News Release

In celebration of 500 years of victory at Mactan, Andanar urges Filipinos to look back to our roots and tell the world our story

MANILA — Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin M. Andanar urged the Filipino people to look back to our roots this year by participating in the once-in-a-lifetime and year-round event of the National Quincentennial Committee (NQC), which is the 2021 Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines (2021 QCP).

With the theme “Victory and Humanity,” this event will commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Philippine part in the first circumnavigation of the world, the Victory at Mactan, and other related events.

“There are many depictions on what happened during 1521. Many perspectives can be considered. This prompted the national government to create the National Quincentennial Committee to provide clarification, right direction, and a national vision to our commemoration of Filipino history,” said Sec. Andanar during the Cabinet Report sa Teleradyo on Friday, January 9, 2021.

“Even if we are facing the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that we, the Filipino people, participate in the National Quincentennial Commemorations. We just do not remind ourselves what happened hundreds of years ago, rather we are looking back to the foundation of how the Philippines was established and how it shaped our culture and traditions. This reminds us of our roots, and let’s tell the world our story and the Filipino identity,” Sec. Andanar added.

Vice Chairman of the National Quincentennial Committee and concurrent National Historical Commission of the Philippines Chairperson Rene Escalante stressed that Lapulapu’s victory in Mactan in 1521 will be celebrated throughout the year, and will be participated in by the international communities and some local government units, particularly in the Visayas region.

“Ito po ay naka-align sa policy ng Duterte administration kung saan gusto niyang magkaroon tayo ng independent foreign policy na hangga’t maari ang mga problema na kinakaharap natin ay solusyunan ng mga Pilipino at hindi ng mga dayuhan [(The theme) is aligned with the policy of the Duterte administration. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte wants us to have an independent foreign policy. We, as Filipinos, and not the foreigners, should find the solution to every challenge we face],” said NQC Vice Chair Escalante.

Aside from virtual activities which can be accessed across the country, the NQC now has at least 411 entries for their Quincentennial Art Competition. Twelve deserving paintings will be picked and displayed at the Lapulapu Memorial Shrine and Museum.

Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Assistant Secretary Jonji Gonzales hopes that Lapulapu will finally be given proper recognition as the first Filipino hero, 500 years since the Victory at Mactan.

“As Visayans, we also expect to have Lapulapu to be completely known by the country as our first hero to resist imperial foreign colonization. Kami sa Visayas, we have always wanted na makilala na talaga si Lapulapu, and this is the time na mangyari na ito [We, the people here in the Visayas, have always wanted Lapulapu to be recognized (as a hero), and this is the time for it to happen],” said Asec. Gonzales.

“Filipinos have survived many great challenges in history, and we will certainly conquer the present and the future trials and adversity with the spirit of humanity and victory. Nothing is impossible with the Filipinos,” added Asec. Gonzales.

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