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RAJAH SULAYMAN Ceres Alabado

12 Dec

           After the defeat of the Spaniards in Mactan, Spain sent many more boats and soldiers to invade Cebu. The Spanish soldier who finally won the battle for Cebu was named Legazpi.

            After settling in Cebu, Legazpi looked for other islands around it to conquer. He wanted these lands because they were rich in food and supplies. He took Panay. He moved his headquarters to Panay.

            Then he heard of a rich village in Manila. He prepared to take it. He gave orders to his man, Goiti, to sail to Manila.

            Manila was a Moro or Moslem village on the banks of the Pasig River. Around the village the Moslems built a wall of wood and earth to protect themselves. On top of these walls, they placed their bronze cannons. These were called lantakas.

            The Moslem chieftain was the rajah or king of Manila. His name was Rajah Sulayman.

            Rajah Sulayman was willing to be a friend of Spain but not its servant. Legazpi heard of this and that was why he sent his man Goiti to talk with the rajah.

            “Tell Legazpi, I promise friendship with you and with him, but as an equal”, Rajah Sulayman told Goiti.

            Goiti did not like this. He wanted loyalty to Spain and the payment of taxes. He prepared to attack the village. Sulayman formed an army.

            Goiti ordered the firing of cannons in the direction of Manila. Fighting began.

            Rajah Sulayman had very little arms. But the powerful lantakas helped Sulayman escape. He was not killed or captured when the Spaniards closed in and conquered Manila. Goiti knew that Sulayman was undefeated. He knew he would return. So, Goiti left Manila to report to Legazpi, and with him, plan the next action.

            Immediately after Goiti left Manila, Sulayman and his men returned to their village. They tried to rebuild their once prosperous village.

            But soon Legazpi himself came to Manila. He decided to move his headquarters to Manila.

            Sulayman and his men stood on the hills around the village. They saw huge ships moving in at Manila Bay.

            Sulayman saw very little chance for his small army. Rather than surrender, he burned his village. From their boats, the Spaniards saw the rising flames. They knew that Sulayman would rather see his village ashes than give it up to the Spaniards.

            With hundreds of captured Visayans fighting with the Spaniards, the enemy seemed much too many. Rajah Sulayman saw that they were again outnumbered. Once more he fled. This time he fled to Tondo.

            On June 24, 1571, Legazpi conquered all of Manila.

             He rebuilt the village that was burned. He built a palace for himself and 150 houses for his soldiers. He built a convent and church for the Augustinian priests. What was once a Moslem or Mohammedan Manila became a Christian village. Then he made Manila the capital of the Philippines.

            Still, Rajah Sulayman, truly the lion-hearted Moslem, was fearless. A few years later, he fought the Spaniards again. He asked the other chieftains of Hagonoy, Macabebe and other neighboring barangays of Bulacan and Pampanga to fight for their freedom with him.

            But his uncle, Rajah Lakandula of Tondo, did not help him. In a fierce battle at Bangkusay, Tondo, Sulayman was killed. The year was 1574.

            He died fighting for the honor and freedom of his land. He is one of the most courageous Filipino Heroes.

Reference: Avenues in English I, Romantico Barrientos et.al, pp.211-212 

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Posted by on December 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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