Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Lapu Lapu Shrine - Valiant Hero versus European Conqueror

When I was a child, I remembered visiting this site. It was this statue of a valiant warrior named Lapu Lapu, a less-than-noble Bornean who migrated to Cebu with the blessings of Rajah Humabon and his queen Maniwangtiwang. He fought for his domicile against the conquistadors lead by Ferdinand Magellan (Fernando Magallanes in the Latin American world). Fast forward to the new millennium. The site has been turned into a park, well cordoned by concrete gates. It still faces a muddy shore now lined by mangroves. This is the Lapu Lapu Shrine located in (drum roll, please!) Lapu Lapu City, in the island of Mactan.

The center piece is a 20-meter (66 feet) bronze statue in Punta Engano. Lapu lapu is considered the very first national hero of the Philippines; the first to resist the mighty Spaniards. Magellan was on a mission to map the Asian route to the "Spice Islands" (specifically to get their hands on cloves and nutmegs for the preservation of food during the pre-refrigeration era.)

The shrine's location is a bit out of the way from Cebu City where most tourists  base their travels, but if you're visiting guitar-making villages and some of the posh resorts of Mactan, then this is a perfect part of the itinerary. A taxi bay is situated just outside this shrine (PhP200 or less back to Cebu City). Or you can commute with the multicabs (they're a bit smaller than the Manila jeepneys) back to Lapu-Lapu City center (@PhP8) regularly plying the road just outside the shrine. And if I have to mention, this is the exact site where Lapu Lapu fought and killed the Portuguese explorer Magellan during the Battle of Mactan in 1521.

Some deaths are another man's triumph.

This is the Eye in the Sky!

Magellan's Shrine is also seen in the same compound.

Mangroves and the sea beyond. During high tide, this land is filled with sea water.


Sherry Ellis said...

It's amazing in that last picture how far the tide goes out!

eye in the sky said...

And it's a more beautiful place to be when filled with water.