Republic of the Philippines - Stamps & Postal History

RP Issues of 2002




2002, September 6.  First Circumnavigation of the World - 480th Anniversary

Litho Offset.  Amstar Company, Inc.,  Perf. 14

Se-tenant Strips of 4, Miniature Sheets of 20;  Souvenir Sheets of One (Imperforate)




Se-tenant Strips of Four    (50,000)

   5p  Antonio Pigafetta, Ship Victoria

   5p  Ferdinand Magellan, Ship Victoria

   5p  Seal of King Carlos I, Ship Victoria

   5p  Sebastian Elcano, Ship Victoria


Miniature Sheets of Twenty (10,000)


Souvenir Sheets of One   (12,500)  (Imperforate)

22p  World Map, Seal of King Carlos I


Design Coordinator:  Antonio D.A. Claro

Layout Artist:  Alfonso V. Divina

Graphic Artist:  Edgar P. Patricio


Designs:  Magellan's ship Victoria with Antonio Pigafetta, Ferdinand Magellan, Seal of King Carlos I, Sebastian Elcano.  Souvenir Sheet - World Map and Seal of King Carlos I.


First Day Covers:  Manila



First Circumnavigation of the World  480th Anniversary

The Victoria, the only surviving ship of the Magellan expedition of five vessels, left the port of San Lucar, Spain in September of 1519, and almost shipwrecked and limping, returned in September of 1522. The Victoria was the first vessel to circle the globe despite enormous obstacles.

The Victoria was part of the fleet of three remaining ships of the Magellan expedition, the others being the Trinidad and Concepcion. It visited Homonhon on March 17, 1521,_ Mazaua on March 28, and on March 31, the first Easter Sunday mass in the Philippines was held. Thereafter, Magellan took possession of the islands and called them Archipelago of St. Lazarus.

After the death of Magellan, the three ships proceeded to Panilongon, where the Concepcion was torched because of lack of seamen. The Trinidad and Victoria reached northern Mindanao and Palawan and coasted to north Borneo, where the ships were overhauled after three months of journey. Here Gomez de Espinosa was elected Captain General and Sebastian de Elcano took command of the Victoria in August of 1521. The ships remained in southern Mindanao and on October 27, 1521, they left Sarangani for Sanghir.

In Tidore, the two ships were loaded with much-sought spices. On December 18, 1521, the date of departure, Trinidad, the flagship, was left behind for some more repairs and the Victoria set sail taking the Indian Ocean. This was where Antonio Pigaffeta, the escrebiente, gathered all his belongings, particularly his observations and entries of the voyage, and transferred to the Victoria. Had Pigaffeta remained with the flagship, it is doubted whether the entries made by him could be saved, as the Portuguese captured the Trinidad.

In February of 1522, the Victoria approached Mozambique loaded with foodstuffs and spices for the European market but avoided landing on this Portuguese-occcupied island. She lost her topmast after baffling off howling winds on and off the Cape of Good Hope. She managed to cruise her way near Cape Verde in early July of 1522 with no more than twenty-four, since twenty-seven Europeans and natives died. Sickness and specter of death hovered over the ship up to the day they sighted the Guadalquiver.

With tattered riggings and haggard sailors, the Victoria completed the circumnavigation of the world never yet done by any one before. There were eighteen survivors. On the 6th of September, a Tuesday, the remnants of the Magellan expedition went ashore barefooted, moving proudly although slowly to the shrine of the Virgin de la Victoria. This was the same shrine where they prayed before embarking on that expedition.

This was the end of the greatest sea voyage in the history of mankind, a voyage of two years, 11 months and 16 days.



  • Ships

  • Famous People

  • Maps


Articles by Dr. Ngo Tiong Tak

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Issues of 2002