From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Datu is the title for tribal chief (king) and monarchs in the Philippines. Together
with Sultan and
Rajah, they are also titles used for
native royalty and are currently used in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. These titles are the
equivalent of European dukes and
marquesses. The word
datu was derived from the Malay word: Dato' or
Datuk, which are royal titles of the Malay people. According to Philippine folk tradition, the arrival of the ten Bornean datus is celebrated in
the Binirayan festival in the island of
Panay, which in ancient times was known as
the island of "Aninipay" in the Visayas.
Datu in Filipino Muslim
The Moros, a term
inherited from the Spaniards, are the main indigenous
tribes of the Philippines. In the traditional structure of Muslim
Filipino societies, Sultans were the highest authority
followed by the datus, with their rule being sanctioned by the Qur'an. Datus were supported by
their tribes. In return for tribute and labor, the datu provided
aid in emergencies and advocacy in disputes with other communities
and warfare through the Agamat and Maratabat
laws. A datu is basic to the smooth functioning of the Muslim
Filipino society. Datus continued to act as the community leaders
in Islamic and Indigenous tribes
in the Philippines.
Datu during the Spanish
Upon the Christianization of the Philippines, the
datus (king) of the pre-hispanic kingdoms retained their right to
govern their territory under the Spanish Empire. King Philip II of
Spain, in a law signed June 11, 1594,
commanded that these nobles be given the same respect, and
privileges that they had before their conversion. They later formed
part of the exclusive, and elite ruling class, called the Principalía
(Nobility), in municipalities of the Philippines.
Datu in Filipino martial
The title of Datu has been used by athletes in the
modern day Filipino martial arts community.
It was founded by various practitioners of the Modern Arnis
system, including Remy
Presas, the founder of the martial arts. It has also been
subjected into some controversy.
Recorded list of
Datus in the Philippines
of Pre-Hispanic Philippines (12th to 16th century)
The following category is a list of leaders who governed Mindanao, the Visayas and Luzon region.
- Datu Daya - King of
- Datu Dinagandan - King of Aklan in Panay
in the 12th century
- Datu Kalantiao - King of Aklan in the 14th
- Datu Padojinog - Governed the Visayas region with his wife
Ribongsapaw. According to Visayan folk tradition, about 900 years
ago between the 1100s to 1200s, ten noble Malay warriors were
believed to have settled in the Philippines. They migrated from the
kingdom of Borneo, escaping
the wrath of a wicked ruler called Rajah Makatunao. They boarded on
large boats and canoes and set out to sea to find a place where
they can live in peace and harmony.
- Datu Bangkaya - Settled and became King of Aklan after
migrating from the kingdom of Borneo.
in the Maragtas epic
- Datu Irong-irong
- Datu Kalantiaw III
/Rajah Bendahara Kalantiaw - Founded the Code of
Kalantiaw in 1433.
- Datu Puti - One of the 10 Bornean Datus to arrive in Iloilo
before the Spanish colonization.
Datus during the Spanish
Colambu - King of Limasawa in 1521, brother of Rajah Siagu of
He befriended Portuguese
explorer Ferdinand Magellan and guided him to Cebu on April 7,
Humabon - King of Cebu who
became an ally of Ferdinand Magellan and the
Spaniards. Rival of Datu Lapu-Lapu. In 1521, he and his wife were
baptized as Christians and given Christian names Carlos and Juana
after the Spanish royalty, King
Carlos and Queen Juana.
Kudarat - Sultan of Maguindanao.
Lakan Dula - King of Tondo, one of the last princes of Manila.
- Datu Lapu-Lapu -
King of Mactan Island. He defeated the Spaniards on
April 27, 1521.
Sikatuna - King of Bohol in
1565. He made a blood compact with Spanish explorer, Miguel López de Legazpi.
- Datu Pagbuaya - King of Bohol. He governed with his brother
Datu Dalisdisan, a settlement along the shorelines between Mansasa, Tagbilaran and Dauis, which
was abandoned years before the Spanish colonization due to
Portuguese and Ternatean attacks. He founded Dapitan in the northern
shore of Mindanao.
- Datu Dalisdisan - King of Mansasa, Tagbilaran and Dauis and
governed their kingdom along with his brother Datu Pagbuaya. His
death during one of the Portuguese raids caused the abandonment of
- Datu Manooc - Christian name - Pedro Manuel Manooc, son of Datu
Pagbuaya who converted to Christianity, defeated the Higaonon tribe
established one of the first Christian settlement in the
- Datu Macabulos - King of Pampanga in 1571.
- Rajah Siagu - King of the Manobo in 1521.
- Apu Noan - Cheiftain of Mandaue in 1521.
Sulaiman III - One of the last King of Manila, was defeated by
Martín de Goiti, a Spanish soldier
commissioned by López de Legazpi to Manila.
- Rajah Tupas -
King of Cebu, conquered by Miguel López de Legazpi.
- Datu Urduja - Female
Leader in Pangasinan.
- Datu Zula - King of Cebu.
- Datu Bangkaya - King of Antique
A list of Sultans
- Datu Pax S. Mangudadato - Present day datu and governor of Sultan Kudarat
- Sultan Hajji Datu Amir bin Muhammad Baraguir - The 25th Sultan
- Datu Zaldy Uy Ampatuan - Regional Governor, Autonomous Region
in Muslim Mundanao
- Datu Zamzamin L Ampatuan - Undersecretary, "Department of
“It is not right that the Indian chiefs of Filipinas be in a worse
condition after conversion; rather they should have such treatment
that would gain their affection and keep them loyal, so that with
the spiritual blessings that God has communicated to them by
calling them to His true knowledge, the temporal blessings may be
added and they may live contentedly and comfortably. Therefore, we
order the governors of those islands to show them good treatment
and entrust them, in our name, with the government of the Indians,
of whom they were formerly lords. In all else the governors shall
see that the chiefs are benefited justly, and the Indians shall pay
them something as a recognition, as they did during the period of
their paganism, provided it be without prejudice to the tributes
that are to be paid us, or prejudicial to that which pertains to
their encomenderos.” Felipe II, Ley de Junio 11, 1594 in
Recapilación de leyes, lib. vi, tit. VII, ley xvi. Also
cf. Emma Helen
Blair and James Alexander Robertson, The Philippine Islands
(1493-1898), Cleveland: The A.H. Clark Company, 1903, Vol.
XVI, pp. 155-156.