Many people who are interested in the Philippines and in history are interested in the biography of Lapu Lapu. Knowing about Lapu Lapu's life is important since Lapu Lapu has become an essential and inspiring part of the history of the island which became known as the Philippines and their resistence to foreign takeover by European countries such as Spain.
Lapu Lapu was both very intelligent and a great warrior and there is much to know about his life. For this biography of Lapu Lapu, let's begin at the beginning:
- Lapu Lapu was born in 1491, although no one knows the exact date of his birth.
- When Lapu Lapu was just six years of age, he could ride both horseback and caribou.
- By the age of seven, he could both read and write.
- Two years later, by age 9, he became an excellent boxer. He also continued to learn other sports as well, such as swimming and wresting.
- By the time he was eighteen, Lapu Lapu had become a champion in all of these sports.
- By the time he was 20, Lapu Lapu had defeated both the Bornean soldiers and pirates.
Lapu Lapu: Chief and Warrior
Now that you know all of Lapu Lapu's early accomplishments, you can learn perhaps the most important part of Lapu Lapu's biography: his role as a political figure and leader.
Lapu Lapu lived on Mactan Island and soon became the chief of his people - a chief who helped his people stand on their own and fight for independence:
- During his time as chief, many foreign countries tried to claim the island and the islands which were to become the Philippines as their own, including the famous explorer Ferdinand Magellan.
- While Magellan was conquering the neighboring island of Cebu, the explorer learned of the existence of the island and the small group of people who lived there.
- Magellan attempted to conquer the island by bringing troops and some of the soldiers from Cebu. However, he was met with a great amount of resistance by the Mactan people; this resistance was headed by their leader, Lapu Lapu.
- The Mactan people armed themselves with native weaponry and won the battle against Magellan in order to maintain their independence. Lapu Lapu and the Mactan killed Magellan and many others during this battle, which has become known in Philippine history as the Battle of Mactan.
Legacy of Lapu Lapu
As you may have guessed from the biography of Lapu Lapu, the man left quite a legacy. In fact, throughout history Lapu Lapu has been written about extensively and has also become known by different names.
- A poet in the 17th century called him Cali Pulacu.
- In the 19th century Lapu Lapu as referred to as Kalipulako by Mariano Ponce, who wrote primarily propaganda. The Declaration of Independence for the Philippines refers to Lapu Lapu by this name and goes so far as to call him King Kalipulako of Mactan.
On the island of Mactan today you will find a statue of both Magellan and the great warrior Lapu Lapu. The statues of Magellan is erected at the site where it is believe Magellan was killed by Lapu Lapu. A statue of Lapu Lapu was created in the center of the island to commemorate his contribution to the independence of his island and the people of his island. The Battle of Mactan is recreated by volunteers on the island on April 27th every year to remind people of this chief’s great bravery.