Recorded list of Datus in the Philippines

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Datus of Pre-Hispanic Philippines (12th to 16th century)[edit]

The following category is a list of leaders who governed Mindanao, the Visayas and Luzon region:

King of Daanbantayan, Cebu
  • Datu Dinagandan
King of Aklan in Panay in the 12th century
King of Aklan in the 14th century
  • Datu Padojinog
Governed the Visayas region with his wife Ribongsapaw. According to Visayan folk tradition, about 900 years ago between the 12th century to 13th century, ten noble Malay warriors were believed to have settled in the Philippines. They migrated from the kingdom of Borneo, escaping the wrath of a wicked ruler called Rajah Makatunao. They boarded on large boats and canoes and set out to sea to find a place where they could live in peace and harmony.
  • Datu Bangkaya
Settled and became King of Aklan after migrating from the kingdom of Borneo.

Datus in the Maragtas epic[edit]

See also: Maragtas (book)
  • Datu Kalantiaw III /Rajah Bendahara Kalantiaw, according to the local oral tradition of Panay, is said to have enacted a body of laws, which is now called the Code of Kalantiaw in 1433.
  • Datu Puti - One of the 10 Bornean Datus to arrive in Iloilo before the Spanish colonization.
  • Datu Sumakwel - Leader of the 10 Bornean Datus. He settled in Antique.
  • Datu Bangkaya
  • Datu Paiburong
  • Datu Marikudo - the Ati (Aeta) Datu of Panay, from whom the 10 Bornean Datus purchased the lowlands of the Island, in exchange for a golden Salakot (Bulawan nga Saduk), and a long pearl necklace that could touch the ground (Manangyad).

Datus during the Spanish colonization[edit]

  • Rajah Colambu - King of Limasawa in 1521, brother of Rajah Siagu of Butuan. He befriended Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and guided him to Cebu on April 7, 1521.
  • Rajah Humabon - King of Cebu who became an ally of Ferdinand Magellan and the Spaniards. Rival of Datu Lapu-Lapu. In 1521, he and his wife were baptized as Christians and given Christian names Carlos and Juana after the Spanish royalty, King Carlos and Queen Juana.
  • Sultan Kudarat - Sultan of Maguindanao.
  • Lakan Dula or Lakandula - King of Tondo, one of the last princes of Manila.
  • Datu Lapu-Lapu - King of Mactan Island. He defeated the Spaniards on April 27, 1521.
  • Datu Sikatuna - King of Bohol in 1565. He made a blood compact with Spanish explorer, Miguel López de Legazpi.
  • Datu Pagbuaya - King of Bohol. He governed with his brother Datu Dailisan, a settlement along the shorelines between Mansasa, Tagbilaran and Dauis, which was abandoned years before the Spanish colonization due to Portuguese and Ternatean attacks. He founded Dapitan in the northern shore of Mindanao.
  • Datu Dailisan - King of Mansasa, Tagbilaran and Dauis and governed their kingdom along with his brother Datu Pagbuaya. His death during one of the Portuguese raids caused the abandonment of the settlement.
  • Datu Manooc - Christian name - Pedro Manuel Manooc, son of Datu Pagbuaya who converted to Christianity, defeated the Higaonon tribe in Iligan, Mindanao. He established one of the first Christian settlements in the country.
  • Datu Macabulos - King of Pampanga in 1571.
  • Rajah Siagu - King of the Manobo in 1521.
  • Apo Noan - Chieftain of Mandani (present day Mandaue) in 1521.
  • Apo Macarere - Famous Chieftain of the Tagbanwa warrior tribe in Corong Island (Calis).
  • Rajah Sulaiman III - One of the last King of Manila, was defeated by Martín de Goiti, a Spanish soldier commissioned by López de Legazpi to Manila.
  • Rajah Tupas - King of Cebu, conquered by Miguel López de Legazpi.
  • Datu Urduja - Female Leader in Pangasinan.
  • Datu Zula - Chieftain of Mactan, Cebu. Rival of Lapu-lapu
  • Datu Kalun - Ruler of the Island of the Basilan and the Yakans in Mindanao, converted his line to Christianity
  • Datu Limbona - Ruler of Marawi City
  • Datu Bangkaya - King of Antique
  • unnamed Datu - King of Taytay Palawan. Mentioned by Pigafetta, chronicler of Magellan. The king, together with his wife were kidnapped by the remnant troops from Magellan's fleet after fleeing Cebu to secure provisions for their crossing to the Moluccas.
  • Datu Cabaylo (Cabailo) - The last king of the Kingdom of Taytay

Present day Datus in Mindanao[edit]

1. Muslim Datus in Mindanao[edit]

In some indigenous Lumad and Muslim societies in Mindanao, titular Datus of ancient royal and noble families still exist. Some of them are active government officials of the Republic of the Philippines, while continuing their cultural and tribal roles as community leaders of their people. Some, although do not have official duties in the Republic, exercise some leadership roles in their tribes. Still others are claimants to these titles. Some of these present day Datus are:

2. Lumad Datus in Mindanao[edit]

A 1926 photograph of Bagobo (Manobo) warriors in full war regalia. The Bagobo tribe is one of the Lumad tribes in Mindanao.

Datu Julius Cayon

  • Datu Benhur - Lumad leader of the Banuaon tribe[13]
  • Datu Viloso Suhat, also known as Datu Lipatuan - a tribal leader from the Tinananon Menuvo tribe in Arakan, North Cotabato, and the first Lumad to sit in a local legislative body in central Mindanao.[14]
  • Datu Lamparan Lihao Danda - a Chief Tribal leader from Subanen tribe, and a second generation descendant of Timuay Danda Antanao the oborigin of Municipality of Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay. Elected Mayor of Municipality of Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay year 1961-1964. He is the President of United Subanen Community Association Inc.Zamboanga Sibugay/Zamboanga Del Norte/ Zamboanga Del Sur.
  • Datu Wata Eduardo Lihao Danda- a tribal leader in charge of the communication for the entire Subanen Tribe. He functioned under Datu Lamparan Lihao Danda, his elder brother.He is enlisted into World War II United State Army (USAFE) Attach in Med Det. 106INF. USA Army with rank of Corporal (CPL) and capture by Japanese in May 1942, jail in camp 78 Davao, escaped the same year re-joined 41st Division USA Army, after the Philippines liberation from Imperaial Japan Force , He integrated to Philippines Constabulary (PC). retired 1972. He is a Secretary General of United Subanen Community Association Inc.Zamboanga Sibugay/Zamboanga Del Norte/ Zamboanga Del Sur.
  • Datu Labi Jose Lihao Cayon - a Chief Tribal leader of the entire Subanen tribe, after the dead of Datu Lamparan Lihao Danda, who is another Lumad leader in Sibugay. He is the 1st cousin of Datu Lamparan Lihao Danda and Datu Wata Eduardo Lihao Danda.
  • Datu Labi Julius Mascarinas Cayon - board member of Zamboanga Sibugay Province And the Son of late Datu Labi JoseLihao Cayon, he is recognized as the Tribal Chieftain not just in Zamboanga Sibugay but entire Region 9 and partly in Region 10. "NCIP" - national commission on indigenous people, record section.
  • Datu Lumok Imbing - 2nd cousin of Datu Laparan Lihao Danda and a tribal leader from Subanen Tribe, who leads the aborigins of the Municipality of Lapuyan, Zamaboanga Del Sur Province.
  • Datu Wilborne Sanghanan Danda - a board member of Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Zamboanga Sinbugay (2000-2013), Elected Vice Mayor of Municipality of Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay from year 2010-2013, He is the son of Datu Lamparan Lihao Danda.
  • Datu Wilfredo Lunsayan Sunggayan - 1st Indigenous Peoples representative in local legislative councils in the Province of Zamboanga Sibugay from the provincial down to the barangay level pursuant to RA 8371, helped by Datu Wilborne Sanghanan Danda. He is the grandson of Timuay Lunsayan Tigbao of San Antonio, Nazareth and the eldest son of Timuay Langhap Pablo Nanggaya Sanggayan. He is the FIRST Indigenous Peoples Representative in the Sanggauniang Panlalawigan of the Province of Zamboanga Sibugay until October 2012. He was conferred and proclaimed Datu by Datu Labi Jose Lihao Cayon.

Other Present day Datus in Ancestral Domains under IPRA Law[edit]

  • Apo Dr. Pio Lledo - Tagbanwa Tribal Chieftain of Calauit Is. Ancestral Domain[15]
  • Apo Rodolfo Aguilar - Tagbanwa Paramount Tribal Chieftain of Coron Is. Ancestral Domain[16]

The Datu class in Southern tribes of the Tagbanwa people in the Province of Palawan is known as Usba.[17]

Present day Datus in Palawan[edit]

The Cuyonon tribe, despite being the largest ethno-linguistic group in the Cuyo-Paragua (now Palawan) archipelago, is the most friendly among the indigenous peoples of Palawan, resulting to their being easily converted to Catholicism. The disunity resulting from their submissiveness to Spain, prompted tribal leaders to reunite and re-install traditional datus in their present-day society.

The revived datu system of the tribe is governed by a council of datus who all hailed by bloodline from a common ancestor, the tribal king Datu Cabaylo (also spelled Cabailo) which was shown by baptismal records in the Church of Cuyo, Palawan to be renamed as Flores de los Santos Cabaylo which meant "Cabaylo, Flower of the Saints." He was the last datu from the ancient Kingdom of Taytay, Palawan which Antonio Pigafetta, Ferdinand Magellan's chronicler, once mentioned to be governed by a flamboyant king who was always followed by his ten scribes.

From the Royal House of Cabaylo, the ten punong datus who were appointed to compose the Council of Datus to govern the Cuyonon Tribe are:

  • Datu Higinio Clark Mendoza II
  • Datu Freddie Ponce de Leon II
  • Datu Ferdinand Blanco
  • Datu Andrei Ustares Acosta
  • Datu Prospero Castro
  • Datu Wilfredo Magdayao
  • Datu Jim Pe
  • Datu Felipe Acosta II
  • Datu Rogelio Alili
  • Datu Robert Rover.

However, another blood datu, Datu Dr. Fernando Macolor Cruz from the same royal house, who had gained international fame as president and founder of the International Stateless Persons Organisation and as Philippine delegate to the Norman Academy in Rome, had formally lain claim on the vacant throne of the ancient Kingdom of Taytay. Datu Pinadu as he is locally known, is also a proclaimed datu of the Tagbanua tribe and the Royal House of Aranan of Sulu, too, and was also conferred a hereditary ducal title by the Royal House of Heristal.


  1. ^ Sultan of Sulu
  2. ^ ‘Sultan of Sulu’ attends wedding in Malaysia | Free Malaysia Today
  3. ^ Jamalul Kiram III was a member of the Rumah Bichara (Council of the Sultan) during the reign of his late uncle, Sultan Esmail Kiram (1962–1974). He acted as "Interim Sultan" during the absence of his father Sultan Punjungan Kiram while in Sabah (1974–1981) and proclaimed in 1984 as 33rd Sultan of Sulu. He was crowned on June 15, 1986 in Jolo, Sulu.
  4. ^ Titular Sultan of Sulu from 1990-1999
  5. ^ Ismael Kiram II is the second son of Punjungan Kiram and younger brother of Jamalul Kiram III, and titular Sultan of Sulu since 1999.
  6. ^ Welcome to the Royal Hashemite Sultanate of Sulu & Sabah Official Website
  7. ^ Sultan of Sulu
  8. ^ "Asia America Initiative". Asia America Initiative. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  9. ^ "Memo Order 427". Royal House of Sulu. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  10. ^ Sulu sultan’s ‘heirs’ drop Sabah claim -, Philippine News for Filipinos
  11. ^ So, who’s the real sultan?
  12. ^ The Sultans: Members Family Of The Royal House Of Maguindanao
  13. ^ "Lumad chieftain abandons rebel movement in Agusan". Manila Bulletin. 22 April 2009. 
  14. ^ Lumad first to sit in council | Inquirer News
  15. ^ Banished Tagbanuas reclaim Calauit -, Philippine News for Filipinos
  16. ^
  17. ^ The Tagbanua