Lapu-Lapu Day?

Tempo - - News - Erik Espina

UN­DER Pres­i­den­tial Procla­ma­tion 627, Se­ries of 1995, Septem­ber 3-10 is declared as “Linggo ng Laang-Kawal”, or Na­tional Re­servist Week. The an­niver­sary will how­ever be cel­e­brated this Septem­ber 16 at Camp Aguinaldo by AFP Re­servists with Deputy Chief of Staff for Re­servist and Re­tiree Af­fairs J-9 Rear Ad­mi­ral Robert Empe­drad as main host. Over a year pass­ing, I had sub­mit­ted a 9-page, 23-point dis­cus­sion pa­per on pro­pos­als to Mala­cañang “friends”, on im­prove­ments for Re­servists and Cit­i­zen Armed Force de­vel­op­ment. Head­ing the list, is amend­ing said Procla­ma­tion to April 21-27 in ob­ser­vance of the vic­tory in Mac­tan by the sem­i­nal Filipino Lapu-Lapu. To honor the AFP rec­og­nized first “Ma­ma­mayang Kawal” (cit­i­zen sol­dier) who made the “con­quista” crown of Spain gen­u­flect on na­tive shores. This tri­umph, set in the back-drop of an armada of ships with ball can­nons as com­pared to ban­cas, ar­mor ver­sus loin-cloth, pitting fire-breath­ing Arque­bus mus­kets against ar­rows and spears in 1521. The out­come would have been pre­dictable e.g. Her­nan Cortes van­quish­ing the Mex­i­can Aztecs Au­gust 13, 1521, Fran­cisco Pizarro ver­sus the In­cas of Peru in 1532, if not for the cun­ning lead­er­ship of Lapu-Lapu. The April 27, 1521 chron­i­cle on the de­feat of Spain’s ‘al­masen’, Fer­di­nand Mag­el­lan, post­poned the fall of the ar­chi­pel­ago by 50 years un­til the Legazpi Ex­pe­di­tion. While my Filipino-Mus­lim friends, proudly em­brace Datu Lapu-Lapu as a brethren of Is­lam, Ce­buano and Visayan his­tory note him as an “an­i­mists”. His adop­tive fa­ther’s as­sign­ment was a com­bi­na­tion of present day har­bor pilot, cus­toms chief in­spect­ing Chi­nese junks trad­ing in Mac­tan shores, col­lect­ing tributes, and as guardian against the sur­prise at­tacks of “slave raiders and traders.”

The is­suance of a new Procla­ma­tion to right his­tory for the Re­servist and cit­i­zen sol­diers un­der a sup­port­ive Ad­min­is­tra­tion is most apro­pos, anent to a Lapu-Lapu Day declared a pro­vin­cial hol­i­day. Many Ce­buanos sup­port such a move. And we know Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte is a staunch ad­vo­cate of said hero’s legacy.

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