(Tourism Undersecretary Arturo Boncato Jr. announces landmarks taking part in the 500-day countdown to the quincentennial celebration. Photo courtesy of PIA 3)
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – Central Luzon will join the country for the countdown to the 500th anniversary of the first circumnavigation of the earth and the introduction of Christianity to the Philippines.
Central Luzon landmarks will be lighted on December 14 for the 500-day countdown to the quincentennial celebration in 2021.
It will also be the 500th anniversary of the victory in the Battle of Mactan on April 27, 1521 where native chieftain Lapu-Lapu vanquished the Spanish forces commanded by Ferdinand Magellan who was killed in the battle.
Among those joining the commemoration will be a total of 21 sites nationwide including the Dambana ng Kagitingan in Pilar, Bataan; Barasoain Church in Malolos City and Jose Abad Santos monument in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga in the region.
The Lapu-Lapu Shrine in Cebu will be the main site of the countdown.
There will be similar programs at the National Museum of Natural History in Manila and Commemorative Monument of Peace and Unity in Davao.
Tourism Undersecretary Arturo Boncato Jr. made the announcement during Tuesday’s Luzon Stakeholders’ Meeting held at the Heroes Hall here.
“The 21 sites represent various periods in our history from the time of Lapu-Lapu to Spanish colonization, American occupation, and Second World War,” Boncato said.
The National Quincentennial Committee identified the Battle of Mactan as the primary event of the celebration that is slated on April 27, 2021.
Other events lined up include a one-year countdown on April 27, 2020 and a 100- day countdown in January 2021.
“We are holding a National Songwriting Competition and we shall open in 2021 the Museum of Philippine Early History in Butuan City,” Boncato said.
“Pre-colonial history will likewise be the theme of the Philippine pavilion at the 2020 Dubai Expo,” he added.
It was learned that the country will also be hosting the 7th International Conference of the International Council on Historical and Cultural Cooperation- Southeast Asia and the International Conference on the Philippine Part of the First Circumnavigation of the World.