THE 40-foot brass statue of Datu Lapu-Lapu that stands at the Rizal Park in Manila will soon be making a move to Cebu.
Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza wants the statue to be in the city, and sent a formal request to Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. regarding the matter last month.
Yesterday, the mayor said her wish had been granted.
“Sure na na. Ang pagbalhin na lang (The next step is to bring the statue here),” Radaza said.
She said the DOT will shoulder the cost of transporting the P15-million statue, which was sculpted by award-winning artist Juan Sajid Imao.
It was donated by the Korean Freedom League to the Philippine Government in 2004.
Radaza said she wants to erect the statue in an area called Datu Mangal in Barangay Punta Engaño.
Mangal was reportedly Lapu-Lapu’s father.
She said they cannot place the sculpture at the Liberty Shrine in Barangay Mactan, since the area already has a statue of Lapu-Lapu, albeit a smaller one.
Following their request to the DOT, Radaza said an official from the National Historical Commission of the Philippines and the sculptor checked the statue’s future home.
“Pag-ari nila diri hopeful man sila (When they came, they were amenable to the idea of the statue being moved here),” she said.
Since the Datu Mangal area still has to be developed, the statue will be temporarily erected across the Hoops Dome in Barangay Gun-ob, she said.
Radaza said she hopes the transfer will be made soon.
Rep. Raul del Mar (Cebu City, North district) and former congresswoman Nerissa Soon-Ruiz had filed a resolution urging former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to grant the proposal to erect the 40-foot statue of Lapu-Lapu at the Rizal Park.
It had been former DOT director Richard Gordon’s idea to plant the statue there despite the objection of the National Historical Institute, which said the park is only for heroes who had died there.