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(April 17, 1521)
by: Timoteo S. Oracion

     On March 16, 1521 Ferdinand Magellan discovered the Philippines for Europe (although the islands were already known and claimed the archipelago for Spain. When Magellan's crews landed at Cebu they were told of a nearby island, separated from Cebu by a narrow strait, and inhabited solely by Negritos. This is the reason for naming the island NEGROS because the inhabitants, were small Negros like those Africa.

     A small group for Magellan's expecdition landed on Negros' eastern coast on April 17, 1521 - the first European to set foot on the island.(Jose E. Marco, Resena Historica dela Isla de Negros: Desde los Tiempos Mas Remotos Hasta Nuestros Dias (Manila: La Vanguardia Press, 1921)p.16).

     Could this eastern coast be Tanjay? think so. The only navigable river from Dumaguete to Manjuyod in the north is the Tanjay river. Since the Spaniards were looking for food, they could only procure the needed supplies by navigating into the big Tanjay river. When I was in the grades, many big PARAOS (Sailboats) would dock at Embarkadero and Ilaud to sells goods from Bohol, Cebu, Negros Occidental and Iloilo. Ilaud/Embarkadero is a barangay drained by Tanjay river and navigable from the mount of the river even up to my birthplace Ilaya, approximately 2-3 kilometers from the seacoast.

     It was experienced that when the river flooded, it would be difficult to cross to the poblacion. As a result over a hundred bamboo bridges, called "TAYTAY", spanned this river. Severe mispronounciation resulted in the naming of the town TANJAY.

     Magellan was later killed during a fight with Lapulapu on Mactan island and the remainder of his expedition returned to Spain. No further visits were made to Negros by the Spaniards until Miguel Lopez dde Legaspi's expedition arrived in 1565. It was Legaspi who began the actual conquest of the Philippines with the flag, sword and cross. that it remained unfurled over the archipelago for nearly four centuries.

     Legaspi had three ships and anchored off Cebu. They could not land on the island to secure provisions, so they moved to Leyte, Samar, and Camiguin. While enroute to Butuan, Agusan in Mindanao, his fleet met a typhoon and was drifted to Bohol. They landed on this island. Later a small boat under the command of Esteban Rodrigues was sent from Bohol to investigate the situation in Cebu. They encountered a storm and so the steered their craft for Negros' eastern coast in search of shelter.