The Battle of San Pedro
CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal (The Freeman) - September 23, 2019 - 12:00am

September 1, 1569 was the day Haring Tupas, with his 500 pintados, attacked Fort San Pedro, the first fort constructed by Spain.

This was the sequel to the Battle of Mactan, where Lapulapu and the fierce warriors of Mat-an (Mactan) defended the island from foreign intruders led by Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan on April 27, 1565.

Cebu, the birthplace of heroes, defied foreign powers repeatedly. The Battle of Mactan which lasted for three days was different from the Battle of San Pedro as Haring Tupas, the last Malay king of Cebu, sieged Fort San Pedro, the bastion of General Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, who was the commanding officer of Spain in the Philippines.

Gen. Legaspi, with his cannons, rifles and parapet, resisted the attack of the painted warriors, the masters of eskrima from the Kingdom of Banawa, now called San Nicolas. It was only on March 23, 1570 that Haring Tupas was able to evict Gen. Legaspi out of Cebu, who escaped to Panay. Haring Tupas pursued Gen. Legaspi who later went to Maynilad (Manila).

Manila, whose residents were not able to resist the subjugation of Gen. Legaspi, became docile followers and subservient subjects of Spain. That is the reason why Manila was given the title by King Philip as “Isigne y Siempre Legal Ciudad” translated as “Distinguished and Ever Loyal City”.

Manila became the seat of government not because Spain wanted it, but it was because they were forced and evicted by the Cebuanos. It was on May 1, 1571 that Legaspi came to Manila.

Imperial Manila historians and Spain downplayed this very important event of our country’s history that it was not only in the Battle of Mactan that Cebuanos defeated the once mighty Spain.

Spain, with the intention of erasing in the annals of history its defeat in the Battle of San Pedro, built Fort Santiago, the biggest fort and established Manila as the seat of government, as it was their choice.

CEBUpedia is launching the initiative of commemorating the Battle of San Pedro, and may the Cebu City Government join this endeavor. Cebu is blessed as Dr. Warfe “King Tupas” Ingracia, Malay scholar and descendant of Tupas, could be of indispensable assistance in making the event a reality.

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