Duterte’s stand: Make Lapulapu shrine taller than Magellan’s | Inquirer News

Duterte’s stand: Make Lapulapu shrine taller than Magellan’s

By: - Reporter / @JeromeAningINQ
/ 04:54 AM January 19, 2022

DWARFED: The 20-meter bronze statue of Lapulapu at the Mactan Shrine is 10 meters shorter than the obelisk behind it that was erected during the Spanish era in memory of Ferdinand Magellan. —NATIONAL QUINCENTENNIAL COMMITTEE FACEBOOK PAGE

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte wants a bigger statue for Lapulapu, the 16th-century chieftain of Mactan, on the same island that has an obelisk dedicated to Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, leader of the Western expedition that the natives eventually repulsed.

It bothers the president that Magellan’s monument is 10 meters taller than that of the local hero.


Duterte made the suggestion at Monday’s televised Cabinet meeting where Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles was reporting on the activities last year of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), including the quincentennial commemoration of the spread of Christianity in the country, which began with Magellan’s arrival.


He recalled making a stop at the Mactan Shrine in Barangay Punta Engaño in Mactan Island during his presidential campaign and seeing the Lapulapu image dwarfed by the Magellan marker that stood a few meters away.

“Magellan’s [monument] is bigger than the statue of Lapulapu. I don’t mean any offense, I respect whoever’s opinion or decision was that. But I am very uncomfortable to see a statue of Lapulapu smaller than the [monument in honor] of Magellan,” Duterte said.

“I’m not angry. It’s history. I’m not angry with the people behind this. But I think as a Filipino, and now that I am president, this is what I will do,” he added.

‘Glorias Españolas’

He also remembered telling a crowd during that campaign stop that he would have Lapulapu’s statue replaced with a bigger one out of respect to “our national hero No. 1.”

“Didn’t I say it?’’ he asked.

According to tourism websites, the bronze Lapulapu statue in Mactan, including the pedestal, has a total height of 20 meters. Construction of the shrine was undertaken by virtue of a law passed in 1969.


The Magellan obelisk, on the other hand, stands 30 meters tall and was erected in 1866, when the country was still under Spanish colonial rule.

Inscribed on the obelisk are the words “Glorias Españolas” and the names of Magellan, Queen Isabel II of Spain, and Miguel Creus, the Spanish governor-general to the Philippines at the time.

Last year, the NHCP and the National Quincentennial Committee held a design contest for a new Lapulapu monument to be placed also in the shrine. The winning entry, from a Tarlac-based architect, proposes a smaller statue at 9.55 meters.

Cement will do

The NHCP has also allocated P100 million for the improvement of the shrine, but Duterte sees no need to spend that much.

“It won’t cost much, we’ll just use cement. Let us elevate it a little to make it taller than Magellan. We can’t permit that the national hero’s monument is smaller,” he said.

Turning to Nograles, he added: “Please note there, Karlo. To somebody in the historical commission, you just tell them that the president has requested you to go there and try to look at the situation, without offending the inhabitants there or for that matter, the Cebuanos, [to whom] I am [indebted].”

In December last year, Duterte issued Executive Order No. 152 directing all national government agencies as well as local governments to adopt “Lapulapu” — without the hyphen — when referring to the hero in official communications, except when it comes to “official names of places such as Lapu-Lapu, (which have) been established by statute.”

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

The order prompted Lapu-Lapu Mayor Junard Chan to call for a congressional amendment to remove the hyphen in his city’s name as currently specified in its charter.

TAGS: Rodrigo Duterte

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.