The Cebuano chieftain Lapulapu emerged victorious in the Battle of Mactan, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) said yesterday, in an effort to correct the falsehood spread by the song “Panalo” (“Win”) of rapper EZ Mil.
Mil’s song, which has gone viral since it was released last month, wrongly asserts that Lapulapu was beheaded in Mactan in 1521. Mil tried to justify this by saying that he just wanted to create buzz for his song, but apologized for playing loose with facts.
The NHCP said that while it welcomes songs that promote Pinoy pride, such works of art should not distort history. The government agency is tasked to promote Philippine history.
“Lapulapu was definitely not killed in the Battle of Mactan. The Battle was a victory of our ancestors led by him,” NHCP chair Rene Escalante said.
“The NHCP welcomes new songs that inspire our people to think great and be informed of their history. But let us not compromise history and be conscious of our accountability on what we are conveying to our people,” Escalante added.
The mayor of Lapu-Lapu City, a town named after the chieftain, initially wanted to declare Mil persona non grata for the latter’s song. However, Mayor Junard Chan changed his mind and asked Mil to change the lyrics to “Panalo” instead.
Meanwhile, veteran rapper Gloc-9 encouraged artists to be careful when writing song lyrics, especially because Filipinos are living in the age of false news.
“I think, now that we’re living at a time when we’re always questioning facts and history [because they] benefit those in power, it’s even more important to become careful when we use these [facts] in our songs. We shouldn’t be adding to disinformation,” Gloc-9 said in Filipino when asked about the issue during a press conference.
Historical revisionism has run rampant on Philippine social media for the past few years. Many YouTube videos and Facebook groups tout that dictator Ferdinand Marcos was a hero despite his numerous human rights violations.
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