CEBU CITY, April 16 (PIA) -- Cebu takes pride in being the center of two quincentennial commemorations: the victory in the Battle of Mactan and the First Baptism that marked the birth of Christianity in the Philippines.
April 27, 2021 marks the Philippine government's milestone celebration of the 500th anniversary of the victory of Mactan chieftain Lapulapu over the Spanish expedition led by the Portuguese-born Ferdinand Magellan.
National Quincentennial Committee (NQC) Chairman Rene Escalante said the NQC is working on making April 27, 2021 a national non-working holiday so that "all Filipinos will be given the opportunity to participate in this big event."
Earlier, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte declared April 14 a special non-working holiday in Cebu City to allow Cebuanos to participate in the quincentennial of the First Baptism.
Escalante said the NQC is planning "to erect a museum in Lapu-Lapu City, the very site where we have the shrine, which will showcase Lapulapu and the pre-colonial culture of the Philippines so that this part of our history will remain in the memory of not only the present generation but also of the generation to come."
On Jan. 18, "the NQC team attended the launching of the P5,000 Lapu-Lapu banknote and medal in the central office of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas," said Escalante.
The banknote depicts a young Lapulapu, an image of the Battle of Mactan, the Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines logo, and the Karaoka, the large outrigger warships used by native Filipinos on its obverse.
The other side of the banknote shows the Philippine eagle or the Manaol, which symbolizes clear vision, freedom and strength; and which embodies the ancient Visayan belief that all living creatures originated from an eagle.
Meanwhile, Escalante said another project of the NQC is renaming the two buildings - domestic and international - of the Mactan Cebu International Airport to honor Rajah Lapulapu.
"The proposal has already passed the House of Representatives. And next week, I will be attending a hearing in the Senate to be one of the resource persons for the deliberation of the Committee on Transportation," he said.
"I am expecting that before the end of the year, we will have the buildings renamed after Lapulapu," Escalante added during the Quincentennial Media Literacy, and Explain Explain Explain: Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines and Vaccination Roadmap and Press Conference on April 15.
In the same event, the Quincentennial Center (Q-Center) at Oakridge Business Park in Mandaue City was also launched.
This was attended by Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Director General Usec. Ramon Cualoping III, Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) representative Joel Sanico Aba, National Historical Commission Historian Ian Alfonso, and the members of youth organizations in Cebu City.
The Q-Center is established to become a media hub and a place for fora, meetings, and activities in line with the Quincentennial Commemorations or the 500th Anniversary of the First Circumnavigation of the World.
The center was established through the initiative of OPAV Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino, and the support of Project Balik Buhay and Oakridge Business Park's Edmund Liu, and the cooperation of NQC.
The PIA forged a partnership with the OPAV in communicating the key priority thrusts of Pres. Duterte. (idc/PIA7/with reports from OPAV)