Statue of the Sentinel of Freedom

Coordinates: 14°35′03″N 120°58′53″E / 14.584248°N 120.9814171°E / 14.584248; 120.9814171
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Statue of the Sentinel of Freedom
14°35′03″N 120°58′53″E / 14.584248°N 120.9814171°E / 14.584248; 120.9814171
LocationRizal Park, Manila
DesignerJuan Sajid Imao
Height12.19 metres (40.0 ft)
(including 3.05 metres (10.0 ft) pedestal)
Opening dateFebruary 5, 2004 (2004-02-05)
Dedicated toLapulapu

The Statue of the Sentinel of Freedom or the Lapu Lapu Monument is a monument to Lapulapu located at Rizal Park specifically at the center of the Agrifina Circle in Manila, Philippines.[1]


The Agrifina Circle features the statue of Lapulapu at its center.
Aerial view of Agrifina Circle where the Statue of the Sentinel of Freedom is centered.

In 2004, House of Representatives members Raul del Mar and Nerissa Corazon Soon-Ruiz initiated the installation of a statue of Lapulapu in Rizal Park as a move to honor Lapulapu as a hero of not only Cebu but the whole Philippines.[2] They urged the Office of the President to an accept their proposal.[3] Then-tourism Secretary Richard Gordon, who was a candidate in the 2004 Senate elections,[4] supported the installation of the statue.[5] The project was opposed by the National Historical Institute (NHI) led by Ambeth Ocampo, which insist that only statues of heroes of the Philippine Revolution could be stand in the Agrifina Circle.[6]

The statue was unveiled on February 5, 2004 despite opposition from the NHI, after then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo greenlit the move.[6] The Korean Freedom League led by Chairman Kwon Jung-dal[1] donated ₱15 million for the casting of the statue.[7] The statue was momentarily dismantled from the Agrifina Circle sometime in mid-2004, which was met with opposition including the local government of Lapu-Lapu City at that time.[6]

In 2014, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza requested the transfer of the statue to Punta Engaño of her city where she plans to put it in an island to be made at the tip of the locality. This proposal came up after Radaza talked to Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Jr. where the National Historical Institute's (NHI) opinion that the statue could "desecrate" Rizal Park was brought up.[2] The move was opposed by Raul del Mar who said that the move would be detrimental and will cause a “loss of honor and recognition” to the province and Cebu and Lapu-Lapu.[3]

Design and symbolism[edit]

The Statue of the Sentinel of Freedom and was designed by sculptor Juan Sajid Imao. The monument is composed of a 12.19 metres (40.0 ft) bronze statue on-top of a 3.05 metres (10.0 ft) pedestal. Imao noted that his work on the statue seeks to portray Lapulapu as a strong and peace-loving man who is also ready to defend himself against those who threaten his freedom. Lapulapu is portrayed not in a fighting stance but rather standing guard holding a kampilan covered in scabbard and planted on the ground.[1]

Then Tourism Undersecretary Oscar Palabyab chose to create a statue for Lapulapu not primarily due to his victory over Ferdinand Magellan but the value he stands for in history.[1]

The distance between the statue and the Rizal Monument which is dedicated to Jose Rizal is 400 feet (120 m) which represents the "400-year gap" between Lapulapu and Rizal.[4] According to Gordon, the Lapulapu represents the Muslims and Rizal represents the Tagalog-Christians in Philippine history.[7]

The statue which was also donated by the Korean Freedom League was a gift in recognition for Filipinos who fought for South Korea in the Korean War.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "DOT unveils Lapu-Lapu monument at Luneta". Lakbay Pilipinas Online. 5 February 2004. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  2. ^ a b Mendoza, Norman (3 July 2014). "Radaza insists on taking Lapu-Lapu statue from Luneta". Cebu Daily News. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "Don't move Lapu-Lapu statue to Cebu yet, says congressman". Cebu Daily News. 29 June 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Lapu-Lapu stirs row at Luneta". The Philippine Star. 8 February 2004. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  5. ^ Doronio, Junex (14 July 2014). "Lapu-lapu's installation in Mactan necessary". The Manila Standard. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  6. ^ a b c "Lapu-Lapu City denounces removal of Lapu-Lapu's statue from Rizal Park". The Philippine Star. 20 June 2004. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  7. ^ a b Mendez, Christina (17 January 2006). "Lapu-Lapu: Symbol of Pinoy pride". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 2 June 2016.