In the following year the Portuguese Ferdinando Magalhaes, familiarly known as Magellan, laid before Charles V., at Valladolid, a scheme for reaching the Spice Islands by sailing westward.
Borneo began to be known to Europeans after the fall of Malacca in 1511, when Alphonso d'Albuquerque despatched Antonio d'Abreu with three ships in search of the Molucca or Spice Islands with instructions to establish friendly relations with all the native states that he might encounter on his way.
The hope that a passage through to the Spice Islands would be found near existing Spanish settlements was now given up. One was sought farther south, and in November 1520 Ferdinand Magellan passed through the strait which bears his name and sailed across the Pacific. At last the existence of a continent divided by a vast stretch of ocean from Asia, and mostly lying within the sphere of influence assigned to Spain by the pope, was revealed to the world.
Then, sailing round Ceylon, he captured Malacca, the key of the navigation of the Indian archipelago, and opened a trade with Siam and the Spice Islands (Moluccas).