Kadaugan sa Mactan Festival is an annual week-long celebration in the province of Cebu every last week of April. It is a grand celebration in order to remember the Cebuano’s history and culture.
Kadaugan sa Mactan (Victory at Mactan) is also called Bahugbahug sa Mactan or “Melee at Mactan”. It is the reenactment of the epic “Battle of Mactan”, which happened on April 27, 1521. It was the battle between the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and Mactan Island Chieftain Lapu-Lapu. Ferdinand Magellan had been successful in bringing the Christianity to the people of Cebu, where Rajah Humabon, his wife, and 800 natives were introduced to Catholicism and baptized into Christianity. He also crossed to Mactan Island in the hope to spread the Christian faith in the area. But before reaching the shore, Magellan was killed, along with his Christian soldiers, by the Mactan Island Chieftain Lapu-lapu, who led his men for the battle of supremacy and freedom.
This festival is initially staged in 1981. The event takes place at the beach of Barangay Mactan where you can find Mactan Shrine, the spot where it was believed Magellan was slain. A memorial tower was built, honoring Magellan as a great explorer, and a Lapu-Lapu Monument to honor the bravery of the native leader Datu Lapu-Lapu.
The festival has lots of activities to add fun and enjoyment to the townspeople and visitors. One highlight of the festival is the food carousel and food street, Drum and Bugle Corps Competition, a musical marching unit (similar to a marching band), agricultural fair to display of products of the province, booths where you can shop and enjoy amazing bargains, band entertainment, gay parade, gay sportfest, Search for Ms. Mahuyang nga Bulak, inter-barangay indigenous games, swimming competition, art contest, oratical contest, tribal street dancing, floral offering at Mactan Shrine, and of course, the Act of Kadaugan.
The event begins with a fluvial procession of decorated bancas (canoes) to the beach, which represents the arrival of 3 ships led by Magellan. This act is followed by the reenactment of the planting of Magellan's Cross leading to the final act of Lapu-Lapu's battle and victory. The roles of Lapu-lapu, Magellan, and Bulakna, wife of Lapu-Lapu, are played by celebrities.
The festival also features street dancing and street party with Rampada Street Dancing where you can dance all day and party all night. The Rampada centers on Bulakna and her leadership in merrymaking celebration after the victory of his husband Lapu-lapu against Magellan. It is patterned after the carnivals in Rio de Janiero and other places in the world, but it is given both historic and environmental spins that explain why the costumes must be made with indigenous and recycled materials.
This festival is to remember the single brightest moment in the Philippines history, having dramatized the Filipino’s quest for freedom and independence from foreign rule. It is a famous event that had been featured as the only international event in the Philippines Tourism calendar. Tourists and visitors are looking forward for the grandeur of this festival every year.