MANILA (UPDATE) - Local governments across the country will hold simultaneous flag raising ceremonies on Tuesday, the 500th anniversary of Lapu Lapu’s Victory at Mactan, as the country continued to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Sunday.
The pandemic calls for the same commitment of Filipinos during the Battle of Mactan to wage a war against the coronavirus through "concerted efforts, cooperation, and discipline," said Año.
“The 500th Anniversary of the Victory of Mactan reminds us of the heroism and bravery of the Filipino race. As we commemorate our ancestors' heroism, may we all find heroes within ourselves by being part of the solution in conquering yet another battle, this time against COVID-19,” he said.
"Just like the Victory at Mactan 500 years ago, we too can prevail and emerge triumphant against COVID-19. Let us hold on and we will eventually recover and rise stronger and more resilient as a people from this pandemic."
Local governments are urged to offer flowers and wreaths at pedestals of local and national heroes, hang Philippine flags in public spaces until Tuesday and light up monuments and public spaces in blue at 6 p.m., the Department of the Interior and Local Government said.
It reminded local governments to strictly observe minimum public health standards.
The celebration of the Battle of Mactan's 500th anniversary is part of the country's quincentennial commemoration along with the introduction of Christianity in the Philippines and the role of the country in the first circumnavigation of the world, the DILG said.
The agency added it would unveil 34 historical markers from March 16 to October 28, with the first one unveiled in Suluan Island, Guian, Eastern Samar.