October 20-22, 2021: Philippine International Quincentennial Conference

Many Filipinos were educated that Philippine history began with the now politically-incorrect phrase “discovery of the Philippines” by Ferdinand Magellan in March 1521.  For centuries, it created an impression that prior to Magellan’s arrival, our ancestors were nothing but savage, uncivilized peoples.  While the world is celebrating the 500th anniversary of the realization of Magellan’s feat as an achievement of humankind (i.e., circumnavigating the world for the first time), the Filipinos are trying their best to find their place in the milestone that is respectful of their own history.

Thus, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte created the National Quincentennial Committee (NQC) to communicate the Philippine commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Philippine part in the first circumnavigation of the world (1521-2021).  The milestone is seen by the Philippine Government as an opportunity to dispel the myths and misconceptions about the Filipinos through history, and as a platform to let the world know that the Filipino people are one with the world in fostering unity and magnanimity.

The Committee advocates a more Filipino-centric point of view of the first circumnavigation of the world, by underscoring the magnanimity, compassion, and humanity of our ancestors in helping the impoverished and hungry crew of the Magellan-Elcano expedition that traversed, for more than three months, the deadly Pacific—characteristics of us as a people that is recurrent in Philippine history, such as in the Siege of Baler in 1899, in the Open Door policy of President Manuel L. Quezon to the Jews in 1939, and in sheltering of President Elpidio Quirino to the homeless White Russians in 1949, to name a few.

Along with the said milestone is the 500 years of the victory of Lapulapu and his warriors in the Battle of Mactan, an event that served as among the inspirations for our heroes and martyrs during the Philippine Revolution of 1896 and of the subsequent events that led to the formation of the Filipino nation, the first democracy in Asia.

In line with this, the NQC is spearheading the International Quincentennial Conference on the Victory at Mactan, the Introduction of Christianity in the Philippines, and the Philippine Part of the First Circumnavigation of the World with the theme “Situating the Filipino and the Philippines in 1521” in October 2021.

This conference is a collaboration of the National Quincentennial Committee, National Historical Commission of the Philippines, BARMM Bureau on Cultural Heritage, Philippine National Historical Society, Philippine Historical Association, Asosasyon ng mga Dalubhasa, may Hilig at Interes sa Kasaysayan (ADHIKA) ng Pilipinas, Church Historians Association of the Philippines, University of Santo Tomas, University of San Carlos, Ateneo de Manila University, University of the Philippines Diliman, University of the Philippines Baguio, De La Salle University, Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology, and Fr. Saturnino Urios University

For details, contact
National Quincentennial Committee Secretariat
2nd Floor, National Historical Commission of the Philippines Bldg., T.M. Kalaw St., Ermita, Manila
secretariat@nqc.gov.ph | (+63) (02) 5335-1200 loc. 145

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