A commemorative P5,000 bill was released on Monday to mark five centuries since Lapu-Lapu defeated Spanish colonizers led by Ferdinand Magellan and established himself as the first Filipino freedom fighter.
Before the P5,000 bill, Lapu-Lapu's image can be found only on the lowest denomination of Philippine money, a one-centavo coin. On the commemorative note, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas also placed symbols of Mindanao: Mt. Apo, the country's highest peak and the Philippine Eagle.
Aside from the P5,000 bill, the BSP also released commemorative coins for the occassion, which is now called the "Victory at Mactan."
The P5,000 bill may look big compared to other notes in general circulation, but there's an earlier note that's 20 times bigger in value, the P100,000 bill released in 1998 to mark 100 years of Philippine independence.
The BSP said the P100,000 bill, when it launched, was recognized by Guinness as the world's largest bank note in terms of value.
Commemorative notes and coins are issued to "memorialize an event of historic significance to the country," the Bangko Sentral said.
"Usually, these are in limited volume, set apart from the banknotes intended for circulation and overprinted with an emblem or text descriptive of the theme or occasion being celebrated," it said.
Only 1,000 pieces of the P100,000 centennial note was produced, according to the BSP. Another centennial note released in 1998, one that commemorates then President Joseph Estrada's inauguration, had a P2,000 value and only 1,000 pieces were printed.
Commemorative coins and notes are legal tender, according to the BSP. However, the rare ones due to high face value and limited quantities make them collectors items and don't end up in circulation.
Take the 2008 P100 bill with a marking to commemorate the University of the Philippines centennial. The BSP said 10 million pieces were printed, including overprints.