Lapu Lapu

A King's Balisong by Pabu Knife About ten years after Magellan's birth in Portugal, on the Philippines island of Mactan, a fine boy was born and named Kolipulako. Legend has it that he was a skilled horseman by age six and could read and write by age seven. By age eighteen, he was a champion swimmer and diver, and a champion boxer and wrestler. By the time Magellan set sail for the Moluccas, Kolipolako was known as Kaliph Pulaka or Lapulapu. Kaliph means king. He had become the ruler or king of his people, one of several tribes peacefully sharing the island of Mactan. This is a picture of a statue of Lapu Lapu in Lapulapu city on the island of Mactan. (You may wonder what the correct spelling of this king's name is. Should it be written Lapu Lapu, Lapulapu, or Lapu-Lapu? The answer is that all are used frequently.) In the statue shown above, Lapu Lapu is depicted standing proudly and holding a narrow shield known as a "pestle" in his left hand and a long, heavy sword in his right. At first glance, the sword resembles a Filipino bolo sword, but the tip is wrong. That is actually an early form of a Filipino sword known as a kampilan. These are both very traditional Filipino warrior's weapons. You can also see the modern flag of the Philippines flying proudly in the background. Meanwhile, on the island of Cebu... Click on the finger icon to read more about this heroic Pabu balisong .