Labella backs NHCP’s centennial park bid: It’s a chance to honor Lapu-Lapu

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio August 03,2019 - 03:48 PM

Lapulapu shrine in Lapu-Lapu City, Mactan Island, Cebu. | CDN Digital file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella is willing to provide space for the plan of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) to build a centennial park with a national monument of Lapu-Lapu at the at the South Road Properties (SRP).

The planned centennial park is part of the NHCP’s plan for the celebration of the 500th anniversary of Christianity of the country.

Read more: NHCP prepares Cebu for 500th anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines

In a phone interview, Labella said that the city would be very much willing to provide a space for the NHCP’s park with a national monument of Lapulapu, who is the Cebuano chieftain of Mactan and who is considered as the first Filipino to have fought against foreign invaders.

However, he said that the request would have to go through the proper process and would be reviewed by the Cebu City Legal and the SRP management.

He said he would meet with the Lawyer Rey Gealon, city legal officer; and Lawyer Joey Daluz, SRP manager, to get their legal opinion on the request and to review the size and location of the lot in the SRP.

“On a personnel note, I would agree to build the park, I’m supportive of that, but I would like to place it on the proper perspective. I do not know yet how many hectares they are asking, but we will find a space,” said Labella.

For Labella, the centennial park will be the best opportunity to honor Lapulapu, who is the first Filipino to fight against the Spaniards and defend the Filipino soil.

“The story of Lapulapu has been taken for granted. We need to elevate him from a folk hero to a national hero, and the park will emphasize that. We need to keep the story of Lapulapu safe for the future generations,” he said.

Furthermore, he said that President Duterte had been giving emphasis on courage and bravery in defending the country, and Lapulapu had embodied such bravery because he fought guns with swords.

He said that a centennial park with a monument of Lapu-lapu would be the best way to remind not only Cebuanos, but all Filipinos, that every one could be brave for the country.

Labella also said they he would order a study from the Cebu City Historical Affairs Commission (CHAC) on other Cebuano personalities or local heroes that could join Lapulapu in the centennial park so that the park could embody the Cebuano characteristics and values that would be worth emulating.

“That will still take research but it is something we can do,” he said.

The mayor hopes that the park would highlight Cebuano-heroism and preserve their history. /dbs

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TAGS: 500th anniversary, centennial park, Daluz, Gealon, Labella, lapu-lapu, lapulapu, National Historical Commission of the Philippines, NHCP, SRP

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