In celebration of the Quincentennial or 500th anniversary of the Victory at Mactan, Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr expressed President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s admiration of Lapu-Lapu’s heroism and how this virtue is being exemplified by medical frontliners in the fight against COVID-19.
“Tunay na makasaysayan po ang araw na ito na ika-500, quincentennial anniversary ng the Victory of Mactan. Sana po sa mga darating na araw magkaroon po ng victory of the Philippines laban po sa COVID-19 at we take advantage of this quincentennial celebration also to pay tribute to the real heroes of our times, our medical frontliners,” said Secretary Roque at the end of his press briefing today, April 27, which was held in Lapu-Lapu, Cebu.
The Palace official said that Lapu-Lapu’s victory at Mactan was considered as the first successful resistance of the Philippines against colonialism. This is the reason why President Duterte recognized Lapu-Lapu’s heroism by naming an award in his honor, Sec Roque said.
“Nagbigay-pugay ang ating Pangulo ng kanyang nilagdaan ang Executive Order Order No. 17 noong April 7, 2017, o apat na taon na ang nakalipas, na nag-create ng Order of Lapu-Lapu, na kumikilala sa mga opisyal at mga tauhan ng pamahalaan, maging pribadong indibidwal, sa kanilang natatanging serbisyo or extraordinary service kaugnay ng kampanya o adbokasiya ng Pangulo,” said Roque.
The President’s spokesman said that among those who have already received the Order of Lapu-Lapu were members of the Philippine Marines who fought for the liberation of Marawi City.
Aside from the Order of Lapu-Lapu, Roque said that a Presidential Proclamation (Proclamation No. 1128) was also issued declaring April 27, 2021, a special working day for the whole country to commemorate the heroism of Lapu-Lapu.
Meanwhile, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan expressed his gratitude to the President for elevating Lapu-Lapu to what he referred to as “a greater standing among the pantheons of national heroes.” Mayor Chan added that it was a well-deserved honor that was afforded to the country’s first national hero.
Secretary Roque earlier took part in the unveiling of the marker of the world-class Philippines Quincentennial Museum on April 26, 2021.
Roque said that the museum features the Philippines’ role in the world’s first circumnavigation that happened after Ferdinand Magellan arrived in the country 500 years ago. He added that the museum is also a showcase of pre-colonial Philippines, where visitors can see our ancestors having their own culture, beliefs, and political structure even before the Europeans came.
Meanwhile, National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) Chairperson Rene Escalante said that it is important to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Mactan because it is an important part of the country’s history underscoring our ancestors fight for the country’s sovereignty.
Lapu-Lapu City Tourism Chairperson Cindi King-Chan, meanwhile, made mention of the bayanihan effort that everybody put to make the event successful. ### OPS-PCOO