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The Taal Lake Moros Battled the Spanish Invading Forces: A Short Chronicle - By Dr. Meinrado D. Martinez, Faculty: Lyceum Univ
by Meinrado D. Martinez on Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 1:27am

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Notes: Dr. Meinrado D. Martinez took pains in reconstructing the Islamic past of the people of Taal, Batangas for two basic reasons: first, Taal is his birthplace, and second, he is a Muslim himself. Therefore, he is a Taal Lake Moro too like his forebears. However, he faced a daunting task in recreating the Islamic image of Taal considering that the gap of 440 years from the actual event, the scarcity of literature available, and the writing of conventional history by the victors of wars. As a matter of fact, the late Dr. Cesar Adib Majul, a well respected historian, did not even mention Taal in his masterpiece book entitled Muslim in the Philippines. He just mentioned Balayan, Batangas in passing. Dr. Martinez hopes the readers will appreciate the picture emanating from the synthesis of fragments of collated facts. The Taal Lake Moros Battled the Spanish Invading Forces: A Short Chronicle Chinese potteries and stoneware unearthed from the edges of the Pansipit River reveal that the Chinese have been doing business with the inhabitants along its banks from the Yuan Dynasty until the early Ming Dynasty from the 13th to the 15th century. It is also accepted that the Malay Datu Puti who led ten datus for a voyage into Panay from Borneo and Brunei in the late 13th century also founded the first community along the Pansipit River leaving behind Datu Dumangsil and Datu Balensusa in two barangays around Taal Lake. Captain Juan de Salcedo was the first European to visit Lake Taal. He was a Spaniard born in Mexico City. Being too young, he did not join his grandfather, Miguel de Legaspi in conquering Cebu in the Visayas Islands in the central part of the Philippines. However, Salcedo joined his grandfather in military campaigns three years later. Salcedo, now a 21 year old explorer, took command next to Martin de Goiti, the Chief Field Commander. The Spanish forces consisted of about 100 Spanish arquebusiers (soldiers with guns) and 20 sailors. They were assisted by about 300 soldiers from the Visayan Islands who were manning the oared boats. They embarked into San Miguel Ship and Tortuga war vessels and sailed on 3 May 1570, planned to get to and survey the Maynila and its bay. On 3 May 1570, the 21-year-old adventurer set sail north as second-in-command, under Chief Field Commander Martin de Goiti, on the 50-ton San Miguel and the frigate Tortuga, with about 100 Spanish soldiers with guns and 20 sailors, aided by about 300 Visayan soldiers who would operate oared boats. Their mission was to reach and explore the fabled Maynila and its bay.

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Martinez's Notes

The fleet reached the waters off Mindoro Island while an advance group in the oared boats clashed, overcame, and took into their custody the two Chinese trading junks and their sailors at Baco River. Goiti and Salcedo were irritated at the haughty manners of the advance Spanish group, made apology to the Chinese, and free the detainees. But when Goiti sent one Chinese ship back to Cebu for repair and confiscated its load of Chinese merchandise. The Spanish forces displayed it superior military might and forced the people of Baco to negotiate for peace. The people presented gold and persuaded the forces of Goiti to proceed to a fortified fort now known as Puerto Galera. The Spaniards demonstrated again their superior military capability and discouraged possible attack by the natives. The invading forces received again levy of gold for the crown of Spain. Afterwards, the Spanish combatants alighted to Balayan Bay now under the province of Batangas. Then, the foreign forces headed out to interior of the land to survey the densely inhabited region with many well tended lands. The Spanish forces used the Moro guides from Balayan areas to enter the Lake Taal through Pansipit River in oared boats to the mount of Taal Lake. They were looking for a secured location which was located on the both sides of the water. The place was very high, rugged, and suitable for laying ambuscades. The knowledge of the location shared by the Balayan Moros was confirmed accurate. The Taal Lake Moros who were unsure of the intentions of the Spaniards had prepared their bows, arrows and bolos ready for battle. The Moros were lying in wait ready to attack by surprise, unleashed scores of poisoned arrows into the air hitting Salcedo in the thigh and forcing the invaders to withdraw. After regrouping, Salcedo and his men battled the Lake Taal Moros on land and shot 40 Moros dead at the gate of Taal town. After subduing the Taal Lake Moros, the expedition continued the travel to Maynila where Rajah

Soliman and the Maynila Moros confronted the conquering force who was fresh from the victory at Taal Lake encounter. Therefore, based on the references consulted, the defeat of Taal Lake Moros may attributed to the superior military might of the Spaniards; the accurate geographical guidance by the Balayan Moros; and the assistance of the Visayan soldiers. Sources: Blair, Emma Helen and James Alexander Robertson. The Philippine Islands. Mandaluyong, Philippines: Cacho Hermanos Inc., 1973. Gahol-Orlina, Paulina. Taal. Taal, Batangas, Philippines: P. Gahol Orlina, 1976. Hargrove, Thomas R. The Mysteries of Taal, A Philippine volcano and lake, her sea life and lost towns. Makati City, Philippines: Bookmark Publishing, 1991. Hill, Percy A. Taal and Its History. Philippine Magazine, September 1937, p. 353. Manila, Philippines. History and Culture of Taal. Available at,ph Sitoy, T. Valentino Jr. The Initial Encounter: A History of Christianity in the Philippines, Vol. 1. Quezon City, Philippines: New Day Publishers, 1985. Quirino, C. Juan de Salcedo, The Last Conquistador. Filipino Heritage: The Making of a Nation, Vol. 4, pp897-900, Manila, Philippines: Lahing Pilipino Publishing Inc., 1977. Noone, Martin J. The Discovery and Conquest of the Philippines" (1521-1581). Part 1, Vol. 1 of General History of the Philippines. Ireland: Richview Browne & Nolan Ltd.,_____ Taal, Batangas. Available at

Like Comment Share Roque Santos Morales seems it was not only the orang Sama of leyte (iley-ta) samar (sama) were decimated but also the orang ta'al under spanish conquest.... February 17 at 6:28am Like 1 person Francisco C Castro Are there evidences of Islamic influence in Taal already at that time? Interesting! February 17 at 7:21am Like Meinrado D. Martinez First of all, we have to consider that any Muslim written records during pre-Hispanic period were completely destroyed considering the following revelation; Tagalog literatures in Balayan were lost and destroyed at the coming of the Spania...See More February 17 at 5:50pm Like Meinrado D. Martinez salam yusuf...your analogy is precise... February 17 at 5:52pm Like Francisco C Castro i am very satisfied with the answer. it is a revelation to me to realize that islamic documents were destroyed. February 17 at 8:17pm Like Meinrado D. Martinez Thanks, you are pleased with my answer. The Spaniards may have burned all Islamic records and artifacts but there are still Moro cultural aspects that are still retained in Batangas such loaned words from Arabic, personal hygiene, reckles...See More February 17 at 9:52pm Like Francisco C Castro I thought that the "hurumintado" word applied only in the South--Mindanao. I grew up with the G. Zaide historical it takes a while to re-shape historical thinking February 18 at 6:13am Like Meinrado D. Martinez You are right. I was referring to Mindanao jihadists for the "Moro huramentados". However, this word has been part of Tagalog vocabulary. The first meaning is about physical violence as described by "amok" (English-Filipino Dictionary

byLuc...See More February 18 at 4:27pm Like Francisco C Castro I have been reading into these matters quite some time ago. It is interesting to look back into those materials. I am told by an anthropologist friend that the name "Butuan" in Agusan del Norte has its root word "penis". But why "penis"? On...See More February 18 at 4:44pm Like Meinrado D. Martinez Other anthropologists have suggested that name "Butuan" came from the name of its former ruler, Datu Buntuan. However, my mind is in parallel with the thoughts of your anthropologist friend. Why? First, if Butuan came from Buntuan, why om...See More February 18 at 5:24pm Like Francisco C Castro yes, "lingam". I had the chance to visit India and observe the Temple practices there. So thiis idea of "buto" and "lingam" seems to connact well....But again, this needs documentation February 18 at 6:29pm Like Meinrado D. Martinez i hope that the ancient records of china, india, indonesia, iran, cambodia and thailand will solve the puzzle. February 18 at 6:53pm Like Write a comment...

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