Press Release
May 21, 2009

Gordon lauds approval by Senate committee
of proposed holiday to commemorate Lapu-Lapu's victory

Senator Richard J. Gordon (Ind.) today lauded the approval in the committee level of the bill seeking to declare April 27 as Lapu-Lapu Day in commemoration of his victory against the Spanish invaders in the historic Battle of Mactan.

Gordon, in filing Senate Bill 2162, underscored the significance of declaring a special day for Lapu-Lapu, who was the first Asian to beat the colonial invaders.

"I am very pleased that the Lapu-Lapu bill I filed has been approved in the committee level. He was the first Muslim victor. Muslims were the first Filipinos in this country even before the word Filipinas came out," he said.

"Ngayon magkakaroon na tayo ng holiday na Lapu-Lapu. We are commemorating his victory against the foreign invaders, not his death," he added..

Senate Bill 2162 seeks to pay tribute to the courage, bravery and integrity displayed by Lapu-Lapu and his men in the Battle of Mactan by declaring April 27 as Lapu-Lapu Day or Adlaw ni Lapu-Lapu.

The Senate committee on constitutional amendments, revision of codes and laws is set to submit a report on the bill after its approval in the committee level last May 18.

Lapu-Lapu was the King of Mactan who refused to submit to the rule of the Spanish invaders. Together with his men, Lapu-Lapu faced Spanish soldiers led by Ferdinand Magellan. He defeated Magellan, prompting the latter's men to retreat.

When he was tourism secretary, Gordon fought for the construction of the Lapu-Lapu statue at the Luneta, which the senator prefers to call by its original name Bagumbayan.

The 40-foot statue of the first Filipino hero was donated by members of the Korean Freedom League as a gift to the Filipino people in recognition of Filipino soldiers who had come to their country's aid and gave their lives during the Korean War.

"Lapu-Lapu displayed great courage when he led his men to fight foreign oppressors. It is fitting that we as a nation and as a people celebrate this historic event which is the first victory of our nation against colonial invaders," Gordon said.

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