Quezon and Lapulapu

Posted on 01 August 2021
By National Quincentennial Committee Secretariat

While in his sick bed in the U.S., Manuel Quezon broadcasted a message to the Filipino people, enduring the Japanese invasion, on 15 November 1943. It was in celebration of the 8th anniversary of the Commonwealth of the Philippines and his inauguration as President of the Philippines, which was extended by a resolution of the U.S. Congress. He exclaimed the name of Lapulapu and reminded the Filipinos that “we showed the world once more our heritage of heroism.” He continued:

“We Filipinos are not a people accustomed to crooking the knee to any power that may purpose to invade our country and to hold us in thrall. We have been overcome by superior forces, but we have never been outfought; our country has been conquered, but we have never been vanquished. Every power that has ever dared to overrun our country has known the avenging anger of Filipino arms.

“I think of this as I lie on my bed today and recall every incident of our epic resistance from Vigan through Lingayen to Bataan. It showed that the defiant blood of Lapu-Lapu still courses in our veins…”

A relief depicting the Battle of Mactan of 1521 located on the right side of Quezon Memorial Shrine, Quezon City. Photographed by Ian Alfonso.

Today, the grateful Filipino people remember the 77th death anniversary of Quezon. A memorial erected in his honor in Quezon City enshrines his mortal remains. Enveloping the triangular landmark are the select episodes in Philippine history and his presidency–and that includes the Victory at Mactan, 500 years ago.

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