The Ten Bornean Datus and the Purchase of Panay

The story of the buying of Panay by ten datus coming from Borneo is told in the Maragtas, a legendary account about the pre-Spanish Panay Island. This narrative tells us that about A.D. 1250, at about the time Malaysia and Indonesia were dominated by the Hindu-Malay Empire of Sri-Vijaya, a cruel sultan named Makatunaw ruled Borneo–or perhaps part of it. Because he was cruel, ten of his datus decided to leave Borneo and seek their freedom and fortune beyond the sea.

The Ten Datus were:

#1. Datu Puti (the leader)

#2. Datu Balensusa

#3. Datu Bangkaya

#4. Datu Dumalugdog

#5. Datu Dumangsil

#6. Datu Dumangsol

#7. Datu Lubay

#8. Datu Panduhinog

#9. Datu Paliburong

#10. Datu Sumakwel

One dark night after loading on boats their families, warriors, slaves, and supplies, they secretly left in their balangays (boats) without a specific destination in mind. After sailing north for many days, they reached the southern tip of Panay Island. They landed at the mouth of the Sirwagan River there, near the present town of San Joaquin in Iloilo. From there they proceeded to Lake Andona where they met an Ati fisherman. This man led them to the Negrito village of Sinugbuhan and was introduced to the local ruler, King Marikudo and his queen, Maniwantiwan. Datu Puti addressed them and said they came as friends and would like to buy land.

Marikudo consulted his wife and the elders of his kingdom and agreed to sell some land to them. The purchase price consisted of a gold salakot (a native helmet) for Marikudo and a long gold sumangyad (necklace) for Maniwantiwan. The sale was sealed by a pact of friendship and merry feasting. After that, Marikudo and his people bade farewell to the Borneans and went into the hills.

Seven of the ten datus settled in Panay. The three others–Balensusa, Dumangsil and Puti sailed farther north and reached Lake Taal, in present-day Batangas province. Impressed by the fertility and scenic beauty of the area, Balensusa and Dumangsil settled there. Datu Puti, however, returned to Borneo. He told the Borneans about his exciting adventures in the islands of the north.


Anonymous said...

"Datu Puti sailed farther north and reached Taal lake". Is there a passage or tributaries from the sea to that inlet lake? Please expound?

Anonymous said...

Yes Pansipit river which was blocked with volcanic boulders in 1749 or 1754. Navigation was possible before 1749. Taal lake was known as BOMBON lake in the olden time during the Spanish conquest. The orator of the 3 datus who reached that place would have mentioned Lake Bombon instead of Lake Taal

Anonymous said...

Is this ten datus also written in the history of Borneo? Or just an imagination of the author?

Sam Milano said...

Some historians say this is just a product of fiction in Panayanon's quest to self-identify .

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