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On The Age of Exploration affecting Philippine History The Age of Exploration also known as the Age of Discovery or The

Great Navigations represented a change of era. Unlike epochs that guided a few major countries into a new age, the Age of Exploration ushered in a new era for the entire new World. The Great Navigations represented a worldwide change due to its encompassing nature. The world was to be truly discovered during these times and circumnavigations would leave naught untouched. Even a country as small as the Philippines, when compared to the land mass that is Asia, felt the effects of this age of Discovery. The Philippines had its own history before the Age of Discovery, yet it was soon to have its history changed and fused with another forever due to its colonization by the Spanish because of the Philippines inadvertent discovery during the Age of Exploration. The Age of Exploration, according to renowned professor Mancall (1999), is defined as the period of history starting in the early 15th century and continuing into the early 17th century during
which Europeans engaged in intensive exploration of the world, establishing direct contacts with Africa, the Americas, Asia and Oceania and mapping the planet. Mancall then states that the primary reasons for this costly form of discovery was attributed to the need of European countries to establish new Trading partners, goods (particularly spices), and trade routes. Its logical to infer that Mancalls definition of the primary reasons for this exploration is lacking, albeit true to it sense, in the fact that these explorations were solely for trade and for the sake of mapping the world. These explorations and voyages had cost their respective countries vast amounts of riches to fund and many risks to bear. Its hard to believe that it was all for the sake of trade alone. With these European countries populations growing as fast as their demands for more goods, its easy to believe that ulterior motives were in place for these voyages. According to notable historian David Arnold, European countries did search for new trade opportunities for many goods (Arnold 2002). He then went on to conclude that the voyages were essentially answer to providing European countries with stable routes to the Indies for spices, silver, and gold along with the desire to come upon new land to take for themselves to satiate the growth of their countries. That is where the Philippines and the eventual change of its history comes in. Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was no the first European to touch Philippine soil, but he is the most important in regards to the history of the Philippines due to his impact. Magellan, funded by Spain during the Great Navigations, was sent to circumnavigate the world so as to find an easier route for trade ending at the stop of the Spice Islands or Maluku Islands. Instead, Magellan and crew stopped by the Philippines accidentally becoming the first Spanish and Portuguese people to breathe Philippine air. Magellan met

with the friendly Rajah Humabon of the Philippines and instantly felt the need to spread the word of Christianity, even baptising the Rajah. Magellan then remarked on the vastness of resources of the Philippine lands and its bountiful spices along with the gold that came with it. This is when everything changed. A look at the Ayala museum in Makati for the gold of our Ancestors is enough to educate anyone on how much gold the Philippine people had during this time. Antonio de Morgas later account of the gold in the Philippines should prove as a valuable reference to the amount of gold in the Philippines when he remarked that Many gold mines were untouched upon our arrival, the people having more than enough for their needs of everyday lives, not needing to venture for more. Gold was so abundant that the Philippine people used it for almost everything, even as a bag to carry cut umbilical cords or working tools made out of pure gold. Magelllan would soon die when trying to kill Rajah Lapu-Lapu before completing his world voyage but his second in command Juan Sebastian Elcano finished the journey for him and bequeathed his knowledge of the Philippines to Spain. With a country untouched by Christianity, vast in resources of land, spices, and a seemingly endless supply of gold, its no wonder how Spain could not resist capturing the Philippines to make it its own colony. The Spanish had superior arms and military power and were able to conquer the Philippines soon after. The event lasted for almost 400 years splitting the categorical history of the Philippines with its impact so great to have the history of the Philippines classified as pre-colonial history, colonial history, and post-colonial history. Such was the impact of the Age of Exploration on Philippine history. The Progression of the Philippines was on its on road parallel to that of the road of the world. The Age of Discovery led that road to no longer be paralleled, but joined by Spain forever to be changed by the colonization. The history of the Philippines took a drastic turn on that road for better or worse (clearly worse) yet it was inadvertently due to the Age of Exploration.