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
Aerial view over MEPZ–II
Aerial view over MEPZ–II
Official seal of Lapu-Lapu
Nickname(s): Historic Resort City
Map of Central Visayas with Lapu-Lapu highlighted
Map of Central Visayas with Lapu-Lapu highlighted
Lapu-Lapu is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 10°19′N 123°57′E / 10.32°N 123.95°E / 10.32; 123.95Coordinates: 10°19′N 123°57′E / 10.32°N 123.95°E / 10.32; 123.95
Country Philippines
Region Central Visayas (Region VII)
Province Cebu (geographically only)
District Lone district of Lapu‑Lapu
Founded (Opon)
Lone District
17 June 1961
22 October 2009
Barangay 30 (see § Barangays)
 • Type Sangguniang Panlungsod
 • Mayor Paz Radaza (LP)
 • Vice mayor Marcial Ycong
 • City Council
 • Representative Aileen Radaza
 • Total 58.10 km2 (22.43 sq mi)
Population (2015 census)[3]
 • Total 408,112
 • Density 7,000/km2 (18,000/sq mi)
 • Voter (2016)[4] 188,815
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 6015
IDD : area code +63 (0)32
Income class 1st class
PSGC 072226000

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 income class highly urbanized city in the region of Central Visayas, Philippines. It is one of the cities that make up Metro Cebu in the Philippines. It is geographically located in the province of Cebu, but politically administered independently of it. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 408,112.[3] In the 2016 election, it had 188,815 registered voters.[4]

The city occupies Mactan Island, a few kilometers off the main island of Cebu. It also has some of the barangays under its jurisdiction on the Olango Island Group. The city is linked to Mandaue 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.


In the 16th century Mactan Island was colonized by Spain. Augustinian friars founded the town of Opon in 1730 and it 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 Punta Engaño.

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. 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.

Congressman 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 Philippine President Carlos P. Garcia. Lapu-Lapu was inaugurated on December 31, 1961, with Mariano Dimataga, the last municipal mayor, as the first city mayor. [5]

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 includes the site of the Battle of Mactan. On August 1, 1973, by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 2060, President Ferdinand Marcos declared the site of the battle 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 Carlos P. Garcia, the fourth President of the Republic.


Lapu-Lapu comprises 30 barangays:[2]

  • 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
  • Subasbas
  • Talima
  • Tingo
  • Tungasan

Note: There is a still a section of the city called Opon [which is the Poblacion], where the Mercado [Market] is at.


Population census of Lapu-Lapu
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1970 69,268 —    
1980 98,723 +3.61%
1990 146,194 +4.00%
1995 194,745 +5.52%
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
2000 217,019 +2.35%
2007 292,530 +4.20%
2010 350,467 +6.80%
2015 408,112 +2.94%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[3][6][7][8]

In the 2016 election, it had 188,815 registered voters, meaning that 46% of the population are aged 18 and over.[4]


Mactan-Cebu International Airport is located in Lapu-Lapu which connected to mainland Cebu via Marcelo Fernan Bridge and Mactan-Mandaue Bridge over the sea separating the Mactan island from the island of Cebu. The airport is the main gateway to Central Visayas serving international flights to Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Russia. MCIA is the second busiest airport in the Philippines after Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "City". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Municipal: Lapu-Lapu, Philippines". PSA. Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c PSA; Census of Population (2015), "Region VII (CENTRAL VISAYAS)", Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay, retrieved 20 June 2016 
  4. ^ a b c "2016 National and Local Elections Statistics". Commission on Elections. 2016. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ NSO; Census of Population and Housing (2010), "Region VII (CENTRAL VISAYAS)", Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay, retrieved 29 June 2016 
  7. ^ NSO; Census of Population (1995, 2000 and 2007), "Region VII (CENTRAL VISAYAS)", Total Population by Province, City and Municipality, archived from the original on 24 June 2011 
  8. ^ Gonzales 2004.


External links[edit]