Friday afternoon found me at the Lapu Lapu Shrine in Luneta, along with the farmers of Sumilao, Banasi and Calatagan. While we were goofing around at the foot of the statue, a group of Caucasian men approached Murin and me.
“Who is that?” one of the men asked.
“Lapu Lapu,” I replied.
“Who is he?”
“He’s the first Filipino hero. He killed Ferdinand Magellan, who wanted him to submit to Spain.”
And then, the startling reply:
“Oh. Did he eat Magellan after killing him?” He said that complete with chow-time gestures with his hands.
To which I responded, channeling Nora Aunor in “my brother is not a pig” mode:
“Our ancestors are not cannibals!”
And we walked away in a fit of fury and indignation, with the gleaming bronze statue of the brave Filipino chieftain looming larger-than-life over us and Francis M. songs playing in our head.