Lapu-Lapu, home?

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014


MACTAN chieftain Datu Lapu-Lapu’s 40-foot bronze statue at Agrifina Circle in Rizal Park or Luneta stands proud as the “Sentinel of Freedom” with his two hands over his “kampilan” pointed towards the ground.

His was the image of someone who had vanquished a foreign invader in the shores of his native Mactan.

Surely, he doesn’t have the look of someone stranded in some foreign shores yearning for home.

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Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza said Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. has granted the city’s request to transfer Lapu-Lapu’s giant statue to Lapu-Lapu City, particularly in Datu Mangal, who is believed to be his father, in Barangay Punta Engaño.

Lapu-Lapu officials said the transfer is a sort of a homecoming for Mactan’s chieftain.

Wait, Did Lapu-Lapu ever leave Mactan?

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Manila officials, who frown upon looking at the statue of a probinsyano standing proud in the Luneta, would only be too happy to oblige Lapu-Lapu City official’s request to remove Lapu-Lapu’s statue from the area.

Even officials of the National Historical Institute (NHI) opposed the erection of Lapu-Lapu’s statue in the Luneta, saying only those who were martyred there deserved a place in the Luneta.

They have totally ignored the only Filipino hero who slaughtered a foreign invader.

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Rep. Raul Del Mar (Cebu City, north district), who worked hard to have Lapu-Lapu’s statue placed at the Rizal Park, said the plan of transferring the existing Lapu-lapu statue in Luneta should be deferred and studied further.

“The original intention was to honor Lapu-Lapu as the country’s first defender of our freedom, not just in Lapu-Lapu City but also in other places of the country,” Del Mar said.

“We might gain a statue; but we’d lose the opportunity for Lapu-Lapu’s and Cebu’s honor,” he succinctly said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 02, 2014.

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