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LAPU-LAPU MONUMENT

Located inside an enclosed park at Punta Engaño on the northern side of Mactan are two monuments one a hundred years older than the other commemorating the events of 1521. When Spanish soldiers led by Magellan were quelled by islanders led by Lapu-lapu. The monuments are along the road that leads to Shangri-la Mactan.Heritage site: Ironically, a monument to the vanquished Magellan was built about a century ahead of one dedicated to the conqueror, Lapu-lapu. Erected in the 1866 at Punta Engaño to honor Magellan at the spot where he is said to have died, the monument was part of a project in the 19th century to restore the glory of Cebu. When Legazpi moved the capital to Manila, and with it followed the lucrative international trade through the galleons, Cebu, the Philippines’ first capital, languished. It was in economic doldrums until the 19th century when Spain turned to the development of the islands as the galleon trade came to a close in 1815. Spanish and Chinese mestizos were the most active in the local economy, owning large tracts of land and trading vessels, operating a network of agents in the Visayas and Mindanao, and offering loans and insurance. Cash crops were farmed on a large scale and Cebu became an important regional port. When in 1860, international ports were opened all over the Philippines, including Cebu, the economic stranglehold of Manila ended. The relative prosperity brought by new economic opportunities spurred Cebu’s elite to celebrate the Hispanic character of Cebu. Around this time the octagonal kiosk that houses Magellan’s cross near the Santo Niño Basilica in Cebu was also built.
The Magellan monument consists of a plain obelisk on whose apex rests a sphere. The obelisk is mounted on a tall plinth and the plinth rests on a tripartite structure: an octagonal base on which rests a tall quadrilateral structure, divided into two parts. The lower part is decorated with high relieves of vases, and the upper part is pierced by narrow arches. On the monuments are inscribed texts honoring Magellan. A low fence surrounds the monument.
A heroic sculpture of the chief of Mactan who defeated Magellan, Lapu-lapu stands near the Magellan monument. Lapu-lapu, sculpted with great realism, stands tall, with a shield held by his left and while a curved kampilan sword, drawn is held by his right. The sculpture celebrates the readiness of the brave warrior to confront aggressors.

Source: Lapu Lapu Monument

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