Battle of Manila (1570)

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Siege of Manila
Part of the Spanish colonization of the Philippines
Date May 24, 1570
Location Manila, Maynila
Result Decisive Spanish victory
Spain Spanish Empire Kingdom of Maynila
Commanders and leaders
Spain Martin de Goiti Rajah Sulayman

The Battle of Manila (1570) was fought in Manila between the native Filipinos led by Rajah Sulayman and the Spaniards led by Martin de Goiti, Maestro de Campo on May 24, 1570. The forces under Goiti were victorious and as a result, Manila became the capital of the Spanish East Indies.

Miguel López de Legazpi was searching for a suitable place to establish the Spanish colonial capital after being forced to leave first Cebu and then Iloilo by Portuguese pirates. In 1570, Martin de Goiti and Captain Juan de Salcedo, with food stocks diminishing, discovered a sultanate on Luzon and saw its potential. De Goiti anchored at Cavite, and tried to establish his authority peaceably by sending a message of friendship to Maynila. Rajah Sulayman, its ruler, was willing to accept the friendship that the Spaniards were offering, but did not want to submit to its sovereignty. Thus, Sulayman declared war.[1] As a result, De Goiti and his army attacked Maynila in May 1570. After a stout fight, Sulayman and his men were forced to flee uphill. After the Spaniards had left, the natives returned.


In 1571, the Spaniards returned with their entire force consisting of 280 Spaniards and 600 native allies, this time led by Legazpi himself. They occupied Maynila, and established a settlement there. On May 19, 1571, Legaspi gave the title city to the colony of Manila.[2]

A Kapampangan chieftain of the Macabebe tribe, later identified as Tarik Sulayman, refused to submit to the Spaniards and, after failing to gain the support of the chieftains of Manila (Lakandula, Matanda) and Hagonoy, Bulacan, gathered a force composed of Kapampangan warriors. He subsequent fought and lost the Battle of Bankusay Channel. The Spanish solidified their control over Manila and

Legazpi was able to establish a municipal government for Manila on June 24, 1571, which eventually became the capital of the entire Spanish East Indies colony and subsequently the capital of the Philippines.

The initial population of the city was around 250.[3]


  1. ^ Filipiniana: Act of Taking Possession of Luzon by Martin de Goiti[permanent dead link]. Accessed September 06, 2008.
  2. ^ Blair 1911, pp. 173–174
  3. ^ Joaquin, Nick (1990). Manila, My Manila. Vera Reyes, Inc. pp. 18–20. 


  • Relation of the Voyage in Luzon sa Blair & Robertson. The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803;Volume III, 1569-1576.
  • Scott, William Henry. Barangay, Sixteenth Century Philippine Culture and Society. QC: Ateneo De Manila University Press, 1991.

Coordinates: 14°35′N 120°58′E / 14.583°N 120.967°E / 14.583; 120.967