Many of us Filipinos may not have known that Lapu-Lapu had many names attributed to him. The first Filipino hero to have defied Spanish colonization, Lapu-Lapu was a ruling Datu of Mactan (now Lapu-Lapu City) island. The famed Datu together with his soldiers (numbering to 1500) vanquished the Spanish world explorer Ferdinand Magellan on April 27, 1521 in the Battle of Mactan. The Spaniards failed to advance their colonization of the Philippines until another expedition by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi in 1564.
Credits: Lapu-Lapu Statue in Cebu from Wikimedia Commons
Lapu-Lapu was referred to by names of Çilapulapu, Si Lapulapu, Sri Lapulapu, Salip Pulaka, Cali Pulaco, and Lapulapu Dimantag. Lapu-Lapu was better known as Si Lapulapu. Italian historian Pigafetta called him Çilapulapu and Jose Rizal himself mentioned him as Si Lapu Lapu. The word “Si” is actually a corruption of the title “Sri”. Sri is derived from the Sanskrit “Sri Pakuda” or “His Highness”.
Credits: Lapu-Lapu Statue from GMA News
Some historians tag Lapu-Lapu as a Moro in lieu of Salip and Cali, which could have been a reference to islamic titles Caliph or Kalifah. The Salip should correctly be attributed to derivations like Sarripada, Sipad, Paduka, Seri Paduka, and Salipada. Such names were used to honor the ancient Visayan Datus. Although some quarters would debate that Lapu-Lapu was a Moro migrant and outsider in Cebu, the common practice of tattooing, body piercing and alcohol consumption (which was a part of their culture) are prohibited in Islam.
Credits: Manuel Pañares painting of the Battle of Mactan.
Lapu-Lapu from the Maginoo class, was known to have hailed from Borneo. After his reign in Mactan, he went back to Borneo together with his seventeen men, three wives and eleven children. No true illustration of his image exists in known history. His fate and bloodline also remains a mystery to this day.
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posted by Andrew Punzalan for PinoyGrats.com
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