Kadaugan sa Mactan Celebrates the 500th Year of Christianity

Share this: 

The battle between Lapu-Lapu and Magellan was re-enacted in this year’s Kadaugan sa Mactan.
(Photo taken from Lapu-Lapu City PIO FB Page)

Kadaugan sa Mactan is a highly anticipated event that happens every year. This stage play depicts the intense clash between the Mactan soldiers and the Spaniards that occurred on April 27, 1521.

This timely presentation – performed in line with the anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines – attracts many viewers (especially Oponganons) eager to witness the spectacle.

The Lapu-Lapu City government carried on with the tradition this year, perfectly timing it with the closing of the 500th anniversary of Christianity in the country.

To commemorate half a millennium of Christianity, the organizers hosted more social events like an art exhibit, a job fair, sports competitions, and concerts to urge more spectators to take part in the celebration.


The Statue of Datu Lapu-Lapu and the Magellan Marker stand as a reminder of the Battle of Mactan.

The Philippines was baptized into Christianity when the Spaniards – led by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan – arrived on the island of Cebu in 1521.

Magellan and his men converted many of Cebu’s leaders, offering important religious documents and items like the Magellan’s Cross and the image of the Sto. Niño. However, one man did not heed his persuasion – Mactan’s village chief Datu Lapu-Lapu.

The chieftain’s refusal to convert posed a challenge for the explorer, forcing him to confront Lapu-Lapu by the seas of modern-day Punta Engaño. The bloody Battle of Mactan was between a group of iron-clad Spaniards and less armed tribal warriors.

Despite the disadvantage in weaponry, Lapu-Lapu and his men used an improvised arsenal of spears, swords, and bows that overpowered the Spaniards into submission. This use of what one might call primitive weapons is the earliest form of the Filipino martial art known as Kali (locally known as Arnis and Escrima).

Ferdinand Magellan died after getting hit by a stray arrow, forcing his men to retreat and end the first attempt at colonization in the Philippines.

The Liberty Shrine is one of the most popular historical sites in the Philippines, commemorating the Battle of Mactan.

A statue of Lapu-Lapu stands at the Liberty Shrine – the exact location of the clash and one of the most famous historical shrines in the Philippines.

A monument dedicated to Ferdinand Magellan is also located inside the park, commemorating his conversion of Cebu to Christianity.

Since 1981, the shrine has been the venue for the Kadaugan sa Mactan event, bringing in hundreds of viewers to the cultural phenomenon.


Kadaugan sa Mactan portrays the Battle of Mactan with a blend of dancing and acting.
(Photos from Lapu-Lapu City PIO FB Page)

The re-enactment of the battle is performed in the morning or during a high tide every year on April 27.

Local talent portrays the roles of Lapu-Lapu, Reyna Bulakna, and Magellan – sometimes tapping actors from local TV shows and movies.

In 2006, world-class boxer Manny Pacquiao portrayed Lapu-Lapu, while his wife Jinkee played Reyna Bulakna.

The play starts with the planting of the Magellan’s Cross and ends with the victory of Lapu-Lapu and his men. Magellan and the Spaniards arrive through the sea at the shrine.

The intense action scenes and opportunity to see local celebrities have brought in many viewers every year, becoming one of the most popular tourist attractions in Mactan.

In 2022, the performance had a different setup. Instead of using the beach near the Liberty Shrine, the dancing and acting scenes were performed under a tent near the Lapu-Lapu monument.

It was also presented from late afternoon to early evening instead of in the morning.

During the event, the story remained unchanged from previous Kadaugan sa Mactan performances, in which they addressed the bravery of the early Cebuanos and the downfall of the heavily armed Spaniards.

One key moment portrayed in the performance was the burning of Bulaia, a rather unpopular raid that happened before the Battle of Mactan. Here, Magellan ordered the burning of Bulaia – present-day Buaya – which affected over 50 residents. This tragic raid was the moment that sparked the brutal final battle.

It also featured a very special guest.

(Third photo from Lapu-Lapu City PIO FB Page)

The event was graced by outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte, who gave a speech commemorating one of Cebu’s first victories.

Duterte was also in Cebu for the inauguration of the Cebu Cordova Link Expressway – the third bridge that connects mainland Cebu to the island of Mactan through the municipality of Cordova. The bridge was opened to the public on April 30, 2022.

The event brought in hundreds of Oponganons who wanted to see the yearly celebration unfold, even resisting the heat of the sun to wait for the performances and a chance to see the Philippine president.

Hundreds of Lapu-Lapu City residents await the event performances.


The 2022 celebration provided more activities to interest a number of spectators.

The Lapu-Lapu City Visual Artist Group organized the Mactan Art Fest at the Island Central Mall.

The Lapu-Lapu City Visual Artist Group held the inaugural Mactan Art Fest from April 22 to 24 at the Island Central Mall and from April 30 to May 1 at the Mactan Shrine.

It featured over 40 artists from all over Mactan, all of whom showcased original sketches and paintings. The event also featured henna tattoo sessions, live sketching, and souvenirs for visitors to bring home.

The second leg of the exhibit was held at the Liberty Shrine, which took place from April 30 to May 1.

Cebuano rock bands like Missing Filemon, Juan Paasa, Phylum, and many more also performed a concert at the Hoops Dome on April 23, 2022.

As the Philippines celebrates its 500th year of Christianity, Kadaugan sa Mactan will continue to host several activities to remind us of one of Cebu’s most important victories. Every year, this glorious event signifies the bravery and courage of Cebuanos against foreign rule, exhibiting the love and passion we have for our own home and country.

Share this: 

Other posts

Wide shot of the quadrangle at the La Casa Vieja

La Casa Vieja: A Hidden Fine Dining Restaurant in Banawa

La Casa Vieja is a Filipino fine dining restaurant located in Banawa. Some people will say that La Casa Vieja is one of the best kept secrets in Cebu’s culinary industry. This mid-range Filipino restaurant is tucked away in a private but accessible location, within the quiet residential area of Banawa.  Owned by one of

Read More
Entrance of Cupcaken along Banawa

Cupcaken: A Cozy Vintage-Inspired Cafe for Cupcake Lovers

Cupcaken is a streetside cafe in Cebu City known for selling a variety of delicious cupcakes. Cupcakes are feasts for the senses with their sweet flavor, irresistible aroma, and cute toppings that will make you want to try them out.  Their compactness makes them lighter alternatives to bigger desserts. You may end up eating multiple

Read More
Drone shot of Anjo World at night

Explore Anjo World and Its 12 Exhilarating Attractions!

Anjo World is a popular hangout spot in the south, thanks to the many rides and attractions inside. Welcome to everyone’s favorite amusement park in Cebu! Anjo World has 12 adrenaline pumping rides, large-scale attractions, and memorable concessionaire stands that you can enjoy with loved ones.  It is located in Minglanilla inside Belmont One, a

Read More
Sinulog Queens dances during the Grand Parade of the Sinulog 2024

Sinulog 2024 Set to Return to the South Road Properties

A Sinulog street dance performance during the Sinulog Grand Parade 2023 The Sinulog Festival will return to South Road Properties this 2024!  This was announced by Elmer “Jojo” Labella, the Executive Director of the Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) at a press conference on November 14th, 2023.  The festival is slated for January of next year,

Read More
Wide shot of the Gasoline station at the North Reclamation Area

New Gasoline Station in Mabolo Has a Drive-Thru Patisserie

Fueltech Mabolo is the first gasoline station in Cebu with a drive thru patisserie. A gasoline station is no longer just a stopover for motorists to refuel. Even companies like the Shell gas station and Petron have rebranded to focus on giving motorists a great spot to dine, hang out, and relax.  Most cafes offer

Read More
Wide shot of the cashier of the Zero-X Coffee Shop in Cebu

A New Coffee Shop in Cebu with a Futuristic Japandi Design

Zero-X Cafe is a new coffee shop in Cebu with crypto-inspired aesthetics. Looking for a new coffee shop in Cebu? We’re sure that many of you have heard of Zero-X Cafe by now.  Its impressive design is half of what makes it so appealing. Apart from getting your dose of caffeine, don’t miss out on

Read More

Best of Cebu Videos

Scroll to Top
Weather Forecast
Exchange Currency
Cebu City
Mostly Cloudy
5:45 am5:20 pm PST
Feels like: 91°F
Wind: 14mph NNE
Humidity: 77%
Pressure: 29.92"Hg
UV index: 2

Exchange Rate USD: Thu, 30 Nov.