LAPU-LAPU CITY, CEBU, April 28, 2022 — Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones spearheaded the Department of Education’s celebration of the 501st Anniversary of the Victory at Mactan, which she defined as ‘one of the greatest victories of the Filipino people.’

“We should teach our children not only our tragedies, not only our sad histories. We must also celebrate our victories, and we do have victories,” Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said as she physically joined the Closing Ceremonies of the Quincentennial Commemoration of the Victory of Battle of Mactan here in the City of Lapu-Lapu.

Secretary Briones underscored the need to retell to learners and the future generation the significant but often unpopular details in Philippine history books during a virtual symposium on the Commemoration of the Victory at Mactan.

“We know when Jose Rizal was executed, we know when the Spanish conquistadores landed in the Philippines, we know when war broke out and Pearl Harbor was bombed. But we don’t necessarily remember one of our greatest victories as people and as Asians –and this is the Victory of Mactan,” Sec. Briones said.

“If Magellan ‘discovered’ the Philippines on March 16, 1521, and all of us memorized that. We should also remember that on April 27, 1521, we won a stunning victory against a conqueror who came to impel us to be part of their empire,” she noted.

Citing Lapulapu’s triumph against the Spaniards in Mactan, the Education chief also reemphasized her call to popularize more local heroes from every region.

Meanwhile, National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) Commissioner Earl Jude Paul Cleope and De La Salle University Professor Xiao Chua highlighted the significance of the Battle of Mactan.

“Lapulapu performed what the people saw as a great deed since then he has become a hero in tradition and because he is a hero of tradition, he has truly become a hero of history,” Commissioner Cleope said.

In addition, Undersecretary for Legislative Affairs and External Partnerships Tonisito M.C Umali provided the legal bases of the said celebration, including the 1987 Philippine Constitution and Republic Act (RA) 10086 or Strengthening Peoples’ Nationalism Through Philippine History Act.

“Makabuluhan iyong aspeto ng pagbibigay ng inspirasyon sa ating mga anak, guro, at magulang dahil may malalim na pagtatalakay sa pangyayari kaya mas mabibigyan ng buhay ang mga ito sa pamamagitan ng mga ganitong events,” Usec. Umali said.

The virtual symposium was organized by DepEd–External Partnerships Service (EPS) in collaboration with DepEd Central Visayas and the Schools Division Office of Lapu-Lapu City.