Lapu-Lapu, officially the City of Lapu-Lapu (Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Lapu-Lapu, Filipino: Lungsod ng Lapu-Lapu) is a highly urbanized city in the region of Central Visayas, Cebu, Philippines. Formerly known as Opon, the city was renamed to its present name in 1961. It is one of the cities that make up Metro Cebu in the Philippines. It is geographically located in the province of Cebu, administratively independent from the province but grouped under Cebu by the Philippine Statistics Authority. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 408,112. In the 2016 electoral roll, it had 188,815 registered voters.
The city occupies Mactan Island, a few kilometers off the main island of Cebu. It also has some of the barangays under its jurisdiction on the Olango Island Group. The city is linked to Mandaue on mainland Cebu by the Mactan-Mandaue Bridge and Marcelo Fernan Bridge. Mactan-Cebu International Airport, the second busiest airport in the Philippines, is located in Lapu-Lapu.
In the 16th century Mactan Island was colonized by Spain. Augustinian friars founded the town of Opon in 1730 and it became a city in 1961. It was renamed after Datu Lapu-Lapu, the island's chieftain who lead the defeat against the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 in the Battle of Mactan, commemorated at the Lapu-Lapu shrine in Punta Engaño.
The municipality of Opon was founded by the Augustinian missionaries in 1730. It was ceded to the Jesuits in 1737, and later restored to the Augustinians. When the Philippine Revolution spread to the Visayas in 1896, the people organized themselves into local revolutionary units.
During the Filipino-American War, a military government was established. The continued resistance of the people of Cebu prompted the American government to restore military control over the province on 17 July 1901. In 1905, Opon held its first municipal election and Pascual dela Serna was elected town president.
The presence of oil tanks in Opon made the town an object of Japanese raids a week after the outbreak of World War II in December 1941. The enemy planes succeeded in blowing up two of about fourteen oil tanks in Opon. A unit of the Kawaguchi Detachment of the Japanese Imperial Forces landed on the east coast of Cebu on 10 April 1942. Later, the resistance movement was organized by Colonel James M. Cushing, leader of the southern and central units, and Harry Fenton of the northern unit of the Cebu Resistance Movement.
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. This was the Republic Act 3134, known as the City Charter of Lapu-Lapu, which was signed on 17 June 1961 by Philippine President Carlos P. Garcia. Lapu-Lapu was inaugurated on 31 December 1961, with Mariano Dimataga, the last municipal mayor, as the first city mayor.
As a fast growing commercial city, some of its commercial and industrial firms are the General Milling Company, one of the largest in the country; the Cebu Shipyard and Engineering Works, pioneered by Dad Cleland; and the oil companies which resumed their operations after the war. The air flight in the city is served by the Mactan International Airport.
Historically, the city includes the site of the Battle of Mactan. On 1 August 1973, by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 2060, President Ferdinand Marcos declared the site of the battle a national shrine; the preservation, restoration and/or reconstruction of which shall be under the supervision and control of the National Historical Commission in collaboration with the Department of Tourism. Mactan is also the birthplace of Leonila Dimataga-Garcia, wife of Carlos P. Garcia, the fourth President of the Republic.