MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said Filipinos must elevate Lapu-Lapu to a "greater standing among the pantheon of Filipino heroes," as the 500th anniversary of his successful resistance to Spanish colonization neared.
Duterte said he was "delighted" that Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas launched a P5,000 banknote and a medal featuring Lapu-Lapu to kick off the 99-day countdown to the quincentenary of the “Victory at Mactan,” where the Filipino warrior defeated and killed Portuguese explorer and conquistador Ferdinand Magellan.
"Indeed, if we are to apply to truly celebrate our rich history as a nation, we need to elevate Lapu-Lapu to a greater standing among the pantheon of Filipino heroes. We therefore dedicate this bank note and this medal to his historical victory in Mactan 500 years ago," the President said in a taped speech.
"May this momentous occasion inspire every Filipino to embrace our national identity by embodying Lapu-Lapu’s heroism as we face the challenges ahead," he added.
Lapu-Lapu and his warriors triumphed over western firepower in the shores of Mactan, Cebu on April 27, 1521.
The P5,000 commemorative banknote shows a young Lapu-Lapu and the battle of Mactan on one side, and on the reverse a Philippine eagle.
A non-circulation note, it will only be available for purchase by the public, an advisory for which will be released in March, said the BSP.
The medal, on the other hand, features the marking “Lapulapu,” above an image of the shrine dedicated and named after him in Cebu.