As I mentioned in my last post Ferdinand Magellan, captain of the first Spanish expedition to land in the Philippines, did not live to see the fruit of his labours. Newly baptized Rajah Hunamon (now called King Carlos) persuaded Magellan to sail to nearby Mactan Island to sort out the local Datu (Chief) Lapu Lapu. Unfortunately things did not work out according to plan; in the following ‘Battle of Mactan’ Magellan died at the hands of Lapu Lapu. His fleet sailed on without him, completing the first circumnavigation of the globe and Lapu Lapu is now recognised as the first Filipino hero.
Today Mactan Island is the site of Cebu’s international airport, several expensive tourist resorts catering in particular to visitors from Korea, Japan and Taiwan; and a local industry of hand built guitars. And, of course, a monument to Lapu Lapu on the site where Magellan met his death. The rather sober Spanish era monument has been supplemented by a larger than life statue of Lapu Lapu, looking every bit the Filipino (super)hero.