Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan said the gallantry of Datu Lapulapu and his men, who are all longing and fighting for independence, made us Filipinos proud and Oponganons grateful for putting our City in the spotlight in this 500-year commemoration of the Battle of Mactan.
The mayor believes that circumnavigating the globe was merely achieved by the fleeing Spanish fleet after Datu Lapulapu killed Ferdinand Magellan in the battle of Mactan.
“I am deeply honored to host these momentous occasions, the permanent hoisting of the Philippine flag here at the Liberty Shrine and the 100-day countdown to the 500 years commemoration of the Victory at Mactan on behalf of the Oponganons, the proud grandchildren of Datu Lapulapu,” said Mayor Chan in his speech during the start of the 100-day countdown to the 500 years commemoration of the Battle of Mactan at Liberty Shrine last January 17.
The three-part activity started with the unveiling of the marker, as one of the historic sites and landmarks in the country; the permanent hoisting of the flag; and the program proper. After the flag was permanently hoisted, the fireworks display amazed the guests.
Mayor Chan and his first lady Tourism Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission (TCHAC) Chairperson Cindi King-Chan, led the welcoming of visitors, together with Vice Mayor Celedonio Sitoy and City Councilors.
Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, Secretary Adelino Sitoy of Presidential Legislative Liaison Office, Rep. Paz Radaza of the lone district of Lapu-Lapu City, Department of Tourism Regional Director Hofer Shahlimar Tamano, Assistant Secretary Jonji Gonzales of Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, and Cordova Mayor Mary Therese Sitoy-Cho graced the occasion.
The unveiled marker formalizes Datu Lapulapu’s victory in Mactan, as his 20-meter monument now stands there, and the Philippine flag is permanently hoisted there in the shrine by virtue of NHCP Board Resolution No 10 series of 2020.
“Truly great is this day, and glorious is this date where we see the Philippine flag permanently hoisted here at Liberty Shrine waving proudly symbolic of our liberty, reflective of our national pride and the embodiment of our rich and colorful history,” Mayor Chan’s speech quoting the late Emilio Aguinaldo during the program.
The mayor also takes pride in the fact that the Liberty Shrine, like Victory Plaza in Iloilo, is the second site outside of Luzon to have this distinct honor of having our flag hoisted permanently.
Other distinct sites where the flag is hoisted permanently are the Rizal monument in Manila, Bonifacio Monument in Caloocan, and Aguinaldo Shrine in Cavite; Barasoain church in Bulacan; Libingan ng mga Bayani; and the Musoleo de Los Beteranos de la Revolucion.
After the battle in Mactan, where Magellan was killed, the remaining Spanish fleet returned to Spain.
“Magellan-Elcano expedition unknowingly circumnavigated the world after it returned to Spain,” the mayor said in his speech.
And this year 2021, the mayor said, the international community will also commemorate that circumnavigation of the world.
“I welcome you to Lapu-Lapu City, named after the brave and mighty Datu Lapulapu, mabuhay ang diwa ni Lapulapu mabuhay ang Pilipino, daghang salamat,” said the mayor as he ended his speech.
Also present in the 100-day countdown was NHCP Deputy Director Alvin Alcid, AFP Commander Roberto Ancan of Central Command, PAF Commander Simeon Felix Jr., and Navy Captain Raul Regis.
Flags are also permanently hoisted in Malacañang Palace; the Congress of the Philippines building; the Supreme Court building, all International Ports of Entry, and all other places as may be designated by the Institute. (Lapu-Lapu City PIO)