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Lapulapu to break silence, defense demonized as sea piracy

By Cursin Måjellån
(Second of series)

YOU could be a thousand times less alert on the devil dancing mischievously in a blazing fire than over a neighbour who can`t keep his eyes off your pretty young wife.

Shes everything to lose, worse comes to worst, isnt she?

Likely, this was how the thriving island tribe and their chief datu, Lapulapu, struggled to lead their lives, day in and day out, since their island-domain had become the apple of Rajah Humabons eye. The latter badly wanted it to himself for a long time after occupying Sibu (todays Cebu).

In context, we are actually looking for the missing chief datu who was unheard of after killing the Chileans’ celebrity, Fernào de Magalhães (a.k.a. Ferdinand Magellan), a Spain backed Portuguese conquestador.

Unfortunately, its just outrageous that people these days only thought of Lapulapu to make fun of when hes going crisp on the frying pan.

Naming the fish after him, being the — first and probably the last — man who tried to stop foreign invasion is even more egregious and unpatriotic, as such made Filipinos unworthy of freedom.

Either out of sheer ignorance or stupidity swallowing a malicious misnomer intended to kill a persistent aspiration, it means one thing, and one thing only: The suppression of the will to self determination succeeded!

Reduction of historical account into fairy tale, folk lore or sheer legend making the same less credible is – – no different from burning of books and libraries — a primordial modus operandi of oppressors and colonizers.

What leads us to the missing chief datu is its antidote.

Hence, we feel it`s kind of positive social obligation to dive deep into the ocean of motives (that still find comfort among Filipino traits today) and its subsequent events then and now (as they persist on) that may point a trail back into time.

Anyhow, no way can we feel the terror and fierce emotion the island natives had at every attack against their well being as people — who knew no other piece of earth their ancestors buried, provided them their human forms and home for their children — unless we have similar fight on our plates.

In a hop off interlude from the multinational research team touring the Asian region early this year, I managed to pay a window visit to Cagayan de Oro City Hall in the Philippines.

The sight of crowding no-can-do receptionists and civil guards in the mayors office never surprised me (you see all when you see one), but the secretary with more questions than my questionaire`s did!

They can — in their aggregate behaviours — make your day nearly akin to that of LAX immigration bureau on your way to the US via Los Angeles, CA.

I could be wrong thó… I must have simply misinterpreted people’s actuation. Thus you may as well dismiss the circumstances pissing me off, after all they may be kind people in many ways.

But caveat — in case I was correct — an offensive-defense is often self-compromising, politically.

Besides, had there been perhaps another Mactan battle imminent thereat, such would have given justice to the taxpayers` money feeding a bystanding army like that.

Dwelling in as such, I was nearly inclined to be more contemptuous than compassionate. Sad! The same people who are dying for a rewritten history these days are the ones dead to their rotting lives and deeds.

What else is there to be written again other than their own same stinking decay?

Aren`t we repeating the same history, time and again… and again? What!

On the other hand, the taxi’s tuned in local radio station — assailing the planned come back as consultant of the former city mayor while whining over his laid off personnel — explained nonetheless.

I am afraid, he must have kissed an Indians toe back then in the city hall that conferred him an indelible longing to return, or somebody in there, for same reason, may have kept rubbing her heel against her heros memento.

Please erase my annexes, I have high respect to the man. I would have omitted them myself hadn’t I owed you a line or two along this context, I promised somewhere in the preceding series, as to how Chileans place their hero in high regard, even more personally.

Chilean legends hold that a kiss on the toe of the native (turned glass smooth today and shiny as gold), positioned likely as San Roque`s abscess licking dog at Magellan’s foot, can give you an assurance of your return to Punta Arenas; meanwhile, when you rub your heel against the foot of the hero’s monument shall bring him back instead.

The parallelism amused me, regardless. I could have thanked the taxi driver more cordially when I dropped off, had I thought about this earlier vis-a-vis the nagging radio commentary lambasting the past leader who rocked the boat.

Politicians, believe me, are far worse jealous than God, while the people whose dependence on them their only fortune are worst.

At any rate, the scenario, pathetic may it seem, shares the humanity of Lapulapu’s people whose lives then depended on him and were ready to lay them down for their leader’s life and territory.

Take into account the turf wars prevailing in those ages. You can imagine how alert the tribe’s bagani (warriors’ sector) had been, 24/7 for that matter.

Doubtless, not only twice were invaders pushed back and chased up to their last breaths by these defending island natives, but gazillion times that they earned their notoriety almost everywhere.

This anyhow collected more enemies who gave them, no less, their appropriate moniker, “Mangatang” (meaning to watch on or to barricade) which Spaniards corrupted into “Mactan.

In much later perversions by neighbors, however, motivated by same greed and power to subjugate, such defense was turned self compromising as people.

Foes demonized the entire Kendatuan Ho Mangatang as tribe of pirates perpetrating ambushes in the islet`s surrounding waters.

This was how Humabon sold his cause to the Spaniards. More of his spins and tricks twisting Spaniards’ noses to kiss his arsss are on the next series.


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