KADAUGAN SA MACTAN: A Celebration of Victory and Gastronomy


One in all the underrated yet anticipated festivals within the country is the Kadaugan Sa Mactan in Mactan, Cebu.

Photo credit: Aimme Ifur Bomediano

Kadaugan by Aimme Ifur Bomediano
Kadaugan by Aimme Ifur Bomediano

This 12 months marks the 503rd Kadaugan Sa Mactan (Victory of Mactan) on April 27, 2024. The celebration has been around for over twenty years and is commemorated with a re-enactment of the famed Battle of Mactan.

Lapu-Lapu as the primary Filipino hero

Lapu-Lapu Monument by Aimme Ifur Bomediano
Lapu-Lapu Monument by Aimme Ifur Bomediano

Lapu-Lapu is greater than only a tasty fish. He can be often called Cilapulapu, Salip Pulaka, Cali Pulaco, and LapuLapu Dimantag. Whatever his name was, he made history as the primary Filipino who defeated Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan within the Battle of Mactan.

If it had not been for Italian nobleman Antonio Pigafetta, chronicler of the Spanish expedition led by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521, who only mentioned Lapulapu by name but didn’t include details concerning the chieftain of Mactan Island.

Lapu-Lapu killed Magellan by Aimme Ifur Bomediano
Lapu-Lapu killed Magellan by Aimme Ifur Bomediano

In accordance with Pigafetta, Magellan had only 50 soldiers throughout the battle against Lapulapu’s 1,500 warriors. Lapulapu’s warriors rained arrows, iron-tipped bamboo lances, and stones on Magellan’s crew, aiming on the weak points–their legs. Although their heads and bodies were protected with metal helmets and breastplates, the fight favored the islanders as cannons were useless within the battle as they were out of range.

Magellan was hit by a poisoned arrow within the leg, making it difficult for him to attract his sword from its scabbard. In accordance with Pigafetta, a big javelin was thrust into his left leg, which made him weak and wounded. “On this, suddenly rushed upon him with lances of iron and bamboo and with these javelins, in order that they slew our mirror, our light, our comfort, and our true guide,” he said. The soldiers retreated to the ship after Magellan died.

Historians and writers still debated whether Lapulapu killed Magellan. Some testimonies of chroniclers and eyewitness accounts even described Lapulapu to be in his 70s who probably watched the battle unfold from a protected distance.

On April 27, 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte declared April 27 (the date when the Battle of Mactan
happened) as Lapu-Lapu Day to honor the primary hero within the country who defeated foreigners.

Kadaugan Sa Mactan Food Festival

Hotels and resorts in Lapu-Lapu City would gather and sell for ten days on the Liberty Shrine (formerly Mactan Shrine) to sell their products at a reasonable price. This has been a practice for over 20 years, minus the three years of hiatus as a consequence of the worldwide pandemic. The five hundred years of Battle of Mactan and Birth of Christianity must have been a giant celebration nevertheless it was pushed back to its 502nd as an alternative (2023) with about 1,000 eskrimadors from ages various from 5 to 92 years old.

Because the Kadaugan Sa Mactan celebrates its 503rd anniversary with a food festival, it coincides with the weekend of the Ironman 70.3 Race. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will start their display as early as April 5 until the twenty seventh, while hotels and resorts will start their display from April 18 to 27 on the Liberty Shrine.

Best Booth Design at the Kadaugan Food Festival 2023 photo by Aimme Ifur Bomediano
Best Booth Design on the Kadaugan Food Festival 2023 photo by Aimme Ifur Bomediano

Last 12 months, Waterfront Airport Hotel & Casino bagged the Best Booth Design on the Kadaugan Food Festival with their jeepney concept, selling mamen (ramen using mami noodles). They can be joined by Crimson Mactan, Dusit Thani Mactan, Shangri-La Mactan, Savoy Mactan, Costabella Tropical Beach Hotel, Goldberry Suites & Hotel, Jpark Island Resort, Belmont Mactan, Tambuli, Sheraton Cebu, Bluewater Maribago Beach Resort, and Solea Mactan.

Boy Mamen Booth photo by Aimme Ifur Bomediano
Boy Mamen Booth photo by Aimme Ifur Bomediano

The festival gathers 1000’s of individuals day by day including foreigners and locals from different parts of the region to experience the food culture this city has to supply. The Kadaugan Food Festival isn’t only a celebration of culinary delights nevertheless it provides a possibility for the locals who cannot visit the hotels and resorts to try their products at reasonably priced prices.

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