MANILA—A lot of people consider lapu-lapu one of the tastiest seafood out there.
But, because the fish shares its name with one of the greatest Filipino heroes, one lawmaker thinks the reference leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
Rep. Paz Radaza filed Bill 2223 seeking to dissociate the name of Lapu-Lapu from the grouper fish, a red-scaled fish with a scientific name Plectropomus leopardus
Radaza, who represents the lone district of the city named after the hero, said the bill aims "to rectify, correct and give justice to the honorable name" of the 16th century warrior-patriot-ruler.
“It is inappropriate, a defilement, and a violation, even if the fish could be the most sought-after, not only in the Philippines but also in Southeast Asia,” Radaza said.
Should it be passed into law, the implementation will be laid down by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources should it become a law.
Radaza said the fish should be referred to as pugapo, previously referred to as such in Visayas in and Mindanao.
“[I]t is alarming that more and more Filipinos prefer to call it lapu-lapu, a disrespect to a patriotic Filipino forebear,” she said.
Through her bill, Radaza also wants Lapu-Lapu to be "accorded and honored befitting of a patriot, a great ruler and a hero," citing his heroics during the Battle of Mactan.