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From: Bohol Forum On Behalf Of Eduardo Gutang
Sent: Friday, November 19, 2004 12:05 AM
To: Bohol Forum Subscribers
Subject: Where I am from (To Joey)

Hello Joey:
Boholanos do not necessarily live in Bohol only. Practically the entire city of Ozamis in Misamis Occidental and the City of Iligan in Lanao del Norte were peopled by Boholanos just as the many towns between Ozamis City, Dipolog City, and Zamboanga City are now the permanent home of folks who once hailed from Bohol. I sincerely believe that my Ozamis City forebears come from Bohol. Though if you ask anyone in Ozamis City, most everybody would tell you that they do not know where their greatgrand parents came from. But they all speak Bisaya so you wonder how this happened? To complicate matters, the Bisaya they speak is an entirely different subdialect from that of Cebuano so they could not be decendants of Cebuanos. The original inhabitants of Misamis Occidental were the Subano tribesmen and the Muslims. Their languages were entirely different being Subano and Maguindanao.

For your info: Ozamis City was formed during the Moro Spanish war. This war started when the Spaniards of Manila broke the treaty that they signed with the Muslim kingdoms of Maguindanao and Sulu. Because of the fierce fighting quality of primarily the Boholano and the Cebuano who later reinforced the Boholano, much of the Muslim lands were suceessfully subdued. This led to the weakening and later the demise of the Maguindanao Kingdom which was bigger and more powerful than the Kingdom of Sulu. The only lands that later remained in strong Muslim hands in the Mindanao mainland were those in all of Lanao del Sur, parts of Lanao del Norte, all of Sultan Kudarat, all of Maguindanao, parts of Zamboanga del Sur and parts of Zamboanga del Norte, parts North Cotabato, and parts of South Cotabato. Of course, Jolo, Basilan, and Tawi Tawi are solidly in the hold of the Muslims because the Sultan of Sulu was able to quickly broker a separate peace with the Spanish Governor that saved his Kingdom. By the way, this negotiation was brokered by the very beaut iful daughter of a Boholana/Spanish lady who was taken captive during one of the Moro raids on Bohol Island and then became the lover of the Sultan of Sulu.

The Boholano warrior formed the bulk of the mercenary troops who fought the Moros and conquered the bulk of Mindanao all the way from Surigao, to Misamis Oriental, to Misamis Occidental, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga de Sur, down to Agusan, Davao Provinces, North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, and so many other places. A little later the Boholanos were reinforced by warriors from Cebu. It was possible that the Spaniards also recruited warriors from Panay such as the Ilonggos, because there are a number of towns peopled by Illonggo speakers though these are few.

During the Moro Spanish War, the Muslims decided to carry the fight directly to the Christian lands as far as Northern Luzon and Batanes. Evidence is all over the archipelago, watch towers in every town and city and churches that are heavily built and could be turned into fortresses.

The Muslims launched their raiding parties from the rivers inside Pangil Bay which borders what are now known as the provinces of Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Misamis Occidental, and Zamboanga del Sur - very huge land areas. Raids were also staged from Tawi Tawi, Basilan, and the Island of Jolo. The Muslim raiding parties were as large 500 to 1000 boats. Many of these raiding parties emerged from Pangil Bay. Obviously at that time, the provinces that we know now as Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Misamis Occidental, and Zamboanga del Sur were solidly Moro lands. To prevent the exit of these Moro raiding parties, the Spaniards first conquered the flat lands of Misamis Occidental and expanded their conquests into Zamboanga del Sur. While all these fights were taking place, the Spaniards built a fort at the narrow mouth of Pangil Bay which they called the town of Misamis. Boholano soldiers manned the fort, populated the town, and settled in the countryside. The y armed the fort with cannons so that any Moro raiding boat that tried to break out could be easily blasted out of the water. The towns opposite Ozamis City on the Lanao del Norte side of Pangil Bay such as Kolambugan were also secured by the Spaniards. This effectively ended the use of Pangil Bay as staging for attacks on Luzon and the Visayas. To stop the staging of Moro attacks along the shores of Lanao del Norte, the Spaniards established the beginnings of Illigan City. The founding of Illigan was the second strategic defeat for the Muslims because it allowed the Spaniards to stage large and powerful attacks inland toward Lake Lanao and Marawi City, a Moro stronghold. As a result, the Moros expended a lot of economic resources and manpower trying to contain Spanish expansion inland from Illigan. For this reason, the Moros did everything within their power to destroy Illigan and expel the interlopers. Why the Spaniards succeeded in Misamis Occidental and Zamboanga del Sur but not at Lanao del Norte was because the terrain in the Lanao provinces are very mountainous, consisted of very thick difficult jungle, and therefore very difficult to secure.

Question: Who formed the bulk of the fighting forces who occupied Illigan and Ozamis which was known then as Misamis? Who formed the bulk of the forces who cleared the Moros from Misamis Occidental, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, and elsewhere? The Boholano. There are records telling that Illigan was repeatedly attacked and at a number of times, the Moros completely broke through the defenses of the Christians and ravaged and burned Illigan to the ground, yet the tenacity and never say die attitude of the Boholano would not allow the Moros to claim complete victory. Out of defeat, the Boholanos rallied, counter attacked and drove the Moros out. In other words the Moros could destroy Illigan and steal some of the women and children, but, they could not hold the place. This says a million beautiful words for the bravey, ferocity, and fighting quality of the Boholano fighter who in the face of unbelievable odds could not be defeated even when reinfo rcements were not forth coming.

As a result of the creation and holding of the then towns of Illigan and Misamis (now known as Ozamis), the number of Moro raids in the Visayas and Luzon effectively decreased. This allowed the economy to recover.

You and I, Joey, are the sons of brave Boholano warriors who left an indelible and honorable mark on Philippine history. We must honor them and remember their achievements. Without the ferocious Boholano and Cebuano warrior, beautiful places such as South Cotabato, the Davao Provinces, the Zamboanga Provinces, Bukidnon, and so many others would still be indian country just like Carmen, in North Cotabato still is today. Also, these places would not have been converted to Christianity. Thank you.
Cheers, Eddie G.

The purpose of this page is to inform the users of the website of the heritage of their ancestors and to enlighten their knowledge that richly extends way before the Americans, Spaniards and Christianity.

Please inform me of broken links! Page author: Joey Tabaco - Email Protection by Name Intelligence

Last updated 10/30/2004  

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