With the signing of Proclamation No. 200, April 27 is now declared Lapu-Lapu Day to commemorate the heroism of Datu Lapu-Lapu against Ferdinand Magellan in the Battle of Mactan. Lapu-Lapu was regarded as the first Filipino hero who defied Spanish rule brought to their shores by a foreign power. Although not as famous or talked about in comparison with Dr. Jose Rizal or Andres Bonifacio, I think it is important to acknowledge the contributions made by this datu to the Filipinos because he showed to us that he was willing to risk everything, even his life for freedom since it is so easy to lose yet so hard to achieve especially if you are against a powerful country.
The Battle of Mactan was a war of means and extremes. On the one side was Magellan’s; heavily equipped with the most advanced weapons during that time yet only 60 men at his disposal, and on the other side was Lapu-Lapu’s; wielding only their native weapons but with a number of 1,500 strong warriors ready to fight for their homeland. Magellan paid the price for underestimating his foes with his life on April 27, 1521 and thus Lapu-Lapu was written in the annals of Philippine history for his heroism.
Although April 27 may be forgotten by the masses for it’s significance, let us not forget that even in the toughest of times, no matter how grim or hopeless it may be, we need to stand up for our beliefs and fight even if the odds are against us and be like Datu Lapu-Lapu and show to the world what we Filipinos are capable of- a nation of warriors with an indomitable spirit ready to preserve freedom, forever!
Philippine History for Elementary Schools by Gregorio F. Zaide, Ph.D.