Lapu-Lapu historical office accepts Soliman as 1st Filipino freedom martyr

06/04/10 - CEBU CITY - The Lapu-Lapu City Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission would not object to the naming of Pampanga native Tarik Soliman as the first Filipino freedom martyr.

But the commission could not accept that the Battle of Bangkusay had more historical significance than the Kadaugan sa Mactan (Victory in Mactan) in which Cebu chieftain Lapu-Lapu killed Spanish Ferdinand Magellan and defeated his troops in battle.

Naming Tarik Soliman, a Kapampangan, as the first Filipino freedom martyr would not diminish the status of Lapu-Lapu as the first Filipino hero, according to Ahmed Cuizon, a commissioner of the Lapu-Lapu City Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission.

Cuizon said that identifying Soliman as the first Filipino martyr would have no effect on the acknowledgement of Lapu-Lapu as first Philippine hero for having survived the Battle of Mactan.

"Let them claim it and we'll be happy if their move will succeed," Cuizon said.

Neither could a recognition of Soliman erase the Kadaugan sa Mactan (Victory in Mactan), formerly called Battle of Mactan, from the annual Philippine tourism calendar, Cuizon added.

Cuizon made the statements in reaction to a story that came out in the Philippine Daily Inquirer about the assertion of the Center for Kapangpangan Studies (CKS) that Soliman was the first Filipino freedom martyr and that the Battle of Bangkusay has more historical significance than the Battle of Mactan.

The Lapu-Lapu commission said it would assert that the Kadaugan sa Mactan had more historical significance than the Battle of Bangkusay, which occurred in June 3, 1571 in Tondo.

Cuizon said the Battle of Bangkusay was one of the defeats of the Filipinos against foreign invaders.

"If they claim that the Battle of Bangkusay has more historical significance than the Kadaugan sa Mactan, then I would say that it is not. Because ours signified victory while the Battle of Bangkusay was a case where a native lost to foreign invaders," Cuizon said.

"Therefore, ours was exactly the first real victory for the Filipinos against the foreign invaders," Cuizon said.

Cuizon said it would be better if the National Historical Institute (NHI) would settle the issues but the commission, which has been active in the annual commemoration of the Kadaugan sa Mactan, would not exert any effort to seek the NHI's clarification. (inquirer)

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