2021 Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines
Formation May 2018
Type Series of commemorations
Location Philippines (primarily, other events held in the Vatican)

The 2021 Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines (2021 QCP) is a year-long series of observances organized to mark the 500th anniversary of various events in the Philippines, notably the introduction of Christianity in the Philippines, the role of the country in the Magellan–Elcano circumnavigation, and the victory of Lapu-Lapu in the Battle of Mactan.

History

As early as May 2018, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte issued Executive Order (EO) No. 55. to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Filipinos' first contact with the Spanish in 1521 from a Filipino-centric point of view in 2021.

President Duterte issued EO 103 on January 28, 2019 formalizing the intent for the commemorations to be "Filipino-centric" and expanded the membership and scope of the NQC.

The 2021 QCP is meant to commemorate three main events. The NQC has also released official names for the quincentennial for the three events.

  • 500th anniversary of the introduction of Christianity in the Philippines – Due to the arrival of the Spanish marking the introduction of Christianity in the Philippines, which became the dominant religion in the country.
  • 500th anniversary of the Philippine part in the first circumnavigation of the world – Commemorates the stopover of the Magellan–Elcano circumnavigation in the Philippines. The NQC specifically advises against naming the event as the "arrival of Magellan" in the Philippines or the Western characterization of the event as the "discovery" of the Philippines.
  • 500th anniversary of the Victory at Mactan – Which commemorates the victory of Lapu-Lapu in the Philippines in the Battle of Mactan. While the NQC recognizes that Lapu-Lapu and his cotemporaries were not technically Filipinos, its position is that they are still worthy of recognition since modern-day Filipinos are their descendants. The NQC commemorates their "ideals, their sacrifices, their struggles" and holds them as a sources of inspirations.

Marketing

Events

The commemoration of the introduction of Christianity in the Philippines was suppose to culminate in April 2021 but was changed to be the kickoff month of the observances due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result some events will be held in 2022.

  • September 26, 2020 – Social media launch of the 500 Years of Christianity (YOC) event.
  • January 5, 2021 – A temporary artwork made from solar-powered light bulbs will be installed encompassing the Agrifina Circle and Relief Map at the Rizal Park. The artwork made under the non-profit Liter of Light is in a form of a rosary and the bulbs will be donated after the event.
  • January 17, 2021 - Sinulog mass held in Basilaca Minore del Santo Niño in Cebu City. Bigger celebrations are moved to March.
  • March 14, 2021 (CET, UTC+1) – Pope Francis presided a mass at the St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City at 10a.m. as part of the quincentennial.
  • March 16, 2021 - Spanish Navy training ship arrives Juan Sebastián de Elcano arrives off the coast of Homonhon Island, Guihulgan, Samar where it was greeted by the Philippine Navy ship BRP Apolinario Mabini.
  • March 20, 2021 - Sinulog fluvial parade. Spanish Navy training ship Juan Sebastián de Elcano to take part in the fluvial parade. Afterwards, the ship docks at Cebu City International Port and is made open to visitors.
  • March 21, 2021 - Sinulog Grand Parade to be held in Cebu City. Sinulog mass celebrations occurred last January but the parade was moved to March to coincide with the 500 anniversary of the Magellan arriving in the Philippines.
  • March 22, 2021 - The Juan Sebastián de Elcano departs Cebu for Tidore, Indonesia to continue the circumnavigation journey.
  • March 31, 2021 - Mass to be held at Limasawa Island, Samar to mark 500 years of the first Christian mass in the Philippines
  • April 14, 2021 – Commemoration of the first Christian baptisms in the Philippines. Rajah Humabon and 50 others agreed to get baptized 500 years ago. A re-enactment of the event will see 500 people with special needs get baptized.
  • April 17, 2021 – Commemoration of the first Easter Sunday mass in the Philippines. The date itself also falls on a Easter Sunday, will also mark the official kickoff of the 500 Years of Christianity (YOC) event.
  • April 2022 – International Mission Congress (IMC) and the 2nd National Mission Congress will be held which was postponed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

First circumnavigation and Victory at Mactan

  • January 17, 2021 – Start of the 100-day countdown for the 500th anniversary of the Victory at Mactan to be held on April 27, 2021.
    • The Philippine flag at the Mactan Shrine will be permanently hoisted starting from this date becoming one of the few sites in the country required to do so.
    • Quincentennial logo unveiling at the Rizal Park in Manila.
  • March 16 – 22, 2021: The Spanish training ship Juan Sebastián de Elcano arrived at Guiuan in Eastern Samar, the Suluan and Homonhon islands and Cebu, coinciding with the points visited by the historic Magellan-Elcano expedition in the Philippines. The Elcano took part in the Sinulog fluvial parade on March 20, 2021. It was made open to locals of which 70,000 were received int he three days it docked in Cebu City.
  • March 18 – April 21, 2021: Ten markers will be unveiled in different sites in Eastern Visayas.
  • April 27, 2021
    • Groundbreaking of the Lapu-Lapu Memorial Shrine and Museum.
    • Reopening of the restored Manila Metropolitan Theater The opening is part of the Victory at Mactan commemorations.
    • Annual Victory at Mactan fight reenactment.
    • Mactan Street Party held in Lapu-Lapu City.
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