Launch of 500-days to 500th-year countdown slated on Dec. 14
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Hoopsdome in Lapu-Lapu City will be the center of the nationwide launch for the 500-days countdown of the country’s quincentennial celebration in 2021.
The launch which carries the theme “World of Our Ancestors” is slated on December 14, 2019. This will end on March 2021, which is the commemoration of the 500th year since the victorious Battle in Mactan between Datu Lapulapu and his men and the Spanish fleet led by Portuguese conquistador Ferdinand Magellan.
“Scheduled on 14 December 2019, Saturday, at 6 p.m., the countdown will be highlighted by the nationwide simultaneous landmark lighting. Expected participants are local government units and foreign service posts,” the National Quincentennial Committee (NQC) wrote in a Facebook update on Saturday, Nov. 9.
The National Museum of Natural History will host the 500-day launch in Manila while Davao City’s Monument of Peace and Unity will be the center of the launch for Mindanao.
The Philippine’s quincentennial commemoration is also in time with the global celebration of the first circumnavigation of the world by Magellan and Spanish explorer Juan Sebastian Elcano. Elcano led the remaining fleet back to Spain after the bloody battle in Mactan to complete the first circumnavigation.
An animated movie entitled “Elcano and Magellan” has been released in Spain last July 2019 and is set to be released in the Philippines in 2020.
The movie, however, has drawn flak as several netizens pointed out the movie’s bias against the Filipinos who fought against the Magellan and Elcano fleet.
National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) has since issued a statement that this should be an opportunity for Filipinos to be critical and “to discover by themselves who truly were our ancestors, by reading books about Philippine History, culture, and society…”
In a statement, NHCP Chair and NQC Vice Chair Dr. Rene Escalante assured that they will keep on generating materials to help the public understand the country’s history.
“One must understand the nature of history as biased, subjective, and selective. This is true with the Spanish-produced film Elcano and Magellan, which is obviously, biased in favor of Spain and conforms to the Spanish point of view of history,” Escalante said.
“The same goes for us, Filipinos, in how to view the events that comprised the Magellan-Elcano expedition, especially with respect to our history as a people. We are also biased toward our national sentiment and perspective: That Lapulapu is our hero and Magellan was the defeated foreign intruder,” he added.
The 2021 quincentennial celebration will have the theme “Victory and Humanity” which will highlight “not only our triumph in our life as a nation in the face of great odds and adversities but also our epic history of compassion for humanity.” / dcb
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