Lapulapu Now in Philippine Banknote

Posted on 22 January 2021
By NQC Secretariat

On 18 January 2021, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) launched the 5000-Piso Lapulapu Commemorative Banknote and Medal. Held at the Fort San Antonio Abad, BSP Complex, Malate, Manila, this event marked the 99-day countdown to the D-Day of the 2021 Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines (2021 QCP), which is the 500th anniversary of the Victory at Mactan.

Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea, Chairperson of the National Quincentennial Committee (NQC), received a copy of the banknote and medal on behalf of President Rodrigo R. Duterte. It was presented by BSP Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Francisco Dakila, Jr. and Senior Assistant Governor Dahlia D. Luna.

OIC Dakila stressed the partnership between BSP and NQC, via its secretariat, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), in developing the banknote and medal. He also said that BSP hopes that the present generation will appreciate the “country’s rich pre-colonial history” through these commemorative items.

NQC Executive Director and NHCP Chairperson Rene Escalante mentioned that it was President Duterte’s hope that Lapulapu would be recognized as a nationally significant figure, “not just a mere hero of Cebu.” In his virtual message, the President reiterated the same: “Indeed, if we are to apply to truly celebrate our rich history as a nation, we need to elevate Lapu-Lapu to a greater standing among the pantheon of Filipino heroes. We, therefore, dedicate this banknote and this medal to his historical victory in Mactan 500 years ago,”

The Executive Secretary, likewise, told the audience that Lapulapu was President’s personal hero.

On the obverse side, the banknote depicts a young Lapulapu, an image of the battle of Mactan, the 2021 QCP logo, and the ancient warship of our ancestors, karakoa.

The reverse features the manaol or the Philippine eagle. According to BSP, it “symbolizes clear vision, freedom, and strength; and which embodies the ancient Visayan belief that all living creatures originated from an eagle.” Coconut and Mount Apo are also showcased. These two represent the fruit that sustained the starving, undernourished, dehydrated, and scurvy-stricken crew of the Magellan-Elcano expedition in Homonhon, Guiuan, Eastern Samar on 18 March 1521; and the landmass (i.e., Mindanao) which was critical in locating the objective of the expedition, the Spice Islands or the Maluku in today’s Indonesia.

The obverse side of the medal highlights the markings, “Lapulapu,” above an image of the honoree’s monument at the Liberty Shrine, Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City, and the logos of the 2021 QCP and the BSP (the old one). The reverse shows the markings “Battle of Mactan,” a depiction of the said event, and the date of the historic event “27 April 1521.”

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