The statue of Lapu-Lapu on Mactan Island
Mactan Island (now Punta Engaño, Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, Philippines)
|Died||1542 (aged 50–51)|
|Known for||Commanding Visayan forces that killed Ferdinand Magellan|
|Title||Datu of Mactan|
|Religion||Roman Catholic formerly Islam|
Lapu-Lapu (1491–1542) was a ruler of Mactan, an island in the Visayas, Philippines, who is known as the first native of the archipelago to have resisted the Spanish colonization. He was also responsible for the death of Portuguese Explorer Ferdinand Magellan. He is now regarded, retroactively, as the first Filipino hero.
Battle of Mactan 
Lapu-Lapu became one of two datus of Mactan (Matan) before the Spanish arrived in the archipelago, the other being a certain Zula (from Gavi now Cordova, Cebu). When Portuguese explorer and conquistador Ferdinand Magellan arrived in the Philippines in the service of Spain, Zula was one of those who gave tribute to the Spanish king while Lapu-Lapu refused.
On the morning of April 27, 1521, Lapu-Lapu led 1,500 Mactan warriors (Mangubats) armed with barong, spears, kampilan, and kalasag, in a battle against Portuguese explorer and conquistador Ferdinand Magellan who led a force of forty-nine Spanish soldiers armed with guns in what would later be known as the Battle of Mactan. During the battle Magellan and several of his men were killed.
The historian William Henry Scott believes that Lapu-Lapu's hostility may have been the result of a mistaken assumption by Ferdinand Magellan. Magellan assumed that ancient Filipino society was structured in the same way as European society (i.e. with royalty ruling over a region). While this may be true in the Islamic sultanates in Mindanao, the Visayan societies were structured along a loose federation of city-states (more accurately, a chiefdom). The most powerful datu in such a federation has limited power over other member datu, but they had no direct control over the subjects or lands of the other datu.
Thus Magellan believed wrongly that since Rajah Humabon was the "king" of Cebu, he was the king of Mactan as well. But the island of Mactan, the domain of Lapu-Lapu and Zula, was in a location that enabled them to intercept trade ships entering the harbor of Cebu, Humabon's domain. Thus it was more likely that Lapu-Lapu was actually more powerful than Humabon. Humabon himself was married to Lapu-Lapu's niece. When Magellan demanded that Lapu-Lapu submit as his "king" Humabon had done, Lapu-Lapu purportedly replied that "he was unwilling to come and do reverence to one whom he had been commanding for so long a time".
The historical name of Lapu-Lapu is controversial. The earliest record of his name is from the Italian explorer Antonio Pigafetta who accompanied Magellan in the Philippines. He records the names of two chiefs of the island of "Matan", the chiefs "Zula" and "Çilapulapu" (note Ç). In an annotation of the 1890 edition of Antonio de Morga's Sucesos de las islas Filipinas, José Rizal spells this name as "Si Lapulapu" without explanation.
However, the 17th century mestizo de sangley poet Carlos Calao mentions Lapu-Lapu under the name of "Cali Pulaco" in his poem Que Dios Le Perdone (That God May Forgive Him), where the poet portray him as "Satan's minion", "enemy of Christ", and "the poisonous scorpion". The name, spelled "Kalipulako", was later adopted as one of the pseudonyms of the Philippine hero, Mariano Ponce, during the Philippine Revolution. The 1898 Philippine Declaration of Independence of Cavite II el Viejo, also mentions Lapu-Lapu under the name "Rey Kalipulako de Manktan [sic]" (King Kalipulako of Mactan).
There is a conjecture that a sito (geographic area under a Philippine Barangay) and beach called Maktang in Barangay Esperanza, Municipality of Poro in Camotes, Cebu is where Lapulapu came from[not in citation given (See discussion.)] and not the old Opon Island (now present-day Mactan).
The Philippine government has since erected a statue in his honour on Mactan Island and renamed the town of Opon in Cebu to Lapu-Lapu City. Another statue stands in Rizal Park in the national capital of Manila. Lapu-Lapu also appears on the official seal of the Philippine National Police and as the main design on the defunct 1-centavo coin circulated in the Philippines from 1967 to 1974.
During the First Regular Season of the 14th Congress of the Philippines, Senator Richard Gordon introduced a bill proposing to declare April 27 as an official Philippine national holiday to be known as Adlaw ni Lapu-Lapu, (Cebuano, "Day of Lapu-Lapu").
In popular culture 
Lapu-Lapu is a central figure in the seal of the Philippine National Police
The 1-centavo coin (no longer in circulation)
30-foot bronze statue of Lapu-Lapu, at the Teodoro F. Valencia Circle, Rizal Park in Manila
See also 
- History of the Philippines
- Cebuano people
- Lapu-Lapu, Philippines
- lapu-lapu or pugapo, Filipino words for grouper fish
- Briney, Amanda. "Ferdinand Magellan". Retrieved 6 February 2013.
- Zaide, Sonia M. (1994). The Philippines: A Unique Nation. All Nations Publishing Co., Inc. pp. 83–84. ISBN 971-642-005-6.
- De Guzman, Maria O. (1967). The Filipino Heroes. National Bookstore, Inc. p. 58. ISBN 971-08-2987-4.
- Antonio Pigafetta (1812). "Pigafetta's Voyage Round the World". In John Pinkerton. A general collection of the best and most interesting voyages and travels in all parts of the world: many of which are now first translated into English ; digested on a new plan. Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme. p. 344.
- William Henry Scott (1994). Barangay: sixteenth-century Philippine culture and society. Ateneo de Manila University Pres. ISBN 9789715501354.
- Nowell, Charles E. (1962). Magellan’s Voyage Around the World: Three Contemporary Accounts. Northwestern University Press.
- Antonio de Morga (1559-1636) annotations by José Rizal (1890). Sucesos de las islas Filipinas por el doctor Antonio de Morga, obra publicada en Méjico el an̄o de 1609. nuevamente sacada à luz y anotada por José Rizal y precedida de un prólogo del prof. Fernando Blumentritt.. Garnier hermanos. p. 4.
- M.C. Halili (2004). Philippine History. Rex Bookstore, Inc. p. 74.
- "Mariano Ponce". Provincial Government of Bulacan, Philippines. 2007. Retrieved July 9, 2012.
- Acta de la proclamación de la independencia del pueblo Filipino (in English and Spanish) from Wikisource.
- Bersales, Jobers (June 14, 2012). "Who was Lapulapu?". Cebu Daily News, Cebu, Philippines. Retrieved March 24, 2013.
- "PNP Seal Symbolism". Archived from the original on 2008-03-16. Retrieved 2008-06-09.
- "American Numismatic Society". Retrieved 2008-06-10.
- Gordon, Richard J. "An Act to declare April 27 of every year as a special non-working holiday throughout the country to commemorate the victory of Lapu-Lapu and his men over the Spaniards led by Fernando Magallanes...". Retrieved 2008-07-11.
- "Lapu Lapu Street in San Francisco". Retrieved 2008-08-13.
- "Lapu-Lapu (1955)". Retrieved 2008-06-10.
- "Lapu-Lapu (2002)". Retrieved 2008-06-10.
Further reading 
- Agoncillo, Teodoro A. "Magellan and Lapu-Lapu". Fookien Times Yearbook, 1965, p. 634.
- Alcina, Francisco, Historia de las Islas e Indios de Bisaya, MS 1668.
- Correa, Gaspar, Lendas de India, Vol. 2, p. 630.
- Cruz, Gemma, "Making Little Hero of Maktan."
- Estabaya, D. M., "445 Years of Lapu-lapu", Weekly nation 1: 26-27, April 25, 1966.
- Pigafetta, Antonio, Primo Viaje en Torno al Globo Terraqueo, Corredato di Notte de Carlo Amoteti, Milano, 1800.
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