So, we recall our history lessons and confidently state when the Philippines was discovered by Magellan. We remember too that Magellan was killed by Lapu Lapu in Mactan. Then WHAT?



Magellan's Cross



Our history lessons quizzed us on the dates, on who Magellan was, but failed miserably on educating us on the very first Philippine hero who resisted  foreign aggression. Epic fail!



Magellan's Cross



Was Lapu Lapu such a nondescript character unworthy of a longer narration in many history books?

I bet many in my generation hardly knows this hunk from Mactan! Like me. But I intend to change that.





True, the Spaniards brought Christianity to our land. While I take my faith seriously, I have this gnawing feeling……, I am absolutely confident  that the Spaniards who ruled our land for nearly 4 centuries had motivations  more compelling than spreading the faith.






But I’m not about to dwell on these motivations. What interests me is to know exactly what happened to our first Philippine hero.



Sourced from the Net: Lapu Lapu Monument in Mactan



The little I know is that Magellan befriended some local tribal chiefs the likes of Rajah Humabon. Lapu Lapu strayed from the pack and refused to succumb to this foreign aggression, as well as to Rajah Humabon’s order to accept the foreign colonizers. Lapu Lapu organized his warriors as Magellan and his troops sailed to the island of Mactan. Allegedly, Rajah Humabon connived with Magellan to attack and subdue this “rebellious tribe in Mactan”.  Fortunately for Lapu Lapu and his tribal warriors, the Spanish fleet, helped along by local “friendly” tribes, could not sail nearer to the island and had to wade ashore where they were met and attacked by Lapu Lapu and his men. The fleet’s cannons and firepower could not support the Spanish troops as the boats were at some distance from shore. Besides,  Pigafetta, the chronicler, claimed the Spaniards were outnumbered by the Mactan “army” of Lapu Lapu.  Pigafetta escaped with some others, as Magellan lay helpless and died. His body was never found.



Sourced from the Net: Lapu Lapu Killed Magellan!


And then what? Now this is where the legends abound. One legend claims Lapu Lapu left the island to live up in the mountains, far from sight. Was he hiding from his fellow Cebuanos who have so readily welcomed and accepted Spanish “visitors”?  Of interest here is the report that Rajah Humabon, after Magellan’s defeat and fatal encounter with the local tribes, betrayed the remaining Spanish troops by trying to poison them in a feast he tendered for his European visitors.  Oh well. That’s another story.  But what of Lapu Lapu? Never seen by anyone ever again. Another legend is more dramatic and attributes superpowers to this Mactan chieftain. This legend claims Lapu Lapu turned into a stone (or a rock) facing the sea to forever protect the island of Mactan. How’s that for a legend?  


How frustrating can this get. Any ideas, anyone?  Admittedly, this story is so “bitin”.  😉


Lapu Lapu Statue Standing Guard Around The Valencia or Agrifina Circle



And how have we honored Lapu Lapu, our first national hero? Lapu Lapu appears on the official seal of the Philippine National Police.  There’s the shrine in Mactan.  A Monument in Rizal Park.  And don’t forget the fish.  Gawd, we didn’t even bother to declare a national holiday in his honor?

To be updated, as history unravels.