BY invitation of the Global Network of Magellan Cities (GNMC), Catbalogan City, through Mayor Stephany Uy-Tan, was among the selected cities in the Philippines that attended the 5th GNMC Meeting in Cebu City, on February 15-17, 2016.

The GNMC is an international non-profit organization comprising several cities involved in the “First Voyage around the World,” which was launched by Ferdinand Magellan and completed by Juan Sebastian Escano. The period of 2019-2022 will mark the 500thanniversary of the voyage and will be commemorated through a series of activities among member cities, as well as newly invited cities, including Catbalogan.

“Catbalogan City is honored to be invited to a global network of cities involved in one of the greatest nautical feats ever made by men – a voyage around the world; and this is a great opportunity for Catbalogan to be internationally known and to be globally competitive,” said Mayor Uy-Tan.

According to history, Magellan and his fleet first landed in Homonhon Island in Guiuan, Eastern Samar, around 1521. They later continued to Limasawa Island in Southern Leyte, then crossed to Cebu City – only to be defeated in Mactan Island by the brave Datu Lapu-Lapu. Based on this history, Catbalogan was invited to the GNMC due to its stature of being the Capital of the whole Samar Island Province then and now.

Although there is no recorded evidence that Magellan and the Spaniards came to Catbalogan, considering that only in 1596 that Jesuits missionaries came to Samar, and only in 1616 that Catbalogan was recognized as the cabecera or capital of the whole island where a residence and a mission center were established, the GNMC is extending the opportunity to partner with other cities for cultural tourism, knowledge sharing and scientific innovation.

Photo caption: First Voyage around the World: Catbalogan City joined the Global Network of Magellan Cities (GNMC) that will celebrate the 500th anniversary of Ferdinand Magellan’s historical voyage (Photo by Catbalogan City)

*Contributor: Ador Leanda Hurtado (Catbalogan City’s Tourism, Culture, Arts and Information Officer)