MANILA, Philippines — Lapu-Lapu was then a ruler of Mactan in the Visayas who resisted and defeated the Spaniards in the Battle of Mactan and with it the war hero should always be accorded and honor befitting a patriot, a great ruler and a hero no less.
But what instantly comes to mind to a lot of people is the fish called “lapu-lapu,” which is decidedly one of the priciest and tastiest seafood, and not that of the real Lapu-Lapu who is considered as one of the greatest Filipino war heroes.
To correct this, Lapu-Lapu City Rep. Paz Radaza filed House Bill 2223 or “An Act Rectifying the Dishonorable Use of a Great Filipino Name Lapu-Lapu to a Fish Species ‘Plectropomus leopardus.”
“The bill aims to rectify, correct and give justice to the honorable name of Lapu-Lapu as a hero,” Radaza said.
For Plectropomus leopardus to be known, named and promoted as a delicious delicacy, Radaza said Filipinos should be encouraged to call it “Pugapo” instead of “lapu-lapu.”
“It is inappropriate, a defilement, and a violation, even if the fish could be the most sought-after, not only in the Philippines but also in Southeast Asia,” Radaza said.
In yesteryears, Radaza said the fish Plectropomus leopardus was known in the regions of the Visayas and Mindanao as “Pugapo.”
“But nowadays, it is alarming that more and more Filipinos prefer to call it lapu-lapu, a disrespect to a patriotic Filipino forebear,” she said.
The bill further declares that as it is a defilement that his name is being used to call a fish, Plectropomus leopardus.
Calling the specie as Lapu-Lapu or Lapulapu shall now be prohibited.
The species shall instead be called and restored to its original name Pugapo, the bill provides.
The bill mandates the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), together with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) of the Department of Agriculture (DA), to take the lead role in the implementation of the Act.
Likewise, the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) shall prepare advertisements and information campaign on the Act until full compliance is attained.
Local government units shall also help implement the Act by passing local ordinances and disseminating information within their areas of jurisdiction that “Pugapo” should not be called Lapu-Lapu. (Eddie Galvez/IAMIGO/CNS)