Diorama 9: The First Mass in the Philippines, 1521

Ayala Museum Staff (Historians, Researchers, Artists) and Artisans from Paete, Laguna1974 - 2011

Ayala Museum

Ayala Museum
Makati, Philippines

The First Mass in the Philippines1521In Suluan, south of Samar, a small boat with around nine men approached the stangers that had wandered into their waters. Used to having traders come to their shores, the people gave fish, a jar of palm wine (alak), bananas, and coconuts in exchange for the strangers’ red caps, mirrors, combs, bells, and other such items.These strangers were mostly Europeans who came under the Spanish flag. Their leader, Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese seaman, had appeared in the Spanish court in 1518 with a strange proposal; to reach the wealth and spices of the east by sailing west.King Charles took to the project with lively interest and after a year’s preparations, 19 months at sea, series of mutinies, desertions, and battles with scurvy, Magellan with his half-starved crew dropped anchor at Suluan, after which they moved on to Limasawa where the ruler of Butuan, Rajah Kolambu, received them. On Easter Sunday, 31 March 1521, Fr. Pedro de Valederrama celebrated the first mass in the Philippines.The intensive Christianization process of the island would start only with the coming of the Legazpi expedition in 1565, which brought the first missionaries, the Agustinians. Missionaries from the other orders would follow: Franciscans (1578), Jesuits (1581), Dominicans (1587), and the Agustinian Recollects (1606).


  • Title: Diorama 9: The First Mass in the Philippines, 1521
  • Creator Nationality: Filipinos
  • Creator Gender: Males
  • Creator Death Place: unknown
  • Creator Birth Place: unknown
  • Date Created: 1974 - 2011
  • Physical Dimensions: w1943.1 x h800.1 cm (Complete)
  • Type: Diorama
  • Rights: Ayala Museum, Ayala Museum
  • External Link: www.ayalamuseum.com
  • Provenance: Purchase (Commissioned work): Complete
  • Medium: Mixed media installation (Diorama): Complete
  • Creators: Ayala Museum Staff (Historians, Researchers, Artists) and Artisans from Paete, Laguna

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