Didn't know Lapu-Lapu was left-handed....
Monday, April 28, 2008
Left-handed Lapu-Lapu kills Magellan
“I bow to no King; I owe my allegiance only to my people.”
These words, originally uttered in 1521, immortalized the chieftain of Mactan island, giving world fame to Filipino gallantry and heroism, and his victory over Spanish invader Ferdinand Magel-lan.
Yesterday, boxing icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao portrayed Lapu-Lapu, while movie actor Dennis Trillo donned the armor of Magellan, in the annual reliving of the historic encounter.
The one-hour “Kadau-gan sa Mactan” earned many praises for being distinct and more historically emphatic than previous reenactments.
But for its founder, former customs district collector David Odilao, both the defending and invading warriors lacked practice.
“Crowd control was almost perfect, but the fight scene kulang sa (lacked) realism,” he said.
Odilao said that in the reenactments he named “Bahug-Bahug sa Mactan” in 1979 to 1981, he had 150 people from eight different Cebu universities and colleges, including 30 warriors for each warring group who underwent rigid training with world Arnis master Ciriaco “Cacoy” Canete.
Even before the two main protagonists, Pacquiao as Datu Lapu-Lapu and Trillo as Magellan, arrived at the Liberty Shrine, over 20 women and children in native dresses portrayed the old Filipino way of life, spear-fishing and finding shells during low tide.
The male children were playing naked on the shore to make the pre-battle scenario more realistic.
Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, Phlippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Andrea Domingo, Cebu City north district Rep. Raul del Mar, Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Ronald Roderos, and China Consul General in Cebu He Shijing graced the affair.
In a speech, Mayor Arturo Radaza said the wisdom of Lapu-Lapu’s words to Magellan still resonate today because the city is facing many and new challenges on its way to success and progress.
“The city has weathered so many obstacles since the time of Datu Lapu-Lapu until the present, but what make us triumph against evil is our resilience and bravery to tackle these challenges,” he said.
He did not mention the controversies, including the Asean lamppost issue, he is currently involved in.
A ten-minute native dance preceded the meeting between Magellan’s messenger and one of Lapu-Lapu’s war advisers discussing the chieftain’s unconditional surrender.
After a deadlock in negotiations, three loud explosions were heard and two of three stilt houses burned down, dramatizing the effects of the Spaniard’s cannons and starting the memorable battle led by the first Filipino hero
When they clashed, Pacquiao only had a short sword, which was half shorter than Trillo’s, and had no shield.
Most of the time, he had to dodge away from the actor, who wielded a huge shield and a long sword.
But in the end, history was literally repeated, with a triumphant Lapu-Lapu yelling at the top of his voice after killing Magellan in a three-minute duel.
“Natagalan nga akong magpatay ni (It took me some time to kill) Magellan,” Pacquiao told reporters afterwards, admitting he only rehearsed for his role the evening before the play.
As the things unfold, the dignitaries and the city officials were positioned on three separate makeshift stages for a better view. Below them were plastic chairs reserved for foreign tourists.
“It was very exciting because it was about the history. The play was accurate as I know, and that is the very reason why most of the Chinese like more to visit this city because of this place’s historical value,” He said.
He is on his seventh month as China’s consul general in Cebu and it was his first time to witness the reenactment.
Loud applause from hundreds of people who packed the Liberty Shrine met Pacquiao as he alighted from a van with wife Jinky, who played Lapu-Lapu’s wife Bulakna; boxing aficionado Wakee Salud; and Radaza.