Cebu City government to install Queen Juana monument
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Cebu City government plans to put up a monument in honor of Hara Humamay, also known as Queen Juana, the queen of Cebu and the wife of Rajah Humabon, who was the country’s first chieftain to embrace Christianity.
This is in response to the request and proposal of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) through its chairman Dr. Rene Escalante, who is also the executive director of the 2021 National Quincentennial Committee.
Escalante led the unveiling of the historical marker the NHCP gave to the historical monument of Rajah Humabon at the Rajah Humabon Monument at P. Burgos St. in Cebu City, on Monday night, May 23, 2022.
Escalante, during his message and presentation of the historical marker for the Rajah Humabon monument on Monday, said he first decided to defer the closing of the 2021 Quincentennial celebrations in Cebu City from the supposed closing date, April 7, 2022, (which is also the Rajah Humabon day) after noticing that there is no historical marker in the chieftain’s monument.
However, as he bared his proposal to have a monument for Queen Juana during his speech in front of Cebu City government officials led by Mayor Michael Rama, Escalante said that the closing ceremony is postponed again until April 2023 at the latest, which he said is the perfect time and occasion to also unveil the would-be monument for Queen Juana.
He stated that the idea came to him while they were discussing the text of Rajah Humabon’s historical marker and one of the members of the board of Commissioners mentioned how only Rajah Humabon has the monument and not his wife.
“So, I am now requesting again the good mayor to appropriate the necessary funds for the monument of Donya Juana, and also we will make a promise again that we will put up a marker once the monument is already available,” he said.
Escalante said the would-be monument of Queen Juana could be installed at the same site as the monument of her husband, Rajah Humabon.
Rama positively responded to Escalante’s request.
During his acceptance speech, Rama thanked Escalante for the historical marker for the monument of Rajah Humabon and instructed the City’s Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission and the City’s Cultural and Historical Affairs Office to do the necessary preparations and works for the building of the monument.
“And if and when the Mayor’s participation is required then I am now directing my City Administrator (Suzanne Ardosa), please take the motion and by April of next year, then the unveiling will again be…another history will be in the making,” he said.
He then asked Escalante to give the City a description of Juana’s face for the sculpturing of Juana’s face in her would-be monument. Rama said it should be more approximate that she deserves to be called “Queen Juana.”
At the time of Ferdinand Magellan’s arrival in 1521, the King of Cebu was Rajah Humabon.
The arrival of the Magellan-Elcano fleet on the shores of Cebu on April 7, 1521, and Rajah Humabon’s warm welcome paved the way for Christianity to be introduced on the island.
Rajah Humabon was a key figure in converting Cebuanos to Christianity, particularly through his wife, Queen Juana, who chose to receive the image of Sto. Niño.
The NHCP places markers in the country and abroad to commemorate significant structures, people, institutions, and events in the country’s history.
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