History and Culture
The Philippines Marks 500 Years of the Victory at Mactan!
Choose Philippines | Dec 16, 2019
Story from the National Quincentennial Committee, Republic of the Philippines
Banner photo from the IG account of @renzozzang
Beginning 14 December 2019, the Philippine government will celebrate two historic milestones in 2021: the 500th anniversary of the Philippine part in the first circumnavigation of the world (March-October 2021) and the 500th anniversary of the Victory at Mactan (27 April 2021). The Office of the President of the Philippines will produce a spectacle highlighting the world of our ancestors prior to Spanish colonization at the Hoops Dome, Lapu-Lapu City at 5:45 p.m.
Dubbed as the 500-day countdown to 2021 Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines (2021 QCP), the December 14 spectacle of history and culture will also take place at the Centennial Park in Davao City and the National Museum of Natural History in Manila. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, whose campaign promise was to elevate the hero-leader Lapulapu among the significant historical figures of the country, assigned Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat as his representative in leading the country in the countdown. Joining Sec. Puyat are Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan and National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) Chair Rene Escalante.
Mayor Isko Moreno will lead the countdown in Manila and Vice-Mayor Sebastian Duterte in Davao. The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued on 10 December 2019 Memorandum Circular No. 2019-209 enjoining local government units to light their respective historic sites and cultural spaces 6:00 p.m. of December 14 in solidarity with the countdown. Prior to this, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) also issued the same to all foreign service posts. NHCP also identified 18 other sites to join Lapu-Lapu, Davao, and Manila representing pre-colonial history and heroism after the Victory at Mactan:
- Agusan Gold Image Monument, Butuan City. Cradle of pre-colonial civilization (as early as 700 AD)
- Sheik Karimol Makhdum Mosque, Tubig Indangan, Simunul, Tawi-Tawi. Representing pre-colonial heritage (1380).
- Martyr of Bangkusay Monument, Macabebe, Pampanga. Martyr of Freedom (1571).
- Sultan Kudarat Monument, Cotabato City. Freedom fighter (1636).
- Kenan Aman Dangat, Basco, Batanes. Martyr of freedom (1791).
- Francisco Dagohoy Monument, Danao, Bohol. Martyr of freedom (1744-1828).
- Vigan UNESCO World Heritage Site Vigan City, Ilocos Sur. In memory of martyrs Gabriela Silang (executed in Vigan, 1763) and Fr. Jose Burgos (born in Vigan, 1837).
- Bonifacio National Monument, Caloocan City. Representing the martyrs and heroes that gave birth to our nation (1896-1897).
- Quince Martires Monument, Naga City. Martyrs of freedom (1897).
- Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine, Kawit, Cavite. Birthplace of Philippine independence (1898).
- Santa Barbara Church, Santa Barbara, Iloilo. Site of the proclamation of Visayan independence (1898).
- Gregorio del Pilar Shrine, Tirad Pass, G. del Pilar, Ilocos Sur. Martyr of Freedom (1899).
- Balangiga Memorial, Balangiga, Eastern Samar. Symbol of assertion to freedom and sovereignty (1901).
- Ayuntamiento de Manila, Intramuros, Manila. Landmark of Filipino self-determination during the US period (1908, 1916).
- Dambana ng Kagitingan, Pilar, Bataan. Landmark of gallantry (1942).
- Jose Abad Santos Monument, City of San Fernando, Pampanga. Martyr of freedom (1942).
- Higinio Mendoza Monument, Puerto Princesa City. Martyr of freedom (1944).
- Leyte Landing Site, Palo, Leyte. Landmark of freedom (1944).
- People Power Monument, Quezon City. In memory of the unsung, unknown, and nameless heroes and martyrs.
The Lapu-Lapu City countdown is envisioned by the National Quincentennial Committee (NQC) as a total theater, multi-media state of the art production showcasing the best of contemporary Visayan/Filipino artists and expressions, rooted in the nation’s cultural heritage dramatizing the world of our Philippine ancestors before Western contact. It is also expected that the show will help raise awareness among the Filipinos and the world about the Filipino way of commemorating the 500th anniversary of the first circumnavigation of the world—displaying the advanced civilization of our ancestors prior to the arrival of the Spaniards through the Magellan-Elcano expedition and thus, further debunking the myth that our ancestors were savages and uncivilized people.
While Lapu-Lapu City’s 500-day countdown focuses on the historical world of our ancestors and the countdown in Manila on the continuing legacy of greatness and heroism through history (to be performed by Philippine Educational Theater Association), the Mindanao program will concentrate on the unvanquished heritage of our ancestors. Mindanao is home of unconquered peoples, who, for centuries, consistently resisted and repelled threats to their ways of life and self-determination, thus, traditions, beliefs, folklores, and expressions are preserved as passed on from our ancestors.