July 20, 2021

Magic to highlight 148th birthday of Cebuano magician-revolutionary

Magic performances will be one of the highlights of the 148th birthday celebration of Leon Kilat, the Cebu hero who was also a circus magician.

The blended event, “Leon @148: Celebrating the magic of 500 years of Cebuano heroism” to be held at Palm Grass The Cebu Heritage Hotel on July 27, 2021, 3PM, is part of this year’s celebration of the 500 years of the victory at Mactan.

Sponsoring it with Palm Grass are the Department of Education-7 (DepEd 7) and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).

Gen. Pantaleon Villegas (also known as Leon Kilat), who led the 1898 Cebu revolution against Spanish forces, was born on July 27, 1873.

A “Magic Tricks Contest” will be held during the celebration to bring back the memory of Cebu hero, Leon Kilat, as a travelling circus worker- a salamangkero (magician) before he became a revolutionary in 1897.

As July is also the National Children’s Book Month, the children authors and illustrator of the children’s book on Leon Kilat will conduct a live storytelling of their book, “Si Leon Kilat ug ang Sigbin”.

The keynote message that will be delivered physically by DepEd 7 Regional Director Sal Jimenez will focus on “Cultural Heritage Promotion through Grade Schools”.

Public and private school teachers will also share their experience on the subject.

Dr. Rene Escalante, Chair of the NHCP that led the nationwide celebrations of the 500 years of the victory at Mactan will also give a video message.

Jeffrey Villegas, a descendant of Leon Kilat, will share insights on celebrating the feats of his ancestor.

Moreover, winners of the Cebu island-wide essay writing contest will be awarded during the program for their exemplary performance in promoting Cebuano heroism through writing.

The essay writing contest is judged by the NHCP secretariat Ian Alfonso and editors of leading print/online media in Cebu: Connie Fernandez of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Lucky Malicay of The Freeman, Max Limpag of and Michelle So of SunStar Daily.

During the event, Palm Grass will relaunch books that uncover the bravery of Leon Kilat: Dionisio Sy’s “A short history of Cebu 1500-1890s and the anti-Spanish revolution in Cebu” and Emil Justimbaste’s “Leon Kilat: The untold story of the 1898 Cebu revolution”.

This event will be livestreamed at the pages of Palm Grass and partner organizations: DepEd-7, NHCP, National Quincentennial Committee, Republic of the Philippines, Museo Sugbo, Central Visayas Association of Museums Inc., Bag-ong Teatro Junquera, Diyandi Heritage Center, and SoAn2020 Inc.

For more information on the mechanics of the Magic Tricks Contest, call (032) 412-2438, email [email protected], or visit the event page on Facebook:

For reference:

Rhenadette P. Socajel
Content Writer/Social Media Specialist
Palm Grass The Cebu Heritage Hotel
68 Gen. Junquera St., Brgy. Kalubihan, Cebu City
Landline: (032) 412-2438 loc. 129