TACLOBAN CITY – The town of Guiuan, Eastern Samar has the great privilege to be the site of the first circumnavigation of the world led by Ferdinand Magellan.

Thus said Mayor Annaliza Gonzalez-Kwan as the town marked the historical event 502 years ago with several activities.

“We are not only celebrating the first contact with the Western people led by Magellan, but we are also celebrating and highlighting the hospitality and humanity that Filipinos show to the foreigners who were desperately in need of help when they arrived because of hunger, sickness, and some are almost dying,” Mayor Kwan, referencing the arrival of Magellan to Homonhon Island on March 16,1521.

“For 502 years or more we are known around the world for this unique hospitality and care for others. This became the heart of quincentennial ceremony especially here in Guiuan. We recognize the value of Magellan and his crew but we should also recognize our ancient forebears, their kindness, their humanity, and their valor, things we ought to preserve within us today,” Kwan added.

A wreath-laying ceremony was held at the different historical markers erected by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NCHP).

These are in Calicoan Island where a marker was placed representing the Samar Island; Suluan Island, the first island seen by Magellan and his crew when they arrived in Guiuan; and in Homonhon where they stayed for several days and had their first contact with the early settlers of Suluan.

A job fair and a forum were also conducted as part of the celebration.