21st of April 1521, Ferdinand Magallanes and his men landed at Mactan Island to subdue the natives who do not to submit themselves under the rule of Spain. Unfortunately, Magallanes and his men were the ones who were subdued by the Mactan Island chieftain and now a national hero, Lapu-Lapu. The rest then is history.
This special event in the Philippine history is being marked by Mactan Shrine, also known as Lapu-Lapu Shrine. Mactan Shrine was established to honor the first resistance against European colonization in South East Asia. It serves as a monument to honor Lapu-Lapu and his fellowmen in defeating Magallanes and his Spanish crew.
Mactan Shrine is located in the place where the fight between Lapu-Lapu and Magallanes occurred. It is on the coast of Mactan Island and the sea beside it is shallow. The place is partially covered with mangroves from the open-sea..
This sea witnessed Magallanes’ death and the victory of Lapu-Lapu.
How to Go To Mactan ShrineThere are many means to go here from the Cebu – Mactan Airport. The easiest would be to hire a taxi cab and ask the driver to take you to Mactan Shrine. I have never rode a taxi cab to reach Mactan Shrine so I do not know the actual fare to get there. My approximate is that it will cost about 200 pesos to reach Mactan Shrine from the airport. Any price above that would be too much. Taxi cabs are also available from Mactan Shrine so it is not a hassle for you.
The most affordable way to reach Mactan Shrine is to ride the jeepney or what the Cebuanos call as multicab. From the airport, you should ride a multicab and ask the driver to drop you at Save More grocery, which is just outside of the airport proper. When you are dropped near Save More, walk to the highway and ride a jeepney/multicab with a signboard saying “Punta Engaño.” Ask the driver to drop you at Mactan Shrine.
The shrine is just beside the highway, which is the main road used by jeepney/multicabs, so going to the airport or downtown Lapu-Lapu City, Mactan Island is not a problem.
There is no entrance fee in Mactan Shrine. However, the shrine management is asking for donations for the maintenance of Mactan Shrine. Donate to help in keeping the shrine well-maintained. Even spare change and coins would be enough as donations.
What to See Inside Mactan Shrine
Lapu-Lapu ShrineLapu-Lapu’s statue is the centerpiece of Mactan Shrine. The statue is made of bronze and 20 meters high. This is where most of the visitors in this shrine take their souvenir photos.
Magellan’s MonumentFew steps away from Lapu-Lapu’s statue is Magellan’s Monument. This monument is erected in 1866 to honor the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan (Hernando de Magallanes according to the monument). It is an obelisk with a base broadening like that of in a pyramid. This monument bears the words “Glorias Españolas.”
The Battle of Mactan Mural
This mural is placed to commemorate that Battle of Mactan Island. The mural depicts Lapu-Lapu and Magellan as fighting one another as in a duel. However, historical accounts from the Italian priest Pigafetta says that Magellan was surrounded by many soldiers of Lapu-Lapu and fought him.
Souvenir Shops Inside Mactan Shrine
This is the right place where to buy your souvenir items in Mactan. Items here is much lower compared to what could be found in the souvenir shops inside the airport. For instance, the keychain here is just ten pesos apiece while the same keychains costs 100 pesos for 3 pieces. Common items for sale in the shops inside Mactan Shrine are necklaces and bracelets made of shell or stones, souvenir T-shirts, guitars, and other items that are made of shells, wood, and stone.
Here are some of the photos I took while in Mactan Shrine. I hope that you like them all. So that’s it. The places and tips I wrote in this article may help you as a guide when going to the most popular historical spot in Mactan Island, the Mactan Shrine.
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