Mactan Shrine is one of the pride of the Mactan Island. Located in Barangay Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City, this has been one of the major tourist spots on the island who wants to take in a little breath of the island’s history. From the airport, it would take approximately 10-15 minutes to get to the shrine.
Mactan Shrine History
Mactan shrine is said to be the place where the very first Filipino hero, Datu Lapu-Lapu, defeated the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in the Battle of Mactan.
The Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan, was successful in bringing in Christianity in Cebu. However, before he reaches the shore of Mactan Island, he was attacked and slain by Datu Lapu-Lapu and his men. Datu Lapu-Lapu was then the first Filipino to have repelled European aggression on April 27, 1521. The battle then was coined as the famous “battle of Mactan”.
The Mactan Shrine
The shrine was built to honor Datu Lapu-Lapu’s bravery against the Spaniards, led by Portuguese, Ferdinand Magellan.
Since Magellan’s body was never found, they created a shrine for Magellan in the exact same place where he was said to be slain, honoring him as a great explorer. The memorial tower is made of coral stone and approximately 30-meters high. They call it Magellan’s Marker.
The shrine also held a 20-meter bronze monument of Datu Lapu-Lapu carrying a sword and a shield, honoring his valor against the Spanish invaders.
The battle of Mactan was then portrayed by a mural painting inside the shrine, across the memorial tower of Magellan, hanging on the wall. The painting shows Datu Lapu-Lapu and his men fighting Magellan and his Christian soldiers.
There are also stalls that sell local trinkets and souvenirs. One of the products sold is capiz shell decors.Food stalls are also available. Visiting the shrine is free.
Every April, the island celebrates “Kadaugan sa Mactan” where there is a re-enactment of the Battle of Mactan and a lot more activities to make it more festive.
Location map of Mactan Shrine.