MANILA – It seems that we were wrong all this time in portraying Filipino hero Lapu-Lapu.
Historian Ambeth Ocampo, who was recently named as the recipient of this year’s Fukuoka Academic Prize, noted in his newspaper column on Wednesday that Lapu-Lapu “was not a handsome, gym-fit warrior” when he defeated Magellan at the Battle of Mactan.
Citing a chapter from Danilo Madrid Gerona’s book “Ferdinand Magellan: The Armada de Maluco and the European Discovery of the Philippines,” which is based on primary sources in Spain and Portugal, Ocampo said Lapu-Lapu was already 70 years old at the time.
“Lapu-Lapu was, like President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, 70 years old. He was not in the battle himself. Another textbook fairy tale down the drain.”
In a Facebook post on Wednesday afternoon, Ocampo said Lapu-Lapu “probably had the features of Humabon who was short and fat.”
Ocampo encouraged the public to support books by fellow Filipino historians such as Gerona to “sustain the ongoing reevaluation and rewriting of Philippine history for our incoming K-12 students.”