Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco on Thursday cited the “Victory at Mactan” commemoration as a tourist attraction that would bring in more jobs to the people of Cebu.
Frasco was the guest of honor during the 502nd anniversary of the Victory at Mactan, witnessing, along with other dignitaries, the reenactment of the victory of Datu Lapu-Lapu and the locals over foreign invaders led by Ferdinand Magellan held at the Liberty Shrine.
In her speech, Frasco cited Cebu province and Lapu-Lapu City for being honored in international awards – Mactan-Cebu International Airport as Asia’s Best Airport under the 5 million category and Asia’s Wedding Destination by World Travel Awards.
She assured the local government of Lapu-Lapu City that the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. gives priority to tourism development through the whole-of-government approach to ensure that the industry recovers and improves the lives of Cebuanos.
The tourism department, she said, strives to improve all the essential pillars of tourism, focusing on infrastructure, connectivity, digitalization, enhancement of overall tourist experience, equalization of tourism product development and promotion, and the goal to improve the lives of Filipinos.
“While we have only been in the first four months of this year, we have already managed to meet all of last year’s targets as we have already reached over 1.7 million in international arrivals and through the help of Cebu and Lapu-Lapu (City), we fully anticipate the 100 percent recovery of domestic tourism this year,” she added.
The reenactment of the famous Battle of Mactan on April 27, 1521, featured the Filipino martial arts, Arnis, also known as Escrima.
The celebration was also highlighted by the “Kadaugan” food festival where hotels and restaurants offered and sold their delicious food at affordable prices.
Mayor Junard Chan, for his part, thanked Frasco for DOT’s effort in bringing back the tourism industry in the historical city and other tourism areas in the country, which ushered in opportunities for employment and livelihood.
Local performers who depicted how Lapu-Lapu and the people of Mactan fought against Magellan and his Spanish soldiers were led by Arnis/Escrima practitioner, Jonel Espinosa Pepito, and teacher Lourelle Henj, who played the role of the Datu’s wife Dayna Bulakna.
Two years ago, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines celebrated the quincentennial celebration of Magellan’s circumnavigation of the world, with Mactan Island as the center of the commemoration (PNA)