Senator Dick Gordon expressed elation that President Rodrigo Duterte signed the law declaring April 27 of every year as Lapu-Lapu Day or “Adlaw ni Lapu-Lapu.”
A non-working holiday in Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu and a special working holiday throughout the country, it commemorates the victory of Lapu-Lapu and his men over the Spanish invaders in the historic Battle of Mactan.
“I thank the President for enacting this law. It is about time that Lapu-Lapu’s image as a killer is changed. He beat Ferdinand Magellan but Lapu-Lapu was not even the one who attacked – he was just defending their territory from the attacking invaders,” Gordon said.
“Lapu-Lapu embodies the line in the Philippine National Anthem, “sa manlulupig, ‘di ka pasisiil,” because he was the first successful defender of the Philippine shores against foreign colonial invaders from the West.”
Republic Act 11040, signed by President Duterte on June 29, 2018, is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 108, which the veteran legislator authored and sponsored, and House Bill No. 6782 passed by the Senate and House of Representatives on March 20, 2018 and March 21, 2018 respectively.
“Lapu-Lapu was Asia’s Sentinel of Freedom.”
The seasoned lawmaker said Lapu-Lapu embodies the line in the Philippine National Anthem, “sa manlulupig, ‘di ka pasisiil,” because he was the first successful defender of Philippine shores against foreign colonial invaders from the West. Unlike Rajah Humabon of Cebu and other chiefs of the neighboring islands, Lapu-Lapu refused to acknowledge Spanish sovereignty over the islands and convert to Christianity.
“Lapu-Lapu, a Visayan-Tausug, had strong principles and was a peaceful leader until invaded, possessing the qualities of courage, bravery, strength, honor, and integrity, which should be emulated by every Filipino. He was Asia’s Sentinel of Freedom,” the senator said.
“Declaring April 27 as Lapu-Lapu Day is a fitting tribute to the courage displayed by Lapu-Lapu and his men in the Battle of Mactan. It is also very timely that we have this law now because we will be marking the 500th anniversary of the historic battle on April 27, 2021,” Gordon added.
He has long been advocating giving recognition to Muslims who fought for the country’s freedom. Gordon also filed a bill proposing to add a ninth ray to the sun’s rays on the Philippine flag to represent the Muslims who were really the first ones to fight Spanish colonization.