|The Moro Sultanates|
Sultanate of MAGUINDANAO
The Sultanate of Maguindanao, the lower valley (sa ilud) kingdom, was a harbor sultanate relying heavily on trade and naval power. At the height of its power in the 17th century under Sultan Qudarat and Sultan Barahman, Maguindanao was the acknowledged overlord of all Mindanao, Sulu and even Borneo. The last Maguindanao sultan, Sultan Mangigin, died in the 1920s/30s during the American Occupation.
A bullet-riddled mosque in
Maguindanao. The Philippine government's all-out war against the
Moros in the year 2000 desecrated a number of mosques.
The Kingdom of BUAYAN
Sultanate of Buayan, the upper valley (sa raya) kingdom, relied
on its rich agricultural lands and had the support of a great number of
non-Muslim Malay tribes. The ruler of Buayan chose to stick to the old
title of Rajah (a Hindu word for King) to emphasize the fact that the House
of Buayan dates back to the Sri Vijaya and Majapahit empires that encompassed
most of Southeast Asia. Buayan's power was eclipsed by Maguindanao during
the time of Datu Buisan, Qudarat's father. Buayan almost regained its old
glory when it practically wiped out the remaining Spanish forces in the
late 1890s. When the Americans came, Buayan led the fight in Mindanao.
Unfortunately, Datu Ali, the Rajah Muda of Buayan, who was about to finally
unite Maguindanao and Buayan, was killed by the Americans through treachery
of some Moros. With the deaths of the old rajah (Datu Utto) and the young
rajah (Datu Ali), the Buayanens and even the Maguindanaons lost heart in
their fight against the Americans. The powerful non-royal Moro Chinese
datus took over the leadership of the Pulangi and collaborated with the
Americans. Thus ended the rule of the royals in Maguindanao and Buayan.
The Confederation of RANAO sultanates
Near the center of the island is the Lake (Ranao), the highest lake in the Philippines. Around this lake live the M'ranaos. Contrary to what some people believe, the Ranao sultanates were never subservient to the Maguindanao royalty. Datu Dimasangkay, the uncle of Qudarat, married into M'ranao/Iranun royalty. From then on, the M'ranaos/Iranuns became firm and loyal allies of Maguindanao royalty. Perhaps it was because of the M'ranao/Iranun connection that Buayan's power was eclipsed by Maguindanao in the Pulangi area. It must be noted that when Qudarat was defeated by the Spaniards, he retreated to his relatives among the M'ranaos/Iranuns.
King Faisal Mosque in Marawi City, Lanao
The Sultanate of SULU
The Sultanate of Sulu was founded ca. 1400 by Syed Abu Bakr, an Arab who claimed descent from the Prophet Muhammad, p.b.u.h. Syed Abu Bakr took on the regnal name Sharif Hashem, perhaps to emphasize his claim to the Hashemite bloodline. The Sultan of Sulu held sway over the Sulu Archipelago, Palawan, and later North Borneo (now the Malaysian state of Sabah). The Zamboanga peninsula's ruler changed depending upon the vicissitudes of fortune. Maguindanao, Sulu and the Spanish took turns in ruling Zamboanga, known locally as Samboangan.
Provincial Capitol of Sulu
December 1893, due to old age, Sultan Harun ar-Rashid abdicated in favor
of his cousin Jamal ul-Kiram II. He transferred his residence to Palawan
and used the title "Sultan Jubilado de Palawan". The Spanish continued
paying him his monthly honorarium as sultan as per their agreement. He
died in April 1899. Thus, at the end of the Spanish era and the beginning
of the American era, a Sulu Sultan reigned over Palawan.