Proposing a ‘persona non grata’ slap, Lapu-Lapu mayor says rapper mocked hero

February 9, 2021 - 9:41 AM
A photo of Filipino-American rapper Ez Mil via Instagram

A Filipino-American rapper will not be allowed to enter Lapu-Lapu City once its mayor’s recommendation to declare him “persona non grata” is granted.

Ez Mil, whose hit single “Panalo (Trap Cariñosa),” became controversial for innaccurate telling of the Battle of Mactan in 1521.

The single was part of the rapper’s album “Act 1” that was released in 2020. He also released another album on the same year called “Resonances.”

Despite being several months old, the song only took off after Ez Mil, also known as Ezekiel Miller on Instagram, performed it live at Wish Bus USA last January 29.

As of writing, it has more than 28 million views and has been his most successful work to date.

The song claims “pinugutan si Lapu sa Mactan,” referring to the native warrior-chieftain the city was named after who battled Spanish and Portuguese conquistadors on the shore. He was acknowledged to have defeated the arriving foreigners and killed Ferdinand Magellan on April 27, 1521.

The controversial lyrics reached the provincial mayor of the city he was named after.

A report by The Freeman stated that Mayor Junard Chen asked the city council to declare Ez Mil “persona non grata” or no longer welcome in the urbanized city in Cebu, citing alleged mockery of Lapu-Lapu.

“I’m angry, I’m outraged. He’s making up stories. What is he doing? He doesn’t care if it’s wrong as long as it makes him famous? He’s making a big mockery of our hero who should be respected, not ridiculed,” he said.

Apologetic rapper

Ez Mil, meanwhile, already expressed his apologies over this line through a video with YouTuber Hbom Segovia.

In the video, he clarified that he only wrote the lyric as a ploy.

“Why I chose the term, ‘pinugutan si Lapu sa Mactan.’ Because in terms of the rhyming pattern, I always go to this dilemma or doubt in my head in closing out a song. Am I gonna close it out with absolute truth or am I gonna make people talk about it? It’s like me weighing off the options,” he said.

“That’s me putting an exaggerated term in a ploy to drive traffic and talk. It’s inaccurate but he still died. He’s dead right now,” he added.

Ez Mil then apologized to those who were offended.

“I’m sorry to anybody who was offended with the fact that me being putting inaccurate sources in our history as Filipinos. That’s why the song is what it is right now,” he said.