Andres de Urdaneta, Pilot

Born 1498 in Villafranca, Spain, died 1568 in Mexico City.

From the Encyclopedia Britannica:

As a young man, he spent eight adventurous years in the Spice Islands (the Moluccas). In 1553 (He was 55), he entered the Augustinian order and became a friar.

Philip II (of whom, self must interject, there are MANY MANY FAN FICTIONS WRITTEN, possibly by high school students bored out of their minds with World History class; some of these are quite salacious WTH PHILIP II??!!) asked him to guide an expedition to the Philippines and find a route home. Spain had sent five previous expeditions, all ending in disaster.

In April 1521 (He was 23), Urdaneta guided the Magellan expedition to Cebu. By 1st of June, Magellan was dead (Killed on Mactan by a native chief, who is remembered today in the name of a FISH, Lapu-Lapu).

Self would argue that the 1st of June 1521 was a truly significant date, in fact world-changing. Because that was the date when Urdaneta and the remnants of Magellan’s crew embarked from the Philippines and headed for home. By sailing at high latitudes, about 42 degrees N, Urdaneta was able to find a current. He reached the Isthmus of Panama in 123 days. He guided the survivors, all on one ship (out of the five they’d started out with) back to Spain, arriving in September 1522, thereby completing the first circumnavigation of the world. And why Magellan gets all the credit, self just doesn’t know. The second leg of the journey was clearly more important than the first: it was Spain’s sixth attempt to circumnavigate the globe, and the one that finally succeeded.

The Survivors: Sebastian Elcano, a Basque; 17 other Europeans (including Antonio de Pigafetta, a noble from Vicenza, who published his account of the journey); and four natives. All that remained of a crew of 270.

Writing this post made self exceedingly restless, so she walked down to the lake. She took her MacBook with her, which is what she used to take this picture.

Photo on 10-19-19 at 12.35 PM

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Self’s MC Takes His First Banca Ride

Several weeks ago, I experienced my first banca ride. The banca is a long, narrow boat, made from the hollowed-out trunk of a tree, that has two long bamboo outriggers on either side for balance. I have watched with fascination as these boats darted across the sea, nimble as dragonflies. With great excitement, I accepted the offer of one of these islanders to go exploring.

I and my guide set off at dawn. There is an island off the eastern shore of Isla del Fuego, which he assured me most solemnly was populated by witches.

Blue Water, Distant Shores, p. 29

Seriously shopping for a publisher now. So disheartening that a lot of the independent presses say “Not accepting submissions.”

Stay tuned.

 

Another Sentence of the Day from Guy Gunaratne

The sun peeking over the opposite block, light bouncing off glazed windows blind my sight as I look.

In Our Mad and Furious City, p. 14

Photo on 10-16-19 at 10.06 AM

10:05 a.m., Wednesday, 16 October

Sentence of the Day: Guy Gunaratne

I need faces, good bants, and humor.

In Our Mad and Furious City, p. 12

Work-in-Progress: Blue Water, Distant Shores

In which self’s MC, a feckless guy from Murcia named Matias, confesses to the local Abbott that he has suddenly been struck by “the call.” Year: 1764.

Abbott: You have never evinced interest.

Matias: Can one not be struck by the desire? It came to me suddenly.

Abbott: When?

Matias: After the recent flood.

Abbott: I see.

Matias: I was afraid. I promised Saint Anne I would enter the priesthood if she but stopped the wind from howling.

That is one of the passages self happens to really like, whether or not it is historically accurate.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Self’s MC Arrives in Manila, 1766

This scene used to be at the end of her novel, because she was going to have her MC recall it in flashback. But on second thought, she couldn’t think of a good enough reason for him to have a flashback at the end of the novel, there was no emotional pay-off. So istead she moved this section to the early pages.

There’s some quasi-mystic thing going on in self’s descriptions, it’s that way throughout.

The sails were lowered, the ship slowly nosed into the harbor. Looking down at the churning water, Matias saw it was viscous, almost metallic in aspect, as though, somewhere, silver had moltened and now lay floating on the surface. Closer and closer to the harbor the ship moved. The ship was now but one of a throng of sea vessels: galleons, tall three-masters, swiftly moving Chinese sampans, squat dinghies. There was a great tumult of activity all along the quay.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day: Butler’s Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Saints, vol. IV

  • If St. Callixtus was thrown into a pit, as his acts relate, it seems probable that he was put to death in some popular tumult.

(Self is just through reading this super-exciting section in which she tries to piece together exactly what earned St. Callixtus the designation ‘Martyr,’ when she hears KNOCK KNOCK!!! It’s someone from the Main House: The Goblin Emperor, which she ordered from Kenny’s Bookshop in Galway, has arrived! YAY!)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day: Penelope V. Flores

“Lately, my preoccupation with names has become an obsession.”

— Penelope V. Flores, Professor Emeritus at San Francisco State University

Read the rest of her interesting article, How Filipinos Got Their Surnames, in Filipinas Magazine, here.

Blair & Robertson: History of the Philippine Islands, Vol. IV

On the character of the natives:

  • They are very submissive to authority, and patiently suffer the punishments inflicted. For a very slight offense, an ear will be cut off, or a hundred lashes of the whip given. The land is fertile. The horses are small and the cows are like those of Berberia.

Voice: Guy Gunaratne

Like all I want is to do my laundry in peace. Any sort of peace and quiet would be most bleeding welcome. Not much of it going these days. Not with raising a lad on this Estate and my John having left. My John, listen to me, fuck. Perhaps I am a difficult woman then. An old hag right, that’s what they call me. So what if I am then, difficult. So be it.

In Our Mad and Furious City, p. 19

Fabrications

Self is getting a little loopy with her readings on Philippine history. At least, despite the lack of fresh air (due to her not leaving her cottage all day) and the soreness of her fingers (from constant typing), she’s been able to add to her treasure trove of

INVENTED CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN HIS MAJESTY CARLOS III AND THE GOVERNOR GENERAL OF MANILA

An excerpt:

To His Sacred Royal Majesty Carlos III

I arrived in Manila on the 25th of June of the year seventy-nine to assume my post. I learned that in the three months prior to my arrival, Manila had once again been attacked by our cousins the Portuguese, and that the shipyards in Cavite had been put to the torch. I was also informed that the King of Jolo, a Mahometan, had refused our demands for tribute, putting to death the officer who had delivered our demand, one Sancho Ortiz de Alvarez.

The morale of the garrisons in the main island of Luzon is very low. The aide-de-camp, one Martin de Pe├▒afrancia, was lacking in experience, and his interpreter, an indio named Hernando, could speak Spanish, but not well.

The letter goes on in this vein for several more paragraphs.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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