On April 21, 1521, a Portuguese sailing under the flag of Spain reached the shores of Mactan Island of Cebu Province. The Portuguese known in history as Ferdinand Magallanes (or Ferdinand Magellan) planned to subdue the locals who did not bow down to the Spanish rule. It was unfortunate of him since he was met by a strong resistance from the chieftain of Mactan Island, the very first Filipino national hero, Lapu-Lapu. A shrine was then put up in the area said to be the exact place where the Battle of Mactan is said to have happened.
The Mactan Shrine (also referred to as Lapu-Lapu Shrine) is located on the coast of Mactan Island. The sea beside it is quite shallow and the surrounding areas are partially covered with mangroves.
There are many ways of reaching Mactan Shrine from the airport, which is a sure-fire way since every mode of transportation knows where the airport is. From the airport, you may choose to take a taxi cab and pay an estimate amount of Php 200.00. Take note that anything beyond that would be a bit too much already.
If you take jeepney from the airport, have yourself dropped at the Save More store where you can walk to the highway to take another jeepney. Take those that has a signboard that says “Punta Engano” and you can ask the driver that you want to be in Mactan Shrine. The Shrine is just by the highway, so for this you may pay a total of Php 19.00 Seven for your trip from the airport to the Save More store and the other 12 would be from the airport highway to Mactan Shrine.
There’s no entrance fee to be paid but the Shrine management does encourage visitors to give donations for maintenance. A few spare coins or a little more than that could help a lot, so do give.
Aside from the centerpiece of Mactan Shrine which is the Lapu-Lapu Shrine, there are other things to see inside. There’s the Magellan Monument which is just a few steps away from Lapu-Lapu Shrine. There’s also the Battle of Mactan Mural. You may also find some souvenir shops in the vicinity.
The Mactan Shrine is perfect for school educational trips or tours for foreign tourists. A trip to the Shrine is a very good supplement to history lectures. To be there gives a feeling of great pride to be standing on the very soil where Filipino bravery was best exemplified.