We, Filipinos, all know who Lapu-lapu is. He was the ruler of Mactan Island in the Visayas. Also known as Kali Pulako or Cali Pulaco, he is the first native of the archipelago to have resisted the Spanish colonization that was lead by Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan.
Lapu-lapu is also a kind of fish valued for its excellent texture and flavor. The fish got its name from him. That is why when you research about the fish, you'll mostly find the story of Lapu-lapu, the Mactan hero.
How the fish got its name?
There are many versions of the story how the fish got its name. Continue reading to know one of the versions...
It was believed that it all started out when the Spaniards set foot on the island of Cebu. Lapu-lapu led the resistance where Magellan was killed, now known as the "Battle of Mactan".
When Magellan fell onto the shores of Mactan, his fellow Pigafetta cried out and cursed the chieftain. Lapu-lapu replied and exclaimed, "Ikaw nagpakaaron-ingnon nga alagad ni Bathala. Apan wala kay kalainan sa inyong mga sundalo. Pareho ka sa isdang kugtong, gisubad nimo bisan ang among mga kababayen-an. Sukad karon dinhi sa akong gingharian ang kugtong tawgon na nga Pigafetta." Translated in English, "You're not a servant of God, don't pretend to be one. You are no different from your soldiers, like the fish ‘kugtong', devouring even our girls. From now on, the ‘kugtong' will be called Pigafetta."
It was a scene remembered most by the settles. Since Cebuanos find it hard to pronounce "pigafetta", as years passed by, it later became known as "pugapo" which is now known as "lapu-lapu."
In commemoration of the Battle of Mactan this April 27, I have found a recipe from www.yummy.ph that you will surely love to try. For those who like to bake fish, see below:
The dish has a fancy ring to its name but it's certainly trouble-free. Pair with a tasty rice pilaf or a side of buttered vegetables.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Baking Time: 30 minutes
• 1 kilo lapu-lapu
• salt and pepper to taste
• juice of a lemon
• 1/2 cup mayonnaise
• 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
• 1 teaspoon lemon zest
• 1 teaspoon lime zest
• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
• 1/2 teaspoon paprika
• 1/4 cup flour
• 1 egg
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 cup lime soda
• 1 teaspoon turmeric
• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/2 cup sweet onions, sliced thinly
1. Preheat oven at 350F.
2. On a baking dish, season lapu-lapu with salt and pepper, and lemon juice.
3. On a separate bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, garlic, lemon zest, lime zest, cayenne powder, paprika, and salt and pepper. Spread mixture on top of fish and bake for 30 minutes.
4. While the fish is baking, whisk together flour, egg, baking soda, lime soda, turmeric, cayenne powder, and garlic powder. Lightly coat the onions with the batter and fry.
5. When fish is done, top with fried onions and serve.
Photography by Patrick Martires â"‚Recipe by Jon Em of Paul Calvin's Deli â"‚Styling by Angelo Comsti