Enrique was Ferdinand Magellan's personal servant (slave) and interpreter. Magellan acquired him right after the sacking of Malacca by the Portuguese in 1511. He was, by Magellan's own testimony, captured rather than bought which is a notion based on hearsay evidence, the secondary testimony of Maximilianus Transylvanus, but more widely accepted by historians disregarding Magellan's eyewitness testimony. In his Will Magellan states, "And by this my present will and testament, I declare...my captured slave Enrique, mulatto, native of the city of Malacca..." (See Guillemard, page 321) He was baptized (in Portugal right after Magellan's arrival there in 1511?) assuming the name Henrique (Spanish Enrique),. His baptism is attested to by Magellan himself in his Will where he wrote Enrique "is a Christian." Eyewitness and contemporary accounts that mention or refer to Enrique--those of Antonio Pigafetta, Ginés de Mafra, The Genoese Pilot, Antonio de Herrera, Peter Martyr, João de Barros, Sebastian Elcano, The Genoese Pilot, Francisco Lopez de Gomara, and Bartolome de las Casas--attest to his being a slave but not one report negates Magellan's assertion Enrique was captured
Enrique worked as a personal slave and interpreter, accompanying Magellan back to Europe, and onwards on Magellan's famous search for a westward passage to the Pacific Ocean. Ginés de Mafra explicitly states in his account Enrique was brought along in the expedition primarily because he "spoke Malay."
The place where he is supposed to have spoken and was understood by the natives was not Cebu. It was the island port of Mazaua. Best evidence--historiographical, archaeological, geomorphological, linguistic, geographical, navigational--point to 9° North as the correct latitude of Mazaua. The exact location of that latitude is inside present-day Butuan where Butuanon is the indigenous language and is also the root of a derivative language, Tausug. Butuanon is a member of the Bisaya language family to which Cebuano also belongs.
If we assume, going by the logic of those who claim Enrique came from the Philippines, Enrique would be Mazauan not Cebuano since he spoke Butuanon, the language of Mazaua. But it is clear from the Pigafetta account, Enrique spoke Malay, the trade lingua franca of Southeast Asia, and it was raia Siaiu who translated Malay into Butuanon.
In Maximilian Transylvanus' relation, De Moluccis..., the inability of Enrique to speak Cebuano is unmistakably referred to: "Magellan had a slave...[who] was a perfect master of the Spanish language, and, with the assistance of one of the islanders of Subuth [Cebu] as interpreter, who knew the language of the Moluccas, our men managed all their communications." (See Magellan's Voyage, edited by Lord Stanley of Alderley, page 200)
Pigafetta identifies the above interpreter as a "merchant from Ciama [presumably Siam or Thailand], who had remained there [Cebu] to do trade in gold and slaves". Pigafetta further relates, "The interpreter [Enrique] told him [Siamese trader] that the captain [Magellan], as captain of so great a king as his, would not pay tribute to any lord in the world, and that if he desired peace he should have peace, and if he desired war, war he should have. Then the aforesaid merchant replied to the king [Humabon of Cebu]in his own language, Cata raia chita, which is to say, Have good care, O king, what you do, for these men are of those who have conquered Calicut, Malacca, and all India the Greater." (See page 75, Skelton English edition of the Nancy-Libri-Phillipps-Beinecke-Yale codex)
Carlos Quirino, the first to talk of Enrique being from Cebu arrived at his hunch based on a number of purely imagined, fictitious incident. In an article published in a magazine, the Philippines Free Press of December 28, 1991, Quirino states as fact the following incident: "He [Magellan] learned that there was a teen-age male to be bought at the slave market, one who, after he had conversations with him, said that he had come from an island farther east than Sabah on the same longitude as the Moluccas, but considerably north of it. The young slave, subsequently baptized with the name Enrique must have told Magellan how he had been captured by Muslim pirates and that Europeans were unknown in his area of the Pacific. He must have come from one of the islands then known as the Luzones about 12 days sail northeast of Borneo."
This fictitious incident stems from, first of all, the idea Enrique was bought which is belied by Magellan himself. In his Will the Portuguese navigator expressly states his slave was captured, not bought after knowing of the slave's homeland. Quirino conjures a conversation between the slave and his master which has no provenance in any record. Quirino makes it appear Enrique knew of the name, location and longitude of the Pacific Ocean which all sound contrived to fit present-day knowledge. In any case, such a conversation was conveniently conjured to become basis for the idea Magellan's choice of Enrique was because Enrique came from another island that by coincidence suspiciously seems to be somewhere in the Philippines and more specifically Cebu.
Quirino cites the Will of Magellan and concludes why Magellan said Enrique was from Malacca. "Magellan obviously wanted to keep secret the real birthplace of Enrique as east of Borneo." And why did Magellan lie? Quirino suggests Magellan, after knowing of the homeland of Enrique, had an idea. "The idea of claiming that region [what is now the Philippines], composed of a group of islands, must have entered the mind of Magellan. So he returned to Portugal in 1512, taking with him Enrique to propose to his master, King Emanuel of Portugal, that he be allowed to lead a seafaring expedition to those islands and claim them as part of the Portuguese empire." Where Quirino got this idea, the Filipino historian gives us no inkling. As far as I know there is no record of what Magellan had in mind. But in any case this fact has not stopped Quirino from reading Magellan's mind 480 years after the supposed moment the explorer thought of it.
When Magellan's fleet reached "Mazaua" -- in the Philippines somewhere in latitude 9° North (by the Genoese Pilot) or 9° 20' N (by Francisco Albo) or 9° 40' N (by Pigafetta), Enrique was able to converse with raia Siaiu, the "king" of that island-port, who spoke, according to Pigafetta, many languages including Malay Language which was the trade lingua franca in the Southeast Asia region. This linguistic fact has been overlooked by historians, particularly Carlos Quirino, who erroneously assert Malay was not spoken in the Philippines. Pigafetta was quite explicit in this, and he wrote rather clearly it was raia Siaiu who was doing the translation, "And when they came near the captain's ship, the said slave spoke to that king, who understood him well. For, in that country, the kings know more languages than the common people do." Magellan had provided in his will (see Guillemard, page 321) that his Malay interpreter was to be freed upon his death, but the remaining Europeans were reluctant to let him go. According to the account of Maximilianus Transylvanus it was Juan Serrano who mistreated Enrique, thereby causing him to plot the massacre of Mactan; Pigafetta, who did not attend the banquet that served as the trap, blames Duarte Barbosa.
There is no definitive evidence as to whether or not Enrique plotted with King Humabon to massacre the Spanish during the banquet of May 1, 1521. Barros, The Anonymous Portuguese, de Herrera--all say Enrique was innocent. On the other hand, Pigafetta, Transylvanus and Gomara all assert Enrique conspired with the Cebuanos. Elcano, in a notatized testimony sworn before Alcalde Leguizamo on Oct. 1522, relates the incident essentially as Pigafetta et al describe it.
What came of Enrique? The Genoese Pilot states in his account that Enrique had died in Mactan. According to The Genoese Pilot when the fleet at reached Carpyam, i.e. Quipit in Pigafetta, the Europeans "had no interpreter, ofr he had been killed with Fernan de Magalhaes." He was egregiously mistaken. The slave was very much alive on May 1, 1521 and attended the banquet. Was he killed there, a probability suggested by official records at the Casa de Contratacion which lists Enrique as one of those massacred? Was he spared in the massacre, as would be logical and likely if he was a co-conspirator?
Carlos Quirino, father of the "Enrique de Cebu" brainstorm, had a clear idea of what happened to the slave after May 1. Here is Quirino's story of post-massacre Enrique: "He [Enrique] proved useful to Humabon for his knowledge of Spanish and Portuguese. He must have married, raised a family, and passed away in his seventies just before Legazpi arrived." Quirino got all these minutiae from out of thin air. Nothing is known of Enrique after the May 1 massacre. And everything that has been written of his activities after that day are in the realm of pure fiction.
The whole idea of Enrique having been the first to circumnavigate rests on Carlos Quirino's unsupported assertion--a blatant error--Magellan's slave spoke Cebuano, a notion contradicted by direct evidence, and that Malay was not spoken in the Philippines, a fallacy negated by linguistics experts. It is also a notion that rests on a complete misreading of Pigafetta.
The other notion that he went back to his homeland--either Malacca or Sumatra--rests on imagination without a shrift of evidence. Nothing is known beyond what Pigafetta wrote of Enrique on the day of the May 1, 1521 massacre.