For hundreds of years now, Lapu-Lapu has been relegated to a mere fish name and a sub-standard statue where outlandish comments such as “the man in diapers” sadly came from. I’m ashamed to admit it, but somehow, I never really thought of Lapu-Lapu as a hero. Blame it on my ignorance of Philippine History and anything else associated with it.
But recently, thanks to preachings and seminars I’ve heard at Crossroad 77, I was given the chance to understand who Lapu-Lapu really was. As the brave native chief of Mactan, Datu Kalipulaku, Lapu-Lapu’s real name, was not a war freak who killed Magellan out of sheer boredom as portrayed in some of our history books.
What actually happened was that Ferdinand Magellan and his 27 Spanish commanders and crew of the galleons Trinidad, Concepcion, and Victoria violated the 50 virgins of Cebu! That was the real reason why the datu killed the Spaniard and his men during a banquet on April 27, 1521. It was actually an acrimonious cry for retribution on how the Spaniards trampled on our women’s honor, and most certainly not just as a random killing spree for cultural domination.
When our family visits Cebu this December, we will most definitely go to Kalipulaku’s statue and reflect on his bravery and wholehearted devotion to freedom and national liberty.