Teaser, poster for ‘Elcano and Magellan’ movie draw flak in the Philippines – and rightfully so

Teaser, poster for ‘Elcano and Magellan’ movie draw flak in the Philippines – and rightfully so

MANILA, Philippines – Filipinos are fuming online after the poster for an animated movie about “the first voyage around the world” during the Spanish expedition led by Portuguese Ferdinand Magellan and concluded by the Spaniard Juan Sebastián Elcano. 

Slated for a January 2020 release in Philippine cinemas, the animated film features the Battle of Mactan between Lapu-Lapu and Magellan. Lapu-Lapu is remembered as the first Filipino to resist Spanish rule. Magellan died as a result of the battle.

The poster for the animated movie features Elcano front and center with Magellan behind him to his left. To his right, a woman, presumably a pre-colonial Filipino woman, stares as Elcano lovingly. Lapu-Lapu is featured in the lower half of the poster with Spanish ships in the background.  

Another version of the poster, uploaded on film maker Dibulitoon’s official website, does not highlight Lapu-Lapu or the Battle of Mactan at all.

Image from Dibulitoon

According to their website, Dibulitoon “is an independent production company renowned nationally and internationally which began operating in 1991.” It is based in Irun, a town in the province of Gipuzkoa in the Basque Autonomous Community, Spain. 

What’s happening?

If the Spanish producers and makers thought it’d get a warm welcome in the Philippines, they were dead wrong. The Philippines, after all, was under Spanish rule for over 300 years. Under Spanish rule, Filipinos were abused and treated as second-class citizens in their own land until the first Philippine revolution. 

Immediately following Spanish colonization, however, the Philippines was placed under American rule. 

In a tweet that’s since gone viral, Twitter user @satvrncat, an illustrator, said: “Stop depicting colonizers as good guys.”

Even “Panginoon,” a popular parody account on Twitter, jumped in: 

Here are other reactions on social media:



Crystal Sky Media, the local distributor of the movie, has since set its Twitter account to private. Its Facebook page no longer has the poster for the movie on its feed. – Rappler.com

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