NHCP: No historical accounts on birthplace of Lapulapu
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) has released a statement over the debate on the origins of Cebuano hero, Datu Lapulapu.
The debate was brought by a controversial statement of Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, who claimed in his speech during the Kadaugan sa Mactan celebrations on April 27, 2021, that Lapulapu was a Tausug sent by the Sultanate of Sulu to check on the arriving Spaniards in Cebu.
The senator apologized in a statement on April 29, 2021, saying that he was only relaying a different story of Lapulapu and explained that he did not mean to offend Cebuanos or question the historical facts surrounding the Cebuano hero.
To clarify, NHCP said that there was just not enough historical data surrounding the identity of Lapulapu aside from the accounts documented by Italian chronicler, Antonio Pigafetta.
“The National Historical Commission of the Philippines seeks to clarify that as of this date, we do not have any credible eyewitness account or any form of document that may be considered as a primary source that could shed light on Lapulapu’s birthplace, parents, and other details of his personal life,” said Doctor Rene Escalante, chairperson of the NHCP.
The NHCP considers all popular accounts and stories outside of these historical sources as speculative and folkloric and should not be regarded as established facts of history.
Cebuano historian, Dr. Jobers Bersales, has recently criticized the statements of the senator saying these are only myths surrounding Lapulapu’s unclear identity.
“Most of what is known about Lapulapu in recent times was embedded in folk myths and legends, heavily loaded with nationalist discourses,” Bersales said in an interview with Philippine Daily Inquirer.
READ: Historians say ‘huh?’ as Bong Go says Lapulapu is from Sulu
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