A PLAN to put up a park in honor of the first Filipino hero, Lapu-Lapu, at the South Road Properties will not push through.
Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella said instead, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) will instead put up a monument for the Cebuano hero at his namesake city.
The decision was made during a recent discussion that Labella had with NHCP officials.
“At the end of our discussion, it’s not going to be here (SRP), adto na’s ilaha (its going to be put up at) sa Lapu-Lapu City na,” Labella told reporters on Friday, September 13, 2019.
Earlier, the NHCP had asked the Cebu City government to provide a lot at the SRP where they can build a “Quincentennial Park” in preparation for the 500th year anniversary of the country’s rediscovery by Portuguese conquistador Ferdinand Magellan on 2021.
The establishment of the monument and park intended for Lapu-Lapu was meant to immortalized his heroism as the first Filipino who fought and defeated Magellan during the Battle of Mactan in 1521.
The City later on agreed and was willing to give the NHCP around five hectares of land for the proposed park.
The Quincentennial Park that was supposedly to be built at the SRP feature Lapu-Lapu’s national monument, a museum, and a grandstand that could accommodate a big crowd.
The NCHP sees the need to celebrate Lapu-Lapu’s “big role in the history of Cebu, as well as of the country,” according to the NHCP chairman Rene Escalante.
On 2021, the Philippines will be celebrating the 500th year of the coming of Spaniards in the country which paved the way for the Christianization of the country and led to Lapu-Lapu’s victory in Mactan.
Aside from Cebu City, the islands of Homonhon in Samar, Limasawa in Leyte, and Mactan in Cebu will be having its own celebration as the places which played significant roles during Magellan’s arrival in 1521.
Labella also said that it is only right to celebrate the 500 years, both of the Christianization of the country and the heroism of Lapu-Lapu.
This, despite the stance of President Rodrigo Duterte that it is not necessary to celebrate the 500th year of Christian presence in the country.
“I am in favor, it will be our celebration, of course in collaboration with the National Historical Commission (of the Philippines),” Labella added. (JJL)