Kingdom of Maynila
|Puppet state of the Bruneian Empire|
Flag of Bruneian Empire
|Capital||Intramuros (Formerly called Selurong in those days.)|
|Languages||Old Malay, Old Tagalog|
|Religion||Sunni Islam (Predominantly)
|Government||Sultanate (from Bolkiah to Rajah Salalila, c. 1500–1558)
Rajahnate (from Rajah Matanda up to Rajah Sulayman from 1558–1575)
|•||Brunei invasion of Tondo (1500–1558)
established by the Kingdom of Brunei under Sultan Bolkiah
|•||Conquest by Spain||1570|
|Today part of||Philippines|
Part of a series on the
|History of the Philippines|
Part of a series on the
|History of Brunei|
House of Bolkiah
(15th century – present)
The Kingdom of Maynila, also known as Seludong, was a major polity located at present-day Manila in the Philippines in the 16th century. A vassal state[dubious ] of the Bruneian Empire, it and Tondo were the two major polities that dominated the area around the mouth of the Pasig River before the arrival of the Spanish.
- 1 Sources
- 2 Etymology
- 3 Austronesian origins of Maynila
- 4 Culture and Society
- 5 Foreign cultural influences
- 6 Historical events
- 6.1 Austronesian migrations (c. 3,500 years ago)
- 6.2 Theories and legends regarding the establishment of Manila (c. mid-13th century – c. early 16th century )
- 6.3 Lusung and the Luzones (1511 – early 1570s)
- 6.4 Territorial conflicts with Tondo (before 1521)
- 6.5 Capture of Prince Ache by the Elcano (Magellan) expedition (1521)
- 6.6 Beginning of the Spanish colonial era (1570s)
- 7 Notable rulers of Maynila
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Additional reading
Laura Lee Junker, in her 1998 review of primary sources regarding archaic Philippine polities, lists the primary sources of information regarding the river delta polities of Maynila and Tondo as “Malay texts, Philippine oral traditions, Chinese tributary records and geographies, early Spanish writings, and archaeological evidence.” Primary sources for the history of Rajah Kalamayin's Namayan, further upriver, include artifacts dug up from archaeological digs (the earliest of which was Robert Fox’s work for the National Museum in 1977) and Spanish colonial records (most notably those compiled by the 19th century Franciscan Historian Fray Felix Huerta).
Early records claim that Maynila was named after the Yamstick Mangrove (Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea, formerly named Ixora manila blanco), whose local name was "nila" or "nilad", by the time the Spanish colonizers arrived in the late 16th century. The name "maynila" itself transliterates as "There is nila (here)", and an alternative name for the place is "maynilad". Emma Helen Blair, in the multi-volume collection of Philippine documents The Philippine Islands, notes "the name Manila is derived from a Tagalog word, Manilad, meaning 'a place overgrown with Nilad' which is the name of a small tree, bearing white flowers" - a description that matches Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea/Ixora manila.
Nila or Nilad
However, there is some argument among historians as to which plant the name refers to, and whether the plant was actually called "nila" or "nilad". Other plants suggested as being the origin of the name include the indigo plant (Indigofera tinctoria), and a species of mangrove (Lumnitzera littorea).
Historians Ambeth Ocampo and Carmen Guerrero Nakpil assert that nila is popularly referred to as nilad by modern-day people unfamiliar with the actual name of the plant. On his Facebook page, Ocampo notes that:
"Some idiot added a 'd' to give us: Maynilad, Maharnilad, and Lagusnilad! In Fr. Blanco's Flora de Filipinas circa 1877 we find the Ixora manila. There is no "d" after nila."
Julio Nakpil asserted that the dropping of the "d" at the end of the name was probably a mistake on the part of the Spaniards: "Maynilad seems to us reasonable for the following reason: the prefix 'may' means "to have" or "there is" (mayroon); and the prefix 'ma' means abundant (marami); and 'nilad' is a shrub, also called sagasa (Lumnitzera littorea), growing profusely on the banks of Manila, and for that reason it was called Manilad before and after the coming of the Spaniards who, because of their defective pronunciation of our language, dropped the last letter, converting it into Manila."
Maynila as the Kingdom of Luzon
Portuguese and Spanish accounts from the early to mid 1500s state that the Maynila poltiy was the same as the "kingdom" that had been referred to as the "Kingdom of Luzon" (Portuguese: Luçon, locally called "Lusong"), and whose residents had been called "Luções".
Magellan expedition member Rodrigo de Aganduru Moriz's account of the events of 1521 specifically describes how the Magellan expedition, then under the command of Sebastian Elcano after the death of Magellan, captured of one of the Luções: Prince Ache, who would later be known as Rajah Matanda, who was then serving as a commander of the Naval forces of Brunei. Aganduru Moriz described the "young prince" as being "the Prince of Luzon - or Manila, which is the same.” corroborated by fellow expedition member Gines de Mafra and the account of expedition scribe Antonio Pigaffetta.
This description of Ache as "King of Luzon" was further confirmed by the Visayan allies of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, who, learning that he wanted to "befriend" the ruler of Luzon, led him to write a letter to Ache, whom he addressed as the "King of Luzon".
Kapampangan scholar Ian Christopher Alfonso, however, notes that the demonym Luções was probably expansive enough to include even Kapampangan sailors, such as the sailors from Hagonoy and Macabebe who would later be involved in the 1572 Battle of Bankusay Channel.
The name Luzon, which French linguist Jean-Paul Potet explains was the name given to the Pasig River delta area, is thought to derive from the Tagalog word lusong, which is a large wooden mortar used in dehusking rice. A 2008 PIDS research paper by Eulito Bautista and Evelyn Javier provides an image of a Lusong, and explains that, "Traditional milling was accomplished in the 1900s by pounding the palay with a wooden pestle in a stone or wooden mortar called lusong. The first pounding takes off the hull and further pounding removes the bran but also breaks most grains. Further winnowing with a bamboo tray (bilao) separates the hull from the rice grains. This traditional hand-pounding chore, although very laborious and resulted in a lot of broken rice, required two to three skilled men and women to work harmoniously and was actually a form of socializing among young folks in the villages."
Austronesian origins of Maynila
As with virtually all the lowland peoples of Maritime Southeast Asia, the Tagalog people who established the fortified polity of Maynila were Austronesians.(p12) They had a rich, complex culture, with its own expressions of language and writing, religion, art, and music. This Austronesian culture was already in place before the cultural influences of China, the Indonesian thassalocracies of Srivijaya and Majapahit, and Brunei, and eventually, the western colonial powers. The core elements of this austronesian culture also persisted despite the introduction of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and, later, Christianity. Elements of these belief systems were syncretistically adapted by the Tagalogs to enrich their already-existing worldviews, elements of which still persist today in the syncretistic forms known as Folk Catholicism and Folk Islam.
The cultural heritage uncovered by this recent scholarship explains why Filipino cultures, as pointed out by writers such as Nick Joaquin (in his 1988 book, "Culture and History"), seem even more similar to Micronesian and Polynesian cultures than they are to continental Asian and Maritime Southeast Asian cultures.
These Austronesian cultures are defined by their languages, and by a number of key technologies including the cultural prominence of boats, the construction of thatched houses on piles, the cultivation of tubers and rice, and a characteristic social organization typically led by a “big man” or “man of power”.
Culture and Society
The pre-colonial Tagalog barangays of Manila, Pampanga and Laguna had a more complex social structure than the cultures of the Visayas, enjoying a more extensive commerce through their Bornean political contacts, and engaging in farming wet rice for a living. The Tagalogs were thus described by the Spanish Augustinian friar Martin de Rada as more traders than warriors.
In his seminal 1994 work "Barangay: Sixteenth Century Philippine Culture and Society" (further simplified in the briefer by the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office in 2015), historian William Henry Scott delineates the three classes of Tagalog society during the 1500s:
Clothing and accoutrements
Unlike the Visayans to the south, the Tagalogs did not practice tatooing. In fact, Rajah Sulayman used tatooedness as a pejorative description when the Spanish forces first met him; Sulayman said that Tagalogs were unlike the "painted" Visayans, and thus would not allow themselves to be taken advantage of as easily.
Foreign cultural influences
Trade and cultural influences from China, India, and Maritime Southeast Asia
The early inhabitants of the present-day Manila engaged in trade relations with its Asian neighbours as well as with the Hindu empires of Java and Sumatra, as confirmed by archaeological findings. Trade ties with China became extensive by the 10th century, while contact with Arab merchants reached its peak in the 12th century.
Beginnings of Islamization in Luzon (1175 – 1500s)
Islamization was a slow process which occurred with the steady conversion of the citizenry of Tondo and Manila created Muslim domains. The Bruneians installed the Muslim rajahs, Rajah Salalila and Rajah Matanda in the south (now the Intramuros district) and the Buddhist-Hindu settlement was ruled under Lakan Dula in northern Tundun (now Tondo). Islamization of Luzon began in the sixteenth century when traders from Brunei settled in the Manila area and married locals while maintaining kinship and trade links with Brunei and thus other Muslim centres in Southeast Asia. The Muslims were called "Moros" by the Spanish who assumed they occupied the whole coast. There is no evidence that Islam had become a major political or religious force in the region, with Father Diego de Herrera recording that the Moros lived only in some villages and were Muslim in name only.
|Pre-hispanic History of the Philippines|
|Ten datus of Borneo|
|States in Luzon|
|Kingdom of Maynila|
|Kingdom of Tondo|
|States in the Visayas|
|Kedatuan of Madja-as|
|Kedatuan of Dapitan|
|Rajahnate of Cebu|
|States in Mindanao|
|Rajahnate of Butuan|
|Sultanate of Sulu|
|Sultanate of Maguindanao|
|Sultanate of Lanao|
|Sulaiman II · Lakan Dula · Sulaiman III · Katuna|
|Tarik Sulayman · Tupas · Kabungsuwan · Kudarat|
|Humabon · Lapu-Lapu · Alimuddin I · Muedzul Lail Tan Kiram|
|History of the Philippines|
Austronesian migrations (c. 3,500 years ago)
There is some debate about whether the Austronesian culture first came to the island of Luzon from continental Asia as proposed by Peter Bellwood and Robert Blust, or from Maritime Southeast Asia as proposed by Wilhelm Solheim and William Meacham. But whichever route these Austronesians first used to get to the Philippine archipelago, the general consensus among scholars is that they settled on what is now the island of Luzon during the earliest stages of their migratory dispersal no later than about 3,500 years ago, and later waves of migration spread from the Philippine archipelago to reach as far east as Easter Island, and as far west as Madagascar.
Theories and legends regarding the establishment of Manila (c. mid-13th century – c. early 16th century )
Establishment through defeat of Rajah Avirjirkaya by Rajah Ahmad of Brunei (c. 1258)
According to Mariano A. Henson's genealogical research (later brought up by Majul in 1973, and by Santiago in 1990) a settlement in the Maynila area already existed by the year 1258. This settlement was ruled by "Rajah Avirjirkaya" whom Henson described as a "Majapahit Suzerain".
According to Henson, this settlement was attacked by a Bruneian commander named Rajah Ahmad, who defeated Avirjirkaya and established Maynila as a "Muslim principality".
Early references to Selurong (1360s)
In mid 14th century, the Majapahit empire mentioned in its manuscript Nagarakretagama Canto 14, written by Prapanca in 1365, that the area of Saludung (Selurong) and Solot (Sulu) were parts of the empire. Nagarakretagama was composed as a eulogy for their emperor Hayam Wuruk. Chinese source mentioned that in 1369, the pirates of Sulus attacked Po-ni (Brunei), looting it of treasure and gold. A fleet from Majapahit succeeded in driving away the Sulus, but Po-ni was left weaker after the attack.
Establishment by Sultan Bolkiah and the Sultanate of Brunei (c. 1500)
According to Bruneian oral tradition, a city with the Malay name of Selurong, which would later become the city of Maynila) was formed around the year 1500. This oral tradition claims that Sultan Bolkiah (1485–1521) of the Sultanate of Brunei decided to break Tondo's monopoly in the Chinese trade[not in citation given] by attacking Tondo and establishing the polity of Seludong (Maynila) as a satellite state of the Sultanate of Brunei. This is narrated through Tausug and Malay royal histories, where the names Seludong, Saludong or Selurong are used to denote Manila prior to colonisation.[not in citation given]
The traditional Rajahs of Tondo, the Lakandula,[verification needed] retained their titles and property but the real political power came to reside in the House of Soliman,[verification needed] the Rajahs of Maynila.
Lusung and the Luzones (1511 – early 1570s)
During the early 16th century, Portuguese sailors in Malaysia referred to the Tagalog people who lived in Manila Bay ("Lusong", Portuguese: Luçon) using the demonym Luções (Portuguese pronunciation: [luˈsõjʃ], Spanish: Luzones).
Surviving primary documents referring to these Luções include the accounts of Fernão Mendes Pinto (1614); Tomé Pires (whose written documents were published in 1944); and the survivors of Ferdinand Magellan's expedition, including expedition members Gines de Mafra and Rodrigo de Aganduru Moriz and the Italian scholar Antonio Pigafetta who served as the expedition's primary scribe, and published his account in 1524.
Territorial conflicts with Tondo (before 1521)
According to the account of Rajah Matanda as recalled by Magellan expedition members Gines de Mafra, Rodrigo de Aganduru Moriz, and expedition scribe Antonio Pigafetta, Rajah Matanda's father (whose name was not mentioned in the accounts) died when he was still very young. Rajah Matanda's mother (also unnamed in the Spanish accounts) then became the paramount ruler of the Maynila polity. In the meantime, Rajah Matanda, then simply known as the "Young Prince" Ache, was raised alongside his cousin, who was ruler of Tondo - presumed by some to be a young Bunao Lakandula, although not specifically named in the Spanish accounts.
During this time, Ache realized that his cousin, who was ruler of Tondo, was "slyly" taking advantage of Ache's mother, by taking over territory belonging to Maynila. When Ache asked his mother for permission to address the matter, his mother refused, encouraging the young prince to keep his peace instead.
Prince Ache could not accept this and thus left Maynila with some of his father's trusted men, to go to his "grandfather", the Sultan of Brunei, to ask for assistance. The Sultan responded by giving Ache a position as commander of his naval force.
Pigaffetta noted that Ache was "much feared in these parts", but especially the non-muslim locals, who considered the Sultan of Brunei an enemy.
Capture of Prince Ache by the Elcano (Magellan) expedition (1521)
In 1521, Ache was coming fresh from a military victory at the helm of the Bruneian navy and was supposedly on his way to Maynila with the intent of confronting his cousin when he came upon and attacked the remnants of the Magellan expedition, then under the command of Sebastian Elcano. Some historians suggest that Ache's decision to attack must have been influenced by a desire to expand his fleet even further as he made his way back to Lusong and Maynila, where he could use the size of his fleet as leverage against his cousin, the ruler of Tondo.
Ache was eventually released, supposedly after the payment of a large ransom. One of Ache's slaves, who was not included in the ransom payment, then became a translator for the Elcano expedition.
Beginning of the Spanish colonial era (1570s)
In the mid-16th century, the areas of present-day Manila were governed by native rajahs. Rajah Matanda (whose real name was recorded by the Legaspi expedition as Ache) and his nephew, Rajah Sulayman "Rajah Mura" or "Rajah Muda" (a Sanskrit title for a Prince), ruled the Muslim communities south of the Pasig River, including Maynila while Lakan Dula ruled non-Muslim Tondo north of the river. These settlements held ties with the sultanates of Brunei, Sulu, and Ternate, Indonesia (not to be confused with Ternate in present-day Cavite). Maynila was centered on a fortress at the mouth of the Pasig river (Kota means fortress or city in Malay). When the Spanish came and invaded Manila they described, Kota Selurong, "The City of Selurong" of Maynila, as a settlement with a fortress of rammed earth with stockades and in between battlements there are cannons. The cannons were native-made and forged by Panday Piray and these were locally called lantakas. When the Spanish invaded and burned Manila's Kota Selurong to the ground, they built up the Christian walled city of Intramuros on the ruins of Islamic Manila.
Notable rulers of Maynila
Historical rulers of Maynila
A number of rulers of Tondo are specifically identified in historical documents, which include:
- the epistolary firsthand accounts of the members of the Magellan and Legaspi expeditions, referred to in Spanish as "relaciones"; These include the Sulu and Maguindanao Tarsilas, and the Batu Tarsila of Brunei. and
- various notarized genealogical records kept by the early Spanish colonial government, mostly in the form of last wills and testaments of descendants of said rulers;
|Title||Name||Specifics||Dates||Primary source(s)||Academic reception of primary source(s)|
|Rajah||Salalila||Sometimes referred to as "Rajah (Si) Lela", and sometimes as "Rajah Sulaiman I", Paramount ruler of Maynila.||c. late 1400s and/or early 1500s
(died earlier than 1521)
|Identified as "Salalila" in Spanish genealogical documents||The veracity of claimed links to legendary figures in genealogical documents are subject to scholarly peer review.
Key scholarly works referencing Salalila include Henson (1955), Majul (1973), Luciano PR Santiago (1990), W.H. Scott (1994), and Dery (2001).
(term used by original Hispanocentric text); the exact local term used by the individual was not recorded in the historical account
(Mother of Rajah Ache)
|Served as Paramount ruler of Maynila after the death of her husband; her period of reign covered the youth of Rajah Matanda, including the time Ache spent as commander of the Bruneian navy.||c. late 1400s and/or early 1500s
(reigned c. 1521)
|Identified as the mother of Prince Ache in the accounts of Magellan expedition members Rodrigo de Aganduru Moriz, Gines de Mafra, and Antonio Pigafetta<ref name="Pigafetta1524b">||Firsthand accounts generally accepted by Philippine historiographers, although with corrections for hispanocentric bias subject to scholarly peer review.
The veracity of "quasi-historical" (meaning not physically original) genealogical documents also remains subject to scholarly peer review.
|Shared the role of Paramount ruler of Maynila with Rajah Sulayman, as of the Spanish advent in the early 1570s.||(b.) before 1521
– (d.) August 1572
|Multiple firsthand accounts from the Magellan (1521) and Legaspi Expeditions (late 1560s to early 1570s); Spanish genealogical documents||Firsthand accounts generally accepted by Philippine historiographers, although with corrections for hispanocentric bias subject to scholarly peer review.
The veracity of claimed links to legendary figures  in genealogical documents are subject to scholarly peer review.
|Rajah||Sulayman||Shared the role of Paramount ruler of Maynila with Rajah Matanda, as of the Spanish advent in the early 1570s.||c. 1571||Multiple accounts from the Legaspi Expedition (early 1570s); Spanish genealogical documents||Firsthand accounts generally accepted by Philippine historiographers, although with corrections for hispanocentric bias subject to scholarly peer review.
The veracity of claimed links to legendary figures in genealogical documents are subject subject to scholarly peer review.
A number of rulers of Tondo are known only through oral histories, which in turn have been recorded by various documentary sources, ranging from historical documents describing oral histories, to contemporary descriptions of modern (post-colonial/national-era) oral accounts. These include:
- orally transmitted genealogical traditions, such as the Batu Tarsila, which have since been recorded and cited by scholarly accounts;
- legends and folk traditions documented by anthropologists, local government units, the National Historical Institute of the Philippines, and other official sources; and
- recently published genealogical accounts based on contemporary research.
Academic acceptance of the details recounted in these accounts vary from case to case, and are subject to scholarly peer review.
|Title||Name||Specifics||Dates||Primary source(/s)||Academic notes on primary source(/s)|
|Rajah||Avirjirkaya||According to Henson (1955), he was a "Majapahit Suzerain" who ruled Maynila before he was defeated in 1258 by a Bruneian naval commander named Rajah Ahmad, who then established Manila as a Muslim principality.||before 1258||Genealogy proposed by Mariano A. Henson in 1955||Cited in César Adib Majul's 1973 book "Muslims in the Philippines", published by the UP Asian Center and in turn referenced widely in semitechnical and popular texts.
The veracity of "quasi-historical" (meaning not physically original) genealogical documents remains subject to scholarly peer review.
|Rajah||Ahmad||According to Henson (1955), he established Manila as a Muslim principality in 1258 by defeating the Majapahit Suzerain Rajah Avirjirkaya.||c. 1258||Genealogy proposed by Mariano A. Henson in 1955||Cited in César Adib Majul's 1973 book "Muslims in the Philippines", published by the UP Asian Center and in turn referenced widely in semi-technical and popular texts.
The veracity of "quasi-historical" (meaning not physically original) genealogical documents remains subject to scholarly peer review.
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- Jose Rizal, as cited by Dery, 2001
- Joaqiun, Nick (1990). Manila, My Manila: A History for the Young. City of Manila: Anvil Publishing, Inc. ISBN 978-971-569-313-4.
- Letter from Juan Pacheco Maldonado to Felipe II, Manila, 1575.
- Nick Joaquin's Almanac for Manileños
- The River Dwellers by Grace P. Odal