Battle of Mactan: history and myth

There is a spot in Lapu-Lapu City in Mactan island that's revered by islanders more than any other place. A marker says it was on that site that a man who had sought dominion over the island in the name of the Spanish king had died in the hands of the brave warrior chieftain Lapu-Lapu 485 years ago. (Click on photos to view larger images) Lapu-Lapu's deed is fact but it spawned legends about the man--how he defeated the Spanish forces with their powerful artillery (guns, swords, cannons, cross-bows, body armor) and killed their leader Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan--and what became of him. It is said in the island that the chieftain did not die or that at least nobody ever saw him die and the islanders believe he has been turned into a stone and is forever guarding the seas of Mactan. Fishermen in the island city point to a stone shaped like a man in the deep and they throw coins at it as a way of asking permission to fish in the chieftain's seas. Magellan monument in Lapu-Lapu City, Mactan Island Another popular story passed on from generation to generation of island residents says Lapu-Lapu became the statue placed on a pedestal at the center of the city plaza. This statue faces the old City Hall building, where the mayors used to hold office, and once held a crossbow in the immortal stance of someone about to shoot an arrow at an enemy. The people decided to replace Lapu-Lapu's crossbow with a bolo after three mayors of the city died one after the other from a heart attack. One of the folklore about Lapu-Lapu also tells of a man forewarned about the attack. In a council with other people in the tribe over the coming battle, Lapu-Lapu reportedly took his pestle and said he was going to throw it hard and if it would go through three coconut trees then they had nothing to fear because they were going to win. It did and the rest is history and myth. The marker on the place where Magellan reportedly died The place where Lapu-Lapu and his men triumphed over the Spanish invaders on April 27, 1521 has been turned into a shrine. The shrine sits along the boundaries of the villages of Punta Engao and Mactan in Lapu-Lapu City on the island of Mactan. Magellan had come to Cebu through Homonhon, an uninhabited island in the province of Eastern Samar. There, he and his crew were sighted by Rajah Calambu of Limasawa and he guided them to Cebu on April 7. In Cebu, Magellan became friends with Rajah Humabon who prevailed upon the Portuguese explorer to go to Mactan and punish Lapu-Lapu. It is widely believed that Humabon was at odds with Lapu-Lapu and that they fought over control of land. Antonio Pigafetta, chronicler of Magellan's trip, survived the battle in Mactan and told of how they were overwhelmingly overpowered on the island's shores by at least 1,500 native warriors, a report that has been held by historians as questionable and grossly exaggerated. Three monuments in the Mactan Shrine are worthy of note: the Magellan Marker, the Magellan monument, and chieftain Lapu-Lapu's statue. A note written in the marker, shaped like a large headstone, says it was on that spot that Magellan fell dead in the hands of Lapu-Lapu. A little farther away is a monument to Magellan, an obelisk on a base of several levels said to have been built in 1866 during the administration of Augustinian priest Simon Aguirre, who was cura of Opon (the old name of Lapu-Lapu City) in 1857-71. As early as December 1840, Spanish Governor-General Francisco Alcala had approved a plan to construct a monument in honor of Magellan. The circumstances of this monument's construction was not clear but Karl von Scherzer, a member of an Austrian naval expedition who visited the Philippines in 1858, wrote about a monument to Magellan on the promontory of Punta Engao. Historians believe this does not refer to the obelisk that is now in the shrine.Statue of Lapu-Lapu in Mactan Shrine Also within the Mactan Shrine is a statue of chieftain Lapu-Lapu holding a bolo in one hand and a shield in the other. The shrine that houses the three monuments doubles as a plaza that locals and tourists frequent. The shrine is host to the annual Kadaugan sa Mactan celebration by the Lapu-Lapu City Government. The celebration commemorates the battle for Mactan and is held in the shores near the shrine every April. Beside the shrine are several stores that sell cheap native trinkets made of seashells. Also near the shrine are sutukil restaurants that cook fresh seafood. More photographs, click on images to view larger photos: Stalls near Mactan shrine Mactan Shrine beachfront Mactan Shrine obelisk Native decors sold near Mactan Shrine
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  • emz

    what is yhe political significance of yhe battle of mactan

  • Manuel C. Diaz

    All these Lapu-lapu battle of Mactan and the killing of magellan are all product of the fertile Filipino Imagination. In the first place nobody really knows how Lapulapu look like . Lapu lapu might look like the late Serging Osmena who knows? Not this muscular individual who looks like Adonis.Lapu Lapu might be malnourished like most of the poor children of Cebu. The chronicle of
    Anotnio Pigaffeta never mentioned that it was Lapulapu who personnaly finished off Magellan but rather Lapulapu’s warriors. Probably Lapu lapu just posed with the dead body of Magellan after the battle has settled and it was safe for him to do a “photo Opps”.

    Of course lapu lapu is still alive he turned into a fish. The only fish named after a hero.

  • HSA

    Mr. Diaz points out the fertile Filipino imagination. He also has quite a fertile imagination himself to think of Lapulapu looking malnourished just like the poor children of cebu. He contradicts himself.

    You might want to check on your grammar too Mr. Diaz.

  • Raylin

    this is my project…thx ^^

  • chris Walker

    the simple fact is that we could not substantiate for sure all that was written by pigafetta bec. the facts could not be corroborated by others.. it could not be avoided that there would be bias and exaggeration..I tis quite evident though that we filipinos defeated a superior enemy who were grossly over confident..letv us stop all those conjectures if it was really Lapu2x who killed magellan, who cares as long as magellan fell down by one of our own then so be it..

  • Jose Lido Patigdas Arendain

    ….Always remember that victors wrote history. Anything that pigaffeta wrote as official chronicler/historian will remain part of world history and is considered authority. Sad to say during that time Filipinos were no read no write and has nothing to do with it.

    ….I’m sure corrupted na ang historical facts ni Pigaffeta….

    ….Kung buhay na sana si Gat Jose Rizal that time…Lintek lang sana ang walang ganti…In short, wala tayong control sa mga nangyayari before…
    ….There is no used crying over spilled milk…Adios!

  • azian

    hay naku… what ever the story is- still lapu lapu and his warriors saved their barangay not to colonized by the portugese kaya magbigay na lang tayo ng pagpupugay sa kanya ( ^_^ ) piece be with you>>!!

  • ed

    of course none of us knows what lapu-lapu really looks like but for those who saw him in the past described him as what image you have seen right now. thus, lapu-lapu really looks like what you saw. dont expect to see a real face of lapu-lapu coz camera was not yet discovered. just expect you’ll see lapu-lapu through paintings and sculptures. whoever killed magellan, whether it be lapu-lapu or his warriors, still they are Filipinos and whatever they look like, we are proud of the bravery that they had made inspite of the Spanish powerful artillery….no offence…peace and god bless…

  • Andoy

    The queen city of the south, check it out for yourself.
    Visit Cebu! January = Sinulog
    Beaches sights to see lots to do.
    Airport code CEB lands at Mactan International airport.
    Go to the island Cebu.
    History is here in Cebu.
    Andoy (no explorer)

  • Andoy

    Visit Cebu!
    Airport Code = CEB, Mactan International airport.
    History abounds here in Cebu

  • trish

    why do lapulapu fish named after chieftain…is it bec. it was his favorite fish?

  • vlrfy

    Ive gone through so much of this. It seems that my brain will explode any moment from now. Hell! why thus teacher keep giving assignment that even historian can’t tell. well if you know who killed lapu-lapu inform me. I’ll thank you for the rest of my life..

  • ahmad arafat

    “whoever killed magellan, whether it be lapu-lapu or his warriors, still they are Filipinos and whatever they look like, we are proud of the bravery that they had made inspite of the Spanish powerful offence”

    …none taken…
    actually, the reason why magellan fell is due to the fact that lapu-lapu resisted colonization or subsequently being branded as “filipino”… remember?
    therefore, to say that he was the FIRST FILIPINO hero is actually, technically WRONG.
    and according to a portuguese friend of mine whose great grand uncle was a professor of european history, there was a book that he once read that mentioned lapu-lapu’s troops met magellan’s men while they were in their small boats, rowing towards shore, on at least 20 feet of water… once capsized, the soldiers fell and drowned because they wore “iron-clad” armors that were nearly impossible to remove under the circumstances…

    those who survived were hacked while gasping for air.

  • ahmad arafat

    by the way, LAPU-LAPU was a MORO. =)

  • hfernando

    Lapu-Lapu looks like Manny Pacquiao by examining the statue. Manny has also Dagohoy’s DNA. They are all Visayan and must share common DNA. No wonder Manny fights fiercely,ferociously and fearlessly in the ring. His next opponent is Oscar de la Hoya. It’s like reliving history: a Filipino warrior against a spanish conquistador!

  • honey

    thanks. this is a great help for me. and for every filipino 😉

  • noel gee

    I thought his parents named him after the fish (da pish) 🙂

  • Bembong Tagabomba

    There are many glaring errors in the comments casted by almost everyone in this webpage. First and foremost, Azian (No. 8) said that Lapu-lapu and his warriors protected their barangay so they will not be colonized by the Portuguese. You need to clear that out dude, I agree that Magellan is naturally Portuguese, but during that particular time, he was commissioned by the Spanish royalty for the said expedition. SO – IT WAS THE SPANIARDS, NOT THE PORTUGUESE WHO WERE THE COLONIZERS OF THE PHILIPPINES.

    And mind you, Mr. Manuel C. Diaz here is very stupid (even his grammatical structure is stupid). He questions how Lapu-lapu actually looked like and the Filipinos have such fertile imagination. I couldn’t really argue how stupid he is. One of the most stupid person I happened to read on web. Yuck.

  • radtek67

    It’s amazing how poorly considered comments can trivialize a very well written factual article.

    The so-called “Battle of Mactan” was a fight between Lapu Lapu’s warriors, and Magellan’s crew who were trying to coerce the inhabitants of Mactan, along with several other islands, to convert to Christianity. Those who resisted were threatened, then had their villages burned. Lapu Lapu and his people, who continued to resist, were attacked as a further form of coercion.

    Magellan’s actions, while reprehensible in the modern context, were consistent with policies of both the Catholic Church and the King of Spain in place at the time. Many inhabitants of neighbouring islands feigned conversion to gain the favour of the Spanish armada, but Lapu Lapu held firm.

    The Spanish attackers, man for man unquestionably better armed, were overwhelmed by numbers. While there were re-enforcements available on their ships, they were not deployed. The armada, which had already suffered an attempted mutiny after which Magellan tortured, executed and marooned several men, and another successful mutiny where they lost one of their five ships, was not a harmonious group. Many (indeed, most) of those on board the remaining ships distrusted Magellan – some truly despised him. Some historians feel that the choice to not send more re-enforcements was a conscious decision to allow Magellan to die (i.e. – another mutiny).

    Either way, the far superior numbers of Lapu Lapu’s forces pinned down Magellan and his men and proved victorious. Pigafetta reports 1500 warriors under Lapu Lapu, which is most probably seriously exaggerated, but is consistent with a commonly experienced phenomenon in historical research whereby the loser in a battle habitually inflates the numbers of his enemy, perhaps to excuse his own loss.

    Pigafetta, who was loyal to Magellan, writes in terms complementary to his hero when read by a European or a Christian with the values prevalent at the time. Nevertheless, when read by any person with modern values, Pigafetta unwittingly becomes one of the greatest supporters of Lapu Lapu. Most of the details of that day would be lost were it not for him. And while his writings must be read with a certain caution, as must all historical primary sources, the overall accuracy of the verifiable components of his telling of the entire voyage (with the admitted exception of matters defamatory to Magellan) lend a degree credence to his story of the affair at Mactan.

  • DelFin Suson Jr

    History is determined by fate. A self evident fact. Why events transpire as they do, and the paths which nations tread, can generally be influenced by the dominant power of the age.

    Empires have come and gone. Reputations have been made and fallen. All leave a legacy, all have impacted on our world today.

    The Romans in their time influenced Europe, Egypt, the Mediterranean and North Africa. Great Britain stamped an empire over one third of the Globe at the height of her power.

    In the sixteenth century there were two major players – Spain and Portugal. Whilst both played a hand, it was one – for good or ill – right down to the name, which was to seal the destiny of the Philippines.

  • Replenishment of the ship’s supplies proved to be easy as the mariners got their supplies from three big islands: Coulon (Leyte), Pooson (Camotes), and Zubu (Cebu). Magellan and his crew sought the graces and assistance of King Limasawa in the procurement of their supplies.

    The Portuguese navigator and his men first set foot in Cebu on April l7, 1521 where their vessel was moored at the port of Cebu. Antonio Pigafetta, Magellan’s chronicler, described the sights and nuances of early Cebuano culture: “”The houses were built with logs and had ladders made of wood and were roofed with nipa. Many sailing vessels from Siam (Thailand), China, and Arabia were docked at the port. The people ate from porcelain wares and used a lot of gold and jewelry for decoration of their bodies and clothing. Their wines were in Jars. Men tattooed their naked bodies covering their private parts with Bahagui and silk turbans were on their heads. About their girls, they were beautiful and almost as white and as large as our girls although naked from waist up. Upper class women wore sack-like blouses called Chambara on top of a square length cloth shirt tied tightly around the waist. The women painted their lips and nails with bright colors, adorned their bodies with jewelries, but all of them were barefoot.

    A religious milestone occurred in Cebu with the baptism of Zebu¡¯s King Humabon and wife Queen Juana and 400 of their people, signaling the spread of Christianity all over the islands. However, along with the advent of Christian proselytizing, the islanders were subjugated to the Spanish sovereignty. The Spanish reign in Cebu proved to be short-lived following the death of Magellan on April 28, 1521 in the rebellious hand of valiant Zubu warrior Lapu-lapu.

    Undaunted by the fate of Magellan, forty years later Spanish colonizer Miguel Lopez de Legaspi and Fray Andres de Urdaneta set forth their sails to conquer Cebu. Legaspi reached Cebu on April 27, 1565 as the second Spanish conquistador. With the defeat of Rajah Tupas, leaving in his midst the village in shambles, Villa del Santisimo Nombre de Jesus rose from the ruins. This was named after the famous miraculous image of Senor Santo Nino de Cebu that was found unscathed among the ashes of a dwelling burned by Spaniards. However, the settlement which Legaspi built as another symbol of Christianity in the island stood as an omen; portending decades of Spanish colonial regime.

  • Rachel

    Is it then wrong for Filipinos to glorify Lapu-Lapu?

  • why magellan and lapu-lapu fight??

  • Manuel C.Diaz

    There were no Filipinos during the time of Lapu-Lapu the Cebuano warrior just like there were no Christians during the time of Christ.

  • M. Mitchell

    it’s weird how pigafetta documented magellan’s death with such detail. wasn’t he too busy tyring to stay alive during the battle to even pay attention to what’s happening to magellan? just a thought…

  • mr truth

    Points of clarifications:
    1. It was the americans who insisted jose rizal (being pro-american) to be our national hero and mislead the filipinos of the true identity of Lapu-lapu (name of a fish, and used by them to murder the name of Cali Fulaku, the leader of the mactan natives (technically not filipinos)).
    2. Cali Fulaku ( or Lapu-lapu) is the name mentioned by Pigaffeta in his chronicle -check it in the National Library in Spain!
    3 Cali (a Muslim title) – is a person knowledgable with Islamic Law, including Jihad (to resist against any oppressor).
    =isn’t it just the right time for the congress to correct ched and deped? or shall we still adopt the interest of the americans? Being a nationalist, do we need to change our national anthem’s last line as “ang PUMATAY ng dahil sa iyo” (like Cali Fulaku), instead of “ang MAMATAY ng dahil sa iyo” (like Jose Rizal- what a waste!). Do we need to patronize “American junk” instead of “ang sariling atin”?

  • for ur informatiion mr. diaz as being said in filipino history lapu-lapu is a chieftain, and do you know what a “CHIEFTAIN” means?.. is there a malnurished chieftain?

  • @M. Mitchell

    Pigafetta is a Chronicler and an unlikely part of the 49 armor adorning spanish soldiers. He’s on a distance safely observing onboard the boat with a telescope.


  • Mechael Parondo

    Victors wrote history. that’s what they think. how about those who can’t write/… History is uncertain… especially in the dark ages… during the times that the homo sapiens sapiens race is still in the age of IDIOCY(a state of being an idiot) nah just don’t mind my own words. Pigaffeta’s documents actually are unreliable. why? remember the days that they were in the mids of the pacific ocean… no food no water. THey even drank their own urine,and ate their boots…Pigaffeta recorded that they met giants… isn’t all of his records part of his Hallucination? We can’t exactly count their (Natives)number but remember that lapu-lapu’s village is just a small village. how can he raise of up to 1500 warriors?

  • ahmad arafat

    Lapu-lapu wasn’t Filipino = FACT
    Lapu-lapu resisted colonization/conversion to christianity = FACT
    Is it right to call him the FIRST FILIPINO HERO then?

    I’m no scholar, and the fact that I had to take another college degree to land a job attests to the fact that I am an average thinker, but this question seemed easy enough for me to answer.
    CHED and DepED, how sayeth thou?

  • Vivian Lomuntad

    The Battle of Mactan. The Fall of Magellan soon to be in a book written by an American. I think the story is great more than the story of Alexander the Great. Hope, soon this could be shown in the Discovery Channel.

  • Kenneth B M. B

    This is a great story. I hope time will come that this historical story will be shown in the history channel like what they did with the story of the sulu raiders.

  • Joselito Vergara of Mactan

    Reading this kind of nonsense makes me ashamed to be a Filipino. Lapu Lapu was a naked savage who murdered the greatest Navigator in the history of the world. Magellan was the first to circumnavigate the globe. He was not part of a military expedition, and did not attack anyone during his entire global excursion. So it makes no sense whatsoever, that he sailed into Mactan with war on his mind. He had come to baptize a SAVAGE and was murdered. And, name ONE noted historian who doubts Antonio Pigafetta’s transcript. Name ONE. No one here in Cebu was even educated enough to write it down.

    We were a savage ignorant warring race, who MURDERED the man who brought us God, Catholicism, Mother Mary, Santo Nino, and the Holy Bible. And our people remain ignorant and savage to this day by showing pride and arrogance in butchering a brave and educated explorer and pretending that we defeated a superior warrior and defended our nation. You silly idiots, if not for Magellan, there would be no Philippines. Before Magellan mapped the area, it was only a bunch of unrelated warring islands, not shown on any map. We didn’t even have our own maps of our own archipelago! Because it wasn’t a nation! And it’s not much of one even now, as we still have armies within our midst that don’t belong to our government. We are still warring tribes. The hallmark of every third world country.

    Magellan created the Philippines! He never invaded it, except to baptize a bunch of naked spear chunking savages. A pitiful bunch we are, now as then.

  • Manuel C. Diaz

    Tp Joselito Vergara you are a big idiot the Islands were already there, Magellan was an interfering foreigner. Lapu lapu a savage what about the atrocities of the Spaniards committed against the Indios. Magellan never circumnavigated the world he got himself killed in Mactan remember? You are an idiot historian.

  • Joselito Vergara of Mactan

    Manuel C. Diaz, I salute you. Even with you limited vocabulary and your inability to understand written English, you continue swinging. Much like the felled armless and legless knight of Monty Python.

  • Manuel C. Diaz

    Dear All grammar police you are a bunch of lunatic idiots stick to Lapu lapu’s Magellan encounter. specially to you Joselito Vergara a super idiot.

  • Joselito Vergara of Mactan

    Manuel, it is people like you that make this a third world country. I hope you don’t call yourself a Catholic. Lapu Lapu savagely murdered the man who brought Catholicism to our nation. Ask your Mama.

  • Manuel C. Diaz

    To Joselito and all those grammar police with unlimited command in the england language however their nuerons and actually morons. Read the history of the Catholic religion from the massacre of the Saxons to the Torquimanda’s Spanish inquisition to the genocide of the Incas,’Aztecs and the Mayas so Joelito you will comprende who were more savage than Lapu lapu the Mactan warrior not the fish.

  • Rachel

    Joselito, sir, I understand that you are intelligent (as evidenced by your lengthy, properly grammaticized post and your mention of monty Python). I may have to respectfully disagree with your argument, though.

    Yes, Magellan was only trying to bring Christianity to the islands, but didn’t the Spaniards use unnecessary force during the conversion? What the Mactan warriors did was only justified; they were protecting their land and their people. Who were these foreigners to force them to accept an unknown God?

    I am only a humble student, not a history scholar, so maybe my opinion does not matter. Still, I hope that the point I am trying to make is clear.

  • Manuel C. Diaz

    To Rachel no matter how well structured your grammar is, if you logic is idiotic and moronic you are still a big idiot and moron. Magellan circumnavigated the world! he reach half way Lapu Lapu’s warriors waylaid him in Mactan.

  • Rachel

    Okay, I know Magellan was trying to locate the Spice Islands, okay? But as a representative of the Spanish (despite being Portuguese, yes, I know), he had the duty to spread Christianity.

    By the way, the first person to actually circumnavigate the globe was his translator, whose name escapes me at the moment. Once again, Magellan’s goal was to find the Magical Spice Islands, not to become famous.

  • Joselito Vergara of Mactan

    Force the foreigners to accept an unknown God? What force? He took one ship instead of all three, He anchored too far away to use his cannon, (he was the world’s master navigator, he certainly knew when the tides would allow him to be close enought to shore to destroy the village with cannon.)He took only a small percentage of his men, and he refused to let the King of Cebu raid the island himself. OMG. What Force? He only fought when he was attacked. How far up your behind can you place your head? Yes, he got what he deserved trying to reason with savages. I feel the same way in my efforts. No more comments from me, go your merry ways with your false idols, now as then. When the Philippines was given back to the Filipinos, Grover Cleveland who had been ambassador to the Philippines, and later became president of the USA, spoke to Congress and said, “Give them back the Philippines, you can’t teach them anything. They are just a waste of our monies.” Carry on.

  • Manuel C. Diaz

    To Joselito Vergara wow unkown God why do you know who god really is? BTW if Magellan was an expert navigator how come he got lost in the Pacific!
    Magellan was an idiot navigator he used the globe and the maps that was copied from the Chinese and was given to the Doggee of Venice in 1434. Check it out. The strait of Magellan was known to the Chinese. The Chinese called it the tail of the dragon.The Chinese were the first to circunavigate the world need proof read 1434.

  • Joselito Vergara of Mactan

    If the Chinese are so damn smart, how come they never invented the fork?

    I leave you to your naive ramblings.

  • Manuel C. Diaz

    Why should the Chinese invent the fork they have already the chopstick

  • Manuel C. Diaz

    I also leave you to your ignorant rant.

  • Manuel C. Diaz

    To Rachel FYI his name was Enrique he was Magellan’s slave and he was from the Spice Island.

  • Manuel Gomez

    Anyone care to contribute to building a statue to Pontius Pilate and erecting it next to the statue of Lapu Lapu as brothers in arms? No wonder the foreigners take us with a grain of salt. And who is this empty head, Diaz, who praises the Chinese when they are the ones who have truly invaded us and usurped our resources since the origins of history? Judging from the name, Diaz, someone in his family certainly enjoyed the coming of the Spanish. Can we say Duh?

  • dumdum

    uhm.. regardless of who and what and where and when, point of it is that the natives were the victors and the invaders were the losers. Natives kept oral history, the Europeans wrote about it. None of us were there, even the smartest of historians were not there. The only source of information we have that has the authority was from Pigafetta and the others who survived and wrote about their experience. They were there to experience it first hand. Exaggerated or not, sht dont matter because They were there, and none of us were there to see it.

    Connecting the dots to what we can read through combined Native History and Pigafetta’s journal (along with the other survivors). for it would be idiotic to judge history one sided, just because you have proper grammar and correct dialogue.

    What LapuLapu looked like… one guy wrote it was “Cali Fulaku” and that Cali was a muslim title…. WRONG.. Pigafetta wrote “Silapulapu” (more to the name argument but im not going there). Oral tradition states he is a muslim. BUT, if you read Pigafettas journal, most likely Silapulapu was not a muslim. (an argument i really dont have time to type). Both Oral history and in pigafetta’s journal states the native filipinos were tattooed all over.
    So judging by both, Silapulapu probably looked like a guy with long hair, loincloth, earplugs, tattoos all over his body, even the face (only the fiercest warrior and chief gets facial tattoos) if he achieved the rank of a chief and if he was so brave to fight the invaders, therefor he must be built, and their lifestyle in the ancient times.

    Crap, i have to go. No more time to type! haha. peace people! long live our ancestors!

  • nathaniel evardo

    i’m not from cebu or lapulapu but i’m interested wih this part of Philippine history(World history).
    i’m currently studying this subject “battle of mactan” and I found ou,t base on research and logic, that the event was just a fiction.
    In pigafetta’s account, you can see so many discrepancies.
    Please also take note that this “pigafetta’s account” which we consider as true was not the real pigafetta’s writing. This pigafetta’s account was just published after 278 years. Why? Blame the Vatican.

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  • rad ul mandi

    illigi kulapan [kulapan meaning fish like scales on his skin .a condition shared by people who are over exposed to yhe sun.]that was lapu lapus name.he was a pirate or manggagayaw in search of a place to settle.he incurred the animosity of the locals who promptly asked magellans help.he is a tausog who are very skilled in fighting wid the use of bows n arrows and budjak or spears .there is a record of his exploits in the songs and written records in the sultan of sulu of that time .a reasearch of this will reveal how early historians choose to ignore this.

  • blackstar

    the first person to circumnavigate the world was magellan’s second in command Juan Sebastián Elcano it was magellan’s expedition that successfully made the first circumnavigation of the world not magellan himself
    you guys are arguing semantics.
    @manuel diaz, magellan never made it to the “spice islands” since he got killed in mactan, elcano, carvalho and the rest of the crew made to maluccas which is modern day indonesia

  • Peter Harris

    I am an Australian citizen, a permanent resident of the Philippines and my wife is a direct descendent of Chief Lapu-Lapu. The Spaniards purposely set fire to the nippa huts housing the women and children. This is what roused Lapu-Lapu and his warriors to a frenzy hilling Magellan and the Spaniards. This is hardly surprising. The actions of Magellan subsequently became recognized as a War Crime. The burning of the the women and children was recorded by the Spainards themselves in etchings held and displayed in Fort San Pedro. These etchings were removed for a visit of the Spanish royalty and have not since been returned to display.

    The Catholic Spaniards in South America (not long before Magellan) killed 100,000 cililised Incas with 7 conquistadors. Magellan was obviously emboldended by recent history and thought, to his perial, that he could do likewise.

    Magellan got what he deserved. He was a despot like Captain Bligh and the repeated mutines evidenced this.

    Saying Chief Lapu-Lapu was NOT a Filipino is like saying that King Alfred the Great was NOT British. Yes Lapu-Lapu was a member of the Malay race which colonised the present nations of Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia. We only have these countries because of the subsequent actions of British, Spanish and Dutch European colonisers.

    The Spaniards led by a Portugese national arrived by boat without valid visas – they were refused entry and destroyed after they set fire to the houses protecting the women and children. Hardly suprising at all. Hail Chief Lapu-Lapu.

  • mr. smith

    to all the opinions posted and who posted it…thank you.

    is there any other reasons why they have to fight? or are they not fighting because of the trade?

    because when there is a presence of trade there is always a conflict…it maybe hves any reasons: may have been because of the spice, an herb or simply because of wealth? that lapu-lapu may have posses…

  • Mr. Green

    to manuel diaz,

    Hey, watch your word, You think that you are a genius?? your a stupid idiot dumb guy… so stop saying idiot because you are an a idiot to

  • Manuel C. Diaz

    September 11, 2011

    To Mr. Green

    You are a green idiotic moron.

  • Manuel C. Diaz

    Mr. Green you must be a brain must have immigrated to you butt!!!

  • ross rivas

    I consider Lapu-Lapu as a national hero because he was the first who proclaimed NO TO INVADERS even risking their very lives to protect their land. Indeed, I must say HAIL LAPU-LAPU of Mactan Island.

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  • To dear readers,
    I’m also a Filipino,a student studying in a university.We have come to encounter this past events in the Philippine History.The battle between Magellan and Lapu-lapu occurred at Mactan in Cebu.Magellan attacked the barangay where in Lapu-lapu currently was ruling.Magellan came there with just 60 men clearly underestimating the troops of Lapu-lapu.Magellan was boastful, saying to those other Filipinos who joined them to stay behind and see how powerful and great they are in fighting.while they head towards the shore because they came from a ship,Lapu-Lapu and their troops are all ready and they aligned themselves in 3 columns. They attacked,bloods everywhere,with swords and armors of spaniards vs. the arrow with fire in the end and the kampilan(sword like wood) of the Filipinos,Magellan’s troops are still defeated. Magellan was shot by an arrow on his left leg and cuts onto his head,the Filipinos surrounded and killed him.
    Thus, making Lapu-lapu the first Filipino hero.

  • Jaime Andrade

    On this discussion, only Manuel C. Diaz is intelligent. All others are moron. If you doubt, you ask Manuel.
    Wala ka putol Diaz. Itlog mo bahol nagua. Puli ka Spain. Mangalimos sa Germans.

  • mr. nav

    to all of us commenting here, lets just absorb all information thats good for our knowledge, all other words describing the moronic sides lets all leave it all behind, thank you people.

  • Peter Harris

    Yes Cali Fulaku was a Muslim (Moro) but Muslims and Christians have the same God, the God of Abraham. And don’t forget the Muslims revere Jesus Christ as their second most important prophet.
    It is wrong to refer to the then local inhabitants as savages – As noted by the Spanish, they ate of fine porcelain/china and lived in houses of logs. And yes it wasn’t all that long ago that Julius Caesar of Rome captured Britain in order to stamp out barbaric practices such as cannibalism and mass sacrifice then practiced by the local savages of Britain – it is all in the Roman military records.
    It is not surprising that Fernando Magellenes (a Portuguese working for the Spanish King) and the Spaniards were all killed after setting fire to the women and children hiding from the battle. Please put back the Spanish etchings into Fort San Pedro depicting this.

    And yes Anotnio Pigaffeta was on the ship moored out at sea watching the battle from afar. He was also the world’s first real tourist having paid for his passage around the world.

    Cali Fulaku/Chief Lapu Lapu is not just a local hero. He is a hero of all ASIA because he was the FIRST ASIAN to successfully repel European invaders. He is indeed admired in China, Thailand etc for his deeds.
    ps Chief Lapu Lapu is on The Filipino one centimo coin.

  • How did you know that your wife is a direct descendant of the Lapu-Lapu did you do a DNA test? better clarify if she is a direct descendant of Lapu-Lapu the Chief or the Lapu-lapu the fish?

  • rem enriquez

    a big no! Lapu-Lapu is a pagan warrior just as ancient cebuano during the time of magellan. He worship the moon and the sun, if you want to know the history of cebuano warrior just go to the shrine our great lapu-lapu.

  • rem enriquez

    there is no filipino at the time of lapu-lapu only the shri vishayan empire and i am a cebuano .

  • rem enriquez

    only the tagalog named lapu-lapu a fish and we cebuanos called the fish pugapo.

  • rem enriquez

    it was etched by the ancient mactan people.

  • rem enriquez

    lapu-lapu looks like the sugboanon people and i am 1 of them.

  • Jason

    down with imperalist conquests and their arrogance. brave Lapu-Lapu. i wish i could visit one day

  • Jason

    you have been successfully brainwashed by imperalist literature and know nothing about the history of brutal imperial spanish conquests and their devestating effect upon indigenous cultures. furthermore, your blatant disregard, in full consideration for the violent history of the spanish empire’s conquests, make you a spreader of a serious disease that perpetuates the destruction of a thinking planet. your words are null and void to people who take the time to actually read and consider the researched evidence (bypassing the chronicles of self-professed christians). so soldier on,…continue,… boldly yet blindly in your violently-imposed faith and spread of imperialist legacies my son. we are not listening

  • Butsoy Laguno

    From old folks of Mactan I interviewed in 1992, sources narrated: that the leader of a fishermen tribe came from Tumulak family (literally, the term tumulak or tulak means to launch into fishing at the sea). Allegedly, this tribe with its leader was given the task by Humabon and responsible for guarding the shores of Cebu and Mactan against invaders and pirates; that lapulapu as the Spaniards pronounced PUGAPU (a grouper fish) was decided to be used as an alias to any member of this tribe during a secret gathering of fishermen at the pagatpatan (trees along the seashore, giving shades to fishermen) when the campaign and plot to trap and kill the Spaniards was planned with the blessing of Cebu’s Rajah Humabon. Two reasons for choosing pugapu or lapulapu: 1. so that when a manhunt for killers of Spanish soldiers would be done, even a child can point at the sea where Lapulapu (the fish )lives, so, no possible civilian casualty, just in case; 2. Lapulapu or pugapu fish is slippery and hard to catch, yet of high value. The evolution of the name Tumulak Tribe of fishers was changing from time to time: to Lapulapu Tribe during the time of Magellan; Next was to DUMABOK TRIBE, in their next stage of life , that of fleeing from the the wrath of revenge by the Spaniards.

    After the defeat of Magellan and his men, and that was during the reign of King Tupas, Miguel Lopes de Legaspi came with more troops and subdued the Cebuanos. The defenders of Cebu and Mactan’s shorelines then were terrified and were put to flight. From the name Lapulapu Tribe, since they were on plight, they changed it to DUMABOK TRIBE(dumabok is a Cebuano term which refers to rotten fishes which are of no more values), and the main reason was to escape from the hands of the dreaded Spaniards.

    These accounts and some more shocking versions are very interesting to every Filipino, because it is also possible that even our very own history might just be a product of dictation to serve the purpose of a colonizer.