The Coming of the Borneans to Panay

This story of how the Philippines was inhabited originated from the order of President Ferdinand Marcos - adding it on the Philippine History Books. But evidence of the existence of the ten datus had no records in Borneo, where they came from, neither in other neighboring Southeast Asian countries.

The Story

[Taken from a Book:]

...They came as the result of dissastisfaction with the rule of Datu Makatunaw, the chief of all datus in Borneo, a group of ten datus with their families and slaves fled Borneo to seek a new home. They were Datu Puti and wife Pinangpangan, Datu Bangkaya and wife Katurong, Datu Paiburong and wife Pabulanan, Datu Sumakwel and wife Kapinangan, Datu Paduhinog Ribongasapaw, Datu Domangsol and wife Kabiling, and Datus Lubay, Dumangsil, Dumalogdog, and Balensuela.

These datus, together with everything they could take along, left Borneo on small sailing boats called Biniday (or, in various sources, Balangay, from which the word Barangay came from.). They sailed northward from Borneo along Palawan (Paragwa), which was at that time politically a part of Borneo. In due time they sighted Panay. Early records tell us that the first Borneans landed on the coast of Panay in 1394. They sailed along the Sirwagan River in the southern part of the town of San Joaquin, Iloilo, and in the Barrio Sinugbuhan. They sailed farther to Andona Lake and up the Sirwagan River.

Upon the arrival of the datus, the local inhabitants of the islands, the Aeta, grew terrified but the diplomatic Datu Puti said to Marikudo, the chief of the native Negritos, that they had peaceful intentions. Later both parties entered into a trade alliance. Under the headship of Datu Puti, they asked Marikudo, if he was willing to sell Sinugbuhan (an island in Panay). The sale was concluded after Marikudo's consultation with his followers. The Datu paid them a golden salakot. The Borneans settled in Sinugbuhan and later in the coastal town of Malandug.

When Datu Puti returned to Borneo, Datu Sumakwel took his place, because he was the oldest datu, besides being a man of good character. At once Sumakwel and the rest set improve three districts. Hamtik (Antique) under Datu Sumakwel, Aklan (Capiz) under Datu Bangkaya, and Irong-Irong (Iloilo) under Datu Paiburong.

The history of some civilization that we knew was based on written records of ancient historians. But this, which was considered as a legend, was based from spoken historical record, not from a written one. The story might be true, but as it was passed verbally to their children, the story might had changed. Being unreliable, this was eliminated in History textbooks.

Oriental History for Philippine High Schools by: Diosdado G. Capino, M.A. 1963. Fifth Edition. Manlapaz Publishing Co., Inc.