Mactan Shrine

Satellite image of Lapu-Lapu Shrine on Mactan Island.

Just a short walk away from the previously-featured Shangri-la Mactan Island Resort is the Mactan Shrine, which is dedicated in honor of Lapu-Lapu, Ferdinand Magellan, and the Battle of Mactan. Going back to our history, Lapu-Lapu was the native chieftain of Mactan Island, and he resisted the efforts of Magellan to subdue his people and to be converted to Christianity and to be subjected to the throne of Spain. The subsequent battle on April 27, 1521 between the Spaniards and Lapu-Lapu and his men resulted to the death of Magellan. The shrine was erected on the supposed spot where the battle took place.

Ground-level photograph shot of the statue of Lapu-Lapu at his shrine on Mactan Island.Photo by LinksmanJD.

The most prominent monuments in Mactan Shrine is a bronze statue of Lapu-Lapu holding a bolo and shield (photo at the side) and an obelisk dedicated to Magellan, which was erected in 1866. In Google Maps, the obelisk is the one in the center of the circle while Lapu-Lapu’s statue is at the the square area 50 meters north, beside the shore where the Battle of Mactan is reenacted yearly in the Kadaugan sa Mactan festival. (See Gardo Versoza, a local actor, portray the hero in the 2007 reenactment.) Between the two monuments stands the Philippine flag, and to the east of the obelisk is a small building housing a plinth with plaques on both sides, one about Lapu-Lapu, and the other about Magellan. Behind the plinth is a painting depicting the battle.

To read more about the history and the myths surrounding Lapu-Lapu and the battle and to see more pictures of the shrine, see this article “Battle of Mactan: history and myth”.

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Posted on
May 20, 2007
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