Lapu-Lapu (floruit-1521) was a ruler of Mactan, an island in the Visayas, Philippines, who is known as the first native of the archipelago to have resisted the Spanish colonization. He was also responsible for the death of Portuguese Explorer Ferdinand Magellan. He is now regarded, retroactively, as the first Filipino hero. He is also known under the names Çilapulapu, Si Lapulapu, Salip Pulaka,[note 1] and Kali Pulako (alternatively spelled as Cali Pulaco), though the historicity of the names is disputed. Battle of Mactan
Main article: Battle of Mactan
See also: Maginoo
Lapu-Lapu became one of two datus of Mactan before the Spanish arrived in the archipelago, the other being a certain Zula. When Portuguese explorer and conquistador Ferdinand Magellan arrived in the Philippines in the service of Spain, Zula was one of those who gave tribute to the Spanish king while Lapu-Lapu refused. On the morning of April 27, 1521, Lapu-Lapu led 3,000 warriors in a battle against Portuguese explorer and conquistador Ferdinand Magellan who led a force of forty-nine Spanish soldiers and 6000 native warriors from Cebu. During the battle Magellan and several of his men were killed. The historian William Henry Scott believes that Lapu-Lapu's hostility may have been the result of a mistaken assumption by Ferdinand Magellan. Magellan assumed that ancient Filipino society was structured in the same way as European society (i.e. with royalty ruling over a region). While this may be true in the Islamic sultanates in Mindanao, the Visayan societies were structured along a loose federation of city-states (more accurately, a chiefdom). The most powerful datu in such a federation has limited power over other member datu, but they had no direct control over the subjects or lands of the other datu. Thus Magellan believed wrongly that since Rajah Humabon was the "king" of Cebu, he was the king of Mactan as well. But the island of Mactan, the...
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