Posted by: luvin | September 10, 2008

The Christian and the Moros

A little historical check would show that the christian settlers and the moros in mindanao have similar roots, (at least the leaders). Malayan settlers in Visayas have leaders with the title of Rajah such as Rajah Humabon of Visayas whose real name was Sri Hamabar a grand son of Sri Lumay of Sumatra…In Mindanao it would appear the the Sultanate of Buayan (Rajah Buayan) who retained the title Rajah meaning king, came earlier than the sultanate of Maguindanao and even of Sulu. Rajah is indicative of Srivijayan  origin, a kingdom that once dominated the Malay archipelago. The Sultanate of Malacca emerged at the time when the enfluence of the Mjapahit empire is declining, from where the Sultanate of Johore originated. It should be remembered that Sharif Kabungsuan, from where the Sultanate  of Maguindanao traces its origin is a son of a Johore princes.

If the story of the ten Bornean Datus who fled to Panay is true then the Ilongos also shared thesame roots with some of the moros in Mindanao. However, if the story is not true, then these ilongos are natives in these countries which entitled them to transfer from one place to another. It is also difficult to prove that the natives who were defeated by the forces of Sharif Kabungsuan in Cotabato were not relatives of the Ilongos of Panay. This complexity is resultant to the effort to understand the conflict in historical context.

The Moro struggle have already been altered by time. The Cebuanos, Ilongos, Ilocanos and other tribes have already taken roots in Mindanao just like the descendants of Sharif Kabungsuan. Moros and christians culture is now difficult to separate. A story of Father Layson would prove this; “….I heard them all speak Maguindanawon. The cook. The driver. The kids who were washing dishes. They conversed with each other in Maguindanawon. I had just arrived then at the convent of St. Therese Parish in Datu Piang to give a seminar on Intra-Religious Dialogue to lay leaders.  Hearing them speak perfect Maguindanawon made me think initially that they were Muslims. To my surprise, I found out they were not Muslims. They were actually Christians.

Later, I was told by the Parish Council president that the Christians in Datu Piang, about 80 families of them, actually speak Maguindanawon not only in public places but even in their own homes. It’s the language that they commonly use whether they are of Cebuano or Ilongo descent.

Datu Piang is one of oldest towns in the empire province of Cotabato.  It is located along the Rio Grande River and used to be the seat of the Rajah Buayan Sultanate.  Christians in this town started to arrive in the late 1930’s and henceforth mingled and lived with the majority Muslim population.”

These facts should be understood by our policy makers in Manila. These facts should be understood by our policy makers in Manila. These facts should be understood by our policy makers in Manila.

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