Week 3 Response – Thoughts on Explorer

Apart from Zheng He and the Arab navigator in Malindi, who else is missing from these Eurocentric narratives?

The Spice Route is also known as the Maritime Silk Road which Vasco Da Gama was credited as being the first European to reach India by sea. Another explorer missing from this Eurocentric narratives are Jorge Álvares and Ferdinand Magellan. Both were Portuguese explorers and the first europeans to reach other parts of Asia by sea during the Age of Discovery.

Jorge Álvares was the first European to land in China near the historic city of Guangzhou in 1513. This connection allowed Portugal to establish trade relations with the Chinese when Afonso de Albuquerque, the Viceroy of the Estado da Índia sent his cousin over.

Ferdinand Magellan was the first European to cross the Pacific Ocean and to reach the Marianas and then the island of Homonhon in the Philippines in 1521. His expedition was the first to reach the Philippine Archipelago where the native tribes were friendly to them. Magellan later baptised Rajah Humabon of Cebu and his queen which symbolises the Christianisation of the Philippines.