Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Lapulapu In Diapers!

Of art, stone, colors, tourism and ignorance, sometimes come forth funny caricatures from what used to be a monument of heroism and valor!

Take the great monument erected for the great Lapu-lapu right on the spot where he valiantly led a fight and victoriously killed Megallan. As a monument, it is a proud mark of our history. As a work of art, it is more than great! It is more than life-size as it stands tall probably 9 to 12 feet from foot to head and it stands on a high mount in itself already about 8 or 10 feet. The muscles of this man are so pronounced, the face, the eyes and every bit of it are almost real. But of course it is made of stone or cement or whatever material it is (probably even brass or copper).

Now the disgrace! The authorities (whoever they are), probably in an effort to make what is beautiful even more grand, did something that they should have not bothered to do. In fact, the effort must have been expensive. Oh what did they do? They just painted the whole statue with the kind of finish that you see on plastic toys. Probably a latex kind of paint or any of its derivatives that shows a shiny finish!

Your dear Lapu-lapu is now colored a shiny mix of cream and brown (or is it mocha?) that makes it look like a doll made of plastic imported from China! That shade of brown appears to have a creamy texture that does not at all represent the color of any Filipino anywhere in the world! Of course the hair is black and also shining in the sun’s glow like it was the hood of your car! Even the shield that the man carries has been made “realistic” by using a mix of grey and silver! Of course the same “realistic” attempt was done to that axe that he carries.

True to the cool fashion of his time, Lapu-lapu wears only a head scarf, a necklace and cloth wrapped around his front and rear “heavens”! Well, you guessed it right, the tourism authorities of this place painted the head scarf with the color white – like it was fresh from an overnight soaking in Tide Ultra! The necklace is good though. It is painted in a lighter yellower shade of brown (almost orange actually).

And, finally the “bahag”, that cloth that he wears in place of trousers has been painted white. Looking at it from the front and sides of the monument, Lapulapu is like wearing a fresh towel spirited from any of the rooms at nearby Shangri La Mactan Resort! It is clean white and shiny! Then as you go around to the Magellan Marker, you naturally get a good view of Lapu-lapu’s behind. Immediately what comes to mind is an outsized replica of a muscular toddler wearing the mighty Pampers!

The whole thing, historical art as it is, now actually looks like it was a giant balloon with the kind of material they use for those big Jollibee balloons. Oh yes, a friend says it is like a character in some Japanese anime while another friend muses that Lapu-lapu seems to be a cousin of Barbie and Ken!

Total effect: at least we had something to laugh about in this desolate place!

The tourism people in Mactan should have allowed that statue to retain the original color and texture of the material that it was made of. Stone-if-stone, concrete-if-cement or brass-if-brass!

Now what am I whining about?! At least I had something to write about!



  1. just an update...

    was in cebu again last February, and hey! they have re-painted Lapu-lapu's garment to something like a brownish orangy yellow thing... almost gold actually and it matches the necklace!

    its a bit more acceptable than before but I still do wonder... why can't the damn giant of a thing retain its original element? stone if stone or metal if metal... its a historical memento after all and not an "enchanted kingdom" character...

    oh well...

  2. and now they have repainted the man again into a reddish metal color that is exactly the color of the coin (1 centavo) that bears his image!