LAPU-LAPU City will be the center of the grand launching of the 500-day countdown to the 500th anniversary of the Filipinos’ victory in Mactan.
The launching will be held in Lapu-Lapu City on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019, and will be attended by national government officials.
But officials of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) announced on Friday, Dec. 13, that President Rodrigo Duterte will not be present during the launching.
This was confirmed by NHCP chairman Dr. Rene Escalante during a press conference.
But Escalante added that the President might make a special appearance during the festivities through a live video.
Escalante told reporters that even if the President will not be present in the launching, it will still be a meaningful celebration especially since it will be held simultaneously with similar events in the cities of Manila and Davao.
Representing Duterte during the festivities in Cebu will be Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.
Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso and Davao City Vice Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte will also deliver speeches with Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan during the activity.
Domagoso and Vice Mayor Duterte will deliver their speeches in Manila and Davao, respectively.
The activities are set to start at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Hoopsdome in Barangay Gun-ob.
But before the afternoon activities, a wreath-laying activity will be held at the Liberty Shrine in Barangay Mactan.
The Liberty Shrine will be one of 21 heritage sites across the nation which will have a simultaneous lighting starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday, symbolizing their significance to the 500th year history of the country.
The other heritage sites are the Sheik Makhdum Mosque in Tawi-Tawi; Agusan Gold Image Monument in Butuan; Martyr of Bangkusay Monument in Macabebe, Pampanga; Sultan Kudarat Monument in Cotabato City; Kenan Aman Dangat in Basco, Batanes, Francisco Dagohoy Monument in Danao town, Bohol; the city of Vigan, Ilocus Sur; Bonifacio National Monument in Caloocan City; Quince Martires Monument in Naga City; Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite; Santa Barbara Church in Sta. Barbara, Iloilo; Gregorio del Pilar Shrine in Tirad Pass, Ilocos Sur; Balangiga Memorial in Balangiga, Eastern Samar; Ayuntamiento de Manila in Intramuros, Manila; Dambana ng Kagitingan in Pilar, Bataan; Jose Abad Santos Monument in San Fernando, Pampanga; Higinio Mendoza Monument in Puerto Princesa; Leyte Landing site in Palo, Leyte; Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Taguig City; Rizal Memorial Park in Manila and the Peace and Unity Monument in Davao City. (GCM / JKV)