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Ferdinand Magellan and Portuguese Explorer Ferdinand

Topics: Philippines, Ferdinand Magellan, Cebu / Pages: 4 (940 words) / Published: Jul 13th, 2013
Lapu lapu

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.[1] He is now regarded, retroactively, as the first Filipino hero.[2][3] He is also known under the names Çilapulapu,[4] Si Lapulapu,[5] Salip Pulaka,[6][note 1] and Kali Pulako (alternatively spelled as Cali Pulaco),[7] though the historicity of the names is disputed.
Battle of Mactan[edit]

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.[8]
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.[6]
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 domain of Lapu-Lapu and Zula, was in a location that enabled them to intercept trade ships entering the harbor of Cebu, Humabon's domain. Thus it was more likely that Lapu-Lapu was actually more powerful than Humabon. Humabon himself was married to Lapu-Lapu's niece. When Magellan demanded that Lapu-Lapu submit as his "king" Humabon had done, Lapu-Lapu purportedly replied that "he was unwilling to come and do reverence to one whom he had been commanding for so long a time".[6]

The historical name of Lapu-Lapu is controversial. The earliest record of his name is from the Italian explorer Antonio Pigafetta who accompanied Magellan in the Philippines. He records the names of two chiefs of the island of "Matan", the chiefs "Zula" and "Çilapulapu" (note Ç).[4] In an annotation of the 1890 edition of Antonio de Morga's Sucesos de las islas Filipinas, José Rizal spells this name as "Si Lapulapu" without explanation.[5]
However, the 17th century mestizo de sangley poet Carlos Calao mentions Lapu-Lapu under the name of "Cali Pulaco" in his poem Que Dios Le Perdone (That God May Forgive Him).[9] The name, spelled "Kalipulako", was later adopted as one of the pseudonyms of the Philippine hero, Mariano Ponce, during the Philippine Revolution.[10] The 1898 Philippine Declaration of Independence of Cavite II el Viejo, also mentions Lapu-Lapu under the name "Rey Kalipulako de Mactan [sic]" (King Kalipulako of Mactan).[11]

The Philippine government has since erected a statue in his honour on Mactan Island and renamed the town of Opon in Cebu to Lapu-Lapu City. Another statue stands in Rizal Park in the national capital of Manila. Lapu-Lapu also appears on the official seal of the Philippine National Police[12] and as the main design on the defunct 1-centavo coin circulated in the Philippines from 1967 to 1974.[13]
During the First Regular Season of the 14th Congress of the Philippines, Senator Richard Gordon introduced a bill proposing to declare April 27 as an official Philippine national holiday to be known as Adlaw ni Lapu-Lapu, (Cebuano, "Day of Lapu-Lapu").[14]
In the United States, a street in the South of Market neighborhood of San Francisco, California is named after Lapu-Lapu.[15]


Lapu-Lapu's statue on Mactan Island in the PhilippinesNationalityFilipinoOccupationChieftainKnown forcommanding Visayan forces that defeated the Spaniards, and killing Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan.

Lapu-Lapu was the king of Mactan, an island in the Visayas, Philippines, who is known as the first native of the archipelago to have resisted Spanish colonization. He is now regarded as the first Filipino hero.

On the morning of April 27, 1521, Lapu-Lapu and the men of Mactan, armed with spears, and kampilan, faced Spanish soldiers led by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. In what would later be known as the Battle of Mactan, Magellan, and several of his men were killed.

According to Sulu oral tradition, Lapu-Lapu was a Muslim chieftain, and was also known as "Kaliph Pulaka".[3] The people of Bangsamoro, the Islamic homeland in the Philippine Islands, consider him to be a Muslim and a member of the Tausug ethnic group.[4] A variant of the name, as written by Carlos Calao, a 17th century Chinese-Spanish poet in his poem "Que Dios Le Perdone" (Spanish, "That God May Forgive Him") is "Cali Pulacu".

The 1898 Philippine Declaration of Independence refers to Lapu-Lapu as "King Kalipulako de Maktan".[6] In the 19th century, the reformist Mariano Ponce used a variant name, "Kalipulako", as one of his pseudonyms.

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