Our tour of Cebu concludes on a high note with a trip to the Alegre Guitar Factory and the Mactan Shrine.
The Alegre Guitar Factory features a workshop and showroom boasting a diverse acoustic collection ranging from behemoth bass guitars to miniature ukuleles.
The Mactan Shrine displays two unique perspectives on the Battle of Mactan in April 1521. The first, erected by the Spanish government in 1866, honors the Portuguese Explorer Ferdinand Magellan who laid down his life in his quest to become the first explorer to circumnavigate the world. The second, erected by the Philippine government in 1981, praises Lapu Lapu–the man who killed Magellan.
Lapu-Lapu, the native chieftan of Mactan Island, refused to pay tribute to Magellan’s crew–and, by default, the Spanish Crown. Several of Lapu-Lapu’s rival tribes ,who, after witnessing firsthand the Spanish expedition’s relatively advanced ships and firepower, had recently allied with the Spaniards, persuaded Magellan to punish the chieftan. Magellan led 48 men to the shores of Mactan Island to dispose of Lapu-Lapu and his collaborators. According to the Magellan expedition’s contemporary chronicler, Antonio Pigafetta, a poison arrow pierced Magellan’s leg shortly after Lapu-Lapu’s followers poured out of their huts to confront the invaders. Outnumbered, out of ammunition and out of range of artillery support from their ships, Magellan and his party fought with swords, axes and crossbows until Lapu-Lapu overwhelmed and killed Magellan and at least 10 crew members. The surviving Europeans escaped back to their ships.
The defeat and death of Magellan marked the first time in recorded history that a native, Southeast Asian population repelled a European invader. Lapu-Lapu is regarded by many Filipinos as their country’s first national hero.
Photo by John L. Carkeet IV, LimpingFrog Productions
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