The Battle of Mactan

5 May 2017

The Battle Of Mactan The Battle of Mactan More than four centuries ago, a hero by the name of Lapu-Lapu successfully defended the country from domination for the very first time. It’s almost 500 years ago since the Battle of Mactan, more popularly known as the battle between Lapu- Lapu and Ferdinand Magellan. It was the first demonstration of the Filipino natives’ resistance to foreign conquest. On April 5, 1521, the Spanish conquistadors led by Ferdinand Magellan, arrived in Cebu (popularly known by natives then as Zubu). Magellan succeeded in converting he chief of Cebu, Datu Humabon and his wife into Christianity.

With the Spaniards’ display of power, the natives were both amazed and afraid of such superiority that they were made to submit to the Spaniards’ demands easily. All other chiefs except Lapu-Lapu were also converted to Christianity and were easily made to swear allegiance to Spain. Lapu-Lapu (Caliph Pulaka) was the chief of Bulaia, the biggest village in Mactan Island. As a leader, his constituents very well respected him. He was known as a courageous leader and a skilled warrior, who considered no one as his lord and superior. Unlike the other chiefs, Lapu-Lapu did not embrace the ideas presented by the Spaniards.

He was disturbed when he heard of the activities of Magellan and how the Spaniards easily succeeded in converting the natives to Christianity and were made to swear allegiance to Spain. What bothered him most were the abuses committed by the Spaniards against the women. Upon knowing that Lapu-Lapu’s resistance would be a hindrance to their goals, Magellan decided that there was indeed a need to use force against Lapu- Lapu. Lapu-Lapu and Magellan On the dawn of April 27, 1 521, Magellan’s expedition reached the island of Mactan.

Upon arrival, Magellan sent an ultimatum to Lapu-Lapu through an emissary: “… if they would obey the king of Spagnia, recognize the Christian king as their sovereign and pay tribute, he would be their friend but if they wished otherwise, they should wait to see how their lances wounded… ” In response, Lapu-Lapu said that “… we too have lances of bamboo and stakes hardened with fire and that we are ready to fght to the end… ” Lapu-Lapu was well prepared for the war. He positioned his men of about 1,500 against Magellan’s 49 soldiers. They were armed with bows and arrows, and spears

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