PH invigorates body spearheading preps for 500th anniv. of world's 1st circumnavigation

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 06 2020 03:12 PM | Updated as of Feb 06 2020 04:03 PM

MANILA - The Philippines is perking up its preparations for the 500th anniversary next year of its role in the first circumnavigation of the world, with the presidential office baring Thursday an enhanced body tasked to oversee the holding of commemorative events.

Collectively known as the 2021 Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines (2021 QCP), a number of activities being planned are also for the 500th anniversary of the victory of Filipino hero Lapulapu in the Battle of Mactan in the central province of Cebu. The Catholic church, for its part, will mark the 500th anniversary of the introduction of Christianity in the country.

According to Executive Order No. 103 issued last Jan. 28 by President Rodrigo Duterte and made public on Thursday, the National Quincentennial Committee will be chaired by his Executive Secretary, Salvador Medialdea, and the heads of the Departments of Education, Tourism, Foreign Affairs, and Communications, among others, as members.

The chief of the National Historical Commission, Rene Escalante, will also be on board as the committee vice chair, and of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts as member.

“The Committee espouses a Filipino-centric point of view of the first circumnavigation of the world, by underscoring the magnanimity, compassion, and humanity of our ancestors in helping the impoverished crew of the expedition that traversed the Pacific ocean, and the courage of the warrior in Mactan, which continue to serve as inspiration to our heroes and martyrs up to this day,” Duterte said in his order, which complements a 2018 directive for the same preparations.

The ministers of Public Works, National Defense, Budget, and Interior and Local Government, as well as the Presidential Adviser for the Visayas, where Cebu is located, will also form part of the committee.

The 2021 QCP, according to Duterte’s order, aims to reignite nationalism, inculcate values for the common good, promote local and national tourism, and foster the Filipino creativity and innovation for the country’s socio-economic growth.

Read the full Executive Order here: