Sunday, August 20, 2006

I am Enrique Mulatto

The Chronicles of Enrique


I was born in these islands. When I was young I was abducted by the slave traders of Sumatra who put me on auction at the slave markets of Malacca. It was there that my new master bought me. It was he who gave me my name, Enrique Mulatto. I served as his interpreter here in the East Indies. I have been with my master when he charted the enchanted Isles of the Spices. I was with him when he crossed the Indian Ocean and explored the Arabian Sea. I was with him when he fought battles in Africa.

My life took a decisive turn when my master was commissioned by the Crown of Spain to set sail to the East, to the Spice Islands, via the west. I was with my master when he crossed the Atlantic and met the Indians of the Patagonia in the Americas. I was with him when he traversed the vast Pacific at the farthest ends of which were intriguing islands. We landed in Samar but I was not able to talk to the people there for their tongue was strange and unfamiliar. Luckily, on the Island of Homonhon the Raia spoke many Malay languages and I immediately understood him. We sailed further west and landed in Sugbu, where I was mystified because the people there spoke the language of my childhood. Their leader, Raia Humabon, was an enterprising trader who demanded a landing tariff for the ships to which my master complied. Then true to his mission as envoy of the King of Spain, my master gifted the Raia’s wife, Raiana Humanay, an Icon of the Holy Child Jesus.

But as fate would have it, my master was drawn into the conflicts of the Raias of the Islands and he was killed in battle on the shores of Mah’tan in the hands of Raia Lapulapu.

I was overwhelmed with sorrow upon the death of my master, Fernando de Magallanes. He was a man of great wisdom and courage and of even greater vision. In his testament he willed that I be free of bondage upon his death. But the new leader of the expedition mistreated me and did not want me set free. So I sought the aid of the Raia of Sugbu, Raia Humabon, to secure my freedom. In the process, twenty European sailors were dead. I was free. The three ships sailed on. I stayed behind amongst the people who spoke the language of my childhood.

I am Enrique and upon reaching the islands of my childhood I have closed the circle - the circle of travel across a round world.

Join me in navigating new worlds and conquer the fear of falling over the edge of our known worlds. Or better yet, secure me a tiny island in the ocean of history, before I sink into legend, before I sink into oblivion . . .

I am Enrique Mulatto of Sugbu. First to circumnavigate the globe.

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