President Duterte paid tribute to his “idol” Lapulapu and honored the bravery of the country’s health and essential frontliners as the “worthy heirs” of his legacy.
The President issued a pre-recorded message honoring the country’s past and present heroes during the celebration of the 500th anniversary or quincentennial of the victory of Lapulapu in the Battle of Mactan Tuesday, April 27.
“Five centuries ago, Lapulapu and the brave warriors of Mactan fearlessly fought of foreign invaders who threatened their cherished way of life. They never cowered against he might of the enemy and they bled in defense of their homeland,” he said.
“Today, we remember their gallantry by honoring the worthy heirs of Lapulapu’s legacy. Our medical and essential frontliners who in face of danger caused by COVID-19 pandemic continue to risk their lives, their own lives to ensure for the safety of their fellow Filipinos,” he added.
Duterte also urged Filipinos to emulate Lapulapu and other heroes of the nation in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
“Let us draw inspiration from the heroes of the past and present as we overcome pandemic and rebuild a stronger and more resilient nation,” he said.
“I wish everyone a meaningful commemoration. Mabuhay ang sambayanang Pilipino. Mabuhay ang idol kong si Lapulapu,” he added.
The President did not physically attend the celebration held in Mactan, Cebu Tuesday. Duterte was instead represented by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea during the ceremony.
This year, the country marked the 500th anniversary of its role in the first circumnavigation of the world, the victory of Lapulapu in the Battle of Mactan, and other historic events from 1519 to 1522.
Under Executive Order No. 103 issued by the President, the 2021 Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines (QCP) aim “to promote local and national tourism, reignite the nationalism of every Filipino, inculcate values for the common good, strengthen social cohesiveness of the community, intensify social awareness, and foster the Filipino creativity and innovation for our socioeconomic growth.”
Duterte previously took pride of Lapulapu for being the first Filipino forefather who fought against foreign domination. He lamented though that Lapulapu did not get the proper recognition he deserved and was even demoted to a fish name.
To remedy the situation, he issued Proclamation No. 200 declaring April 27 of every year as Lapulapu Day to remember his legacy. Republic Act No. 11040 declaring April 27 as a special working public holiday throughout the country and a special nonworking holiday in Lapulapu City, Cebu.
Duterte also created the Order of Lapulapu, a medal given to persons in government or private sector who have rendered extraordinary service or have made exceptional contributions to the success of the President’s campaign or advocacy.