History and Culture
President Duterte and Mayor Isko Lead the Countdown to 500 Years!
Choose Philippines | Dec 16, 2019
Story from the National Quincentennial Committee, Republic of the Philippines
Banner photo from the IG account of @the_bossing_charlie
At 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 14, the country marked the 500-day countdown to 500 years of the Victory at Mactan in 2021. Collectively known as the 2021 Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines (QCP), other historical events that will turn 500 years is the Philippine part in the first circumnavigation of the world.
Contradictory as they may seem, the celebration of the Victory at Mactan of 27 April 1521 will highlight the indomitable spirit of the Filipinos to aspire to be free. While the first circumnavigation of the world will put emphasis on the civilization the Magellan-Elcano expedition found among our ancestors, as well as to the innate compassion in us, exemplified by our ancestors from Suluan Island, now under Guiuan, Eastern Samar, on 19 March 1521 when the saved from hunger, illness, and hopelessness the crew of Ferdinand Magellan who had just crossed the Pacific from the Americas from more than three months of deadly voyage, unprecedented in world history. Because of this, Magellan and his expedition would able to encircle the planet and prove that it was indeed round.
Mayor Isko Moreno is set to lead the countdown at the National Museum of Natural History, Rizal Park, Manila. He will be joined by National Museum Chairperson Luli Arroyo and National Historical Commission of the Philippines OIC Executive Director Carminda Arevalo. The Philippine Educational Theater Association will stage an hour-long musical spectacle retelling the 500 years of greatness in Filipino, with the façade of the National Museum of Natural History as canvass.
In Davao City, Vice-Mayor Sebastian Duterte will hold the countdown at the Monument of Peace and Unity. A grand parade of eleven cultural communities in Davao, along with the deputy mayors of each community, will start the hour-long retelling of unconquered Mindanaoan heritage. The program is also a tribute to the volunteers and institutions that helped Mindanao after the successive earthquakes several months ago. Davao City also boasts its 500-voice choir that will sing the National Anthem.
Meanwhile, the ground zero of the nationwide event is at the Hoops Dome, Lapu-Lapu City. Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat will represent President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in the countdown. She will be joined by Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan and NHCP Chairperson Rene Escalante. There is also an hour-long spectacle highlighting the world of our ancestors prior to Spanish occupation. It will also be the first time in the country that a historical and cultural show will heavily rely on augmented reality in telling the Philippine history.
[related: The Davao City Weekend Guide]
Marking the 500-day countdown is also the voyage from Palawan of the replicas of balangays, the boats of our ancestors where the name barangay came. Named as Raja Siyagu at Raya Kolambu, the voyage of the quincentennial balangays were sponsored by the Butuan City Government and Kaya ng Pinoy Foundation.
The Intramuros Administration also confirmed that the Manila Cathedral and the UNESCO World Heritage Site-inscribed San Agustin Church will ring their bells for fifteen minutes at 6:00 p.m. in memory of the heroes and martyrs of Catholic Church in the Philippines. It is recorded fact that the Filipino nationalism was partly influenced by the centuries of campaign of the native clergy to secularize Filipino churches from the Spanish friars. The martyrdom of Father Jose Burgos, Jacinto Zamora, and Mariano Gomes inspired the young Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio in attaining social equality and justice, although in different ways. Also, in 2021, the Filipino Christian faithful will celebrate the 500th anniversary of the introduction of Christianity in the Philippines. This church affair is led by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.