Last updated on September 30, 2019
The island was already a thriving settlement before it was colonized by Spain in the 16th century. Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan arrived on the island in 1521 and became involved in warfare among the kingdoms, only to be killed in battle by the warriors of Datu Lapu-Lapu, the sovereign in the island. However, oral tradition also dictates that the island where the Battle of Mactan might have taken place in is Poro Island in the northeast instead. The oral tradition is backed by recent archaeological evidence of such a battle taking place in Poro island during the 16th century.
By 1730, the Catholic Augustinian friars established the town of Opon. It was later renamed as the city of Lapu-Lapu by means of the Republic Act 3134, signed by Pres. Carlos P. Garcia on June 17, 1961. Congressman Manuel A. Zosa, the representative of the Sixth District of Cebu, sponsored the Bill converting the former municipality of Opon into the present day City of Lapu-Lapu.