Pre-Colonial Rulers from the Philippines
Rajah Sulyaman (1558-1575)
The Last Ruler of the Kingdom of Maynilad.
He was the last Rajah of Seludong (Manila), along with Rajah Matanda (Sulayman II) and Lakan Banaw Dula of Tondo, he was one of three Rajahs who fought the Spaniards during the colonization of the Philippines in the 16th century. Spanish documents say his people called him “Rajah Mura” or “Rajah Muda” (a Sanskrit title for a Prince). The Spanish transcription of “Rajah Mura” is Young Rajah, a reference to the fact that he was Rajah Sulayman II’s nephew and heir to the throne. The Spaniards called him “Rajah Solimano el Mow”.
Spanish explorer Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, searching for a suitable place to establish his capital after being compelled to move from Cebu to Panay by Portuguese pirates and hearing of the existence of a prosperous Kingdom in Luzon, sent an expedition under Martin de Goiti and Juan de Salcedo to explore its location and potentials.
The “Sulayman Revolt”
When Lopez de Legazpi died in 1572, his successor, Governor-General Guido de Lavezaris, did not honor the agreements with Rajah Sulayman III and Lakan Banaw Dula. He sequestered the properties of the two chieftains and tolerated Spanish atrocities. In response, Rajah Sulayman III and Lakan Banaw Dula led a revolt in the villages of Navotas in 1574, taking advantage of the confusion brought about by the attacks of Chinese pirate Limahong. This is often referred to as the “Manila revolt of 1574” but is sometimes referred to as the “Sulayman Revolt” and the “Lakan Banaw Dula Revolt.” Since it involved naval forces, the Sulayman Revolt is also known as the “First Battle of Manila Bay”.
Friar Geronimo Marian and Juan de Salcedo were tasked with pursuing conciliatory talks with various tribes. Lakan Banaw Dula and Rajah Sulaiman III agreed on Salcedo’s peace treaty and an alliance were formed between the two groups. Spanish documents cease to mention Rajah Sulayman III after the Manila revolt, so the exact date of his death is unknown, although Philippine historians set it at 1575 based on genealogical records. Some controversy exists about the identity of the leader of the Macabebe people that initiated the Battle of Bangkusay in 1571. That chieftain is referred to by Philippine historians as Tarik Sulayman. In some versions of the Battle of Bangkusay, Tarik Sulayman of Macabebe and Rajah Sulayman III of Manila are the same person. Other versions contend that they are different people with the same name. Some have even suggested that the two men were related. Spanish documents do not identify the leader of the Macabebe people by name, but record that he died during the Battle of Bangkusay, resulting in a Macabebe retreat and a Spanish victory. Rajah Sulaiman III of Manila is clearly recorded as participating in the battle in 1574.