Lapu-Lapu, Philippines

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This article is about the Philippine City. For the ruler of Mactan, see Lapu-Lapu. For the fish also known as "lapu-lapu", see grouper.
Highly Urbanized City
Official seal of Lapu-Lapu
Nickname(s): Historic Resort City
Map of Cebu showing the location of Lapu-Lapu
Map of Cebu showing the location of Lapu-Lapu
Lapu-Lapu is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 10°19′N 123°57′E / 10.317°N 123.950°E / 10.317; 123.950Coordinates: 10°19′N 123°57′E / 10.317°N 123.950°E / 10.317; 123.950
Country Philippines
Region Central Visayas (Region VII)
Province Cebu (geographically only)
Congr. district Lone district of Lapu-Lapu
Founded (Opon Town) 1730
Cityhood June 17, 1961
Lone District October 22, 2009
Barangays 30[1]
 • Representative Aileen C. Radaza
 • Mayor Paz C. Radaza (Liberal Party)
 • Vice-Mayor Marcial A. Ycong (Liberal Party)
 • Total 58.10 km2 (22.43 sq mi)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 350,467
 • Density 6,000/km2 (16,000/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 6015
Area code(s) 032

Lapu-Lapu, officially the City of Lapu-Lapu (Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Lapu-Lapu, Filipino: Lungsod ng Lapu-Lapu) and formerly called Opon, is a first class[1] highly urbanized city in the Philippines. It is geographically located in the province of Cebu, but administered independently from the province. It is part of the Cebu Metropolitan Area. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 350,467 people.[3]

The city occupies most of Mactan Island, a few kilometers off the main island of Cebu and also covers the Olango Island Group further to the southeast, plus a few other islets. The city is linked to Mandaue City on mainland Cebu by the Mactan-Mandaue Bridge and Marcelo Fernan Bridge. Mactan-Cebu International Airport, the second busiest airport in the Philippines, is located in Lapu-Lapu City.


In the 16th century Mactan Island was colonized by Spain. Augustinian friars founded the town of Opon in 1730 and became a city in 1961. It was renamed after Datu Lapu-Lapu, the island's chieftain who defeated Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 in the Battle of Mactan, commemorated at the Lapu-Lapu shrine in Barangay Mactan.

On April 27, 1521, Lapu-lapu, a native chieftain, successfully repulsed the foreign invaders in Mactan. He defeated the Spanish troops and killed their leader, Ferdinand Magellan. Lapu-Lapu City, formerly the Municipality of Opon, was founded by the Augustinian missionaries in 1730. It was ceded to the Jesuits in 1737, and later restored to the Augustinians. When the Philippine Revolution spread to the Visayas in 1896, the people organized themselves into local revolutionary units.

During the Filipino-American War, a military government was established. The continued resistance of the people of Cebu prompted the American government to restore military control over the province on July 17, 1901. In 1905, Opon held its first municipal election and Pascual dela Serna was elected town president.

The presence of oil tanks in Opon made the town an object of Japanese raids a week after the outbreak of World War II in December 1941. The enemy planes succeeded in blowing up two of about fourteen oil tanks in Opon. A unit of the Kawaguchi Detachment of the Japanese Imperial Forces landed on the east coast of Cebu on April 10, 1942. Later, the resistance movement was organized by Colonel James M. Cushing, leader of the southern and central units, and Harry Fenton of the northern unit of the Cebu Resistance Movement.

The Victor II operations of the American Division led by Major General William Arnold landed in Cebu on March 26, 1945, and subsequently liberated the province. Lapu-Lapu was made into a chartered city by RA 3134 on June 17, 1961. It was inaugurated on December 31, 1961, with Mariano Dimataga, the last municipal mayor, as the first city mayor.

Politician Manuel A. Zosa, the representative of the Sixth District of Cebu, sponsored the bill converting the former municipality of Opon into the present day City of Lapu-Lapu. This was the Republic Act 3134, known as the City Charter of Lapu-Lapu which was signed on June 17, 1961 by former Philippine President Carlos P. Garcia.

As a fast growing commercial city, some of its commercial and industrial firms are the General Milling Company, one of the largest in the country; the Cebu Shipyard and Engineering Works, pioneered by Dad Cleland; and the oil companies which resumed their operations after the war. The air flight in the city is served by the Mactan International Airport.

Historically, the city is the site of the famous "Battle of Mactan". On August 1, 1973, by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 2060, President Ferdiand Marcos declared the site of the battle as a national shrine; the preservation, restoration and/or reconstruction of which shall be under the supervision and control of the National Historical Commission in collaboration with the Department of Tourism. Mactan is also the birthplace of Leonila Dimataga-Garcia, wife of the late Carlos P. Garcia, the fourth President of the Republic.


Lapu-Lapu City is politically subdivided into 30 barangays.[1]

  • Agus
  • Babag
  • Bankal
  • Baring
  • Basak
  • Buaya
  • Calawisan
  • Canjulao
  • Caw-oy
  • Cawhagan (Caohagan)
  • Caubian
  • Gun-ob
  • Ibo
  • Looc
  • Mactan
  • Maribago
  • Marigondon
  • Pajac
  • Pajo
  • Pangan-an
  • Poblacion (Opon)
  • Punta Engaño
  • Pusok
  • Sabang
  • San Vicente
  • Santa Rosa
  • Subabasbas
  • Talima
  • Tingo
  • Tungasan


Population census of Lapu-Lapu
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 146,194 —    
1995 194,745 +5.52%
2000 217,019 +2.35%
2007 292,530 +4.20%
2010 350,467 +6.80%
Source: National Statistics Office[3]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Philippine Standard Geographic Code listing for Lapu-Lapu - National Statistical Coordination Board
  2. ^ "Province: Cebu". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010". 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 

External links[edit]