Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Unmasking the Great Kingdoms of Ancient Philippines: The Rajanate of Tunduk

Madayaw, my peeps!
Today we will be talking about one of the oldest Kingdoms of the Philippines. This is the second part of the series so I will be putting the Video about the Namayan Kingdom down in the description. Please watch out for the third which is the Kingdom of the Tagalogs.
Don’t forget to follow my social media channels and of course, this channel. I’d love to hear from you so drop me a comment!

Let’s begin!
Tondo, Tundun or Tunduk was a major trading hub which centered around the Pasig Delta. It is within and around what is now Metro Manila.
The first mention of Tunduk was in the Laguna Copperplate Inscription. The plate is dated to 900AD. It implied trade relations with this kingdom at that time. Nobody knows the exact date of the establishment of Tunduk but it had many names and changed many hands. As far as historians believe, Manila or Tondo is the oldest established Kingdom in the area.
In the 12th Century, it was known that Tondo and China had a trade relationship. This would be the Ming Dynasty. All over the Philippines, many Ming Pottery have been excavated. Even after the end of the Yuan Dynasty, the Rajanate of Tunduk was considered a major player in trade in the region. The sent envoys to China regularly.

When Tondo was established, it was considered a city-state. However, it was monarchial. What I mean is, it is unique in how it is run. Each barangays or balangays or districts had a datu. Among them was a Lakan or Raja who ruled all other datus. In a way, that is still being done. Each Barangays in the Philippines has a Barangay chairman or Cabeza. These local government is managed by a higher tier of leaders.

So, where exactly is Tondo? Oddly, its dominions do not cover present-day Tondo. That area is part of the Namayan. Parts of Manila, Bulacan, Caloocan would be part of this area.
The Rajanate of Tunduk was heavily influenced by the Majapahit Empire, The Kingdom of Brunei and Malaysians. The Majapahit Empire was a Javanese Hindu-Buddhist empire that was strong in South East Asia at that time. It stretched from Sumatra to New Guinea.
In 1500’s Sultan Bolkiah of Brunei wed his son Gat Lontok to Dayang Kalangitan, a Namayan Princess, and an alliance was formed through that marriage. By this time, the Namayans ruled Tonduk and all its surrounds and Sultan Bolkia didn’t want a war. Part of the Princess’ dowry was the territory of Seludong which is part of present-day city of Manila (not metro). Gat Lontok is a royal prince. The prefix Gat is still used today to denote a man of high regard. Quite like “Sir.” Dayang means Princess. Kalangitan is a Tagalog Word for Heaven. Her name means Princess of Heaven. In Seludong, a fort of wood and stone was erected to be the satellite trading post for Sultan Bolkia. They called the new fortress Kota Selurong. This will become Intramuros when the Spanish conquered it.
Dayang Kalangitan was a formidable lady and she was no damsel. Eldest daughter of Raja Gambang, who had no male heirs, she became a female Raja in her own right. Kalangitan co-ruled with Gat Lontok who became Raja Lontok. She was often noted to be the stronger ruler. In 1450 AD, she was widowed but continued to rule. Under her reign, The Kingdom of Tondo reached its Golden Age. The territories stretched from Cordillera to Bicol. She was also the last Buddhist Ruler of Tondo.
In 1470, Kalangitan’s reign was coming to an end. Kalangitan wed her daughter Panginoan to a prominent Namayan Prince named Bagtas or Balagtas to rule after her death. Panginoan and Bagtas ruled well and united the two kingdoms. However, in the 1500, the Sultanate of Brunei attacked Tunduk and put Kalangitan’s son Salalila as Raja. Bagtas and his wife were relegated to rule the Namayans. Thus the Namayans became their vassals instead. Salalila converted to Islam and adopted the name Sulayman, establishing the Royal House of Sulayman. However, it will be short-lived. The Rajanate of Tunduk and the Kingdom of Maynila became separate. The once unified kingdom split into three. The Namayans separated but still a vassal to Tunduk while Tunduk split to Tondo and Maynila. Later, there were some tensions with their heirs. Maynila was ruled by Raja Matanda whose name was Prince Ache, Son of Sulayman. His Son Sulayman III was his heir. In Tunduk, Lakandula, a cousin, ruled. When the Spanish came, they played against each faction and destabilized the rulers. Thus, the fall of the three kingdoms.

Fun Facts
The name of Tondo or Tunduk came from a River Mangrove of the same name. The name Maynila came from Nila or Indigo Plant which was growing abundantly at that time.
Manila only fell to the Spanish at the Battle of Bangkusay in 1571. By that time, the Kingdom of Tondo and Maynila were already in decline. Tariq Soliman, rumored to be Sulayman III’s son or grandson refused to surrender and accept Christianity. He died in battle ending the line of Sulayman. The Moors in Maynila and Tunduk were either expelled or killed.
Kota Selurung became Fort Santiago in honor of Santiago, the saint who conquered the Moors. Later that century, the wooden palisades were replaced with stone because Manila kept getting harassed by Limahong the Pirate.

Hat of the Day
I’m sketching the hat of the day instead of showing something from my collection. Our hat today is this European-inspired top hat. Many goods filtered to Manila from Europe during the Galleon Trade. Manila was such a melting pot that their taste in clothing became mixed. Apart from the European mixes, there were Indo-Chinese, Mexican and Aboriginal influences as well.
I hope you liked this video and please consider subscribing. This is the second in the series of Great Kingdoms of Ancient Philippines. I’ll be putting a link below to the video of the Namayan Kingdom. Like and follow my Social Media channels and please share my content. You may also comment on what you liked about the video and maybe what you want to see in the future.

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