Commemorative Lapu-Lapu banknote, medal launched

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the 2021 Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines (QCP) have launched the P5,000 Lapu-Lapu commemorative banknote and medal to mark the 500th anniversary of the victory of Mactan and the Philippines’ role in the circumnavigation of the world this year.  

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno, whose message was read by his Deputy Governor and BSP officer-in-charge Francisco Dakila Jr., said the 2021 Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines (QCP) “could not have been celebrated at a more opportune time.”

“Now, more than ever, with the global crisis brought about by the pandemic, we need a stark reminder of our glorious past. Now, more than ever, we need our heroes to remind us of our heritage and inspire us to overcome whatever challenge comes our way as a nation,” he said during the banknote and medal’s recent launch.  

Diokno said the heroism of Lapu-Lapu, the chieftain of Mactan who led Visayan “Pintado” warriors in driving the Spaniards from Mactan, “gained the respect and admiration of succeeding generations of Filipinos.”

“The BSP and the NQC (National Quincentennial Committee) have collaborated to produce this commemorative banknote and medal to celebrate the heroism of Lapu-Lapu and his warriors and to retell their story to the present generation,” he said.

The obverse side of the banknote shows a young Lapu-Lapu, the image of the Battle of Mactan, the QCP logo, and a large outrigger warship used by native Filipinos, which is known as Karaoka.

The reverse side of the P5,000 commemorative paper bill depicts a Philippine eagle, or the Manaol, which, he said, “embodies the ancient Visayan belief that all living creatures originated from an eagle.”

A coconut tree can also be seen on the reserve side since this is well-known in the Magellan-Elcano expedition; and a photo of Mt. Apo, the highest mountain in the country that can be found in Mindanao.

Diokno said just like the country’s other legal tenders, the P5,000 commemorative bill has security features like micro prints; fluorescent, magnetic, and optically variable inks; see-through images; intaglio prints; and a latent image with a concealed numerical value.

The Battle of Mactan is celebrated on April 27 every year  to commemorate the bravery and victory of the first Filipino hero. 

On the other hand, the overse side of the commemorative medal has “Lapu-Lapu” markings placed on the image of the Lapu-Lapu Shrine in Cebu and the logos of the BSP and QCP.

The reverse side has the markings of “Battle of Mactan” above the rendition of the said battle and an engraved “27 April 1521” at the bottom.

“The 5000-Peso commemorative banknote paints for us a vivid picture of part of our country’s story that we only read about in history books,” he added.

President Duterte himself rxpressed his “delight” over the launch of the P5,000 Lapu-Lapu commemorative banknote and medal. In a taped message broadcasted during the launch, he said he was greatly pleased with the BSP and NQC collaboration for the design of the banknote to celebrate the heroism of Lapu-Lapu and his warriors.

Duterte, who has often mentioned Lapu-Lapu in his speeches, emphasized the need to “elevate” the hero’s standing among other Filipino heroes. He expressed hope the 500th anniversary of the Victory in Mactan would inspire Filipinos to embrace national identity.

“May this momentous occasion inspire every Filipino to embrace our national identity by embodying Lapu-Lapu’s heroism as we face the challenges ahead,” he added.

Lapu-Lapu, a datu of Mactan, and his men repulsed and drove away the Spanish invaders led by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan whom he killed in the armed encounter.

Sailing for the Spanish royal throne. Portuguese navigator Ferdidinand Magellan discovered the Philippines on March 16, 1521 and named it after then Spanish King Philip.

The Battle of Mactan subsequently took place on April 27, 1521. 

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