Francisco V. Coching's LAPU-LAPU

Mang Koko's indomitable love for his country and his realistic illustration once again allowed me to give 5 stars out of 5 for Lapu-Lapu. And even if his work here is purely historical fiction, majority of the scenes are still based on actual events and I'm still mesmerized by his detailed description of our tribal origins, a trademark of a resurgent and resilient brown race situated in the archipelagic territory of the South East Asia.

Even if this diverse culture is also marred by the regionalistic factions and tribal wars, it's still good to think that we are not just a generous and accomodating race easy to be exploited for we once stood by existing laws under the watchful eye of Bathala with our instinctual beliefs and ethics inherited from our ancestors that remained intact and prompted us to unite for the protection of our land, our children, and our right to live. Those who wanted to colonize and control us will have to think twice because in the end, we will always fight for what we believe is our birthright in our own native land.

Fictional or not, there are many things to like and rediscover in this book. The following are just sample previews for your reading pleasure:

Lapu Lapu is named because of his skill in diving and catching the rare fish. (I previously thought it was the other way around--the fish, popular as a delicacy was named after the hero)

The First Filipino to circumnavigate the world (and probably the first man) known as Enrique is also part of the insurrection.

The classic story of catching two birds in one arrow in a shooting competition. 

The realistic depiction of tribal wars, jealousy, and politics, as already happened in our relatively complex history.

In anticipation, the hero and his tribe prepared well for the battle tactically and physically. Sampling the strength of the Spaniard's metallic helmet and crafting an armor from the carabao's hide are very amusing scenes.

The strength of bamboo used as a human catapult.

Rating: 5 kampilan out of 5
Genre: Historical Fiction

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