By Filane Mikee Cervantes

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (PNA file photo) 

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Saturday urged Filipinos to uphold Lapulapu’s legacy of patriotism and rise against modern-day oppressors.

Marcos said the victory of Lapulapu and his men over the Spaniards, led by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, in the historic Battle of Mactan on April 27, 1521, showed the Filipino hero’s courage and love for the country and demonstrated how “a force that is rooted in community, courage, and integrity can destroy even the strongest of opponents.”

He said the valor, bravery, and boldness of Lapulapu during the Battle of Mactan, which became the epitome of the “indomitable Filipino spirit” over the years, are worthy of emulation even during modern times.

“The same is what the nation needs today. Despite being in a world incomparable to that of Lapulapu, we are called to rise against our modern-day oppressors – greed, selfishness, and divisiveness – and uphold the legacy of patriotism that has been passed onto us through the years,” Marcos said.

“The image of Lapulapu as a living, breathing, and real figure who risked his life to keep his family, comrades, and community safe from hostile outsiders may seem strange to our modern responsibilities. Yet, he remains a symbol of the bravery and honor that each of us inherently possesses.”

He challenged the Filipinos, especially the youth, to continue embracing the ideals of Lapulapu and the wealth of the Philippine heritage as the country shifts to a “Bagong Pilipinas.”

“The challenge now for all, especially the youth, is to continue embracing his (Lapulapu) ideals and the wealth of our heritage as we realize a ‘Bagong Pilipinas’ that is built on the foundations of the liberty and freedom that he and all our other heroes fought hard for,” Marcos said.

Republic Act 11040 declares April 27 of every year as a “special working public holiday” throughout the country in honor of Cebuano hero Lapulapu, as well as a “special non-working holiday” in Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu province. (PNA)