The historical marker for the Elcano – Magellan Expedition was unveiled in Sitio Marikit in Bgy. San Juan in Aborlan town last September 22, 2021, to commemorate the 500th year that the Philippines had been a part of the world’s first circumnavigation.
It is one of the 34 sites across the country that have been part of the route of the surviving crew members of the Elcano-Magellan voyage in 1521. Another three are also in Palawan.
“Next year kasi ay 500 anniversary ng Philippines’ part on the first circumnavigation of the world. Ito ‘yung Magellan expedition. Instead of celebrating Magellan, we are celebrating with the world, with humanity, his achievement in circumnavigating the planet for the first time. So achievement of humankind and science ‘yung ating sini-celebrate, not Magellan. Ang Palawan po ay may malaking parte doon sa Philippine itinerary ng circumnavigation in 1521,” Ian Christopher Alfonso, Senior History Researcher of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, explained in an interview with Palawan Daily News last July 2020.
Aborlan has a historical significance when the crew of the surviving ships of the Magellan- Elcano voyage arrived on its shores in the first week of June 1521. The crew set land in Aborlan shores from Mapun,Tawi-Tawi to look for food and supplies. The Tagbanuas, however, drove them away as they were mistaken to be Moros who would come to raid villages for slaves.
The unveiling was attended by 3rd District Board Member Albert Rama, Brgy. Sicsican Councilor Ronnie Dayata representing 3rd District Cong. Gil Acosta Jr. and Prof. Michael Angelo Doblado, who represented the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP). Western Philippines University Julie Hope Evina and Aborlan Mayor Aborlan Mayor Celsa Adier also attended the event.
In his speech, Mayor Adier thanked Palawan State University, particularly the department of Professor Doblado for the success in discovering a part of history when Magellan’s crew arrived in the province. He said that the sites can be an attraction for tourism that can contribute to the local economy.
Prof. Doblado also turned over a copy of the journal to Mayor Adier that was sent to the NHCP as a commemoration that the commission acknowledged his paper about the Elcano – Magellan voyage.