Lapu-Lapu was the native chieftain who ruled Mactan Island and is considered as the first Filipino hero after he fought Ferdinand Magellan in the Battle of Mactan. To honor the heroics of Lapu-Lapu on April 27, 1521, a 20-meter bronze statue was erected at the Mactan Shrine in Punta Engaño, Lapu-Lapu City.
The statue of Lapu-Lapu is said to be the exact location of the Battle of Mactan, where Magellan was killed by the warrior of the Mactan chieftain. The statue shows Lapu-Lapu holding a curved kampilan with his right hand while his left hand is holding a shield. These were the weapons used by the native chieftain in the battle.
Aside from the larger-than-life statue of Lapu-Lapu, the Magellan Shrine was also erected to honor the Portuguese explorer. The memorial tower, which is an obelisk with a sphere on its apex, was erected in 1866. The obelisk sits on top of plinth with a tripartite structure as its base. The monument is inscribed with text honoring Magellan.
A covered structure can also be found in the Mactan Shrine complex. It houses a mural painting depicting the Battle of Mactan. Right in front of the painting stands a commemorative marker saying, “Here on April 27, 1521, Lapu-Lapu and his men repulsed the Spanish invaders, killing their leader, Ferdinand Magellan. Thus Lapu-Lapu became the first Filipino to have repelled European aggression.”
Every April 27, the “Kadaugan sa Mactan” is held at the shrine to mark the anniversary of the Battle of Mactan. The event re-enacts the epic battle between Lapu-Lapu and Magellan. It is a major attraction for both the locals and tourists, and draws a huge crowd every year.
The Mactan Shrine is one of the sites visitors of Cebu should not miss not only because it is dedicated to the first native to resist Spanish colonization but also because of the Sutukil stalls just outside the shrine itself, which is another story in itself.
Lola Pureza's Peanut Browas, a taste of old Cebu.
Available in leading supermarkets and pasalubong shops.