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PHP 5000 Peso Bill of the Philippines Features Lapu-Lapu, Mount Apo, Philippine Eagle, and Coconut Tree

On January 18, 2021, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines (QCP) officially issued the PHP 5,000 Lapu-Lapu Banknote and Medal to commemorate the 500th Anniversary of Victory of Mactan and the Philippines’ role in the circumnavigation of the world.

To quote Mr. Benjamin Diokno in his statement read by BSP Deputy Governor and officer-in-charge Francisco Dakila Jr., "Now, more than ever, with the global crisis brought about by the pandemic, we need a stark reminder of our glorious past. Now, more than ever, we need our heroes to remind us of our heritage and inspire us to overcome whatever challenge comes our way as a nation."

Diokno noted that the heroism of Lapu-Lapu, the chieftain of Mactan who led Visayan warriors called "Pintados" (or the painted ones) in defending against the Spaniards gained the respect and admiration of succeeding generations of Filipinos.

5000 Peso Bill Philippines Front
The front or obverse of the PHP 5000 Banknote features the face of Lapu-Lapu, who is widely recognized as the first Filipino Hero as he led the natives to victory at the Battle of Mactan in 1521. (Cover Photo)

“The BSP and the NQC (National Quincentennial Committee) have collaborated to produce this commemorative banknote and medal to celebrate the heroism of Lapu-Lapu and his warriors and to retell their story to the present generation,” Mr. Diokno said.

The obverse side or the front of the banknote shows a young Lapu-Lapu, the image of the Battle of Mactan, the QCP logo, and a large outrigger warship called Karaoka, which was used by native pre-colonial Filipinos.

5000 Peso Bill Philippines Back

The reverse side of the PHP 5,000 bill depicts a Philippine Eagle - our country's national bird - or the Manaol, which embodies the ancient Visayan belief that all living creatures originated from an eagle.

A coconut tree can likewise be seen on the reserve or back side of the bill since this is well-known or was noted in the Magellan-Elcano expedition. Finally, an image of the highest mountain in the Philippines, Mt. Apo in Mindanao, is depicted.

Like all other legal tenders of the Philippines, the PHP 5,000 commemorative bill has security features including micro prints; fluorescent, magnetic, and optically variable inks; see-through images; intaglio prints; and a latent image with a concealed numerical value, among others.

As for the commemorative medal, the observer side features the “Lapu-Lapu” markings found in the image of the Lapu-Lapu Shrine in Cebu and the logos of the BSP and QCP. The reverse side shows the markings of “Battle of Mactan” above the related image as well as an engraved “27 April 1521” near the bottom.

Mr. Diokno wrapped up with this statement: "The 5000-Piso commemorative banknote paints for us a vivid picture of part of our country’s story complete with that we can only read about in history books."

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