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Miguel Lopez de Legazpi “Key sailor in the Philippines”

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Miguel Lopez de Legazpi (Zumárraga, Basque Country, 1503 – Manila, Philipines, 20 August 1572), known as «el Adelantado» and «el Viejo» (the Elder), was an admiral and governor of the 16th Century, the first governor of the Captaincy General of the Philippines and the founder of the cities of Cebu (1565) and Manila (1571).

He was born a gentleman to a noble family of Gipuzkoa. He was the second son of Juan Martinez Lopez de Legazpi and Elvira de Gurruchategui. His birthplace, called Jauregi Haundia (Big Palace in Basque language), but better known as Miguel López de Legazpi dorretxea (Legazpi Tower House), is still in Zumárraga.

Legazpi studied law and due to this he became a councillor at the Town Council of Zumárraga in 1526, and the following year a notary at Areria town council. He became mayor when his father died and was confirmed as such by the King on 12 April 1527. The viceroy of Mexico, Luis de Velasco, defined him in one of his letters as a notorious nobleman from the house of Lezcano.

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