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Click here to see a bigger image of Lapu-Lapu's statue in Cebu!

In 1521 Ferdinand Magellan landed in Cebu. Magellan wanted all Filipino kings in Cebu and nearby islands to surrender to Spain. There was one brave Filipino ruler who defied him. He was chief Lapu-Lapu of Mactan. Rajah Humabon (Lapu-Lapu's rival) convinced Magellan to punish Lapu-Lapu for refusing to pledge allegiance to Humabon (and Spain).

At dawn of April 27, 152 1, Magellan invaded Mactan. Magellan led a small force of 60 men to Mactan. He could not land his boats which carried cannons, because the northern gulf of Mactan was full of coral reefs. Magellan and his small group waded ashore to fight Lapu-Lapu and his men in ankle-deep water. The Filipinos armed with bolos and kris met the alien invaders. The Spaniards, even with their dreaded fire-sticks, were no match for the Filipino warriors. In the bloody battle that ensued, Magellan was critically wounded (which led to his retreat and subsquently he died).

Lapu-Lapu defended the freedom of the Philippines. He deserves to live forever in the pages of Philippine history as being the first to resist the attempt to make the Philippines a colony of Spain. For 54 years thereafter, no Spaniard dared set foot on Philippine soil. To this day, a statue of Lapu-Lapu stands in Cebu in remembrance of his courage and brave deeds.




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