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History

Lapu-Lapu is considered one of the greatest figures of ancient Philippine history. Although the first thing that usually
comes to mind when the name of Lapu-Lapu is mentioned is the fact that his battle with Magellan led to Magellan's
death, Lapu-Lapu was not honored because of that. Rather, he is honored because he was among the first to reject
submission to a foreign power even though Raja Humabon, ruler of the neighboring island of Cebu, and other chiefs
recognized the king of Spain as their ruler and agreed to pay tribute.

Chief Lapu-Lapu's (1491-1542) other name is Kolipulako. The hero of Mactan and conqueror of Magellan, is
described as stern, proud, intelligent, unyielding. He waged continuous war against the powerful ruler of Cebu, then a
very much greater kingdom than his little island of Maktang.

History has it that Mactan Island although small was a thriving community when the great Magellan was in Cebu. The
brave Spanish navigator and soldier, upon learning that some inhabitants on this tiny island across Cebu refused to
recognize the King of Spain, burned one of the villages. Lapu-Lapu was one of the native leaders who refused to
acknowledge the sovereignty of Spain over the Islands.

When Magellan, with three boatloads of Spaniards and twenty boatloads of Cebuanos, went to Mactan to help a
friendly chief, Lapu-Lapu and his men armed with native fighting elements, wooden shields, bows and arrows, lances,
met them. The invading Spaniards and Cebuanos were driven back to their boats, but their brace leader, Magellan,
met death in the hands of Lapu-Lapu. On what is believed to be the exact spot where Magellan fell and died now
stands an imposing monument in honor of the gallant explorer.