NQC: Lapulapu (without the hyphen) is Mactan ruler’s name

By: Norman V. Mendoza November 14,2019 - 09:05 PM

Dr. Rene Escalante (center), National Chairman of National Quincentennial Committee and National Historical Commission of the Philippines, meet with Lapu-Lapu Mayor Junard Chan and the city council at Chan’s office on November 14. | Norman V. Mendoza

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Philippines — “It’s Lapulapu and not Lapu-Lapu.”

This is the correct spelling of the name of the ruler of Mactan, who defied Ferdinand Magellan and Rajah Humabon of Cebu, according to the National Quincentennial Committee (NQC) in a press briefing on November 14 in Lapu-Lapu City.

Dr. Rene Escalante, chairman of the NQC and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), said the NQC made a stand on using Lapulapu as the name of the national hero, who was the ruler of Mactan, in the comprehensive plan they submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte on January 29, 2019.

Escalante said it should be written as Lapulapu (without the hypen) citing the basis of the recorded name of the historical figure found in Antonio Pigafetta’s chronicle of the Magellan-Elcano expedition, the name “Cilapulapu”.

Escalante pointed out that the “Ci” in the recorded name of the Mactan leader is most likely the honorific title ‘Si.’ 

Citing past scholars, he added, that “Si” was an indigenized form of the Hindu title “Sri” (gentleman in Sanskrit) to refer to a noble man.

Escalante said, the NQC had to clarify the name of Lapulapu because he would be the central figure of the quincentennial celebration, and that having two names for the hero would just confuse our countrymen.

The NQC said that the NHCP had been consistent in referring to the historical figure as Lapulapu.

Read more: What’s in a name? Lapulapu or Lapu-Lapu for the national hero?

Another evidence of this is the 1951 historical marker that the Philippines Historical Committee (forerunner of NHCP) installed at the Liberty Shrine in Lapu-Lapu City.

Escalante said that the NQC’s position on the name Lapulapu would also help the Philippine Congress and the Office of the President in determining the proper spelling of the name of the Mactan leader when he would be honored in the proposed renaming of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport either as Lapulapu-Cebu International Airport or Lapulapu International Airport.

Nonetheless, he said NQC would continue to respect the way Lapulapu would be spelled in the past books and popular readings. 

What the NQC and the NHCP would like is for the Filipino people to first and foremost, stick to what is written in the historical documents.

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan said he was agreeable to the NQC move.

“Pero tan-awon sab nato unsa’y huna-huna sa City Council kon moduso ba sila og resolution recommending to Congress the change of the spelling,” said Chan. /dbs

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TAGS: Chan, Escalante, Humabon, lapu-lapu, lapulapu, Magellan, NHCP, NQC, Pigafetta, Quincentennial

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