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Thursday, May 9, 2024

Unknown Filipino Hero: Rajah Sulayman

Rajah Sulayman
The Last King of Manila
(1558 - 1575)

Often called Sulayman III (Arabic script: سليمان, Abecedario: Solimán), Sulayman died in the 1590s while serving as the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Luzon. He was the nephew of King Ache of Luzon. In the 1570 Battle of Manila, he led the Luzonian soldiers against the Spanish.

Manila was a walled and fortified city, and it contained his palace. Sulayman was one of three kings who fought the Spanish in the battle of Manila in 1570, along with his uncle King Ache and Lakan Dula, the ruler of the nearby kingdom or principality of Tondo. Considering his youth in comparison to the other two monarchs, the Spanish characterized him as the most violent. Following Lakan Dula's passing, Sulayman's adopted son—whom he christened Agustin de Legaspi—was anointed as Tondo's sovereign monarch. He was put to death by the Spanish, along with the majority of Lakan Dula's sons and the majority of Sulayman's other adopted sons, for their roles in an assembly that sought to overthrow Spanish power in Manila. This execution strengthened the Spanish East Indies' hold over portions of Luzon.


According to Spanish records, Sulayman was referred to by his subjects as Raja Mura or Raja Muda, "Young Raja," because he was the nephew and presumed heir of Raja Matanda. Due to Spanish influence, his name is sometimes frequently spelled Solimán. The Spaniards also called him "Raja Solimano el Mow".

Family History

The genealogy put up by Mariano A. Henson in 1955 and confirmed by Majul in 1973 states that Sulayman was the fourteenth Raja of Manila after Rajah Ahmad established the city as a Muslim principality in 1258 after defeating Raja Avirjirkaya, the suzerain of Majapahit.

Manila Was Conquered by the Spanish (1570–1571)

At the time of the Legazpi invasion, Rajah Sulayman and Rajah Matanda ruled over Maynila. Already, neighboring Southeast Asian kingdoms had considerable impact on Manila. The region served as a hub for trade with China, Thailand, and other countries.

After transferring from Cebu to Panay due to Portuguese claims to the archipelago, Spanish explorer Miguel López de Legazpi ordered Martín de Goiti and Juan de Salcedo on an expedition northward to Luzon after learning of a rich kingdom there.

Goiti sent a "message of friendship" to the states bordering the Pasig River after establishing his anchorage at Cavite. Sulayman was prepared to accept the "friendship" from the Spaniards as he had been granted control over these villages by the aging Rajah Matanda. But he would not give up his throne, and he was forced to fight back against the demands of the newcomers. Goíti and his army invaded the kingdoms in June 1570 and proceeded to sack and burn the mighty city before retreating back to Panay.

The Battle of Bangkusay and Tarik Sulayman (1571)

Regarding the identity of the Macabebe chieftain who started the Bangkusay Battle in 1571, there is some dispute. Filipino history refer to that chieftain as Tarik Sulayman. Some accounts of the Battle of Bangkusay claim that Sulayman III of Manila and Tarik Sulayman of Macabebe are the same person, but others dispute this.

The Macabebe Rebel leader's name is omitted from Spanish records, but it is noted that he perished at Bangkusay, forcing the Macabebe to retire and giving the Spanish the upper hand. Conversely, Sulayman III is unmistakably documented as having taken part in the Revolt of 1574, and hence he cannot be the anonymous person who perished at Bangkusay in 1571.

The 1574 "Sulayman Revolt"

Following the death of Lopez de Legazpi in 1572, the agreements made with Sulayman and Lakan Dula were not upheld by his successor, Governor-General Guido de Lavezaris. He put both kings' properties under lockdown and put up with crimes committed by the Spanish.

In retaliation, Sulayman and Lakan Dula staged an uprising in the Navotas villages in 1574, taking advantage of the chaos caused by the Chinese pirate Limahong's attacks. The Sulayman Revolt is also known as the "First Battle of Manila Bay" because it engaged naval forces. This is commonly referred to as the "Manila Revolt of 1574," while it is also occasionally called the "Sulayman Revolt" and the "Lakan Dula Revolt."

It was the duty of Friar Gerónimo Marín and Juan de Salcedo to negotiate a settlement with the kingdoms. Salcedo's peace deal was accepted by Lakan Dula and Sulayman, and the two parties established an alliance.

Life after 1574

Some American Occupation sources state that Sulayman was murdered in the 1574 insurrection; however, this seems to be another case of Sulayman being mistaken for Tarik Sulayman of Macabebe, who had already passed away in the 1571 revolt. According to an analysis of genealogical records held by the National Archives, Sulayman survived the uprising in 1574 that resulted in the death of his son Rahang Bago. He also lived long enough to adopt an unidentified sibling's children and claim them as his own grandchildren.

The narratives of the events of 1586–1588, which involved numerous members of Sulayman's family, no longer mention him.


Genealogical research by Luciano P.R. Santiago indicates that Sulayman married a Borneo princess, his cousin, and that they had at least two biological children: a daughter who would be baptized Doña María Laran and a son known as "Rahang Bago" ("new prince"; written as "Raxa el Vago" in the Spanish texts). According to a tale claimed by the Pasay administration in the 1950s, Sulayman had two children: Dayang-dayang (Princess) Pasay, who would inherit the lands south of Manila that are now Pasay and Parañaque, and a son named Suwaboy. But in the chaos that followed Limahong, the Chinese corsair, attacking in November 1574, Rahang Bago and his cousin Lumantalan were slain by the Spanish.

Santiago's investigation revealed that Doña María Laran had two daughters: Doña Inés Dahitim, the older, who wed Don Miguel Banal of Quiapo, and Doña María Guinyamat, who wed a Don Agustín Turingan. According to Luciano P.R. Santiago's theory, Don Miguel Banal was the son of Don Juan Banal, who was charged in the 1587 Tondo Conspiracy. According to Santiago, Don Miguel Banal and Doña Inés Dahitim are credited with bearing Fray Marcelo Banal de San Agustín, the second Filipino to enter the Augustinian Order.

According to the oral tradition that the Pasay local administration cites, Dayang-dayang Pasay moved to Balite after marrying Maytubig, a local prince. According to folklore, they had a daughter named Dominga Custodio who, before her death, bequeathed all of her estates to the Augustinians.

Santiago asserts, however, that Sulayman had adopted descendants in addition to his own offspring. According to Santiago's genealogy research, Sulayman may have had a male sibling who passed away before Rahang Bago in 1574 but whose name is not mentioned in the documents. Sulayman made the decision to adopt this sibling's boys, who were named in the documents as Don Jerónimo Bassi, Don Gabriel Taumbasan, and Agustin de Legaspi. Sulayman's three adopted children took part in the Tondo Conspiracy in 1587; only Taumbasan, who was banished to Mexico for four years, escaped execution.


Historiography of Meranau places him among these kings:

Sulayman Rajah
Maharaja Indarafatra
Umaka'an Rajah


A statue of Rajah Sulayman, a hero opposing the Spanish invasion, is located in Manila's Rizal Park. One of two science high schools in Binondo, Manila, Rajah Soliman Science and Technology High School bears his name.

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Unknown Filipino Hero: Lakandula

Supreme Ruler of the Kingdom of Tondo 
(? - 1575)

Lakandula is the title of the last ruler of pre-colonial Tondo when the Spaniards first conquered the lands of the Pasig River delta in the Philippines in the 1570s.

Lakandula who is also known by the name Lakan Bunao Dula (or the Lakan of Tondo) is one of the triumvirates along with Rajah Matanda and Rajah Sulayman who played important roles in the Spanish conquest of the Pasig River polities during the early Spanish colonial period.

Lakandula's Name and Title

According to the Spanish Royal Notary of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi expedition Hernando Riquel, the Lord of Tondo introduced himself to the Spaniards as "Sibunao Lacandola", lord of the town of Tondo when the boarded Legazpi's ship on May 18, 1571, along with the other lords of Manila. While his first name is being interpreted as "Bunao", the historic meaning of the word Lakan, was a title equivalent to the royal title of a prince or a paramount ruler, which means he was the principal datu or prince of his domain.

Due to Spanish writers' lack of familiarity with the local tongue and their frequent inclusion of the grammatical article "si-" in Filipino names, modern historians frequently eliminate the Filipino word "si," which comes before personal names in documented names from this historical period. As a result, Sibunao means "[Ako] si Bunao" or "[I am] Bunao." As a result, historians interpret this to suggest that the Lakan identified himself as "Bunao Lakandula." Although Lakandula was formerly thought to be a regnal name, it was actually his title, as will be shown later.

The Origin of the Name Lakandula

Under the Tagalog language, a "bayan" or "large barangay" is a major coastal settlement, and the persona "Lakan" indicated that he was a "paramount ruler" (or more precisely, "paramount datu") of one of these locations.

Currently means "gentleman" in Tagalog.

Another popular spelling of the name is Gat Dula, which can also be spelled Gatdula, when written as a single word. Gatdula literally translates to "Nobleman of the Palace," which is equivalent to the Kapampangan version of Lakandula. In the past, the prefix Gat, a condensed form of the Tagalog epithet "Pamagat," meant "nobleman."

This means that the addendum "dula" issue still needs to be resolved. Although it is unlikely that this was a family name like those that Filipinos use now, this may not be a good enough explanation given that static family names were brought into the culture much later, by a proclamation signed on November 11, 1849, by Governor General Narciso Clavería y Zaldúa. Alternatively, Dula might have referred to a clan or family group rather than a surname in and of itself, though there isn't any historical evidence to bolster this theory. According to historian Jose N. Sevilla y Tolentino, "Dula" was a regional term that had a meaning similar to "Palace," rather than a personal name. It's possible that he didn't actually rule from a palace, but this would have suggested the Lakan's center of authority. Therefore, the "Lord of the Palace" and Tondo's monarch would have been referred to as the "Lakandula" in the local tongue. In a same vein, Rajah Sulayman was occasionally referred to as Rajah Muda or Rajamora (Young Rajah), while the more recent Rajah Ache was called Rajah Matanda (Old Rajah).

Although historians like Dery and Scott clarify that Banaw was his real name, they nevertheless call him Lakandula or "the" Lakandula. Conversely, Joaquin states that the Lakan's real name was Banaw and goes on to refer to him as "the" or Lakan Dula (different terms) in his "Manila, My Manila" text. The final Lakan of Dula (or Lakan of Tondo) is referred to as "Lakandula" as if it were his name, and many modern historians continue to overlook the fact that Lakandula was a title. All things considered, "Bunau, Lakan Dula" or "the Lakan of Tondo" would be the most correct way to style the historical person's name and title.

"Lakan" As Opposed To "Rajah"

Despite the fact that he has been mistakenly called Rajah Lakandula, "Rajah" and "Lakan" are essentially same. The native Lakan title was used in Tondo, hence using both "Rajah" and "Lakandula" at the same time was redundant and incorrect. Filipino historian and national artist for literature Nick Joaquin goes to great lengths to clarify that the Tondo kings used the term Lakan, not Rajah.

Lakandula's Existence Prior to the Spanish Arrival

Before Legazpi arrived, hardly much is known about the early years of Banaw, Lakan Dula. National Artist Nick Joaquin states that "he is presumed to be of native birth," having mixed Kapampangan and Sinaunang Tagalog (Dumagat) heritage. According to Joaquin, "He was said to be a descendant of King Balagtas."

Joaquin makes several assumptions about the religious practices of the Lakan Dula:

"Tondo's Lakan Dula may have been unusual in being neither foreign nor Muslim. This was indicated by his use of the native term Lakan instead of the foreign [Muslim] title Rajah. Lakan dula can be presumed . . . to have been reared in the anito cults. One guess is that he converted to Islam, then changed his mind and returned to his native faith."

Joaquin goes on to elaborate on the Lakan Dula's rule over Tondo's economic background:

"Tondo had replaced Namayan as the chief port of entry on Manila Bay. Tondo was right on the seaside. This was the advantage it had over Namayan, which was upriver inland. So, the merchant ships that came into the bay preferred to unload their goods at the port of Tondo. And now it was the king of Tondo who was responsible for sending the merchandise upriver to the lakeside communities, there to be traded for local products. Tondo was thus the distributing center, or entrepot, on the delta... At the time of [the last] Lakan Dula [in the 1570s], Tondo was at the height of its career as an entrepot…."

When Chinese ships arrived in Manila Bay, according to Scott (1982), the Lakan Dula would take off their sails and rudders until the Chinese paid him duties and anchorage fees. After that, he would purchase all of their goods, paying half of their value up front and the remaining half when the ships returned the following year. He would barter these things with peoples further upstream in the meantime, which ultimately prevented other locals from purchasing anything directly from the Chinese and forced them to do so through the Lakan Dula, who profited handsomely from the transaction.

William Henry Scott mentions that Maynila's ships sourced their products from Tondo and subsequently controlled trade throughout the rest of the archipelago. He also recalls that Augustinian Fray Martin de Rada Legaspi observed that the Tagalogs were "more traders than warriors". Maynila's boats were called "Chinese" (Sina or Sinina) by people in other parts of the archipelago because they arrived with Chinese merchandise.

Legazpi's Arrival, May 1571

The Lakan Dula was waiting for Miguel Lopez de Legazpi when he arrived at Manila Bay in May 1571. On May 17, the day following Legazpi's arrival in the bay, Rajah Matanda and Lakan Dula boarded Legazpi's ship to negotiate terms. This was the first time the two met. A portion of these talks stipulated that the Spanish would land in Manila, which had burned to the ground the previous year, rather than Tondo. Joaquin proposes that Lakan Dula "would have seen that Legaspi was being practical; Maynila would be a better spot to fortify, being more strategic, after it was burned down and emptied." Manila was actually occupied by Legazpi and the three kings—the Lakan Dula, the (older) Rajah Ache, and the (younger) Rajah Sulayman—through a peace treaty.

On May 18, 1571, Rajah Sulayman, Rajah Matanda, and Lakan Dula, the native aristocracy of the House of Dula of the Lakanate of Tondo, declared themselves to be vassals of Spain and accepted its dominion over the islands. In the presence of Soliman, Matanda, and Lakan Dula, Legazpi ceremoniously took possession of the land on May 19, the day after his arrival in Manila.

Lakan Dula provided the Spanish, who were low on ammunition, with twelve jars of gunpowder and fourteen pieces of cannon in addition to helping Legazpi create a home and construct a fort.

The Lakan Dula and his sons converted to Catholicism shortly after that. Bunao Lakan Dula adopted the moniker "Don Carlos Lacandola" in honor of Spanish King Charles I. The Spanish fired Manila's artillery and arquebuses during the celebration to commemorate the occasion.

The Bangkusay Battle, June 1571

Although the locals initially welcomed the Spaniards with open arms, they eventually realized that their presence had meant servitude. The dominance of the Spanish in Luzon was soon questioned. On May 24, 1570, there was a first combat, and the indigenous lost. After an assault on Manila a month later, Tarik Sulayman of Macabebe persuaded Rajah Sulayman to join the fight against Legazpi. In what would become known as the Battle of Bangkusay Channel, Macabebe and Sulayman's armies were routed, and Macabebe's Datu was slain. (Some people have been confused about these two leaders because of their similar names, but Tarik Sulayman and Rajah Sulayman were not the same person; one lived to see the end of the conflict.)

Even though Lakandula had declined to join Macabebe and Sulayman's alliance, two of his nephews and several of his commanders were among the Spanish prisoners that the Spanish captured during the battle. When questioned, they claimed not to have been combatants but rather merely observers at the incident. Legazpi released them as a sign of his faith in Lakandula.

Joaquin observes that Legaspi made a sensible decision in making this:

"If he had been playing a double game before, Lakan Dula now became earnest in supporting the Spanish. It maybe he who persuaded the fugitive Soliman to surrender and return to the good graces of Legazpi."

Travel to Bulacan and Pampanga in Late 1571

On September 14, 1571, Legaspi dispatched Martin de Goiti later that year to impose Spanish dominion over the inhabitants of what are now the provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga, specifically the areas of Lubao with Macabebe, Guagua. On November 14, of the same year, they took control of Malolos and Calumpit, one month later. Legazpi accepted these agreements made while Spain was in power. According to one version, he sent Lakandula and Sulayman with him because "if so great a chief should go with him, when the Tagalogs and Pampangos saw that he had given obedience to His Majesty, they would give it also."

The story goes on:

"Lacandola agreed to go, and served with two ships provided at his cost, and distinguished himself by performing much service for His Majesty and went along so the said Pampangos would give him obedience, as in fact they did."

These were joangas (karakoa), a kind of vessel widespread in Maritime Southeast Asia that could hold three hundred men each, as noted by Dery.

Limahong Attack, 1574

Even after Legaspi died on August 20, 1572, and was succeeded as governor by Guido de Lavezares, the colony's treasurer, Lakandula's tight ties with the Spanish persisted. An opposing expedition led by the Chinese pirate Limahong, who had been banned by the Celestial Emperor of China, attempted in vain to claim the Islands. When Limahong arrived in 1574 to attempt to take over Manila, Lakandula was there to assist in rebuffing him. Lakandula successfully instigated a rebellion against the Spanish colonizers. The indigenous population of Mindoro Island also revolted, but a military detachment put an end to all of these problems.


There aren't many references to Lakandula's passing, although Scott states that he passed away in 1575, "three years after" Rajah Matanda and Legazpi, who both passed away in 1572.

After that, Lakandula's grandnephew, Agustin de Legazpi, the adoptive son of Rajah Soliman, assumed leadership of Tondo.

Sultan Bolkiah's cousin, Agustin de Legazpi, commanded Tondo as a Spanish dominion until he rebelled against them in the 1587–1588 Lakans Revolt, at which point he was overthrown and executed.

Kimuell-Gabriel (2013) cites Fray Gaspar de San Agustin in "Conquistas de las Islas Filipinas 1565–1615" as saying that Lakandula controlled Tondo from a high position near Manila Bay, fronted by homes owned by fishermen and facing the shore. Oral histories from the community indicate that the Sto Niño of Tondo Parish church was eventually built on this location.

Documentary Sources

There is a lack of primary documentary evidence about Lakandula, to the extent that there has been discussion regarding the Lakan's true name. Dery categorizes sources about Lakandula into three categories:

- explicit narratives of Legaspi's victory in 1571, as well as oblique allusions from other historical records.

- A collection of records known as the "Lacandola Documents" in the Philippine National Archives, which primarily consists of 18th-century genealogical documents; and

- legends that "suggests prior lineage where documentation definitively identifies only descendants".

Direct Accounts and Citations from Historical Records

William Henry Scott lists the following three reports as specifically describing the events of Lakandula's lifespan in his "Bibliographic Essay" at the conclusion of his book "Barangay: Sixteenth Century Philippine Culture and Society":

- A narrative penned by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi.
- A report from Legazpi's expedition participant, royal notary Hernando Riquel; and
- A third, unnamed narrative that Scott speculates was likely penned by Hernando Riquel, a royal notary.

Scott highlights this third account in particular as being very helpful since it contains in-depth observations about the islands and the individuals contacted.

Scott also mentions other tales that give more details about the circumstances at the time but do not specifically mention that particular event. These include two accounts of the Magellan voyage, reports from the attacks on Borneo in 1578–79, letters from royal auditor Melchor de Avalos to the king, reports by later Governors General, Augustinian Fray Martin de Rada's correspondence, the Relacion accounts of Miguel de Loarca and Juan de Plasencia, and the Boxer Codex, which "can be dated to 1590 on internal evidence." Furthermore, the latter two are recorded in Blair and Robertson.



Among Luzon's ancient monarchs, Lakan Dula was the most productive and the leader of the House of Dula. It was during the Spanish colonial era that his ancestors dispersed over the Kapampangan Region. According to Filipino historian Luciano P.R. Santiago's genealogy, Lakan Dula is the father of at least five children:

Lakan Bunao Dula's eldest son, Batang Dula.

The Datu of Candaba, Don Dionisio Capulong.

Don Magat Salamat, who succeeded his cousin Agustin de Legazpi in ruling Tondo following Lakandula's death, and who was put to death by the Spanish in 1588 for his participation in the Lakans Revolt;

Don Felipe Salonga, Pulu's Datu.

His only known daughter in history, Doña Maria Poloin, wed Don Juan Alonso Talabos; and

Don Martin Lakandula, a lay brother who joined the Augustinian Order in 1590.

Additional documented sources also refer to a "Don Luis Taclocmao" (also known as "Salugmoc"), who is purportedly the son of Lakandula and was slain while battling the Chinese rebels in 1603.

Additional Relationships

According to a local folklore, Juan de Salcedo, a conquistador who was born in Mexico, fell in love with "Dayang-dayang Kandarapa," an 18-year-old noblewoman who was rumored to be Lakandula's niece.

Subsequent Offspring

The identities and life stories of some of Lakan Dula's descendants are described in an article by Filipino historian Luciano P.R. Santiago for the Philippine Quarterly of Culture and Society in 1990. The article is primarily based on the "Lacandola Documents," a collection of legal documents kept by the Philippine National Archives. The information from the Lacandola documents is corroborated by a rumored 1539 document known as the "Will of Fernando Malang Balagtas," whose precise provenance has been found to be dubious. This was mentioned by another Filipino historian, Luis Camara Dery, in his 2001 book "A History of the Inarticulate". The Lacandola of Arayat originated with Dola, a resident of San Luis, Pampanga, who is one of Lakan Dula of Tondo's grandkids. After marrying a Spanish mestizo called Reyes, Dola insisted on giving her children the surname Lacandola in order to keep in touch with his grandparents from Tondo and, in part, to evade Spanish authorities. Ultimately, the Reyes-Laciandra family was married into a Macapagal family.

Dery, Scott, and Santiago narrate that following Lakan Dula's passing, some of his successors had disagreements with the Spanish government, which led to the suspension of the rights granted to them for a while. As per Dery's analysis, the Balagtas document describes how these rights were reestablished when a Juan Macapagal—who identified himself as the great-grandson of Lakan Dula through the son of Dionisio Capulong, Juan Gonzalo Capulong—helped the Spanish authorities put down the uprisings in 1660 Maniago, 1660–1661 Malong, and 1661 Almazan while carrying out his duties as Master-of-Camp and Datu of Arayat.

To protect the rights and privileges guaranteed by the Spanish crown to the Kapampangan ancestors of Lakan Dula, A Gremio de Lakandulas was established in 1758. Governor General Simon de Anda granted autonomy to the descendants of Lakan Dula, who were primarily located in the province of Pampanga, and they organized a volunteer company to resist the British during the invasion in 1762–1764.

The Filipino surname Macapagal (selective variant: Makapagal) comes from the Kapampangan language. The last "王" or King of Tondo, "東都" (Dongdu), Lakandula's legitimate grandchildren are the family's alleged lineage to noble status. It is the only known branch of the Seludong royal line to have withstood the invasion of the Majapahit Empire, the pogrom against native royals by the Sultanate of Brunei, the atrocities carried out by Chinese warlord Limahong, and the aftermath of the Tondo Conspiracy. Martin de Goiti's marriage of his Mestiza (half-Spanish, half-Aztec) daughter to Batang Dula allowed the family to live. As time passed, they also included the offspring of the other two royal houses: Tariq Suleiman (سليمان) and Rajah Matanda (ؤअज ंअतन्द). After the Spanish took over control of Manila, the family moved to Pampanga and Northern Samar.

According to Santiago's genealogy, notable 20th-century Lakan Dula descendants include pioneering Filipino industrialist Gonzalo Puyat, former Philippine Senate President Gil Puyat, international stage star Lea Salonga, and former Philippine Presidents Diosdado Macapagal and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.


One of the highest awards granted by the Philippine Republic is the Order of Lakandula. Lakan Dula's commitment to the duties of leadership, caution, fortitude, courage, and resolution in the service of one's people is honored by this order of political and civic distinction.

The only former USN Edsall-class destroyer escort to serve with the Philippine Navy was the BRP Rajah Lakandula (PF-4), a destroyer/frigate. From 1981 until 1988, it served as the Philippine Navy's flagship. As of 1999, it remained an immobile barracks ship at Subic Bay, having been struck from the Navy List in 1988.

Lakan Dula is the namesake of several elementary and secondary schools, particularly in the Province of Pampanga and the City of Manila, which are both strongly connected to Banaw Lakan Dula.

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Wednesday, February 7, 2024

The Great Fire of Iloilo

The TALE OF TWO CITIES - London and Iloilo, 300 Years Apart

What happened in London in 1666 called The Great Fire of London also took place 300 years later in Iloilo City called The Great Fire of Iloilo

This article taken from The Chronicle Magazine last March 5, 1966, details the unfortunate event. 


The Chronicle Magazine
March 5, 1966
₱50 million loss: Twelve blocks of commercial, and residential establishments in Iloilo gutted by fire.
The morning of Feb. 7, 1966, was just like any other rooming as far as Iloilo City residents were concerned. Little did they know that a few hours later—shortly after lunchtime—their city would be hit by a big fire, the worst in the history of Iloilo province. For it was at 1:31 p.m. on that fateful day when fire broke out from a lumberyard on Iznart Street and spread swiftly to Quezon and Valeria streets. Fanned by a strong wind, the blaze had an easy time gutting at least 12 blocks of commercial and residential establishments along Texas Street on the North side, Rizal Street on the South, Jalandoni Street on the West, and Arroyo Street on the East.
The fire lasted approximately 12 hours and 50 million pesos worth of property went up in smoke. Among those destroyed by the blaze were the Ledesma-Lopez building, the Akol building, the International Harvester Branch in that city, the offices of the Sugar Quota Administration, Radiowealth, the Chinese Commercial School, Gay building, Iloilo Enterprise building, Berman Commercial, Panaderia de Mole, Century Nickel Plating Shop.
The fire was so devastating that many of the residents, including city officials, could only stand by, shocked and helpless, and wait for the fire to reach the Iloilo shorelines. Firetrucks used to put out the fire had to travel at least three kilometers from Jaro district just to fill their tanks. But, just like all things—good or bad—the fire had to come to an end. Although at the height of the fire, looting was rampant, nonetheless, civic-mindedness was the order of the day as soon as the fire was placed under control.
Government, business, and civic leaders, apparently aware of the extent of the damage, immediately launched fund drives for the victims. Donations in cash and kind were shipped to fire-stricken Iloilo City. An airline company offered the services of one of its airplanes for use in transporting relief items to the city. Other private organizations transported food, clothing, and cash to Iloilo for immediate distribution to the victims.
President Marcos and Vice President Fernando Lopez led the nation in seeing to it that the fire victims were cared for. Up to press time, contributions were cared for. Up to press time, contributions, mostly in cash, were still being sent to the fire victims.

Source: The Chronicle Magazine

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Thursday, February 1, 2024

Unknown Filipino Hero: Sultan Kudarat

Sultan Kudarat
The Unconquerable Hero of Mindanao
(1581 - 1671)

Nowadays, many people would think of a province or a small town in Maguindanao whenever the name Sultan Kudarat is mentioned. However, Sultan Kudarat is a much bigger name than the province and the town named after him. He is a shrewd politician, strategist, brave warrior, and a just ruler.  He is a kind, benevolent, and fair ruler.

He was the 7th Sultan of Maguindanao and ruled a vast expanse of the region for 52 years from 1619 until he died in 1671.

During his time as ruler, he made a vast expansion of territories under his kingdom. He united together many kingdoms and successfully defended most parts of Mindanao from Spanish invasion and occupation. He is a brave and ferocious warrior that he was never captured by enemies.

When visiting Makati, Manila in the Philippines, anyone would notice the monument of Sultan Kudarat. It is standing as a heroic symbol for Filipino Muslims. This monument was created by Jose M. Mendoza in 1973 to retain the memory of the Muslim Hero. The name of the great hero is Sultan Kudarat who was the 7th sultan of Maguindanao. 

Origin and Meaning of His Name

Kudarat is the direct descendant of Shariff Kabungsuwan, a noble of Malay-Arab origins who brought Islam to Mindanao between the 13th and the 14th century. His full name is Sultan Muhammad Dipatuan Kudarat or Muhammad Dipatuan Kurlat in Maguindanaoan dialect, or in Malay Muhammad di-Pertuan Kudrat. The Maguindanaoan term Dipatuan is taken from the Malay word di-Pertuan which means ruler or owner and literally means the one who has been made to rule. The term Kudarat is taken from the Arabic word qudrat which means power. 

Early Life and Rise to Power

The journey of life of the great hero Sultan Kudarat started in 1580. His birthland was Maguindanao, Philippines. He was named after the meaning “Master of Power”. He was educated by several teachers from Chinese, Arab, Malay, and the missionaries who visited the Sultanate. His education from diverse backgrounds helped him conscious of different cultures and broaden his perspective. He was taught sword fighting by his uncle. His uncle was an inspiration for him about his life and his upbringing. In 1619, Kudarat became the 7th Sultan of Maguindanao. He reigned for a long 52 years until 1671. 

During this rule, he overshadowed his father, Buisan by ruling with a strong control over his sultanate. His title as a Sultan was Katchil. At the beginning of his rule in 1619 there was a war with the Rajah Buayan about a contest for primacy in Pulangi. This war reigned till 1621 and later in 1622, he faced some trouble in his reign due to some reverse action by Buayan with combined propaganda against him. He went to Cebu with the motive to gather artillery from Spaniards. He successfully managed to pillage some of them and returned to Pulangi to have his crown of victory against the Buayan Sultanate. 

In 1625 Kudarat attacked a Datu since his ally in that area was exiled. He managed to capture the land of Sarangani and then burned its capital city in 1626. Then some people came under the Kudarat Sultanate from Sarangani to give him a tribute. 

Resistance Against Spanish Forces

One of Sulugs men joined him in attacking the Spanish Reduccion in Dapitan in 1634. This continued to the Visayas. Spaniards built a very strong fort in Sambuyangan in 1635. Hurtado de Corcuera was the Captain and Governor General of the Philippines who was the leader of an expedition against Kudarat in 1636. Considerable difficulty led to the reduction of his forces and resulted in defeat. With a massive collection of gunpowder and firearms, he enriched his fort. From this fort, the Spaniards captured nearly 100 muskets, 27 Culverins or Lantaka, and 8 Bronze cannons. 

Later in 1637, his fight against Spanish forces started. General Corcuera joined Spanish and Indio forces to attack on Muslim Citadel at Lamitan near Lake Lanao. This resulted in a bloody battle where Kudarat and his 2000 native warriors fought with brave hearts in front of larger forces. He fought vigorously but lost in the battle. He managed to avoid capture along with his wife and child.  

He was steadfast even after his loss in the first battle. There were other Muslim Chieftains who joined the Spaniards. He stood alone against the Spanish and defended his territory with faith. He gradually managed other leaders like Tagalogs and Visayans who set an example for other Muslim leaders. 

Leadership and Legacy

Leading the whole Muslim Filipino community, he proved his leadership by repelling the Spanish forces successfully from the Cotabato region in South-Central Mindanao. To memorize his significant role, he was declared a national hero. On January 13, 1975, he was enshrined in the National Hall of Fame by President Marcos with the names of other great national heroes. A whole province was built in his name which is Kudarat Province on November 22, 1973, in Soccsksargen. This separated the Cotabato through Presidential Decree No. 341. 

Diplomacy and Resistance

Kudarat showed diplomatic skills in leading the military along with creating diplomatic relations with other nations like Southeast Asian Sultanates like Johore, Ternate, Sulu, Brunei, and more. He made these nations alliance and consolidated a force of unity to resist Spanish incursions. This was another move of greatness that made him the center of unity among Muslim leaders.  

Challenges and Victories

In his ruling period, Sultan Kudarat faced numerous challenges. Even though he faced defeats but stayed unconquerable. He made his internal alliances stronger with different strategies like periods of peace. This helped in consolidating Maguindanao, Iranun, Maranao, and Samal forces. He also allied with other religious leaders for which he got support from Christianized natives in Luzon and Visayas. 

Speech and Call for Independence

Some of his famous speeches are still popular which he called for independence. This speech still bears his legacy. Such a speech was in Moro to make people stand against Spanish oppression. He pointed to the plight of other nations and urged people to resist subjugation. This was submitted to the Spaniards. The people of Moro formed a rallying cry for independence with his impassioned call. 

Later Years and Death

His leadership ability followed him to his old age. At the age of 70 in 1656, he declared war against the Spanish government. With his legacy in this age, he recognized other entities like the Spanish government, Ternateans, Dutch, Sulus, Bruneians, and other nations. He proved himself an intelligent and courageous leader. 

In 1671 he ended his grateful life with the victorious struggle for freedom and sovereignty. At the time of his death, he was 90 years old. His legacy is followed for his courage, symbol of freedom and resilience in Maguindanao. His heroic life strengthened Philippine history with heritage through various means underscore. With his death, an era came to an end, but the legacy followed with a symbol of resilience and freedom. Such heroic life of Kudarat is evident in his recognition as a great personality to be recalled by future generations in the Philippines.









Saturday, November 25, 2023

Prayer To Be Read or Worn for Protection and Blessing

This prayer was found in the sepulcher of our Lord Jesus in the year 1709 and was sent by the Pope to the Emperor Charles on the eve of his departure to fight his enemies and by him sent to St. Michael in France. Whoever reads or wear it on itself will never be burn or drown nor will any poison effect on any person who wears or read this. He will never be a prisoner of war or will never be vanquished. When a woman has labor pains, let her wear this prayer and she will immediately delivery the baby and when the child is born, let her place this prayer on the right side of the child and the child will be preserved or protected from any accidents. Whoever carries this prayer with him or her will never have any epileptic attacks and if you see someone having bouts of anxiety and/or epileptic attacks, place this on their right side and they will be cured or healed immediately. Whoever writes this prayer for himself or for others "I WILL BLESS" says the Lord BUT whoever scoffs or laughs at it WILL BE DOOMED. When this prayer is in the house, the house will be safely guarded against thunder and lightning and whoever read this prayer daily will be warned three days before his or her death by a holy sign on the day before his death.

You can print this prayer and make it a pamphlet folded to be worn by anyone by keeping it in any pocket of the garments or clothes someone is currently wearing. 

Oh! Lord Almighty you have suffered death at the cross for our sins. Oh! Holy Cross, help in my salvation. 

Oh, Holy Cross of Jesus, be my true light. 

Oh, Holy Cross of Jesus, fill my soul with godly thoughts. 

Oh, Holy Cross, safely guard me against unholy thoughts and worldly dangers that I may worship the Holy Cross of Jesus of Nazareth crucified have pity on me. 

Oh, Holy Cross of Jesus be my hope. 

Oh, Holy Cross of Jesus have mercy on me forever and ever. Amen.

In honor of the precious blood of Jesus and his fearful death and resurrection and his glorifications which leads to everlasting life, as true Jesus is born at Christmas and crucified on Good Friday. 

As true as Joseph and Nicodemus took Jesus down from the cross. 

As true as Jesus ascended to heaven may be preserve me from my enemies all visible and invisible forever and ever. Amen. 

Lord Almighty, unto your hands I give my soul and body. Oh Lord Jesus, grant me the strength to bear the cross as yourself, teach me to bear with humility, all the ills, that the Virgin Mary may fill me with Holy Spirit, preserve my soul and lead it to life everlasting. Amen.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Unknown Filipino Historical Figure: Princess Urduja

Princess Urduja
Pangasinan Warrior Princess
(ca. 1304 - c. 1368 or 1377 AD)

Princess Urduja is a colorful historical Filipino figure that has been a subject of contentions and so many debates and discussions about her existence. Many scholars and historians considered her as a fictitious personality and her story a myth, but others say that she may be a true heroine who existed and lived elsewhere. She would have been a great heroine from Pangasinan.  

Urduja is thought to be a legendary warrior princess the one being referred to in the journals of Maghrebi traveler, explorer and scholar Ibn Battuta, but scholars and historians alike doubt her existence and considered her as a fictitious figure or someone who lived elsewhere and not in Pangasinan especially historians Henry Yule and William Henry Scott.

Princess Urduja is famous for being a brave and fierce warrior princess leading other women warriors who were skilled fighters and equestrian called Kinalakihan or Amazons. She always defends her kingdom of Tawalisi (in the supposed to be modern-day Pangasinan) in warfare.

The Indian name Urduja turns out to be Sanskrit in origin and a variation of the name "Udaya" which means arise or rising sun or the name "Urja" which means energy, life force or breath.

The only account that exists which tells about this legendary princess is from the journals of one of the greatest traveler and explorer in history the Maghrebi Ibn Battuta. 
On Battuta's accounts, Urduja was described as a tall and beautiful woman with bronze skin, straight black hair and deep eyes and adorned with bejeweled ornaments and was a fierce warrior in the battlefield. The princess was a valiant warrior, skilled in swordsmanship and horseback riding whose penchant is a duel combat. Ibn Battuta was even impressed that she can speak the Turkish language aside from the fact that she is fluent in Arabic and provided the Maghrebi traveler with generous gifts for his trip to China and even prepared a banquet for him. 









https://journals.upd.edu.ph/index.php/rws/article/download/3044/2863/ (ADOBE FILE see DOWNLOADS)


Saturday, November 11, 2023

Gay Filipino In History: Arsenio de Guzman

Arsenio de Guman
Patriotic Cult Leader

Name: Arsenio de Guzman
Hometown: Barrio Sinalhan, Santa Rosa, Laguna

The cross dressing colorful individual Arsenio de Guzman founded the nationalistic sect Iglesia ng Watawat ng Lahi on December 25, 1936. (The followers of early leader Gaudioso Parabuac is contesting the claim). 

De Guzman who is from Barrio Sinalhan, Sta. Rosa, Laguna is a former storekeeper and has been the face and voice of the sect ever since. He is fond of wearing feminine attire, make-up and printed nails. He is known to assume different personalities and was called by various names such as Tatay Ada, Anda Malakie, Maria Consuelo, and Ka Senyong.

De Guzman claimed that he was commissioned by his friend and hero to carry out his will after his death in 1896 making Rizal the sect's patron saint. He further claimed that he was 100 years old at the time of his interview. 

He placed a set of 10 principles that all members and followers should adhere and follow the examples of heroes, attend regularly masses in Latin and internalize the slogan:  "Maka-Dios. Maka-Tao. Maka-Bayan."

In the 1956 report, the religious nationalistic cult has a following over 50,000 with 30-cassock or sutana wearing priests, seminarians and bishops. 

The Iglesia ng Watawat ng Lahi firmly believes that Rizal is the Holy Spirit reincarnate, and that Jose Rizal was never really killed during his execution at the Bagumbayan on December 30, 1896. The sect stressed out that when his family attempted to exhume his body in the Paco Park where it was buried after his executive, it is nowhere to be found and that a tree trunk and a pair of shoes were found at the site.

The Samahan Rizal nationalistic cult believes that there are four personas of God: God the Father, God the Mother (Mary), God the Son (Jesus Christ) and God the Holy Spirit.

At its peak in the 1980, the group reached over 100,000 members. However, by 2012, its number dwindle down to a staggering of at least 90 percent. In the same year, the sect was led by Bonifacio Relleta.

In the year 1987, the group was divided into four factions: The Samahan ng Watawat ng Lahi Presiding Elders, Iglesia ng Watawat ng Lahi Malvarosa Faction, Iglesia ng Lipi ni Gat Dr. Rizal and Pilipinas Iglesia ng Watawat ng Lahi.

The charismatic cult leader was buried in the grounds of the Iglesia ng Watawat ng Lahi headquarters in Laguna where people still visit his tomb.

Iglesia ng Watawat ng Lahi Flag

One of the symbols of the Iglesia ng Watawat ng Lahi, clearly influenced by Masonry is the triangle with the " eye of God " and three stars on it. 

The Nationalistic Cult Church

Iglesia ng Watawat ng Lahi Headquarters Building


Filipiknow (Author: Alex R. Castro) - https://filipiknow.net/lgbt-personalities-philippine-history/

Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:8430jfSierra_La_Paz_Dumarais_Church_Roads_Tarlacfvf_06.JPG

Maharlika kingdom of God Lupah Sug Empire Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/107718370926612/photos/a.107736270924822/117618116603304/?type=3