Commemorative P5,000 Lapu-Lapu banknote includes historical details, sketches

May 3, 2021 - 6:53 PM
Lapu-Lapu banknote
Photo of the commemorative banknote of the Lapulapu bill that features the 16th century karakoa (the National Quincentennial Commitee)

Photos of the P5,000 commemorative banknote of Lapu-Lapu, considered as the first national hero, were bared to kick off the National Heritage Month of May.

The theme for this year is “Victory and Humanity.”

In a Facebook post on May 1, the National Quincentennial Committee, a body tasked to celebrate the 500-year anniversary of the Victory of Mactan, shared more than 34 photos of the bill where its historical details were highlighted.

“Its design teaches not just about the towering personage of 1521 that is Lapulapu but our pre-colonial history as well,” the committee said.


Some notable details in the bill’s design shown in the photos are:

  1. The New Generation Currency Series featuring the ancient baybayin script
  2. A sketch of the Battle of Mactan designed by muralist Derrick Macutay
  3. The karakoa, a 16th century Southeast Asian colossal war ship, citing “to symbolize the might of our seafaring ancestors”
  4. Return of a sketch of the Philippine Eagle to national currency: “The NHCP, with the support of Visayan historian Rolando Borrinaga, recommended to the BSP the use of the word ‘manaol’ to refer to the indigenous name of the species.”

The NCQ also stated that there are now many different ways for the public to remember the native chieftain’s role in Philippine history.

“Lapulapu’s memory is part of what our forebears bequeathed to us–it can be in a form of history (through verifiable accounts), perspective (like how he was celebrated by the founders of the Filipino nation in 1898), or folklore (stories engendered through generations owing to lack of historical details),” it said.

“We identify with him and acknowledge him as ours. He is part of our consciousness, our imagination, our pride, our being, our becoming,” it added.

National Historical Commission of the Philippines chairperson Rene Escalante likewise stressed how Lapu-Lapu’s heroism symbolizes independence.

“Hindi sya pumayag noong 1521 na tayo ay masakop ng mga Kastila, isang bagay na na kapupulutan natin ng aral hanggang sa panahong ito,” Escalante said.

In developing the overall design of the banknote, the NCQ worked with the NHCP and consulted the following people—archaeologist Eusebio Dizon, Visayan historian Rolando Borrinaga, Visayan anthropologist-archaeologist Jose Eleazar Bersales, Visayan historian-anthropologist Vicente Villan, and art historian Patrick Flores.

The NCQ also collaborated with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in developing the commemorative banknote and medals.

The BSP started selling the bills in February.