President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on March 15, 2021. KING RODRIGUEZ/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday called on Filipinos to learn from history and fortify their appreciation for Filipino culture in a message for the 500th anniversary of the landing of Magellan’s fleet in the Philippines.

“I hope that as we commemorate these events that shaped our history five centuries ago, we may reinvigorate the historical and socio-civic consciousness of the Filipino, especially among the new generations,” Duterte said, referring to the arrival of Magellan and the battle of Mactan.

“Indeed, history should make us reflect on the past and look beyond our future. We should therefore honor those who have toiled so that we may become a nation we are today – modern, progressive, and ever thriving,” he added.

Duterte had said the arrival of the Spaniards brought nothing special to the Philippines as it only caused the subjugation of the country for 400 years.

He also refuses to celebrate the quincentenary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines

“‘Yung Church, centennial now, 500 years of Christianity. Really? What’s so special? These are the — I just keep it confidential. Ba’t ako mag-celebrate ng…? I celebrate the start of the subjugation of my country for 400 years? You must be kidding,” he said in a 2019 guesting for Pastor Apollo Quiboloy’s television program. John Ezekiel J. Hirro