Lapu-Lapu Shrine

In 2010 I travelled to the Philippines for the first time, travelling mostly around Cebu, including several trips to Mactan Island. Here I visited the Lapu-Lapu Shrine; a memorial to the tribal chief who, in April 1521 during the Battle of Mactan, defended against the invading Spanish, including defeating Ferdinand Magellan. Lapu-Lapu is remembered as the first Filipino hero.

The story goes that Magellan was confident of victory; that the natives would surrender to his more advanced weapons and armour. With his men Magellan waded in armour through the shallow tidal flats. Lapu-Lapu and his men, unencumbered by armour, outmanoeuvred Magellan’s attack, killing Magellan and forcing the Spanish expedition to retreat. Standing on the shore looking out it’s easy to imagine the difficulties Magellan faced.

A twenty metre tall statue of Lapu-Lapu stands proud over Mactan Island, Philippines

A twenty metre tall statue of Lapu-Lapu stands proud over Mactan Island, Philippines