Someone is Building a Grand Diorama of the Battle of Mactan, and It Looks Awesome
The Sulu Garden Foundation based in Miag-ao, Iloilo, began work on a diorama of the Battle of Mactan in July 2020. They intend to complete the 50-square-meter diorama depicting the true events that transpired on April 27, 1521.
“We have trained young artists to learn miniature painting of 3-cm tall figures of Visayan warriors and Spanish Conquistadores designed by 3D artists and printed in our own 3D printing facility,” said Jonathan R. Matias, chairman of Sulu Garden Foundation.
“Our target is over 5,000 miniatures to fill this 50-square-meter diorama of a defining moment in Philippine history.”
Once finished, the massive diorama will feature dozens of balanghai war vessels, Spanish warships, houses, villagers fleeing from the battlefield, native species of dogs, Visayan warty pigs, chickens, women, children, and the landscape of the shallow coral reef at low tide, with the hills of Mactan.
According to Matias, they did a lot of research to ensure the design stays faithful to the actual look of the Battle of Mactan that took place over 500 years ago. One of their primary references is a book by Danilo Madrid Gerona titled Ferdinand Magellan: The Armada de Maluco and the European Discovery of the Philippines.
Why build a massive diorama of the Battle of Mactan?
According to Matias, the foundation felt the need to build the diorama in order to create a more visual and historically accurate narrative of the true events that happened in the battle.
“We want to evoke among Filipinos a sense of being part of history that only a diorama of immense magnitude and detail may impart,” said Matias. “We believe that saga of the Battle of Mactan is of national and also international significance.”
To make this possible, the Sulu Garen Foundation assembled a special team of young artists, historians, project planners, 3D artists, and support staff. The Spanish side of the conflict is being hand-painted by a miniature artist who has recently retired from the Spanish military. Also, volunteers from the Philippine Army in Camp Monteclaro of Miag-ao are helping to paint Rajah Lapulapu’s warriors.
A 3D-Printed Model of a Spanish Footsoldier
3D-Printed Models of Natives and Spaniards
Model of a Visayan Pintados in Battle Gear
Models of a Spanish Frigate and Balanghai Warships