Press Release
April 27, 2009

Gordon urges Filipinos to emulate values and principles
of the nation's heroes

Independent Senator Richard J. Gordon today urged all Filipinos to emulate the values and principles of the heroes in Philippine History as the whole nation commemorates today the 488th anniversary of the first Filipino victory against the colonial invaders, the Battle of Mactan.

Gordon made the call during his speech at the foot of Lapu-Lapu's monument in Luneta Park, Manila where a wreath-laying ceremony and re-enactment of the Battle of Mactan was held.

"Lapu-Lapu possessed the skills, the bravery, the principles and the integrity. He had the courage to face any challenges. He personifies our national anthem's verse 'sa manlulupig di ka pasisiil'," he said.

"We celebrate this day in behalf of our countrymen and remind them of our solemn duty that we must be able to look at our past with pride so that we can be able to conquer the future with a lot of confidence, hope and with conviction," he added.

Lapu-Lapu was the King of Mactan who refused to submit to the rule of the Spanish invaders. Ferdinand Magellan, the leader of the Spanish expedition who arrived in the islands, then sent a party of sailors to Mactan to burn villages on the island.

However, instead of giving up, the Mactan chief, together with his men faced Spanish soldiers led by Magellan. The natives fought valiantly and victory was on their side. It happened on April 27, 1521.

After paying tribute to Lapu-Lapu, Gordon proceeded to Jose Rizal's monument also in Luneta Park to offer a wreath in honor of the country's national hero.

The senator said Rizal also stood for what he believed in and fought for his ideals. He is personified in the National Anthem's line "ang mamatay ng dahil sa 'yo."

"The courage of Lapu-Lapu and the wisdom of Rizal should be emulated by every Filipino so that we can break the walls of apathy and cynicism in our minds that were built by our colonial past," Gordon said.

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