Telltale Signs: Filipinos Discovered California?

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 Almost a century after Columbus discovered the Bahamas Islands (which he thought was India) and claimed this “New World” for the king of Spain, Spanish Captain Pedro De Unamuno “discovered” California on the other side of that Americancontinent while on a voyage from Manila to Acapulco.

Although Columbus’ discovery is celebrated this October 14 as a national holiday in the United States, which Native Americans celebrate as “Indigenous Peoples’ Day”, no such honor is accorded Unamuno for his “discovery” of California on October 18, 1587.

In fact, his discovery is not even recognized by Spain and is only commemorated by the Filipino American community because Unamuno reported in his ship’s logs that his deck crew was composed of “Luzones Indios”.

Unamuno’s odyssey as revealed in those logs he kept was first reported in Henry R. Wagner’s Spanish Voyages to the Northwest Coast of America in the Sixteenth Century which was published by the California Historical Society in San Francisco in 1929. The book included the first English translation of Unamuno’s account of hisvoyage from Manila to Acapulco and of his discovery of California along the way. Read more here.