Mactan Cebu International Airport
Lapu-Lapu Council backs moves to rename airport
Christell Fatima M. Tudtud (The Freeman) - August 29, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Lapu-Lapu City Council will file a resolution supporting the move of National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) to rename of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) to Lapu-Lapu International Airport.


Councilor Harry Radaza, committee chairman on sports and tourism, said yesterday that he will sponsor the resolution and will bring up the matter in today’s session of the Sangguniang Panlungsod.

In her press conference yesterday, Mayor Paz Radaza said she is happy after President Rodrigo Duterte and Cebu Vice Governor Agnes Magpale welcomed the plan to change the name of the airport.

Duterte had said he is “amenable” to the proposal of the NHCP to rename the Mactan airport.

Datu Lapu-Lapu defended the Mactan Island against Spanish invaders in 1521.

“But sadly, he was a Visayan. I think he was a Moro still in the Visayas. History forgot him. He was the first hero and designated a certain species of fish and called it ‘lapu-lapu’. That is why, it pains me deeply to see lapu-lapu being eaten every day, scabeche, fried, and all sorts of recipe,” a national newspaper quotes Duterte as saying.

Last July, Duterte signed into law Republic Act 11040 declaring April 27 as a national holiday for Lapu-Lapu Day or Adlaw ni Lapu-Lapu.

NHCP chairman Rene Escalante was the one who proposed the idea to “immortalize and popularize” Lapu-Lapu in the country and around the world.

Aside from renaming the facility, the agency also plans to create a park and a monument in Cebu named after the Mactan chief. 

Cebu City Deputy Mayor for Tourism, Councilor Margarita “Margot’’ Osmeña, also supports the plan to change the name of the airport.

However, she suggested to include Cebu in the new name.

“Yes I agree, but we make sure that the name Cebu also stays there like Lapu-Lapu Cebu International Airport because some people may not know where  Lapu-Lapu is because it has been identified for so long as Mactan-Cebu,’’ she said.

Osmeña added the new name will give a better identity to the landmark.

It will also give a rightful honor to Lapu-Lapu.

“Aside from a fish being named after him and the city of Lapu-Lapu, the airport which is the gateway to the Visayas would be very appropriate to be named after him,’’ she said.

Magpale, for her part, said she is not convinced by the opposition who argued that renaming the airport does not sound attractive enough.

“I believe that constant use will familiarize… and that’s the reason that we will rename it kay buhion nato ang diwa, the nationalism of the chieftain Lapu-lapu. I’m all for it,” she said.

She said she is yet to discuss the matter with the Cebu Provincial Board on what actions they can take.

On the other hand, Tourism Officer Boboi Costas said that changing the name of the airport would be an affirmation to the contribution of the national hero.

“Other great airports in the world are also named after great people,” he said adding that it is a long overdue homage for the hero. — Lorraine Mitzi A. Ambrad and Carl James T. Cabarles, USJ-R Intern/MBG (FREEMAN)

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