Lapulapu statue

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By Godofredo M. Roperos

Politics also

Monday, July 7, 2014


THE stand of a Cebu lawmaker, Rep. Raul del Mar, opposing the transfer of the statue of Datu Lapulapu from the Rizal Park to Mactan island is well-taken in the face of the realities in our national history.

Of course, the plan of Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza to have the statue transferred to Mactan is also a good decision.

There is no doubt that Lapulapu deserves more than just a statue in the small island of Mactan where he ruled when the Spanish expedition led by Ferdinand Magellan passed by Cebu in 1521.

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But across the decades, the first man to defeat an alien invader and kill him was never given his due recognition in our country’s modern history. With the statue, we are finally given an opportunity to honor Datu Lapulapu as a hero in the National Capital Region itself.

Thus, I believe that we should leave the 40-foot brass statue of Lapu-Lapu in the heroes’ park at the Luneta as is, and have an equally grand Lapulapu brass statue made and installed in the island where he was once the ruler. This is to fulfill a plan to honor him.

Indeed, why have only a single statue to honor a national hero? Del Mar, who is representing the Cebu City north district, is right to object to the proposed transfer, since Lapu-Lapu, as a hero, also deserves national veneration.

I agree, though, that Mayor Paz Radaza is not one to pass an opportunity to gain honor for her city and not merely for our country’s historic landmark. She is also for the opportunity to improve the tourism stature of her city.

Her proposal for the transfer the Lapu-Lapu statue has become part of the 500th-year celebration of our country’s initial victory against alien invaders. The more reason there is to honor and to seek national historical recognition for its native hero.

So let there be two, three, or more statues of Datu Lapulapu installed in various parts of the Philippines in recognition of his being the first native Filipino hero to stand for the land of his birth.

Lapulapu, indeed, was in a way the Philippines first nationalist hero and everyone, especially our young children should recognize him and honor him as such. He should be taken as an important figure in our history.

The opportunity has finally emerged in our contemporary history to “insert” a most significant feature in our national existence that should enrich our universal image as part of the historic development and cultural growth.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 08, 2014.

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