Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Plunder of Bohol in 1563

by Alan S. Cajes

So why did some Boholanos leave Bohol and established settlements in Dapitan, Villaba in Tacloban, Zamboanga, Iligan, etc.?

Around 1563, two years before the Sikatuna-Legazpi blood compact, the Portuguese in eight boats came to Bohol and anchored at Dauis-Panglao. The Boholanos welcomed them, but when the natives were least expecting it, the visitors treacherously attacked the natives.

This incident resulted in the killing of datu Sarripada Dailisan, in plundering, and in the taking of captives. One of the kidnapped victims was the lady of Dailisan, who was sold for 90 gold taels in Maguindanao. All in all there were 300 killed, including nine chiefs, 500 men, women and children captured, and 300 taels of gold and 200 gongs seized, along with clothing and merchandise(1).

It was a custom among Visayans to abandon places associated with death and misfortune. So Pagbuaya (Lagubayan according to Rizal), brother of Dailisan, left the island with 500 slaves. He settled in Dapitan after subjugating the Suban-on population with the help of Sama marines or Lutaya/Lutaw (2).

Because of their bad experience with the Portuguese, the Visayans, especially the Boholanos, became hostile to "white men with beards." Legazpi himself noticed this hostile attitude of the natives towards them.

After learning about the incident involving the Portuguese from marine merchants near the islands of Bohol and Cebu, Legazpi made peace with the natives  and explained to them that they were not Portuguese. This gesture of friendship was sealed by the Sikatuna-Legazpi blood compact.


Arcila, Jose S. Rizal and the Emergence of the Philippine Nation. AdMU-ORP, 2001 revised edition.

Sctott, William Henry. Barangay: Sixteenth-Century Philippine Culture and Society. AdMU: 1994.

No comments: