Gil Pérez was a Spanish soldier of the Filipino Guardia Civil who allegedly suddenly appeared in the Plaza Mayor of Mexico City (more than 9,000 nautical miles from Manila, across the Pacific) on October 24, 1593. He was wearing the uniform of the guards of Palacio Del Gobernador in the Philippines, and claimed he had no idea how he had arrived in Mexico. Some historians doubt the accuracy of the story, which does not appear in writing until a century after the supposed event.
Perez claimed that moments before finding himself in Mexico he had been on sentry duty in Manila at the governor’s palace. He admitted that while he was aware that he was no longer in the Philippines, he had no idea where he was or how he had gotten there. He said that moments before he arrived there, His Excellency the Governor of the Philippines, Gomez Perez Dasmariñas had been killed by Chinese pirates. He explained that after long hours of duty in Manila, he felt faint, leaned against a wall and closed his eyes; he said he opened her eyes a second later to find himself somewhere different.
When it was explained to him that he was now in Mexico City, Perez refused to believe it saying that he had received his orders on the morning of October 23 in Manila and that it was therefore impossible for him to be in Mexico City on the evening of the 24th. The authorities placed Perez in jail as a deserter and for the possibility that he may have been in the service of Satan. The Most Holy Tribunal of the Inquisition questioned the soldier, but all he could say in his defense was that he had travelled from Manila to Mexico “in less time than it takes a cock to crow”.
Two months later, news from the Philippines arrived by Manila Galleon, confirming the fact of the literal axing on October 23 of Dasmariñas in a mutiny of Chinese rowers, as well as other points of the mysterious soldier’s fantastic story. Witnesses confirmed that Gil Perez had indeed been on duty in Manila just before arriving in Mexico. Furthermore, one of the passengers on the ship recognized Perez and swore that he had seen him in the Philippines on October 23. Gil Perez eventually returned to the Philippines and took up his former position as a palace guard, living thenceforth an apparently uneventful life.
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