The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) called on artists not to compromise history in their works following the backlash against Filipino-American rapper Ez Mil for the controversial lyrics about the revered Lapu-Lapu in his now viral song, “Panalo.”
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Feb. 10, NHCP Chairperson Rene R. Escalante emphasized that Lapu-Lapu, who was considered as the first Filipino hero, was not killed in the Battle of Mactan.
“Lapu-Lapu was definitely not killed in the Battle of Mactan. The battle was a victory of our ancestors led by him,” Escalante said.
The NHCP head released the statement in time with the 500th anniversary of the Victory at Mactan this year, which he said should be a reminder on “how the founders and heroes of the Filipino nation reckoned to Lapu-Lapu and Mactan as sources of pride and dignity.”
“Emilio Jacinto wrote a poem in 1895 reminding the members of the Katipunan that in their veins ran the blood of Lapu-Lapu. Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista memorialized the same in the document proclaiming Philippine independence he penned and read before the Filipino people on 12 June 1898,” Escalante shared.
However, in Panalo, EZ Mil erroneously described in his lyrics how Lapu-Lapu died and was beheaded in Mactan.
While the NHCP said it supports new songs informing people about Philippine history, Escalante urged artists to be more responsible regarding their work.
“The NHCP welcomes new songs that inspire our people to think great and be informed of their history, but let us not compromise history and be conscious of our accountability on what we are conveying to our people,” he said.
History records says Lapu-Lapu led local fighters in the Battle of Mactan on April 27, 1521 to resist Spanish colonization. His warriors defeated and killed Ferdinand Magellan during the clash, sparking a retreat on the side of the foreigners.