LAPU-LAPU CITY, Philippines- If he can have his way, Mayor Junard Chan wants a Lapulapu statue that is as big as the Statue of Liberty in New York, U.S.A.
If not, sort of like the Merlion in Singapore so that the people will immediately see it. “If we can make it like in New York, the Statue of Liberty. Or we can have like the Merlion that is big that one would see it even in a far distance,” Chan told the local press in an interview today in the Lapulapu City hall, September 24, 2019, in a mix of English and Cebuano.
The Mayor claimed that as far as his office is concerned the plan of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) to replace the Lapulapu statue in the Liberty Shrine in Barangay Mactan here is not yet final.
He said that the NHCP has already communicated to him but he believes that his office will also be consulted about it as he himself leads the Mactan Quincentennial Committee (MQC) that will coordinate with the NHCP. According to Chan, the MQC will also consult with historians, emphasizing the need for a collaborative effort along with the NHCP in Manila as Pres. Rodrigo Duterte earlier has also created the National Quincentennial Committee (NQC) led by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.
Chan said Lapulapu should be given prominence in the 500th anniversary of the “Battle of Mactan” on March 16, 2021, as Lapulapu was the chieftain of the local tribe that defeated the Spaniards that was led by Ferdinand Magellan. He said it is better that the others who also played roles in history along with the tribesmen will all be placed in the planned Lapulapu museum.
“If daghan gyud kaayo dili na ma emphasize ba. Lahi ang dating ba kaysa mag inusara ka, mag inusara, ka ikaw gyud na as a leader (If it would to many it would not be emphasized any more. The impact is different if you would stand alone, if you would stand alone, it would really be you as a leader),” Mayor Chan explained.
NHCP Chairman Rene Escalante has earlier said that the NHCP will replace the present Lapulapu statue with a new one which would depict how Magellan was killed in a skirmish with the natives and not alone by Lapulapu. Netizens have aired their displeasure on the plan of NHCP describing it as a desecration of the heroism of Lapulapu, the first Filipino Hero, where this highly urbanized city is named after. /AAJ