One must understand the nature of history as biased, subjective, and selective. This is true with the Spanish-produced animated film Elcano and Magellan, which is, obviously, biased in favor of Spain and conforms to the Spanish point of view of history. The same goes for us, Filipinos, in how to view the events that comprised the Magellan-Elcano expedition, especially with respect to our history as a people. We are also biased toward our national sentiment and perspective: that Lapulapu is our hero and Magellan was the defeated foreign intruder.

The National Quincentennial Committee (NQC) welcomes this kind of development that allows the 500 years of the Victory at Mactan in 2021 to enter in the consciousness of the Filipino people. Branded as the 2021 Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines (2021 QCP), the event in 2021 will focus on the following themes: Sovereignty, Unity, Magnanimity, and Identity.

Victory and Humanity is the theme of the 2021 QCP to emphasize not only our triumph in our life as a nation in the face of great odds and adversities, but also our epic history of compassion for humanity.

The Committee and its Secretariat, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), respect artistic freedom. The NHCP, as the government’s Philippine history agency, does not endorse nor critique films and other art forms. What we request the public is to be critical and make use of the opportunity to discover by themselves who truly were our ancestors, by reading books about Philippine history, culture, and society, or visiting the National Museum and other museums and galleries alike. You may also like and follow various social media pages of Philippine cultural agencies (i.e., facebook @nationalmuseumofthephilippines, @nhcp1933, @nqc2021, @NCCAOfficial, @culturalcenterofthephilippines) to enrich your knowledge about our identity as a people. The NQC ensures that our social media platforms are active in generating materials that will help the public understand the world of our ancestors. The Presidential Communications Operations Office is working hand in hand with the NHCP to document live through Radio-Television Malacañang various 2021 QCP public programs such as the Quincentennial Lecture Series, so that more Filipinos, especially those abroad, may benefit from this massive campaign to bring Philippine early history closer to the public.

Stay tuned to the various projects that the public may participate in as we head to 2021. We look forward to seeing you in our activities.

 

DR. RENE R. ESCALANTE
Chairperson, National Historical Commission of the Philippines &
Vice-Chairperson, National Quincentennial Committee