Cebu gears up for countdown to Battle of Mactan's 500th anniversary

Annie Perez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 13 2019 09:28 PM | Updated as of Dec 14 2019 04:34 AM

A kick-off countdown of 500 days to the 500th anniversary of the famed Battle of Mactan is set to take place on Saturday at Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.

The 500th anniversary of the historic battle will be on March 15, 2021.

Officials from the National Quincentennial Committee (NQC) are set to attend with Tourism Secretary Bernadette Puyat and other government officials.

The whole-day celebration will start with the arrival of the Balangays or ancient boats at the Mactan Shrine, a wreath-laying at the monument of Lapu-Lapu and the ceremonial lighting of the giant parol followed by a cultural presentation at the Hoops Dome.

The organizers said they want to instill in every Filipino's mind that Lapu-Lapu is a hero who showed valor and bravery for defeating the fleet of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan who wanted to go to Mactan Island 500 years ago.

“Lapu-Lapu City is ground zero, where everything took place so it is just that this will be the center of attention for the commemorations,” said NQC chairman Rene Escalante.

“The whole world will be watching us as this is history,” said Lapu-Lapu Mayor Ahong Chan.

The local government counts to 500 days as they are also gearing up for more activities until the big day of the anniversary of the Battle of Mactan.