Enrique of Malacca Enrique of Malacca was the first person to circumnavigate the globe linguistically—he traveled so far in one direction (west) that he came to a place where his own language was spoken. Enrique may have also circumnavigated the globe completely, a full circle of the earth beginning and ending in Malacca or somewhere in the Philippines. 

Enrique departed Malacca on the Malay Peninsula in 1512 or 1513, taken as a slave by Ferdinand Magellan after the 1511 Portuguese invasion of the area trade hub. They went first to Lisbon and later to Spain before departing on the Magellan-Elcano expedition that first circled the globe. Enrique was last seen by Magellan's fleet at Cebu (Philippines), some 2,600 kilometers from Malacca.

1558 Carrack Pieter Bruegel the Elder

May 16, 2022

Video Find: Kidlat Tahimik Introduces Balikbayan #1, Enrique Film

Filipino filmmaker Kidlat Tahimik has spent more than thirty-five years putting together his film Balikbayan #1 (Memories of Overdevelopment Redux III)

A mix of historical documentary and fiction, Balikbayan tells the story of Enrique of Malacca, the slave of Ferdinand Magellan who was one of the first people to circumnavigate the globe.

In this video Kidlat Tahimik describes his journey on the film.

YouTube Introduction

Oct 4, 2020 With 35 years worth of footages, Kidlat Tahimik tells the story of Enrique of Malacca, a slave who accompanied Ferdinand Magellan on the first circumnavigation of the globe. Balikbayan #1: Memories of Overdevelopment Redux VI (2017) is one of the films featured in the Ecology Section of Daang Dokyu. Streaming for free until October 8, 2020 at DaangDokyu.com/watchnow. More information available at daangdokyu.ph

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On March 28, 1521, Enrique of Malacca became the first person to complete a
linguistic circumnavigation of the globe—he traveled so far in one direction that he reached a point where his language was spoken. Enrique’s journey began a decade earlier following the sack of Malacca, when he became a slave of Ferdinand Magellan. A teenager, he accompanied Magellan back to Portugal, then to Spain, and finally on the Armada de Molucca to locate a westward route to the Spice Islands.  Read more:

Enrique's Voyage Profile: Ferdinand Magellan

Was Enrique of Malacca Filipino?

Enrique of Malacca's origin is a subject of debate. Three places are considered possible: Malacca, then a major trade hub on the Malay Peninsula; Sumatra, the large island adjacent to Malacca; and the Visayan Islands in the (modern-day) Philippines. The evidence points to Malacca, though chronicler Antonio Pigafetta said Sumatra, and some scholars believe it's possibly Enrique was from the Visayan Islands in the modern-day Philippines? See the historical evidence in this post: Where was Enrique of Malacca from, Malacca or the Philippines?

(C) 2022, by Enrique's Voyage