Battle of Mactan

The Battle of Mactan (Cebuano: Gubat sa Mactan; Filipino: Labanan sa Mactan; Spanish: Batalla de Mactán) was fought in the Philippines on 27 April 1521, prior to Spanish colonization. The warriors of Lapu-Lapu, a native chieftain of Mactan Island, overpowered and defeated a Spanish force fighting for Rajah Humabon of Cebu, under the command of Ferdinand Magellan, who was killed in the battle.

Battle of Mactan
Gubat sa Mactan  (Cebuano)
Labanan sa Mactan  (Filipino)
Batalla de Mactán  (Spanish)

A mural painting depicting the Battle of Mactan
Date27 April 1521
Mactan, Cebu, Philippines
Result Decisive Kingdom of Mactan victory
Death of Ferdinand Magellan
Kingdom of Mactan Rajahnate of Cebu
Spain Magellan expedition
Commanders and leaders
Lapu-Lapu Spain Ferdinand Magellan 
Rajah Humabon
Datu Zula
1,500 native warriors
(Antonio Pigafetta accounted)
49 Spanish explorers, and about 200–300 allied native warriors.
Casualties and losses
several killed and wounded At least 14 killed, including Magellan (Spaniards), and at least 150 native warriors.
Ph locator cebu mactan
The location of Mactan Island in Cebu


On 16 March 1521 (Julian calendar), Magellan sighted the mountains of what is now Samar while on a mission to find a westward route to the Moluccas Islands for Spain. This event marked the arrival of the first documented Europeans in the Archipelago. The following day, Magellan ordered his men to anchor their ships on the shores of Homonhon Island.[1]

There, Magellan befriended Rajah Kolambu and Rajah Siagu, king of Limasawa, who guided him to Cebu.[1] There he met Rajah Humabon, the Rajah of Cebu. Then, Rajah Humabon and his queen were baptized into the Catholic faith, taking the Christian names Carlos, in honor of King Charles of Spain, and Juana, in honor of King Charles' mother. To commemorate this event, Magellan gave Juana the Santo Niño, an image of the infant Jesus, as a symbol of their new alliance and held their first mass in the coast.[1]

As a result of Magellan's influence with Rajah Humabon, an order had been issued to the nearby chiefs that each of them were to provide food supplies for the ships, and convert to Christianity.

Most chiefs obeyed the order. However, Datu Lapu-Lapu, one of the two chiefs within the island of Mactan, was the only chieftain to show his opposition. Lapu-Lapu refused to accept the authority of Rajah Humabon in these matters. This opposition proved to be influential when Antonio Pigafetta,[2] Magellan's voyage chronicler,[3] writes,

"On Friday, April twenty-six, Zula, the second chief of the island of Mactan, sent one of his sons to present two goats to the captain-general, and to say that he would send him all that he had promised, but that he had not been able to send it to him because of the other chief Lapu-Lapu, who refused to obey the king of Spain."[4]

Rajah Humabon and Datu Zula suggested to Magellan to go to the island of Mactan and force his subject chieftain Datu Lapu-Lapu to comply with his orders.[1] Magellan saw an opportunity to strengthen the existing friendship ties with the ruler of the Visayan region and agreed to help him subdue the resistant Lapu-Lapu.


According to the documents of Italian historian Antonio Pigafetta, Magellan tried to convince Lapu-Lapu to comply with Rajah Humabon's orders the night before the battle,

At midnight, sixty of us set out armed with corselets and helmets, together with the Christian king, the prince, some of the chief men, and twenty or thirty balanguais. [a type of Filipino boat] We reached Mactan three hours before dawn. The captain did not wish to fight then, but sent a message to the natives to the effect that if they would obey the king of Spain, recognize the Christian king as their sovereign, and pay us our tribute, he would be their friend; but that if they wished otherwise, they should wait to see how our lances wounded. They replied that if we had lances they had lances of bamboo and stakes hardened with fire. They said that in order to induce us to go in search of them; for they had dug certain pit holes filled with spikes between the houses in order that we might fall into them.[4]

Pigafetta writes how Magellan deployed forty-nine armored men with swords, axes, shields, crossbows, and guns, and sailed for Mactan in the morning of 28 April. A number of native warriors who had converted to Christianity also came to their aid.[1] According to Pigafetta, because of the rocky outcroppings, and coral near the beach, the Spanish soldiers could not land on Mactan. Forced to anchor their ships far from shore, Magellan could not bring his ships' cannons to bear on Lapu-Lapu's warriors, who numbered more than 1,500.

"When morning came, forty-nine of us leaped into the water up to our thighs, and walked through water for more than two cross-bow flights before we could reach the shore. The boats could not approach nearer because of certain rocks in the water. The other men remained behind to guard the boats. When we reached land, [the natives] had formed in three divisions to the number of more than one thousand five hundred persons. When they saw us, they charged down upon us with ear-shattering loud cries... The musketeers and crossbow-men shot from a distance for about a half-hour, but uselessly..."[5]

The musketeers boats could not get close enough for their crossbows to reach shore due.[6]

Magellan and his men then tried to scare them off by burning some houses in Bulaia. But the natives surprised them by raining a barrage of arrows, but due to the shields and helmets of the Spaniards, they left no permanent damage.

"Seeing that, Magellan sent some men to burn their houses in order to terrify them. When they saw their houses burning, they were roused to greater fury. Some of our men were killed near the houses, while we burned twenty or thirty houses. So many of them rained down upon us that the captain was shot through the right leg with a poisoned arrow. On that account, he ordered us to a frontal assault. But the men took to flight, except ten to fifteen of us who remained with the captain. The natives shot only at our legs, for the latter were bare; and so many were the spears and stones that they hurled at us, that we could offer no resistance. The mortars in the boats could not aid us as they were too far away."[5]

When the natives charged to their position, Magellan ordered his men to fire at them using their rifles and crossbows, but for a short period of time. Out of ammunition, they switched to their swords and axes and fought with the captain. At least 10 Spaniards were killed and the others withdrew.

Many of the warriors specifically attacked Magellan. In the struggle, he was wounded in the arm with a spear and in the leg by a kampilan. Those who stood beside him were easily overpowered and killed, while the others who tried to help him were hacked by spears and swords. With this advantage, Lapu-Lapu's troops finally overwhelmed and killed Magellan. Pigafetta and a few others managed to escape.

"Recognizing the captain, so many turned upon him that they knocked his helmet off his head twice... an Indian hurled a bamboo spear into the captain's face, but the latter immediately killed him with his lance, which he left in the Indian's body. Then, trying to lay hand on sword, he could draw it out but halfway, because he had been wounded in the arm with a bamboo spear. When the natives saw that, they all rushed themselves upon him. One of them wounded him on the left leg with a large cutlass, which resembles a scimitar, only being larger. That caused the captain to fall face downward, when immediately they rushed upon him with iron and bamboo spears and with their cutlasses, until they killed our mirror, our light, our comfort, and our true guide. When they wounded him, he turned back many times to see whether we were all in the boats. Thereupon, beholding him dead, we, wounded, retreated, as best we could, to the boats, which were already pulling off..."[5]

According to Pigafetta, several of Magellan's men were killed in battle, and a number of natives converted to Catholicism who had come to their aid were immediately killed by the warriors.[4]

Magellan's allies, Humabon and Zula, were said not to have taken part in the battle due to Magellan's bidding, and they watched from a distance.


When the body of Magellan was recovered by the warriors, Humabon ordered him to return the bodies of Magellan and some of his crew who were killed, and they would be given as much merchandise as they wished. Lapu-Lapu refused.

Some of the soldiers who survived the battle and returned to Cebu were poisoned while attending a feast given by Humabon. Magellan was succeeded by Juan Sebastián Elcano as commander of the expedition, who ordered the immediate departure after Humabon's betrayal. Elcano and his fleet sailed west and returned to Spain in 1522, completing the first circumnavigation of the world.

In Philippine culture

A depiction of Lapu Lapu at the Lapu Lapu shrine.
The memorial to Magellan built by the Spanish.

Today, Lapu-Lapu is retroactively honored as the first "Philippine national hero" to resist foreign rule, even though the territory of the "Philippine Islands" did not exist at the time, or was even named or imagined that way. It might be considered a historical inaccuracy to consider the Battle of Mactan a "fight to resist foreign rule", as Magellan's forces were fighting to defend the interests of Rajah Humabon, the local chieftain of Cebu. Rajah Humabon was among the first indigenous converts to Roman Catholicism after he, his wives, and his subjects were baptised by the expedition's priest on 14 April 1521. The Battle of Mactan was in fact one of many tribal wars common in the archipelago prior to the arrival of the Spanish, with the added component that a European force fought for one of the sides, and lost.

Lapu-Lapu is remembered by a number of commemorations: statues on the island of Mactan and at the Cebu Provincial Capitol, a city bearing his name, and a local variety of red grouper fish. Kapampangan actor-turned-politician Lito Lapid starred in a film called Lapu-Lapu, and novelty singer Yoyoy Villame wrote a folk song entitled "Magellan" that tells a humorously distorted story of the Battle of Mactan.[7]

There is a spot in Mactan Island called the Mactan shrine where the battle is reenacted during its anniversary. In the same shrine, next to the Lapu-Lapu statue, there is an obelisk erected in Magellan's honor by the Spanish colonial authorities and defaced shortly after the US military occupation of the Philippines.

Magellan is also honored for bringing Catholicism to the Philippines in general and the Santo Niño (Child Jesus) to Cebu in particular. The Magellan's Cross and the aforementioned Magellan's shrine were erected in Cebu City and Mactan Island. Many landmarks and infrastructures all over the Philippines bear Magellan's name, mostly using its Spanish spelling (Magallanes), which is also a widely used Filipino surname.

The inhabitants of the Sulu archipelago believe that Lapu-Lapu was a Muslim (Lapu Lapu among Khidr Army.) of the Sama-Bajau.[8]

On April 27, 2017, in honoring Lapu-Lapu as the first hero who resisted foreign rule in the country, the date April 27 when the battle happened was declared by President Rodrigo Duterte as Lapu-Lapu Day.[9][10]


According to native legend, Lapu-Lapu never died but turned into stone, and has since then been guarding the seas of Mactan. Fishermen of the island would throw coins at a stone shaped like a man as a way of asking for permission to fish in the chieftain's territory.[11]

Another myth passed on by the natives concerns the statue of Lapu-Lapu erected on a pedestal at the center of the town plaza in Lapu-Lapu City. The statue faced the old city hall building, where the mayors used to hold office; it held a crossbow in the stance of appearing to shoot an enemy. Some superstitious people of the city proposed to change this crossbow with a sword, after a succession of three mayors died due to a heart attack.[11]

Another legend suggests that after the battle, Lapu-Lapu left Mactan and lived on a mountain.


  1. ^ a b c d e Agoncillo, Teodoro (2006). Introduction to Filipino History. Garotech Publishing.
  2. ^ David, Hawthorne (1964). Ferdinand Magellan. Doubleday & Company, Inc.
  3. ^ "Battle of Mactan Marks Start of Organized Filipino Resistance Vs. Foreign Aggression". Retrieved 9 April 2009.
  4. ^ a b c Nowell, Charles E. (1962). Magellan's Voyage Around the World: Three Contemporary Accounts. Northwestern University Press.
  5. ^ a b c "The Death of Magellan, 1521". Archived from the original on 7 June 2008. Retrieved 9 June 2008.
  6. ^ Angeles, Jose Amiel. "The Battle of Mactan and the Indigenous Discourse on War." Philippine Studies vol. 55, No. 1 (2007): pp. 3-52.
  7. ^ "MAGELLAN Lyrics by Yoyoy Villame". Archived from the original on 10 February 2008. Retrieved 4 February 2008.
  8. ^ Frank "Sulaiman" Tucci (2009). The Old Muslim's Opinions: A Year of Filipino Newspaper Columns. iUniverse. p. 41. ISBN 9781440183430.
  9. ^ Kabiling, Genalyn (27 April 2017). "April 27 declared as Lapu-Lapu Day". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  10. ^ Romero, Alexis (27 April 2017). "'Hero' Lapu-Lapu gets special day". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  11. ^ a b "Battle of Mactan: history and myth".

External links

Coordinates: 10°18′38″N 124°00′54″E / 10.3106°N 124.0151°E

Battle of Manila (1500)

The Battle of Manilla (1500s) (Filipino: Labanan sa Maynila) was fought in Manila between forcess of the Kingdom of Tondo led by their Senapati, Lakan Sukwo, and the soldiers of the Sultanate of Brunei led by Sultan Bolkiah, the singing captain. The aftermath of the battle was the formation of an alliance between the newly established Kingdom of Maynila (Selurong) and the Sultanate of Brunei, to crush the power of the Kingdom of Tondo and the subsequent installation of the Pro-Islamic Rajah Sulaiman into power. Furthermore, Sultan Bolkiah's victory over Sulu and Seludong (modern day Manila), as well as his marriages to Laila Mecanai, the daughter of Sulu Sultan Amir Ul-Ombra (an uncle of Sharifa Mahandun married to Nakhoda Angging or Maharaja Anddin of Sulu), and to the daughter of Datu Kemin, widened Brunei's influence in the Philippines.

Brunei Civil War

The Brunei Civil War was a civil war fought in the Bruneian Empire from 1660 to 1673.

Cebuano people

The Cebuano people (Cebuano: Mga Sugbuanon) are a subgroup of the Visayan people whose primary language is the Cebuano language. They originated in the province of Cebu in the region of Central Visayas, but then later spread out to other places in the Philippines, such as Siquijor, Bohol, Negros Oriental, southwestern Leyte, western Samar, Masbate, and large parts of Mindanao. It may also refer to the ethnic group who speak the same language as their native tongue in different parts of the archipelago.

Duarte Barbosa

Duarte Barbosa (c. 1480, Lisbon, Portugal – 1 May 1521, Philippines) was a Portuguese writer and officer from Portuguese India (between 1500 and 1516). He was a scrivener in a factory in Cannanore, and an interpreter of the local language, Malayalam. Barbosa wrote the Book of Duarte Barbosa (Livro de Duarte Barbosa) c. 1516, making it one of the earliest examples of Portuguese travel literature. In 1519, Barbosa embarked on the first expedition to circumnavigate the world, led by his brother-in-law Ferdinand Magellan. He died in 1521 at the Battle of Mactan on Cebu Island in the Philippines.

Ferdinand Magellan

Ferdinand Magellan ( or ; Portuguese: Fernão de Magalhães, IPA: [fɨɾˈnɐ̃w dɨ mɐɣɐˈʎɐ̃jʃ]; Spanish: Fernando de Magallanes, IPA: [feɾˈnando ðe maɣaˈʎanes]; c. 1480 – 27 April 1521) was a Portuguese explorer who organised the Spanish expedition to the East Indies from 1519 to 1522, resulting in the first circumnavigation of the Earth, completed by Juan Sebastián Elcano.

Born into a family of the Portuguese nobility in around 1480, Magellan became a skilled sailor and naval officer and was in service of the Portuguese crown in Asia. After King Manuel I of Portugal refused to support his plan to reach India by a new route, by sailing around the southern end of America, he was eventually selected by King Charles I of Spain to search for a westward route to the Maluku Islands (the "Spice Islands"). Commanding a fleet of five vessels, he headed south through the Atlantic Ocean to Patagonia, passing through the Strait of Magellan into a body of water he named the "peaceful sea" (the modern Pacific Ocean). Despite a series of storms and mutinies, the expedition reached the Spice Islands in 1521 and returned home via the Indian Ocean to complete the first circuit of the globe. Magellan did not complete the entire voyage, as he was killed during the Battle of Mactan in the Philippines in 1521.

Magellan had already reached the Malay Archipelago in Southeast Asia on previous voyages traveling east (from 1505 to 1511–1512). By visiting this area again but now travelling west, Magellan achieved a nearly complete personal circumnavigation of the globe for the first time in history.The Magellanic penguin is named after him, as he was the first European to note it. Magellan's navigational skills have also been acknowledged in the naming of objects associated with the stars, including the Magellanic Clouds, now known to be two nearby dwarf galaxies; the twin lunar craters of Magelhaens and Magelhaens A; and the Martian crater of Magelhaens.

Filipinos of Malay descent

Malays played a role in pre-Hispanic Philippine history. Malay involvement in Philippine history goes back to the Classical Era with the establishment of Rajahnates as well as the Islamic era, in which various sultanates and Islamic states were formed in Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago.

Malays made large contribution to Philippine history, and influenced modern-day lifestyles of Filipinos. The Malay language was the lingua franca of the archipelago prior to Spanish rule. Due to the religious history of the Malay Archipelago, many of these historical rulers also contained a mix of Arab or Indian ancestry in addition to their Malay descent.

The Philippines doesn't have a significant ethnic Malay population today, and most if any, descendants of Malays have been assimilated into the general culture, characterized by Spanish influence and Roman Catholicism. Malay influence is still strong in the culturally conservative regions of Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago, whose' people actually reject being called Filipino, and to some extent, in Visayas as well where much Malay involvement came during the classical era. These three island groups are where most Filipinos of Malay descent live.

In the modern-day, the closest population to Malays are the Moro people, the native Muslim population of the Philippines that inhabit Mindanao, Sulu Archipelago, parts of Visayas and the Quiapo district in Manila. They follow a culture and lifestyle similar to Malays.

There is an often a lot of confusion in the Philippines between "ethnic Malays" and "Malay race", a term coined for brown-skinned Austronesian natives of not only the Philippines, but also of Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore and southern Thailand. The country had its own Malay nationalism, un-associated with the anti-colonial struggle in the British and Dutch East Indies. The Philippine nationalism occurred albeit the end of Spanish occupation and spearheaded by José Rizal. Unlike the Malay nationalism and "Malayness" in Indonesia and Malaysia which was defined by Islam as well as being of the ethnic group, Rizal's movement was that of a secular vision to unify the natives of the Malay Archipelago and the Malay Peninsula, believing them to have falsely been divided by colonial powers.

Igorot society

The Igorot Society is the term for the collection of several ethnic groups in the Philippines that come from the Cordillera Administrative Region of Luzon. They inhabit the six provinces of Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Kalinga, Ifugao, and Mountain Province, as well as Baguio City. They are a pre-Hispanic highland society that has survived through Spanish colonization. This Prehispanic state is the oldest in the Philippines. This society predates the other pre-Hispanic states in the Philippines (Sultanates of Sulu, Lanao & Maguindanao; Rajahnates of Butuan & Cebu; Kingdoms of Maynila, Tondo & Namayan; the State of Ma-i & the Confederation of Madja-as) which are maritime civilizations, in contrast to this society which is a mountainous high-land society. This society is composed of many tribes, mainly the Bontoc, Ibaloi, Isnag (or Isneg/Apayao), Kalinga, and the Kankanaey.


The kalasag (Spanish: carasas) is a large rectangular myth-motif shield used by the natives in the Philippines. The shield is made of hardwood and is decorated with elaborate carvings. The wood comes from native trees such as the dapdap, polay and sablang. The shield measured about 1.5 m (4.9 ft) in length. Its base is composed of rattan wood which is strengthened by the application of resin.It was widely used throughout the Philippines for warfare. Datu Lapu-Lapu was reported to have used this shield during the Battle of Mactan in 1521. Its shape is commonly used as part of the official seal of the Philippine National Police. Various kinds of kalasag are also represented in the provincial flags of Bukidnon, Maguindanao, and Mountain Province.

The officers who bears the royal regalia of the Sultan of Brunei such as the Panglima Agsar, carries the royal weapons of kelasak (shield) and kampilan (sword).


The kampilan (Baybayin: ᜃᜋ᜔ᜉᜒᜎᜈ᜔; Abecedario: Campilan) is a type of single-edged long sword, traditionally used by various ethnic groups in the Philippine archipelago.

The kampilan has a distinct profile, with the tapered blade being much broader and thinner at the point than at its base, sometimes with a protruding spikelet along the flat side of the tip and a bifurcated hilt which is believed to represent a mythical creature's open mouth.The Maguindanaons and the Maranaos of mainland Mindanao preferred this weapon as opposed to the Tausūg of Sulu who favoured the barung. The Kapampangan name of the Kampilan was Talibong and the hilt on the Talibong represented the dragon Naga, however the creature represented varies between different ethnic groups. Its use by the Ilocanos have also been seen in various ancient records. Pieces of Visayan kampilans are distinguished by their Mindanao counterparts by the way hilts are made. The native Mëranaw name of the Kampilan was Kifing, while in the Iranun language, it is known as Parang Kampilan.A notable wielder of the kampílan was Datu Lapu-Lapu (the ruler of Mactan) and his warriors, who defeated the Spaniards and killed Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan at the Battle of Mactan on April 27, 1521.The kampílan was earliest mentioned in ancient Filipino epics in Hiligaynon Hinilawod from the Visayas and Ilocano Biag ni Lam-Ang from Luzon. This particular design of sword was not uncommon among the various ethnic tribes throughout the pre-Hispanic Philippine archipelago. Today, the kampílan is portrayed in Filipino art and ancient tradition.

In Borneo, the Dayak people are also known to forge kampilan. The officers who bear the royal regalia of the Sultan of Brunei such as the Panglima Agsar who carry the royal weapons of kelasak (shield) and kampilan, whereas the Panglima Raja carry the pemuras (royal gun) and kampilan.


Lapu-Lapu (Baybayin: ᜎᜉᜓᜎᜉᜓ, Abecedario: Lápú-Lápú) (fl. 1521) was a ruler of Mactan in the Visayas. Modern Philippine society regards him as the first Filipino hero because he was the first native to resist Imperial Spanish colonization. He is best known for the Battle of Mactan that happened at dawn on April 27, 1521, where he and his soldiers defeated Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, who was killed in the battle. Magellan's death ended his voyage of circumnavigation, and this delayed the Spanish occupation of the islands by over forty years until the expedition of Miguel López de Legazpi in 1564. Monuments to Lapu-Lapu have been built in Cebu and Manila, while the Philippine National Police and the Bureau of Fire Protection use his image as part of their official seals.

Besides being a rival of Rajah Humabon of neighbouring Indianized Cebu, very little is known about the life of Lapu-Lapu. The only existing documents about his life are those written by Antonio Pigafetta. His name, origins, religion and fate are still a matter of controversy.

Lapu-Lapu is also known under the names Çilapulapu, Si Lapulapu, Salip Pulaka, Cali Pulaco, and Lapulapu Dimantag.

Lapu-Lapu, Philippines

Lapu-Lapu, officially the City of Lapu-Lapu (Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Lapu-Lapu; Tagalog: Lungsod ng Lapu-Lapu) or simply known as Lapu-Lapu City, is a 1st class highly urbanized city in the region of Central Visayas, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 408,112 people.Formerly known as Opon, the city was renamed to its present name in 1961. It is one of the cities that make up Metro Cebu in the Philippines. It is geographically located in the province of Cebu, administratively independent from the province but grouped under Cebu by the Philippine Statistics Authority.

Lapu-Lapu City is bounded on the north by the Main Island of Cebu, to the west by Cebu City and Mactan Channel, on the east by the Camotes Sea, and on the south by the town of Cordova.

The city occupies Mactan Island, a few kilometers off the main island of Cebu. It also has some of the barangays under its jurisdiction on the Olango Island Group. The city is linked to Mandaue on mainland Cebu by the Mactan-Mandaue Bridge and Marcelo Fernan Bridge. Mactan-Cebu International Airport, the second busiest airport in the Philippines, is located in Lapu-Lapu.

Lapu-Lapu Shrine

The Lapu-Lapu shrine is a 20 metres (66 ft) bronze statue in Punta Engaño, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, Philippines, erected in honor of Lapu-Lapu, a native leader who defeated Spanish soldiers led by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in the 1521 Battle of Mactan.

List of Cultural Properties of the Philippines in Central Visayas

This list contains an overview of the government recognized Cultural Properties of the Philippines in Central Visayas. The list is based on the official lists provided by the National Commission on Culture and the Arts, National Historical Commission of the Philippines and the National Museum of the Philippines.


Mactan or Maktan is a densely populated island located a few kilometres (~1 mile) from Cebu Island in the Philippines. The island is part of Cebu Province and it is divided into Lapu-Lapu City and the municipality of Cordova. The island is separated from Cebu by the Mactan Channel which is crossed by two bridges: the Marcelo Fernan Bridge and the Mactan-Mandaue Bridge. The island covers some 65 square kilometres (25 sq mi) and is home to some 470,000 people, making it the nation's most densely populated island. Along with Olango Island Group, the isles are administered as 1 city and a municipality covering 75.25 square kilometres (29.05 sq mi).

Mactan-Cebu International Airport is located on the island.

Magellan Shrine

The Magellan Shrine is a large memorial tower erected in 1866 in honor of the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan on the Mactan Island of Cebu, the Philippines. The spot is believed to be the site where Magellan was killed in the 1521 Battle of Mactan.

Military history of the Philippines

The military history of the Philippines is characterized by wars between Philippine kingdoms and its neighbors in the precolonial era and then a period of struggle against colonial powers such as Spain and the United States, occupation by the Empire of Japan during World War II and participation in Asian conflicts post-World War II such as the Korean War and the Vietnam War. The Philippines has also battled a communist insurgency and a secessionist movement by Muslims in the southern portion of the country.

Seal of Cebu

The Seal of Cebu is one of the official symbols of the province of Cebu.The seal is composed of a shield divided in quarters enclosed in a circle. The upper left and lower right quarters are composed of 48 small squares colored red and white. The spear and bolo represents the resistance against oppression as symbolized by Lapu-Lapu's victory over Ferdinand Magellan and his forces at the Battle of Mactan. The six oysters represents six generals who led a revolution against Spanish and American colonizers - Generals Maxilom, Echavez, Cabreros, Leon Kilat, Jaca, and Genes.

The squares in the chequy pattern represents the total number of local government units in the province. However, the chequy pattern in the arms of the 1950 variant of the seal may possibly alludes to the coat of arms of Ferdinand Magellan, the first European to land in the island province. Recently, the pattern has been changed into a more chessboard-like design just like in the current seal of Cebu City, and the symbolism now represents the constituting municipalities and cities that formed the province.


Tawalisi (ca. 1350 C.E - 1400 C.E.) is a Southeast Asian kingdom described in the journals of Ibn Battuta. Ibn Battuta said he reached Tawalisi after a sea voyage of 71 days, 34 of which were spent rowing due to no wind. He said he reached China from Tawalisi after a voyage of 17 days. The commentators have never been able to decide the port of departure for the 71-day voyage, and so have concentrated on the 17-day voyage from Tawalisi to China.A long list of guesses to the location of Tawalisi have included Pangasinan, Luzon, Sulu, Celebes (Sulawesi), Cambodia, Cochin-China, the mainland Chinese province of Guangdong, and practically every island in South Asia beginning with ta. The most known location, however, is Pangasinan in the Philippines.

Warfare in pre-colonial Philippines

Warfare in pre-colonial Philippines refers to the military history of the Philippines prior to Spanish colonization.

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