The first Filipino ruler to embrace Christianity was the ruler of Cebu when Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and his crew first set foot on Cebu. Rajah Humabon or Sri Hamabar was baptized on 7 April 1521 along with his chief consort, Hara Humamay, and around 800 of his subjects. Humabon was christened Don Carlos in honor of Charles V, the King of Spain. Lady Humamay was christened Juana in honor of the mother of Charles V. In remembering the occasion and as baptismal gift, Magellan gave Queen Juana the image of the child Jesus (Santo Niño) through Antonio Pigafetta. To commemorate the baptism of the natives by Father Pedro Valderrama, Magellan erected a cross on the site where the Magellan's Cross now stand at the Plaza Sugbu beside the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño. The conversion of the natives to Christianity and Roman Catholicism is also depicted on a painting at the ceiling of the chapel or kiosk where the Magellan's Cross is kept.
|A statue of Rajah Humabon at Plaza Hamabar in Cebu City, Philippines|