Rajah Sulayman

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Rajah Sulayman
Rajah of Maynila
Malate Monument.jpg
Reign 1571 – 1575
Titles Rajah Muda
Predecessor Rajah Matanda (Namayan)
Successor Magat Salamat
Royal house Kingdom of Namayan, Tondo and Sabag
Religious beliefs Islam

Rajah Sulayman (1558–1575,[1] derived from Arabic: سليمان) was the Muslim Rajah of Maynila, a kingdom at the mouth of the Pasig River where it meets Manila Bay, at the time the Spanish forces first came to Luzon.[2][3][4]

Sulayman resisted the Spanish forces, and thus, along with Rajah Matanda and Lakan Dula, was one of three Rajahs who played significant roles in the drama that was the Spanish conquest of the kingdoms of the Pasig River delta in the early 1570s.[5]

"Rajah Mura"[edit]

Spanish documents say his people called him "Rajah Mura" or "Rajah Muda" (a Sanskrit title for a Prince). The Spanish transcription of "Rajah Mura" is Young Rajah, a reference to the fact that he was Rajah Matanda's nephew and heir to the throne. The Spaniards called him "Rajah Solimano el Mow".[1]

The Spanish Conquest of Manila (1570–1571)[edit]

Spanish explorer Miguel López de Legazpi, searching for a suitable place to establish his capital after being compelled to move from Cebu to Panay by Portuguese pirates and hearing of the existence of a prosperous kingdom in Luzon, sent an expedition under Martín de Goiti and Juan de Salcedo to explore its location and potentials.[6]

Goiti anchored at Cavite and established his authority peaceably by sending a message of friendship to various nations in Manila. Rajah Sulayman, who had been ceded authority over their settlements by his aging uncle Rajah Matanda, was willing to accept the friendship that the Spaniards were offering, but did not want to submit its sovereignty unto them, and waged war against them due to disputes and hostility. As a result, Goiti and his army attacked the Muslim nations on June 1570 and occupied the villages before returning to Panay.[6]

The "Sulayman Revolt"[edit]

When López de Legazpi died in 1572, his successor, Governor-General Guido de Lavezaris, did not honor the agreements with Rajah Sulaiman III and Lakan Dula. He sequestered the properties of the two kings and tolerated Spanish atrocities.[5] In response, Rajah Sulaiman III and Lakan Dula led a revolt in the villages of Navotas in 1574, taking advantage of the confusion brought about by the attacks of Chinese pirate Limahong. This is often referred to as the "Manila revolt of 1574" but is sometimes referred to as the "Sulaiman revolt" and the "Lakan Dula revolt." Since it involved naval forces, the Sulayman Revolt is also known as the "First Battle of Manila Bay".[5]

Friar Geronimo Marían and Juan de Salcedo were tasked with pursuing conciliatory talks with various nations. Lakan Dula and Rajah Sulaiman III agreed on Salcedo's peace treaty and an alliance were formed between the two groups.[5]

Tarik Sulayman and the Battle of Bangkusay[edit]

Some controversy exists about the identity of the leader of the Macabebe people that initiated the Battle of Bangkusay in 1571. That chieftain is referred to by Philippine historians as Tarik Sulayman.[7] In some versions of the Battle of Bangkusay, Tarik Sulayman of Macabebe and Rajah Sulaiman III of Manila are the same person.[8][9] Other versions contend that they are different people with the same name.[10] Some have even suggested that the two men were related.

Spanish documents do not identify the leader of the Macabebe people by name, but record that he died during the Battle of Bangkusay, resulting in a Macabebe retreat and a Spanish victory, in 1571.[10][11] Rajah Sulaiman III of Manila, on the other hand, is clearly recorded as participating in the revolt of 1574, and thus cannot be the figure who died in 1571 at Bangkusay.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Rodil, Awang Romeo Duana (April 18, 2008). "The Muslim Rulers of Manila". melayuonline.com. Retrieved October 4, 2008. 
  2. ^ Joaqiun, Nick (1990). Manila, My Manila: A History for the Young. City of Manila: Anvil Publishing, Inc. ISBN 978-971-569-313-4. 
  3. ^ Scott, William Henry (1994). Barangay: Sixteenth Century Philippine Culture and Society. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press. ISBN 971-550-135-4. 
  4. ^ Dery, Luis Camara (2001). A History of the Inarticulate. Quezon City: New Day Publishers. ISBN 971-10-1069-0. 
  5. ^ a b c d 222. "Rajah Soliman". National Heroes. Globalpinoy.com. Retrieved February 5, 2008. 
  6. ^ a b Filipiniana: Act of Taking Possession of Luzon by Martin de Goiti. Accessed September 6, 2008.
  7. ^ Tantingco, Robby (October 24, 2006). "First Filipino martyr for freedom". Sun Star Pampanga. 
  8. ^ History of Manila. Accessed September 8, 2008.
  9. ^ Rajah Sulayman - Manila, Philippines
  10. ^ a b Piedad-Pugay, Chris Antonette (June 6, 2008). "The Battle of Bangkusay: A Paradigm of Defiance against Colonial Conquest". National Historical Institute Website. National Historical Institute. 
  11. ^ San Agustin, Gaspar de. Conquistas de las Islas Filipinas 1565–1615 (in Bilingual (Spanish and English)). Translated by Luis Antonio Mañeru (1st bilingual ed [Spanish and English] ed.). Intramuros, Manila, 1998: Pedro Galende, OSA. 
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Rajah Sulaiman II
Rajah of Namayan
Succeeded by
Magat Salamat
as King without a title in the Cabeza de Barangay (leader of the Province).
Preceded by
Lakan Dula
Rajah of Tondo and Sabag