Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza is asking EQ diapers to pullout its TV commercial she declared as a “mockery” of one of the country’s celebrated heroes.
In a press conference 10 April, Radaza is also demanding a public apology from JS Unitrade Merchandise Inc., the owner of the local diaper brand, after it made fun of Datu Lapu-Lapu and his battle against Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan 492 years ago.
The 30-second spot shows Magellan offering the former chieftain of Mactan and his wife Reyna Bulakna a box of diapers as a gift. Bulakna, however, declined to receive it and asked her husband to inspect it more closely.
Lapu-Lapu was enraged after discovering Magellan gave him poor quality diapers, challenging the conquistador to a battle alluding to the revered Battle of Mactan.
“Distorting history and making the Battle of Mactan look funny on TV is a lame attempt to promote a product,” Radaza explained.
“That is why, as the duly elected leader of this city once led by Datu Lapu-Lapu, I find the EQ advertisement aired on national television a grave insult to the Oponganons and to the Filipinos in general,” she opined.
Radaza also said she will bring her complaint to the National Historical Commission of the Philippines for twisting the event.
The advertisement, which has been running for a couple of months now, caught the attention of Radaza in the middle of preparations and talks to commemorate Lapu-Lapu’s heroism this month.
On 27 April 27, 1521, Magellan met his fate under Lapu-Lapu’s command in the Battle of Mactan, opposing the conquistador’s plan to convert the natives to Christianity and open commerce.
“As a good corporate citizen, they must help preserve the lessons of history and promote our country’s culture and heritage, not mock it with crass commercialism,” Radaza said, adding she already heard children considering the ad as true history.
People who also found the the Battle of Mactan spoof offending took online to vent out their frustrations. Balbino “Ka Bino” Guerrero, a tour guide and a tourism consultant of Lapu-Lapu City, created a petition that has gathered around 200 supporters as of writing on www.change.org.
Meanwhile, the TV spot drew mixed reactions on Facebook. The ad appeared funny to some netizens, saying it helps bring Lapu-Lapu back to mainstream knowledge. But some insisted that the commercial was a “bad joke,” even calling officials to declare the persons behind the ad persona non grata.