MANILA - The Philippine government, through the National Quincentennial Committee, commemorated the 499th anniversary of the Battle of Mactan Monday.
The Battle of Mactan happened on April 27, 1521 between Spanish forces led by Ferdinand Magellan and Lapulapu of Mactan island, which is now part of Cebu province.
The day also marks the start of the one-year countdown to the main event of the 2021 Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines, or the 500th anniversary of the Victory at Mactan.
To mark the celebration, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan and other city officials led a simple flower offering to honor Lapulapu and the other heroes of Mactan.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the NQC hosted several online discussions about the historical event on its Facebook page, dubbed "Countdown to 500 Special."
"Facilitated by the PCOO and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), the “Countdown to 500 Special” complements the current government campaign against COVID-19, alluding that the present generations of Filipinos are enthusiastic to be victorious in the battle of humanity against COVID-19 — inspired by the triumphant, heroic examples of Lapulapu and the recorded heroes in our nation’s history over the past 500 years," the NCQ said in a statement.
Around 30 quincentennial major activities had been canceled or postponed, both in the Philippines and overseas, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This includes a military parade, international conferences, cultural exchanges program, the visitation of Portuguese training ship, and unveiling of government projects," the NCQ said.