Filipino heroes from the time of LapuLapu 500 years ago to health frontliners battling the coronavirus pandemic are being feted today in the Victory of Mactan event of the Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines.
On April 27, 2021, declared the National Day for the 500th anniversary of the LapuLapu’s Victory at Mactan, the Filipino people are enjoined to remember the sacrifices of its heroes, from the indigenous people led by LapuLapu who resisted the European advances of Ferdinand Magellan and his crew, to the locals who fought against the Spanish empire, the soldiers who braved the world wars, to the contemporary modern heroes who are in the world’s front lines of the fight against the COVID-19.
“Philippine history is replete with examples of how our forebears overcame their own struggles through time. Their spirits are enshrined in each and every one of us to emerge victorious in our respective struggles,” said the National Quincentennial Committee (NQC) on social media.
“We enjoin the Filipino people to remember those who dreamed and sacrificed just for us to live in an ideal society. We are the inheritors of their memory. They are us. They are part of our being and becoming,” added the NQC as it invited Filipinos to participate in the virtual events nationwide that include flag-raising ceremonies, wreath-laying at monuments, the unveiling of historical markers, military parades, awarding of quincentennial competition winners, and a streamed televised show in the evening from the renovated Metropolitan Theater of Manila.
NQC describes the historic Battle of Mactan in 1521:
“On this day, 500 years ago, the Battle of Mactan ensued between the defiant leader Lapulapu and the combined forces of a 2,000-strong fleet of Rajah Humabon of Cebu and 60 of Ferdinand Magellan’s soldiers. This was also the second assault on Mactan by the Spaniards as Lapulapu consistently refused to recognize the authority of Spain. Lapulapu had around 1,500 warriors.
“Magellan implored the people of Mactan to surrender, only to receive a reply that if the Spaniards had lances, Mactan warriors had lances with points hardened in the fire. The shore of the battlefield in Mactan was filled with traps and pitfalls.
“Because of low tide, the boats of Magellan failed to reach the shore, forcing them to wade into knee-deep water. There, the Mactan warriors attacked the enemies. Startled by the sudden charge, the Spanish panicked and began to fire their guns and crossbows but were too far to shell the shore. Instead, Mactan warriors showered these foreigners with volleys of poison arrows, and one of which hit Magellan on his leg, falling face downward. The miserable Magellan was “immediately rushed upon him with iron and bamboo spears and with their cutlasses until they killed our mirror, our light, our comfort, and our true guide,” said Antonio Pigafetta.
“Magellan ordered a retreat, but he himself failed to save his own life.
On the eve of the National Day for the 500th-anniversary celebrations. social enterprise Liter of Light lit the Santo Niño de Cebu giant solar artwork to commemorate the Philippines’ 500 Years of Christianity.
LISTEN to the Quincentennial theme song ‘Bagani’ that honors Filipino heroism and bravery.
The Philippines’ role in the first recorded circumnavigation of the world by the Magellan-Elcano expedition was celebrated in March.
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