Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Sultanate of Sulu

The Sultanate of Sulu is a Muslim royal house that governs over most Muslims in the Sulu Archipelago in southern Philippines. The Sultanate also used to govern the state of Sabah in Malaysia. While the sultanate is not an internationally recognized entity unlike the Sultanate of Brunei, it enjoys great autonomy, power, and influence, and commands respect in the Philippines, especially among the significant Muslim population of the country.

The seat of The Sultanate of Sulu is in Astana Putih, Tausug for “White Palace,” located some two kilometers southwest of Jolo, the capital of the Philippine province of Sulu, on Jolo Island.

Table of contents
1 Timeline of Sultanate History
1.1 H.R.H. Sultan Syed Hashem Abu Bak'r (1457-1480)
1.2 H.R.H. Sultan Kamal ud-Din (1480-1519)
1.3 H.R.H. Sultans Amir ul-Umara, Mu'izzul Mutawa Din & Nasir ud-Din (1519-1579)
1.4 H.R.H. Sultans Muhammed ul-Halim (Pangiran Budiman) (1558-1585)
1.5 H.R.H. Sultan Batara Shah Tangah (Pangiran Tindig) (1585-1600)
1.6 H.R.H. Sultan Mawallil Wasit (Rajah Bongsu) (1600-1640)
1.7 H.R.H. Sultan Nasir ud-Din (1640-1658)
1.8 H.R.H. Sultan Salah ud-Din (Karamat Baktiar) (1658-1663)
1.9 H.R.H. Sultans Sahab ud-Din & Mustafa Shafi’ ud-Din (1663-1704)
1.10 H.R.H. Sultan Badar ud-Din I (1704-1734)
1.11 H.R.H. Sultan Nassar ud-Din (1734-1735)
1.12 H.R.H. Sultan Mohammad Alim ud-Din I (Amir ul-Mumimin/King Ferdinand I) (1735-1748)
1.13 H.R.H. Sultan Muiz ud-Din (Rajah Muda Bantilan) (1748-1763)
1.14 H.R.H. Sultan Alim ud-Din (Amir ul-Mumimin) (1763-1773, 2nd Ascension)
1.15 H.R.H. Sultan Isirail (1773-1778)
1.16 H.R.H. Sultans Alim ud-Din II, Sarap ud-Din & Alim ud-Din III (1778-1808)
1.17 H.R.H. Sultans Ali ud-Din & Shakir ul-Lah (1808-1823)
1.18 H.R.H. Sultan Jamal ul-Kiram I (1823-1844)
1.19 H.R.H. Sultan Mohammad Pulalun (1844-1862)
1.20 H.R.H. Sultan Jamal ul-Alam (1863-1881)
1.21 H.R.H. Sultan Badar ud-Din II (1881-1886)
1.22 H.R.H. Sultan Harun al-Rashid (1886-1893)
1.23 H.R.H. Sultan Jamal ul-Kiram I (Amir ul-Kiram/King Jubilado dePalawan) (1893-1936)

Timeline of Sultanate History

1450 AD - A Johore-born Arab adventurer, Shari'ful Hashem Syed Abu Bak=r, arrived in Sulu from Melaka; He married Param Isuli, daughter of Raja Baguinda, and founded The Royal Sultanate of Sulu in 1457; He declared himself H.R.H. Paduka Maulana Mahasari Sharif Sultan Hashem Abu Bak=r, Sultan of Sulu, of the Saudi House of Hashemite in Hadramaut, where most Tausug and Yakan believed prophet Mohammad's genealogy is traced.

1451 AD - By this time, the Melakan Sultanate had become a leading center of Islam in southeast Asia, and as a time-tested protege of the Ming dynasty, Yung Lo sent away his daughter Hang Li-po and a cortege of five-hundred Mandarin ladies as A gift to Melakan Sultan Mansor Shah in 1459; in turn, Shah conceived "Bukit Cina" as a permanent residential court for his esteemed visitors.

H.R.H. Sultan Syed Hashem Abu Bak'r (1457-1480)

1470 AD - Muslim conquest of the Madjapahit Empire.

1473-1521 AD - Golden age rule of Nakhoda Ragam Sultan Bulkeiah=s Sultanate of Brunei that expanded her hegemony to include North Borneo, Sarawak, Indonesia Balabac, Banggi, and Palawan in Archipelago San Lazaro (present-day Philippines) and the new Royal Sultanate of Sulu

H.R.H. Sultan Kamal ud-Din (1480-1519)

1509 AD - A Bengali Putih and Diego Lopez deSequeira with a squadron of five Portuguese battle ships established the first White settlement in Melaka (Ferdinand Magellan was said to be a member of this expedition).

1511 AD - Portuguese privateer Alfonso deAlbuquerque captured Melaka from deSequeira and reported of Muslim trading vessels from Sulu anchored in that Malay port.

1512 AD - Unnamed Portuguese sailors effected a brief landing on Mindanaw.

H.R.H. Sultans Amir ul-Umara, Mu'izzul Mutawa Din & Nasir ud-Din (1519-1579)

1520 AD - Jesuit historian Francisco Combe reported of an unnamed Muslim Sharif who tried to spread Islam to Jolo but died at Bud Tumangtangis; His magnificent tomb was comparable to those in Makkah, but unfortunately in the years following, Manila Spaniards burned it to the ground.

1521 AD - Antonio Pigafetta deVicenza, the Italian chronicler of Ferdinand Magellan, was said to have visited Brunei Sultan Bulkeiah's court around this time; While crusing along the Bornean coast, fellow Spaniards captured Rajah Matanda of May Nilad, grandson of then reigning Brunei Sultan and nephew to Brunei Raja Muda (Rajah Suleiman to Filipinos). [Rajah Suleiman was himself a son-in-law of Brunei Sultan Abdul Kahar and this incident could have made unfortunate misgivings of his view of White men as he was to meet them again in the Battle of May Nilad in 1570].

March 16, 1521 AD - Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, a.k.a. Fernao Magalhaes and Fernando de Magallanes, discovered Archipelago San Lazaro (present-day Samar Island) arriving on five vessels that included Trinidad (Magellan, skipper), San Antonio (Juan deCartagena), Concepcion (Gaspar deQuesada), Victoria (Luis deMondoza), and Santiago (Juan Serrano) and a total of two-hundred-sixty-four crew members.

- Magellan and his men then erected a wooden cross as testimony to their "discovery" of and claim for the Spanish Crown the Archipelago San Lazaro, named after this feast day of Saint Lazarus (March 16).

March 18, 1521 AD - Magellan, including his wife's cousin Duarte Barbosa, cosmographer Andres de San Martin, and Pigafetta landed on an uninhabited island known as Homonhon where friendly natives from neighboring islands brought food and Atuba and together they feasted for one day.

March 24, 1521 - Moving southeast, Magellan weighed anchor for Masawa on Mindanaw Island where Masawa Rajah Kolambu was entertaining his visiting brother, Rajah Siagu of Butuan; The two Rajahs caused the first traditional blood compact of foreign visitors in which the visiting dignitary would drink each other's blood mixed with the native wine, Atuba.

- Mindanaw folklore mentioned a Pernao Magalhao to have founded this Manobo-tribeland where Rajah Siagu was already ruling chief; Magalhao may have also Atouched at Sulu for we find Pigafetta describing the King of Jolo.

April 06, 1521 - Magellan's ship-chaplain Pedro deValderrama celebrated the first Roman Catholic mass on Philippine soil at Masawa (some claims Limasawa in Leyte as the rightful place) which fortunately fell on Easter Sunday of Jubilation.

- Masawa Rajah Kolambu piloted Magellan to Cebu island where Cebu Rajah Humabon received them and sealed yet another blood compact.

April 13,1521 - Cebu Rajah Humabon, his family, and 800 Sugboanons converted to Roman Catholicism before Magellan and his party and immediately declared the "enemies of the church" the growing Muslimin community on Mactan island headed by Kaliph Pulaka (Lapu-Lapu to Filipinos).

April 27, 1521 - Magellan, with forty-eight men in full armor, ploughed ashore Mactan island but were stopped by poisoned arrows from men of Lapu-Lapu; The encounter is now known in Philippine history as the Battle of Mactan.

June 9, 1522 - Juan Sebastian del Cano, navigating Magellan=s only remaining vessel La Victoria with eighteen men and 533-hundredweight-cloves on board, successfully returned to Sevilla in Spain via the Tidorein Maluka (present-day Moluccas); Juan Sebastian del Cano was assigned in world history as the first man to have ever completed the circumnavigation of the globe.

1523-1542 - Three other expeditions from Mexico attempted to reach the Philippines via the route taken by Magellan (Barbosa, de Loaisa, & de Saavedra) but never made it.

November 1, 1542 - Don Antonio de Mendoza, viceroy of Nueva Espana (present-day Mexico), sent six ships from Navida Mexico under Ruy Lopez deVillalobos that reached Sarangani islands in 1543 and named his "discovery" Las Islas Felipinas to honor the son of King Charles of Spain, Felipe II.

- deVillalobos sent for captain Bernardo delaTorre to survey the coast of Kota Bato but died there and his crew were captured in Sarangani by the Portuguese navy stationed in Maluka.

November 21, 1564 - Another Nueva Espana viceroy, Don Luis de Velasco, commissioned 54-year-old Basque adelantado Miguel Lopez deLegaspi, to subjugate Islas Felipinas after five unsuccessful attempts.

1565-1663 Fourth Stage of Moro Wars (Majul)

February 1565 - Legaspi arrived in Samar island on his flagship Capitana piloted by seasoned navigator-priest Andres Urdaneta who was earlier with the 1525 expedition of Fray Garcia Jofre deLoaiza [Crivelli].

April 1565 - Mooring southward to Bohol, Legaspi executed the traditional blood compact with Bohol Rajah Sikatuna and Rajah Sigala to show his sincerity of mission.

May 1565 - Legaspi effected the first Spanish settlement at Cebu with the aid of the two Bohol Rajahs after a brief combat with remnants of the Humabon-Lapulapu warriors that were later incorporated into his mercenary forces.

1568-1648 - The Spanish-Dutch War that started as an internal agitation within the Holy Roman Empire extended to the Far East for the control of the spice trade ending in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648; This war despoiled Portugal of all its East India possessions and severely affected the tranquility of Moroland.

1569 - Brunei Sultan Saif ul-Raijal zealously campaigned for Quranic reading excellence among his other subjects in Sarawak, North Borneo, Palawan, and Sulu.

- Future Brunei Sultan Muhammad Hasan, whose firstborn, Rajah Bongsu Adapati of Sulu, became Sulu Sultan Mawallil Wasit, married the sister of Sultan Saiful-Raijal [Kho].

1570 - For lack of food supplies, Legaspi, who by now was appointed governor-general of the new Spanish colony, moved his seat to Capiz in Panay island; Hearing of good reports about May Nilad, with its excellent seaport and fertile boondocks, Legaspi sent for his grandson, Juan deSalcedo and forty-five able men to explore the area, unfortunately, accomplished little because of fierce resistance from forces loyal to Rajah Suleiman.

May 24, 1570 - Legaspi then sent marshall Martin Goiti, with seven-hundred Sugbuano mercenaries and 130 Spanish officers, to Lusong and stormed the May Nilad-fortress of Rajah Suleiman that left the Brunei Raja Muda with a disarrayed town, a hundred compatriots killed, and about eighty taken into captivity.

- Rajah Suleiman was at this time in Lusong to promote the Quranic reading program of Brunei Sultan Raijal; Three other fellow Brunei royalties were in May Nilad as his adjutants that included Rajah Nicoy, Rajah Kanduli, and Rajah Lakandula, a direct descendant of Alexander the Great, legend says.

May 1571 - Legaspi himself led another invasion with twenty-seven vessels, two-hundred-eighty Spaniards and several hundred Visayan mercenaries.

June 3, 1571 - Rajah Suleiman fought fiercely but succumbed to the guns and cannons of Legaspi; Some three hundred warriors loyal to the Brunei Raja Muda perished.

- According to Nichol, Rajah Suleiman fled this bloody encounter and Brunei Annals confirmed a Raja Muda [no doubt Rajah Suleiman] to have died on this day in Brunei Darussalam after returning from a battle with the Spaniards.

June 24, 1571 - Legaspi founded May Nilad and ordered the Moro captives to built a Spanish-style walled city he called "Intra-Moros" along Ilog Pasig that became Spain=s first major structure in Asia.

August 21, 1572 - Legaspi died in this Intra-Moros walled-city which is now known as Intramuros.

1574 - According to Medina Historia, a Brunei fleet of one-hundred galleys and one-hundred Aparaws,@ manned by 8,000 warriors, attacked May Nilad to requite Rajah Suleiman=s death but in time left after an evidential Spanish reinforcement from Iloilo. [Nichol]

November 1574 - Chinese warlord Lin Tao Kien (Lim A-hong to Filipinos) attacked May Nilad but was forced by Spanish navy to retreat to Lingayen gulf where he finally settled and built his outpost at Sual.

- Jolo folklore reported of a ALimahong who set sail by the Sulu Sea, even weighing anchor at Tanjung, before this foiled attack on May Nilad.

March11, 1576 - Juan deSalcedo successfully explored the island of Lusong but died of fever at age twenty-seven.

1577 - Manila governor-general Francisco deSande sent a letter to Brunei Sultan Saif ul-Raijal to stop sending Muslim missionaries to southern Philippines.

- Brunei Annals reported of Manila Spaniards attacks on Brunei Darussalam who loosely controlled it for three years to even out Sultan Raijal's belligerent Islamic expansion to Sulu. []

H.R.H. Sultans Muhammed ul-Halim (Pangiran Budiman) (1558-1585)

June,1578 - deSande dispatched captain Esteban Rodriguez de Figueroa, together with Jesuit priest Juan del Campo and Coadjutor Gaspar Gomez, to Jolo and, for the first time a European soul set foot on Sulu’s immortal soil; The visit was not long as a compromise negotiation was reached between deFigueroa’s invaders and the Tausug leaders that forced the Sulu Sultan-de-facto Mohammed ul-Halim Pangiran Buddiman to pay Sulu Sea pearls as regular tribute.

1579 - Because of this successful trip, Manila Spanish government gave deFigueroa the sole right to colonize Mindanaw; another captain Juan Arce deSadornil conducted a brief but disastrous campaign against the Moros of North Borneo and Sulu.

December 1579 - Sir Francis Drake, tracing Magellan=s circum-navigational route westward, was careened on some islands north of Celebes Sea that cartographers believed were the Sulu archipelago group.

H.R.H. Sultan Batara Shah Tangah (Pangiran Tindig) (1585-1600)

1593 - The first permanent Catholic mission in the Moroland was established by the Jesuits in Samboangan (Sama word for Sabuan, Adocking point) at Caldera bay (present-day Recodo).

1596 - Manila Spaniards made another war expedition to Jolo but was quashed by Rajah Bongsu, Adapati of Sulu (son of Brunei Sultan Muhammad Hassan from his Butuan wife). [Kho]

November 1596 - Manila Spanish government sent Juan Ronquillo to build fortified military garrison in Tampakan to thwart Moro raids but abandoned it the following year in order to reposition itself to Caldera bay in Zamboanga Peninsula.

1598 - Another war expedition trial was dispatched to Jolo, however, the Manila Spaniards experienced severe drawback and returned to Manila leaving nothing to show for the visit.

H.R.H. Sultan Mawallil Wasit (Rajah Bongsu) (1600-1640)

1600 - Spanish captain Juan Gallinato raided Jolo with two-hundred men

- Panglima Abdullah of Talipao led an adventurous journey in seventy paraws that combed the southwestern coasts from Balanguingue in Tawi-Tawi to Samboangan; Abdulla likewise attacked Christian Iloilo and burned and ransacked it.

December 31,1600 - Queen Elizabeth I of England granted the British East India Company trading privileges in Asia by virtue of Charter signed today; In 1609, King James I decreed to grant perpetuity to the Charter and, in 1688, King Charles II further granted sovereign right privileges that made repercussions in the 1878 Lease Agreement between the British East India Company and Sulu Sultan Kiram I.

1612 - Rajah Bongsu was installed sultan-de-facto of Sulu and named himself Sultan Mawallil Wasit; He appointed Brunei Datu Acheh as his aide-de-camp because of his skills in helping unite the Sulu leaders. [Kho]

1627 - Datu Acheh, on official business in May Nilad for the Sultanate, was intercepted by Manila Spaniards on his way home; In retaliation, Sultan Wasit led 2,000 Tausug warriors in raiding Spanish shipyards in Camarines south of May Nilad. [Ang mga Pilipino]

1628 - The Manila Spaniards returned the attack by organizing a raiding force of 200 Spanish officers and 1,600 Christian natives.

1629 - The Sultanate of Sulu sent anew another expedition under Datu Acheh to attack Spanish settlements in Camarines, Samar, Leyte and Bohol.

March 17, 1630 - Spanish soldiers again attacked Jolo with 2,500 troops that saw the wounding of their commander Lorenzo de Olaso and retreated.

1631 - The Sulu warriors launched still another invasion, this time, targeted only on the Island of Leyte- the seat of Spanish power in the Visayas.

1632 - Maguindanaw Sultan Kudarat married the daughter of Sulu Sultan Wasit that cemented a stronger Two-Sultanate-Alliance.

1634 - The Two-Sultanate-Alliance mobilized a 1,500-warrior-contingent and attacked Spanish-controlled settlements in Dapitan, Leyte and Bohol.

January 1635 - A Sulu Sultanate's captive named Fray Juan Batista Vilancio escaped Jolo and surfaced before Manila governor-general Don Juan Cerezo Salamanca who reported of a Moro power concentration in the Zamboanga peninsula by forces of the two Sultanates.

Aprill 6,1635 - Spanish captain Juan de Chaves was ordered to beachhead the south and established a military garrison in Samboangan, he named Bagumbayan, and became the forerunner of Ciudad de Zamboanga; This garrison in Samboangan led to the beginning of the defeat of Kudarat’s feared admiral, Datu Tagal, who had raided several pueblos in the Visayas.

June 23, 1635 - Salamanca next ordered a Jesuit-engineer-priest Melchor de Vera to lay a cornerstone for the construction of Real Fuerza de San Jose in Bagumbayan (present-day Fort Pilar).

- After finishing his contract and on returning to Spain, he brought with him the impounded “Coat-of-Arms” of The Royal Sultanate of Sulu.

1636 - Datu Tagal, a brother of Kudarat, gathered a large fleet of Moro pirates from Mindanaw, Sulu, and North Borneo and looted the coastal islands of the Visayas.

1637 - Manila governor-general Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera personally led an expedition against Kudarat and Tagal and triumphed over his forces at Lamitan and Lian.

January 4,1638 - deCorcuera again led a war expedition of eighty ships and 2,000 Spaniards to Jolo but was foiled by Sultan Wasit; however, due to an epidemic within his Acotta@ he and his datus were forced to seek refuge in Dungun Tawi-Tawi and the Spaniards freely occupied Jolo but again left in 1646 after a treaty of peace was signed between Malacanan and Sultan Nasir ud-Din. [Ang mga Pilipino sa Ating Kasaysayan]

1638-1640 - Records had it that Sulu Sultan Wasit=s many heroic battles during this period at Bud Datu in Jolo island against the Manila Spaniards were never lucidly recorded; It was Wasit who named this hill to honor the bravery and unconditional loyalty of his datus.

H.R.H. Sultan Nasir ud-Din (1640-1658)

1640 - In Pulangi Valley in Kota Bato, the lower valley (Si Ilud) controlled by Sultan Kudarat and the upper valley (Si Raya) controlled by Rajah Buhayen together with the turf of Rajah Buhisan around Lake Lanao (the Ranao Sultanates confederation) were merged to form the Sultanate of Maguindanaw

March 25,1644 - Sulu Sultan Wasit dispatched his son Pangiran Salikula to bombard Jolo and Real Fuerza de San Jose in Bagumbayan with help from Dutch navy stationed in Batavia (present-day Indonesia) that droved deCorcuera

1645 - Wasit’s persistent raids wiped out the whole Spanish garrison in Jolo

April 14,1646 - The Manila Spanish government signed a peace treaty with Sulu Sultan-de-facto Nasir ud-Din recognizing, among others, his sovereign rights to extend up to the Tawi-Tawi Group as far as Tup-Tup and Balabac islands.

- A second batch of Jesuit priests were sent to Jolo during this period and start the permanent rooting of Roman Catholicism in Sulu [Sulu Zone, Kho] 1648 - The Treaty of Munster was signed between Spain and Netherlands to respect each other=s territories; Spain to withdraw from Maluka and the Dutch from the Zamboanga Peninsula [Sulu Zone, Kho] 1649 - Under the direct command of Sultan Nasir the Spanish garrison in Jolo was finally exterminated

H.R.H. Sultan Salah ud-Din (Karamat Baktiar) (1658-1663)

June 1658 - Brunei Sultan Abdul Hakkul Mubin awarded Sulu Sultan-de-facto Salah ud-Din Bakhtiar the northeast coast of Borneo, including Palawan, for helping settle a civil war dispute against Pengeran Bongsu Muhyuddin

May 6,1662 - According to records, Manila governor-general Sabiniano Manrique de Lara issued an evacuation order for Real Fuerza de San Jose in Bagumbayan and called all troops to reinforce May Nilad for an imminent attack by Chinese pirate Cheng Ch=eng-kung (Koxinga), but the truth of the matter was they were driven away by Sulu warriors during these previous years and allowing the forces of Kudarat to sequester it in 1663

- Friction between the ruling royalties of Brunei and Sulu led Camucones Badjaos to shift their loyalty to the Sultan of Sulu [Kho]

H.R.H. Sultans Sahab ud-Din & Mustafa Shafi’ ud-Din (1663-1704)

1663-1718 - According to historian C.A. Majul, this is a Period of Interrregnum in which Manila Spanish government abandoned all its settlement and pretensions in Mindanao and Sulu

1667 - Jesuit historian Francisco Combe wrote the first History of Mindanaw and Sulu covering the period from 1620 to1665

1673-1690 - The reign of Brunei Sultan Pengeran Bongsu Muhyuddin saw his hegemony breaking down that eventually phased out his Sultanate’s 150-year control of the Sulu and return royal powers back to the Sulu sultans

1699 - Melaka Sultan Mahmoud Shah was murdered in Kampar Sumatra ending the colorful Melaka Malay Sultanate

1701 - Sulu Sultan Mustafa Shaif ud-Din departed for a courtesy call to the new Sultanate of Maguindanaw in sixty-eight “paraws,” but unfortunately, guardsman Kutai misinterpreted it as an invasion who forced closed the Rio Grande in Kota Bato and embarrassed the Sulu royalties; A long and fierceful fight ensued.

1703 - Sulu Sultan Shaif bestowed Palawan upon Mindanaw Sultan Kudarat but which same piece of land was ceded anew to the Manila Spanish government in 1705

H.R.H. Sultan Badar ud-Din I (1704-1734)

1717 - Sulu Sultan Badar ud-Din sent an emissary to Imperial China to enlist her support for military assistance; A similar request was duplicated in 1733

1718-1772 Fifth Stage of Moro Wars (Majul)

1718 - Moro wars were resized when Manila governor-general Juan Antonio dela Torre Bustamante resolved to reconstruct Real Fuerza de San Jose in Bagumbayan, and added to each corner sides citadels embossing the names of Catholic saints San Luis, San Francisco Xavier, San Felipe, and San Fernando

- The fort was renamed Real Fuerza del Pilar deZaragosa perpetuating the name of the Manila-Acapulco galleon ship that sunk off Guam early that year and also renamed Bagumbayan to Ciudad deZamboanga

1719 - Manila Spanish government dispatched a group of AChavacano-speaking@ Merdicans to Ciudad deZamboanga (The Merdicans originally were brought in from Ternate and Tidore in the Celebes in 1663)

April 16,1719 - Don Fernando Bustillos Bustamante Rueda, senior maestro de campo in Ciudad deZamboanga, inaugurated Real Fuerza del Pilar de Zaragosa (better known as Fort Pilar to Jolo Christians and Moslems alike)

December 08, 1720 - Fort Pilar was stormed by Butig Rajah Dalasi with an armada of one hundred “paraws”; He captured a local Jesuit priest and forced Manila Spanish government to give ransom payment in exchange for his freedom

December 1720 - Sulu Sultan Badar directed Datu Bendahara and Datu Nakhuda to Batavia to renew an appeal for Dutch military assistance, and together with forces from the Sultanate of Maguindanaw, attacked Fort Pilar but was foiled

1721 - Manila governor-general Toribio Cosio sent Fray Antonio de Roxas to Ciudad deZamboanga to negotiate for the release of kidnapped Jesuit priest

December 11,1726 - Sulu Sultan Badar signed with Manila Spanish government another peace treaty which provisions were unclear

1731 - By decree of a Ming emperor, the remaining 300 survivors of Sulu East King Paduka Batara, now christened as Chinese Wen and Ang families, were assimilated into mainstream Chinese society that made perpetually alive a Tausug bloodline in that part of the world

- Manila governor-general F. Valdez y Timon sent Ignacio Iriberri to recapture Jolo with a regiment of 1,000-strong Spanish soldiers

H.R.H. Sultan Nassar ud-Din (1734-1735)

December 6, 1734 - The 1726 peace treaty fell apart when the new Sulu Sultan Nasar ud-Din attempted to recapture Fort Pilar in Ciudad deZamboanga and to possess Taytay in Palawan.

1735 - Manila Spaniards struck back by invading Jolo that drove Sultan Nasar=s court to Dungun in Tawi-Tawi for the second time.

H.R.H. Sultan Mohammad Alim ud-Din I (Amir ul-Mumimin/King Ferdinand I) (1735-1748)

1735 - Sulu Annals remembered Sultan Alim I as one who had revised the Sulu Code of Laws and prepared a Tausug-Arabic vocabulary manual for use by his Court=s religious imams and aleems.

February 1, 1737 - Sultan Alim I signed a bilateral alliance treaty with Manila governor-general F. Valdez y Tamon that provided for permanent peace in the region;

- King Philip V of Spain sent a delegation of Jesuit priests to Jolo to spread Roman Catholicism; Sultan Alim ud-Din befriended these “haram” which which displeased his brother Bantilan, the Rajah Muda and seized powers from him

- Sultan Alim I sought the help of Ciudad deZamboanga governor Abando who in turn transferred him to the care of F. Valdez y Tamon in Manila

- Plant scientist M. de Tremegon, under the dictates of M. Poivre of the Isle of France, explored Jolo for spice plants.

H.R.H. Sultan Muiz ud-Din (Rajah Muda Bantilan) (1748-1763)

1748 - In the absence of Sultan Alim I, Rajah Muda Bantilan ascended the throne and named himself Sultan Muiz ud-Din and abrogated the 1737 peace treaty.

1749 - Meanwhile in Malacanang, now under governor-general Arrechderra, exiled Sultan Alim I was made a Roman Catholic and conferred the Christian title of King Ferdinand I of Sulu.

- To cast away the shame put upon the Sulu Sultanate, Sultan Alim I’s daughter Fatima sought for his release in exchange for sixty Spaniards held prisoners in Jolo.

1750 - Sultan Muiz led roaring raids against the Spanish settlements in the whole of Visayas [Ang mga Pilipino].

- Brunei Sultan Omar Ali Saif ud-Dein similarly ordered attacks on Manila.

April 29,1750 - After being reinstated as Sultan by Malacanang, he was arrested on his way back to Jolo under the orders of governor-geneal Zacarias.

July 12,1751 - Sultan Alim ud-Din was returned to the care of the Zamboanga governor after fifteen years of exile in Fort Santiago.

December 21,1751 - A furious Manila governor-general F. Valdez y Tamon issued a decree that ordered: (1) The extermination of all Moros with fire and sword; (2) The destruction of all their crops and desolate their lands; (3) Make Moro captives; (4) Recover Christian slaves; and (5) Exempt all Christians from payment of any taxes and tributes while engaged in the termination of these Moros.

1754 - Three Jesuit priests led by Fray Jose Ducos engaged themselves in an evangelistic mission to Jolo and established a Catholic congregation.

- For the first time Ajihad was exercised by the Sultan of Mindanaw upon the Maestro de Campo of Real Fuerza del Pilar de Zaragosa in Zamboanga for seizing his goods without due notice.

March 3,1754 - The Manila Spanish government signed another peace treaty with Sultan Muiz ud-Din.

1755 - A Manila Spanish contingent of 1,900 men led by captains Simeon Valdez and Pedro Gastambide was sent to Jolo to avenge for the raids carried out by self-proclaimed Sultan Muiz ud-Din.

1761 - Alexander Dalrymple, Madras representative of the British East India Company, concluded an agreement with self-proclaimed Sultan Muiz ud-Din that permitted him to set up a trading post in Balembangan island in Kudat North Borneo, a territory of the Sultanate of Sulu

H.R.H. Sultan Alim ud-Din (Amir ul-Mumimin) (1763-1773, 2nd Ascension)

1763 - Dalrymple maliciously renamed Balembangan island and hoisted the British flag to the ire of Sultan Muiz ud-Din

- Madras British East India Company sent another officer, John Herbert, to build a settlement in Balembangan but which plan was abandoned in 1775

- British soldiers invaded and successfully captured May Nilad

- The British restored an exiled Sulu Sultan Alim ud-Din I to his throne in Jolo

- As gesture of gratitude, Sulu Sultan Alim ud-Din I leased his dominion in North Borneo to a British company for exclusive trading privileges and signed a mutual defense pact with the British Crown that included the establishment of a military base in Sulu

1769 - Sultan Alim ud-Din I ordered the continuous foraging of Visayas and Luzon, even raiding Malate, just outside of Spanish Intramuros, and carried off thousands of captives to be sold in the slave markets of Batavia, Malaka, and Tamasek

1771 - Sultan Alim ud-Din declared a jihad against the Manila Spaniards for having unlawfully detained him on his way home from May Nilad at Real Fuerza del Pilar de Zaragosa in Zamboanga

H.R.H. Sultan Isirail (1773-1778)

1775 - Datu Tating in twenty vessels with 4,000 pirates assaulted the British military base in Sulu and carted away booty amounting to US$1,000,000 including an enormous supply of war materials

H.R.H. Sultans Alim ud-Din II, Sarap ud-Din & Alim ud-Din III (1778-1808)

1796 - Spanish admiral Jose Alava was sent from Madrid with the most powerful naval fleet to combat Moro piratical attacks in the Sulu Sea

1798 - Real Fuerza del Pilar de Zaragosa in Ciudad deZamboanga was bombarded by the British navy coming from its military base in Sulu

1803 - Lord Arthur Wellesley, governor-general of India, ordered Robert J. Fraquhar to turn Balembangan island in Borneo into a military station, however, for lack of logistics, abandoned it in November 1805

1805 - The British government withdrew her military base in Sulu

H.R.H. Sultans Ali ud-Din & Shakir ul-Lah (1808-1823)

1821 - ALas Islas Felipinas@ was now directly administered from Madrid after Mexico won her independence from Spain

H.R.H. Sultan Jamal ul-Kiram I (1823-1844)

1824 - Spanish captain Alonso Morgado commanded frigate AMarina Sutil@ that fought the Moro pirates in the Sulu Sea

- The Manila Spanish treasury decreed that all Islas Felipinas provinces, excepting Mindanaw and Sulu, be required to pay ADonativo deZamboanga, an annual tax-payment of one ganta of rice or one half real

1831 - Ciudad de Zamboanga was declared a free port

1836 - American trader G.W. Earl sailed to Jolo to barter guns, powder, and rifles in exchange for Sulu’s tortoise shells and Palawan’s birds nests

February 5,1842 - American captain Charles Wilkes landed in Jolo and signed the first-ever US-documented peace & trade treaty with Sultan Jamal ul-Kiram I

April 23,1843 - France signed a AMost-Favored Nation@ treaty with Sultan Jaml ul-Kiram I including negotiating to buy Basilan island for its commercial and naval base, however, the US$1Million asking price left the deal invalidate [Orosa, Kho]

H.R.H. Sultan Mohammad Pulalun (1844-1862)

1844 - Manila governor-general Narciso Claveria led another war expedition to Jolo

October1844 - Macao-based French admiral Cecille attempted to double-cross Sultan Pulalun and sent for captain Guerin on a frigate Sabine to reconnaissance Basilan. In their clumsiness, ensign Meynard and four other sailors were captured by the Yakans including one fatally killed. Embarrassed, the French blockaded Basilan and blamed Datu Usak for depredations made against them

January 13, 1845 - Datu Usuk declared Atotal independence viz-a-viz Spain

Februrary 20,1845 - Sulu Sultan Pulalun ceded Basilan to France in exchange for 500,000 francs which was payable in September but the French navy under Cecille instead took it by force and attacked Basilan on February 27 and destroyed all its croplands that angered the Yakans.

June 30,1845 - The French cabinet approved the annexation of Basilan but was reversed by King Phillipe in deference of Spain whose House of Bourbons/Orleans his wife is a part of.

December 1, 1845 - English traveler William Edwards narrated in his Diary of Ahis tongue cut out of (my) mouth on my passage home from the coast of China, to Liverpool by Ilanun pirates who gathered slaves and sold them in Sumatra and Java . . .

Balani pirates, who were based in Jolo, attacked Spanish vessels using 60-seater-corocoro fitted with outriggers and powered by either sail or oar with displacements of 81 tones.

1846 - By winning the 1844 battle, the Sultan prized the Manila Spaniards the towns of Sibuguey and Bisungan in the Zamboanga Peninsula

1848 - Claveria ordered the attack on Balanni pirates in Tonguil Sulu with powerful gunboats Magallanes, El Cano, and Reina de Castilla acquired from Madrid and started the decline of the Sulu Sultanate sea power

November 21,1849 - Claveria issued CATALOGO ALFABETICO DE APELLIDOS and ordered its use and systematic distribution by native Filipinos throughout the colony but was never introduced to subjects of Sulu Sultanate

1850 - Spanish Gov.Gen. Juan Urbiztondo successfully completed the destruction of the pirate stronghold on Tongkil island

February 28, 1851 - Urbiztondo raided Jolo and destroyed the whole town by fire and confiscated 112 pieces of artillery

- Jesuits fathers Ibanez, Zamora, Sanchez, Lopez, and Montiel lost their lives during this fiery raid

April 19, 1851 - Sultan Mohammad Pulalun signed a treaty with the Spanish Crown that provided for the turning over of his sovereign rights although Saleeby noted that the words Aturning over its sovereignty was never mentioned in the Tausug version of the treaty

April 30, 1851 - As a consequence of the April 19, 1851 Treaty, Sultan Pulalun negotiated with Urbiztondo forSpain to pay US$1,500 annually to the Court of the Sulu Sultanate and abolish all sorts of taxes & tributes on his subjects

- In Manila, fray Roman Martines Vigil justified the Spanish raids in Jolo as Ajust wars@ which position he was able to raise 20 Million-pesos from Chinese capitalists to further these wars

1852 - Spanish Queen Isabella II ordered the Jesuits to take charge of all Catholic missions in Mindanaw and Sulu

1858 - Moro pirates attacked Real Fuerza del Pilar de Zaragosa in Zamboanga in the hope of possessing the fort

1860 - The Donativo deZamboanga was abolished

- Manila Spanish government closed Jolo to foreign vessels and guarded its port with eighteen steam boats in an attempt to control piracy in Sulu.

- Balanni and Ilanun pirates were destroyed by a joint Spanish-British naval forces patrolling the Sulu-China-Celebes Seas triangle

1862 - Gallant Catholic Jesuits opened missions in Tetuan (Zamboanga) and Isabela (Basilan) to supplement Spanish conquests with military might

H.R.H. Sultan Jamal ul-Alam (1863-1881)

1864 - A German sea captain employed by the Labuan German Trading Company named Herman Leopold Schuck called on the port of Jolo for provisions and to repair sails of his barque, the Queen of the Seas; made a courtesy call on Sulu Sultan Jamal ul-Alam and promised to supply M-71 Mauser infantry rifles, opium, and slaves.

1865 - North Borneo American consul Claude Lee Moses obtained a 10-year-lease on North Borneo from Sultan Jamal ul-Alam, however, Moses sold his rights to a British-registered American Trading Company owned by J.W. Torrey, T.B. Harris, et. al. This American company in turn sold the same to the Austrian consul in Hongkong, Baron von Overbeck, for whom he contracted the Dent Brothers, through Alfred Dent, to finance its expansion plans.

1872 - Schuck sent a letter of Sultan Jamal ul-Alam to German chancellor Otto von Bismarch, together with gifts of pearls and pearl shells, seeking Germany’s protection. In exchange, the Sultanate was willing to cede Bongao to Germany as a coaling station for her Far East Imperial Fleet.

- Cabesang Benito with sixty-seven other inmates bolted Fort Pilar in Ciudad deZamboanga killing one Spanish officer and four sentinels that frustrated Zamboanga governor Juan Mas Ozaeta.

- Iranun corsair Alejo Alvarez of Sibuguey, together with Spanish colonel Melanio Enriquez, were engaged by governor Ozaeta to clear Fort Pilar

- Manila Spanish government awarded Ciudad de Zamboanga the royal title of ALeal y Valiente Villa@ for clearing Fort Pilar and made a son of Alejo Alvarez, Vicente, a deputy in Malacanang.

- Vicente Alvarez subsequently became a peace negotiator for Malacanang with the Sulu Sultanate in whose ability Sultan Jamal ul-Alam was also please and bestoed in him the title of Datu Tumanggung; Alvarez later joined the army of Philippine Insurrection leader Emilio Aguinaldo and became a general.

January 1, 1874 - The Charter of the British East India Company was canceled and the company dissolved when the East India Stock Dividend Redemption Act came into effect.

Februayr 21, 1876 - Admiral Jose Malcampo led a contingent of 9,000 Spaniards, including hundreds of priests and nuns, in 11 transports, 11 gunboats, and 11 steam boats to Aannex@ Jolo but failed this mission when Sultan Jamal ul-Alam declared a jihad on them and ordered his loyal subjects to use Aparrang sabbil@as a last recourse to regain control of Jolo.

- Successful in temporarily penetrating Jolo, Malcampo then appointed Capt. Pascual Cervera to set up a garrison and serve as the first Spanish military governor; He served from March 1876 to December1876 followed by Brig.Gen. Jose Paulin (December 1876-April 1877) and Col Carlos Martinez (Sept 1877-Feb 1880).

1877 - Brunei Annals recorded Sultan Abdul Momin to have signed a treaty leasing North Borneo to the British Crown which was inconsistent with Sulu history that a similar act was also concluded on January 22, 1878

March.1877 - The Sulu Protocol was signed between Spain, England, and Germany that recognized Spain=s rights over Sulu and, in consideration for the said lease of North Borneo, ended European hostilities in the area

1878 - Manila Spaniards built the Walled City of Jolo which was fortified by two outer forts they named Picesa de Asturias and Torre dela Reina including three inner forts called Puerta Blockaus, Puerta Espana, and Puerta Alfonso XII; Also included were lancerias which were guarded by twelve Spanish soldiers commanded by a lieutenant

January 22,1878 - In exchange for US$5,000, Sultan Jamal ul-Alam leased North Borneo to the Hong Kong-based British trading company of Baron Gustavos von Overbeck and Alfred Dent and conferred upon Overbeck the title Datu Bendahara, Raja of Sandakan [K.B. Tregoning, A History of Modern Sabah/Agoncillo history of the Filipino People]

July 22, 1878 - Sultan Jamal ul-Alam signed a treaty with the Spanish Crown making whole of Sulu a protectorate of Spain yet retained her autonomy and the privilege to fly own flag thus saved Jolo from further destruction. [Majul Muslim in the Philipppines/Kho]

- Sultan Jamal ul-Alam moved the seat of the Sultanate to Darul Maimbung

1880 - Spanish Col. Rafael Gonzales deRivera assumed the governorship of Jolo and dispatched the 6th Regiment to Siasi and Bongao islands

H.R.H. Sultan Badar ud-Din II (1881-1886)

1881 - An accomplished negotiator, pacifist, and master of Arabic language and the Koran, Hajji Butu Abdulbaqui Rasul was appointed the first and only prime minister of the Royal Sultanate of Sulu

November 1, 1881 - The British Crown awarded Alfred Dent a provisional Charter to form the British North Borneo Provisional Association, Ltd.

- Brunei Sultan Abdul Momin awarded Sarawak to an English adventurer named Sir Charles Brooke who later became known as the White Rajah

1882 - The holdings, assets, and Royal Charter of the BNB Provisional Association, Ltd. were bequeathed and transferred to the British North Borneo Chartered Company with Sir Rutherford Alcock serving as first president and Alfred Dent as managing director; BNBCC served the British Crown for sixty years until 1945 when the latter finally took over

1883 - Manila Spanish government established a customs house in Ciudad de Zamboanga to clear goods coming into the Sultanate of Sulu but, on the insistence of the British, Jolo was declared a free port and trade continued

July 22, 1883 - Sulu Annals reported three unnamed A juramentado who succeeded in penetrating Jolo town plaza and massacred Lts. Pedro Bordas and Caledonio Manrique, and Dr. Juan Dominguez in the name of Allah; The word Ajuramentado was coined by Spanish colonel Juan Arolas after witnessing several such acts while serving duty in Jolo garrison.

1884 - Sultan Badar ud-Din II built Masjid Jammi Tulay Mosque in Jolo.

1886 - The Crown of the Sultanate was disputed between Rajah Muda Amir ul-Kiram of Maimbung and Datu Ali ud-Din of Patikul but the Spanish Manila government involved herself in the power struggle and chose Palawan Datu Harun al-Rashid as its candidate.

H.R.H. Sultan Harun al-Rashid (1886-1893)

September 24, 1886 - Datu Harun al-Rashid was crowned Sultan of Sulu by the Manila governor-general Juan Terrero in a Christian investiture in Malacanang

1887 - Terrero paid a courtesy call on Sulu Sultan al-Rashid in Jolo

April 16, 1887 - Immediately after said visit, spanish colonel Juan Arolas was instructed to capture Darul Maimbung, seat of the Sulu Sultanate, for the Spanish Crown

1888 - Brunei Sultan brought the rump of his territories under the British Crown; North Borneo became a British Protectorate; Brunei became a British protected state.

H.R.H. Sultan Jamal ul-Kiram I (Amir ul-Kiram/King Jubilado dePalawan) (1893-1936)

1893 - Sultan Harun al-Rashid abdicated his throne to cousin Rajah Muda Amir ul -Kiram for his failure to save Darul Maimbung that placed the Manila Spanish government plans in shambles

- Rajah Muda Amir ul-Kiram transferred the seat of the Sultanate to Palawan and briefly named himself King Jubilado de Palawan (he was to be known later as Sultan Jamal ul-Kiram I)

- Fray Jose Cavelleria sailed round the island of Basilan whose revered ruler was King Taguima, a cousin of Mindanaw Sultan Kudarat

December 30, 1896 - La Liga Filipina founder Dr. Jose P. Rizal was executed by the Spaniards at Bagumbayan in Manila

September 21, 1897 - Around 1:17pm an earthquake hit the Sulu Sea about the area of Zamboanga and Basilan that was as destructive as the Krakatoa quake

- During its final calm, a woman in white clothes with hands lifted up, was allegedly seen by thousands of spectators in Ciudad de Zamboanga by the Basilan Strait as if to order the impendent Atsunami@ to halt; This action, according to legend, saved Ciudad de Zamboanga from full-size destruction and made this lady a revered saint of Fort Pilar

February 25, 1898 - Commodore George Dewey, commander of the U.S. Asiatic Squadron, received a secret cable from Navy assistant secretary Theodore Roosevelt to proceed to Manila

April 22, 1898 - U.S. president William McKinley signed the Volunteer Army Act that activated the First Volunteer Cavalry (the “Rough Riders”), and appointed Theodore Roosevelt, a lieutenant-colonel, its first commander

April 23, 1898 - Manila governor-general Basilio Augustin y Davila issued a proclamation announcing the defeat of Spain in the Battle of San Juan and the approach of commodore Dewey from Hongkong

May 1, 1898 - Dewey secured Manila after the defeat of Spanish Admiral Patricio Montojo y Parasan at the Battle of Manila Bay; This feat led the U.S. Congress to promote Dewey to Rear Admiral on May 10, 1898 and again to Navy Admiral on March 13, 1899

June 12, 1898 - Filipino Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo declared Philippine independence from Spain in Kawit Cavite with U.S. army artillery commander Col. L.M. Johnson as the only American official to witness the occasion.

June 23, 1898 - Aguinaldo declared a Revolutionary Congress in Malolos Bulacan

June 30, 1898 - Arrival in Cavite of the first installment of 2,500 U.S. Volunteer Cavalry troops under Gen. Thomas M. Anderson that included the 14th infantry, 1st California, and 2nd Oregon; Also with the troops were military hardware of 400-ton-ammunition for Dewey=s three ships (City of Peking, City of Sydney, and Australia)

July 25, 1898 - Arrival of Gen. Wesley Merritt to assume overall command of the U.S. expeditionary forces in the Philippines

August 14, 1898 - Occupation of Manila by U.S. forces under Merritt

August 22, 1898 - Gen. Elwell Otis replaced Merritt as overall commander of U.S. expeditionary forces in the Philippines

October 26, 1898 - U.S. president McKinley instructed the his peace commission to annex the Philippine Islands after conferring with Presbyterian advisers

November 21, 1898 - U.S. peace commissioners presented an ultimatum to the Spanish Crown for the signing the Treaty of Paris

- During negotiations, U.S. State Secretary William R Day, “recommended a payment of $25million taking into account the defeated adversary's bankruptcy and loss of colonial revenues . . . if necessary was prepared to leave Mindanao and Sulu to Spain,” while Whitelaw Ried on the other hand, “wanted to take all the Philippines, basing his policy on the principle of indemnity. If compromise becomes necessary, he proposed to leave Mindanao and the Sulus to Spain in return for the Ladrones and the Carolines” (clear indicators that Sulu should have not been part of Spain's ceased territories)


December 10, 1898 - Treaty of Paris was signed in Washington DC between the United States and Spain

December 21, 1898 - McKinley issued a proclamation calling for a Philippine colonial policy of benevolent assimilation

December 31, 1898 - McKinley instructed his War Department to extend military governance to the entire Philippine Islands

Januart 4, 1899 - Otis issued a proclamation declaring the Philippines Islands under the sovereign and complete control of the United States of America

January 23, 1899 - Aguinaldo proclaimed the establishment of the First Philippine Republic at Malolos Bulacan and declared himself president

April 1899 - HRH Sultan Jamal ul-Kiram I (may his soul rest in peace), the last and truly sovereign-reigning sultan of The Royal Sultanate of Sulu, died in his peace at his Astana Putih in Darul Maimbung, Lupah Sug, Bangsamoro.

[This Historical Time-line is envisioned to portray The Royal Sultanate of Sulu as a free, independent, and sovereign nation separated from Las Islas Felipinas that had been constantly attacked by Western colonists and subdued by various tactics that, between 1565 and 1898 alone, 333 years in all, only eleven assaults were successfully made from Fort Santiago in Manila by the Spanish Audiencia forces. These war expeditions exclude earlier attempts made by Buddhist Srivijaya, Hindu Madjapahit, and Chinese Ming Empires, and by the British, French, German, and Portuguese armies and navies. In all these long struggles, the Spanish Walled City of Jolo was the only part of the territory of the Royal Sultanate of Sulu that was taken and garrisoned by Spanish war freaks for about 31 years only compared with the Mabarakat Panghu Tausug of four-hundred-fifteen years.

This is the Bangsa Moro struggle, they ought to be free like the free peoples of the world! Wassalam.]


Bara, Hannibal. History of the Muslim in the Philippines, NCCA, 1999 Cabel, O.A. Local Governance and Public Administration: The Sulu Experience, 1990 Che Man, W.K. Muslim Separatism: The Moros of Southern Philippines and the Malays of Southern Thailand, Quezon City: AdM U Press, 1990 Criveli, Camillus. Catholic Encyclopedia, XV, Robert Appleton Co, 1912 Gowing, P.G. Mandate in Moroland, American Government of Muslim Filipinos, 1899-1920 Gowing, P.G. and Robert McAmis. The Muslim Filipinos: Their History, Society, and Contemporary Problems, Manila: La Solidaridad Publishing House, 1974. Kho, Madge. Chronology of Moro Resistance <" class="external">> Majul, Cesar A. Muslim in the Philippines, Quezon City: UP Press, 1973 Montemayor, M.S. Saga of a German Sea Captain, Manila Bulletin, 08.30.2000 Orosa, Sixto Y. The Sulu Archipelago and Its People, NY: World Book Co., 1970 Saleeby, N. History of Sulu, Manila: Bureau of Printing, 1966 Tan, Samuel K. The Filipino Muslim Armed Struggle, 1900-1972, Makati: Filipinas Foundation, 1977 Tregoning, K.B. A History of Modern Sabah, 1881-1963 Hurley, Vic. Swish of the Kris, 1997