NOT only is Lapu-Lapu dead and there's no known descendant who'd speak for him, his opinion, even if he were alive, wouldn't matter.

Michael Jordan, basketball superstar, was asked if he wanted his statue in Chicago. He said, "Why not, it's my home. But wouldn't it be nice to have one in Washington D.C. too, near all those monuments of the great?" Apocryphal maybe but not surprising from a legend.

Serging Osmeña's statue at the back of a shopping mall would've insulted him but Cebuanos who aren't sure if he was visionary leader or war turncoat don't seem to mind.

What matters is what most Cebuanos believe about Lapu-Lapu, which is the issue raised by the move to transfer his statue from Manila to Mactan.

In 2004, under the 12th Congress, Raul del Mar, Cebu City north congressman, filed HB 1470 urging the president to erect the statue of Lapu-Lapu at the Agrifina Circle, part of the Rizal Park in Manila. National Historical Institute objected, saying Lapu-Lapu is “merely a hero of Mactan” and putting the statue at Rizal Park "would desecrate the place."

Its location in Manila is already a recognition of national government about Lapu-Lapu's worth and yet we, parochial as we must be, want him taken out from a prime location in history and tourism and placed in our backyard.

National seat

Now, after negotiations by the Lapu-Lapu City mayor, the statue would be dismantled and moved from Luneta to a Mactan barangay.

Is it the statue's return home, when it was never in Cebu in the first place? Is it an honoring we'd welcome when it would diminish Lapu-Lapu's stature?

(paseares@sunstar.com.ph)