his unyielding spirit.

 

Lakan Lapu-Lapu gives Magellan a noble death ---a strike to the heart with hissundang! Magellan looks at Lapu-Lapu, and draws his last breath, as Lapu-Lapu stands tall and looks at his people. He raises his sundang to signal that death has come to Magellan. It is only proper that such a noble man be slain by an equally noble adversary. With his death, the sky darkened and a lightning ray streaked the high heavens as if to signal the conclusion of a saga and the end of a dream.

 

Don Antonio Pigafetta, with outstretched hands, shouts: “Farewell, Captain General, our mirror, our light, our comfort and our true guide. Lakan Lapu-Lapu, looking at Pigafetta, replies: “Save yourself, young man. Your Captain is dead! Tell the world what you saw today. Remember that we submit to no king and pay no tribute to any power.  As you have witnessed, while you have lances of steel, we also have lances hardened in fire.”  In an act of kindness, he sends a comforting message, “Go and live but let us live in peace.  This is our land and no power on earth can take it away from us!”

 

OUTCOME

After all, the demise of Ferdinand Magellan, the conquering Captain General gained an unprecedented prestige for the immortalized tribe of fearless warriors of Mactan, who defeated the powerful army of the most powerful king in the entire civilized European world.  As conqueror of conquerors, Lakan Lapu-Lapu earned for himself the plaudit of disbelievers as the noblest soldier in the history of war in the Pacific.

 

And while the dead body of Ferdinand Magellan lay prostrate on the sands of Mactan, Lakan Lapu-Lapu, in response to Rajah Humabon’s request for the body of Magellan, issued his stern warning, a cry that reverberated around the globe: Lakan Lapu-Lapushouts: “For all the riches in the world, I will not relinquish Magellan’s body. We will make him live amongst us, to remind the people of Mactan that we surrender to no man, and that any adventurer who comes to dominate our people shall himself be dominated!”

 

Lakan Lapu-Lapu speaks, addressing his weary tribesman and Bathala:

“Bathala, by your design we slew these wicked men,

From distant lands they came, they took, they changed our way of living;

Unmindful Masters, they trampled our sacred shores,

For in their mind, we are meek, humble and weak.

This land which we have is always ours.

When time began we tilled this land.

What rights have they to claim a deed,

When no amount was paid?

The might of the Sword is not the key;

Nor the Cross, the symbol for them to stay.

It is not the price for them to make,

For in our hearts, this land is ours to keep.”

 

~Cristo Rey Alunan