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s of
 She is one of Zamboanga City’s premiere artist
A true Filipina painter and sculptor
She is currently working as an executive assistant in the Office of
the City Mayor, and
is overlooking the City Hall restoration.
She writes a weekly arts column
She does extensive research in the arts and culture of
A short
history of
Raiders of
the Sulu Sea
⚔A historiography documentary film depicting the
Southeast Asia flourishing free trading in the area.
⚔ Adverse effects/ retaliation when Spaniards
wanted to control the economy as well as to
colonize and Christianize
⚔ Depicting how the Spaniards defended the city
with the Fort Pilar
⚔ Showed what was claimed then as pirates of the
Sulu sea from Mindanao, Philippines
⚔How these raiders were actually plying their trade
before and during the Spanish colonization of the
⚔The Spanish established their colony on the southern tip
of Mindanao in Zamboanga. Fort Pilar was constructed
with ten (10) meter-high wall fortification all around.
This was the base of the Spaniards to facilitate their
trade. Zamboanga is very close to Basilan, the Tawi-tawi
and Sulu group of islands and the Maguindanao area
where there we three different tribes of seafaring
Filipino Muslims. The three tribes were known as
Balangingi-Samal, Ilanuns and Sultanate of Sulu, all
which were employing Taosogs who were excellent
Three Muslim
1. Samal Balangingi
 Raiding Tribe
2. Illanun
 Raiding Tribe
3. Taosug
⚔ Warriors
⚔The three tribes are not really pirates during the times they
were plying their trade of capturing people and selling them as
slaves. Slave trading was a business then and they were not
raiding ships in high seas. What they did was go and land in
different shores posing as fishermen. Without any warning,
draw their 1-meter long swords and take as many slaves as
they can. Once captured, the slaves’ palms are punctured and
tied to each other. The slaves are loaded in their 25 to 27
meter by 6 meter boats that has 30 to 34 oarsmen and sails. It
was said that their boats were the fastest that Spanish
Galleons could not even give chase.
⚔The History documentary was actually
focusing on how the tribes were able to
organize a flotilla of a hundred ships or more
with more than 3,000 men. This happened
when the three tribes connived to raid Fort
Pilar. The Spanish were stricken with fear
upon seeing the number of boats and the
army they were to face.
large outrigger warships used by the
Illanun and the Balanguingui people
specialized for naval battles
were prominently used for piracy and
slave raids from the mid-18th century to
the early 19th century in most of
Southeast Asia
 traditional native warships of the Balanguingui people
in the Philippines.
 used for piracy by the Balanguingui and Illanun people
against unarmed trading ships and raids on coastal
settlements in the regions surrounding the Sulu Sea.
 the name means "scattered" or "wanderer" in the
Sama language of the Balanguingui.
 were smaller, faster, and more maneuverable than
the Illanun lanong warships
 auxiliary vessels
 usually part of fleets with larger motherships
like pangajava, garay, or lanong warships.
Among Malays, this type of boat is used as a
boat of war or passenger boat
 often used by the Illanun and Balanguingui
people of the Philippines for piracy and for
raids on coastal areas.
Weapon of
the Moro
Moro Kris
⚔A weapon of warfare
and ceremony
⚔ This are not only carried by slave r aiders into battles
but also by nobles and high ranking officials of the
Southern Sultanate
⚔ Double edged with either smooth or wavy blades
⚔ The curving is for easily slashing- it would penetrate the
bone and would stick making it hard to pull
⚔longest the sword , used by the Illanuns
⚔ heavy single edged sword often adorned
with hair to make it look even intimidating
⚔ at the tip of the blade, a projecting blunt
side was used to pick up the head of a
decapitated body
⚔ Deadly weapon sword used by the Taosug warriors with single-edged
leaf blade made of thick tempered steel
⚔ Used to enclose hand-to-hand battle to cut Spanish firearms down

Arrival of
☞The presence of the Spanish in the Visayas
and Southern Luzon disrupted the spread of
☞Opportunity to propagate Christianity in the
Philippines they landed in Luzon on the north
from here Christianity spread displacing Islam
and indigenous tribal beliefs.
☞When Europeans first came to this region, aside
from spices, woods, tin, and pepper that
couldn’t be found anywhere else are the
products that attracted them.
☞They wanted to be part and control the process
in the exchange in trade.
☞For the Muslim Sultanates eradicating the
Christian-Spanish presence in Zamboanga was
one of their top priorities
☞The Spanish established their colony on the Southern
tip of Mindanao in Zamboanga. Fort Pilar was
constructed with ten (10) meter-high wall
fortification all around.
☞Spain’s last stronghold and bastion of defense and
economic expansion in the South of the Philippines .
☞Structure designed to withstand even the destructive
force of canon balls.
☞Defended by rows of Spanish artillery.
Maritime Vessels
 were large, multi-decked sailing ships
 Slower than the warships of Sulu raiders
Spanish Firearm
⚔ Had limitations and inaccurate
⚔ Took several steps to reload and only 3 shots per
The Destruction of
Balanguingui settlement,
1848between freedom and
☞It was also seen as a struggle
preservation of identity vs. oppression and subjugation.
In 1848, Spain with the acquisition of powerful
steamships from Britain succeeded in gradually ending
slave-raiding before 1898. They destroyed Balanguingui
settlements in Tongkil island (now Balanguingui
municipality). Panglima Taupan eventually surrenderd
after his wife and kins were taken captives by Spanish
forces: they were relocated to Zamboanga.
 faster, easier to navigate and had various
armaments to take on the tribes.
Advent of American Rule
• American rule adopted the same policy
towards the Muslim communities. Armed
resistance to US force in Sulu and Mindanao
were considered banditry and lawlessness and
were met with deadlier ferocity through the “
pacification” campaigns of US Generals
Leonard Wood and John Pershing who both
served of Governors of the American-
established Moro Province.
☞The Tausugs who dared like Jikiri and other
local datus (chieftains) to challenge US rule
were relentlessly pursued and killed by the
composite forces of US Army, Phil.
Constabulary (PC) and Phil. Scouts.
Cessation of slave raiding
• Despite Spanish efforts to eradicate the pirate
threat, piracy persisted until the early 1900s.
Spain ceded the Philippines to the United
States as a result of the Spanish – American
War in 1898, after which American troops
embarked on a pacification campaign from
1903 to 1913 that extended American rule to
the southern Philippines and effectively
suppressed piracy