EARLY FLAGS AND SYMBOLS - WATAWAT - FLAGS AND SEALS OF THE PEARL OF THE ORIENT SEAS

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EARLY FLAGS AND SYMBOLS


MA -I


According to many historians, Ma - I was a Country located to the north of Borneo, probably in Mindoro Area ; in some historical Chinese Imperial annals :"Chu Fan Chih and Sung Shih" we can find out informations related to the symbols adopted in that Country... .
William Henry Scott on his book : "Prehispanic Source Materials" report some interesting notes based on those accounts: on page 68 :

" There are metal images (lit. Buddhas) of unknown origin..."

"... Since the local chieftains make a habit of using white umbrellas, the merchants must present them as a gift."

This habit was also common in another place called : " Sun-Hsu " , on page 69 of the mentioned Scott's book there is another interesting note:

" ..., the real boss of the traders is sure to appear on the spot and settle matters, after which they offer him silk umbrellas, porcelain and rattan baskets as a gift. ..."


The adoption of white umbrellas or "parasols" was a clear sign of the buddhist influence:
The Parasol (Umbrella) is called "chattra" in Sanskrit ;above the mountain is the dome of the sky. This is symbolized by the umbrella, whose important function is to cast a shadow, the shadow of protection.
The parasol or umbrella is a traditional Indian symbol of both protection and royalty. The ability to protect oneself against inclement weather has always, in all cultures, been a status symbol. . In Oriental thought, the fact that it protected the bearer from the scorching heat of the sun was transferred into the religious sphere as a “protection against the heat of defilements.” Thus the coolness of its shade symbolizes protection from the heat of suffering, desire, and other spiritually harmful forces.
The dome of the umbrella is held aloft by a vertical handle (just like the mountain upholds the sky), which is identified with the ‘axis mundi,’ or the central axis upholding the world. The umbrella is carried above an important dignitary or the image of a deity, to indicate that the person or symbol below the umbrella is in fact the center of the universe, and also its spiritual support. Umbrellas seem to be especially important in processional rites, being like mobile temples.
As it is held above the head it naturally symbolizes honor and respect.


THE ROYAL UMBRELLA OR ROYAL PARASOL
Hinduism has a long historical influence in the Philippines, saffron is a traditional color and is the most sacred color for Hinduism.
Saffron.color do represents fire and as impurities are burnt by fire, this color symbolizes purity. It also represents religious abstinence. In the pre-hispanic kingdoms, Chiefdoms and Reigns of the Filipino Archipelago ,influenced by hinduism saffron was a well known color displayed on flags and banners too.
BUTUAN


Butuan was a small country by the sea to the east of Champa (now Vietnam).
We find out some infos related to the symbols of Butuan in the Chinese Imperial Chronicles:
In 1004, according to the chinese Imperial accounts (see W. H. Scott's book :" Prehispanic sources..." ), the court handed down an edict prohibiting their export of chinese goods, gold and silver by direct market purchases, especially ceremonial flags and regimental banners to which they had taken a predilection. ("people from distant lands don't understand rules and regulations ", a minister complained).

For four consecutive years, from 1003 to 1007 , Kiling (Ch'i-ling), the Ruler of Butuan sent missions to China. In 1007, Kiling sent I-hsu-han with a formal memorial requesting equal status in court protocol with the Champa envoy. This was denied on the grounds that "Butuan was beneath Champa." This country has been a tributary state since the 4th century.

In 1011, a new Butuan ruler named Sari Bata Shaja sent Likan-hsieh to the Chinese Imperial court with tributes that included non- Butuan products like "White Dragon" camphor, cloves from Moluccas and a slave. The poor slave was freed by the Emperor who was shocked by such offering. Nevertheless, Likan-hsieh was given honors and a memorial was granted which exalted Butuan and had flags, pennons and armor "to honor a distant land." It was only in 1373 that the first tribute mission from Luzon was mentioned in the Chinese chronicles.

That's the proof that both: Chinese and Butuan made a great use of flags and regimental banners; the shapes of those flags probably followed the style of Chinese flags of that time, quite different from those known to us of the last two or three centuries ago.
THE BUTUAN IVORY SEAL



According to Hector Santos on his article of 1996 : ( "The Butuan Ivory Seal "© 1996 by Hector Santos )

" Antoon Postma reports that it was shown to him by Dr. Angel Bautista in 1990 at a conference in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He says that the seal was in Bautista's custody but does not know whether it belonged to the National Museum or not... ."

.."The writing on the ivory seal is stylized Kavi, . Postma states that the script is similar to that on the inscription of Puh Serang near Kediri dated 1002. He further indicates that the writing says "Butban," which presumably stands for "Butwan" or "Butuan" since b and w are frequently interchangeable."


Drawing of a supposed typical Butuanese flag ; drawing based on some historical flags of China and Champa (Vietnam) with which Butuan had great contacts and influences... .

THE FLAG OF RAJAH LAKANDULA
( BANAW LAKANDULA ) FROM 1570 TO 1575 CIRCA.


Banaw Lakandula or Lakan Dula, was the native ruler of Tondok (a large part of which is now Tondo, Manila) when the Spanish colonization of the Philippines began. He ruled a community of native Muslim people who lived north of the Pasig River.

He was one of the three most important Muslim rulers (with Rajah Soliman and Rajah Matanda ) in the Manila area.During the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors led by Martín de Goiti and Juan de Salcedo in 1570. He defended Maynila from the invading Spaniards and was captured and killed .



The red flag or red banner was the typical symbol of the Kingdom of Rajah Lakandula (Lacandola for the spaniards), this color follows the traditional colors adopted by the ancient rulers of the islamic kingdoms of the filipino area.


In his account on the first expedition in Manila, Montero y Vidal * wrote :" During the battle Rajah Lacandola hoisted a white flag on his house as a sign of the fact that the action of his nephew was without his consent ."
* Montero y Vidal, Historia General de Filipinas, vol. I p. 36 .

FLAG OF RAJAH MATANDA
( ACHE LADYANG MATANDA)


Raha Matanda or Rajah Ache who ruled over Tondo, a kingdom encompassing an area that now includes Bulacan, Metro Manila, Rizal and Quezon in the 16th Century. Rajah Matanda was the heir to his father's throne and was a grandson of Sultan Siripada I (Bolkeiah I) of Borneo. In 1643, Don Pedro Ladia of Borneo who claimed to be a descendant of Rajah Matanda started a revolt and called himself the king of the Tagalog. He was executed in Manila.


BUSTS OF RAJAH ACHE     AND RAJAH SOLIMAN  OR SULAYMAN

THE FLAG OF RAJAH SOLIMAN


Rajah Soliman was the ruler of Maynila, a Muslim Kingdom of the Pasig River. He was considered as the "greatest king of Manila".when Martin de Goiti and Juan de Salcedo landed there in 1570. Spanish sources refer to him as Rajamora or Raja Mura. The Spanish transcription of Rajang Mura is Young Raja. He was related by marriage to the Sultan of Brunei. His wife was a daughter of a close relative of the Brunei Sultan. He ruled Manila jointly with his uncle Rajah Matanda.

Soliman and his warriors learned to use gunpowder and manufacture weapons. They learned how to use cannons and lantakas from the Chinese who came to the shores of Maynila centuries ago.

When the first Spanish expedition headed by Martin de Goiti reached Manila in 1570, Rajah Soliman would not allow them inland. He gave instruction that he would meet the Spaniards on shore. He came bearing himself haughtily, and his words sounded as warning to the Spaniards. He was willing to make peace with the Spaniards, but they must remember that his people were not like the pintados - referring to the Visayans who were subservient. He further stated that his people would not tolerate any abuse and they would repay with death the least thing that touched their honor. Then Soliman left without inviting the Spaniards into the town.

Rajah Soliman's behavior showed that he was no friend to the Spaniards. In the afternoon of the first meeting on June 4,1570, Soliman's men, armed and holding ropes, conducted bold inspection of the Spaniards on shore. The Spaniards got irritated, but kept their cool for the sake of peace.

The mission of peace spoken by de Goiti in his conferences with Rajah Soliman implied recognition by the Maynilad rulers of their vassalage to the king of Spain and payment of tribute as a token of that vassalage. But Rajah Soliman would not accept peace on that basis. He let it be known to de Goiti that he would never pay tribute. He considered the implication of de Goiti's proposition as an affront to his honor and dignity.

On the morning of the second day - June 5, Soliman sent an envoy with a message to Goiti that no Spaniard could bring their ships into the river. So de Goiti asked for another meeting and immediately went ashore and entered the fort. In the meeting held with the Maynila rulers, terms of peace were discussed.

They agreed that the Spaniards would be allowed settlement in Manila and no tribute would be exacted. In the afternoon of the drawing up of the peace pact, the Spaniards became anxious at the news they received that Rajah Soliman was mustering all his warriors for a military review, but the shots would be directed in the air. Causing more suspicion to the Spaniards was the rumor that Soliman was just waiting for the rain to pour, a condition wherein the Spaniards' muskets could not be fired. And then he would attack the Spaniards.

Caused by misunderstanding, hostilities ensued the next day. As a result, the Spaniards, superiorly armed, attacked and burned Maynila. Many of its inhabitants perished and the large house of Soliman with its valuables turned into ashes.

Some of those captured by the Spaniards stated that Rajah Soliman ordered the attack on the Spaniards and had fired the first shot which pierced the side of de Goiti's ship.

In 1571, the Adelantado Miguel Lopez de Legazpi became the head of the second Spanish expedition to Maynilad. It was in pursuance of the order of the King of Spain to colonize the Philippines. Rajah Soliman did not welcome him. But through the prodding and intercession of his uncles, Rajah Matanda and Lakandula, who were convinced by Legazpi's honeyed words of goodwill, Soliman reluctantly went with them and concluded a pact with the Adelantado.

According to their terms of the agreement, the Spaniards were allowed to settle in the old site of the burned town of Maynilad and would have the right to collect tributes from the other inhabitants. The Maynilad rulers and their descendants were granted exemption from paying tributes.

The native rulers remained faithful to their pledge of friendship to Legazpi when he finally ruled Maynila.

Shortly, Rajah Matanda died and Legazpi formally declared Rajah Soliman as the successor of his deceased uncle. Rajah Soliman received the senorio of Maynila with Spanish approval in April of 1572.

Two years after the death of Legazpi in 1574 Rajah Soliman and Lakandula headed a local revolt in towns north of Maynila. It arose over the system of government apportionment of encomiendas to the Spanish officials. Certain lands of Soliman and Lakandula were given and assigned to encomenderos in utter disregard of their patrimonial rights.

Initial conciliatory talks between Fray Geronimo Marian and the two leaders held in Pagaga were unacceptable to Rajah Soliman so he took his men to another village. He was the greatest problem of Marian, because he did not act fairly in whatever the Spaniards were concerned, nor did he regard them with friendly eyes. Capitan Juan de Salcedo, the conciliator, effected peace first with Lakandula. Later, Soliman yielded to the assurance that the rebels' complaints would be given due attendance by the Spanish government.

FLAG OF RAJAH KALAMAYIN
Rajah Kalamayin was the ruler of Namayan
( Santa Ana area ).


According to some historians and scholars , the high point of Namayan history was the marriage, sometime in the 13th century, of Namayan princess (later Empress) Sasaban to Madjapahit Empire crown prince (later Emperor) Soledan (orAnka Widyaya). They ruled Indonesia.

The imperial couple had a son, Prince Balagtas. Because he was to become King of Namayan, he married Banginoan. Banginoan was the daughter of Lontok and Kalangitan, princess of Pasig. Her grandfather was Araw.

One of King Balagtas' descendants was Lakan Takhan who had an illegitimate son named Pasay. Takhan bequeathed to his son the kingdom we now know as Pasay City.

After Takhan, Namayan was ruled by his son Palaba, who was in turn succeeded by his son Laboy. Laboy was succeeded on the throne by his son Kalamayin. It was Kalamayin's sad fortune to be the sovereign when the palefaces arrived. When Kalamayin's son was baptized a Christian, prince Martin, the Kingdom of Namayan was extinct.




THE SPEAR (BANKAW ) IN PRE-HISPANIC VISAYAS

..." The spear, ( bankaw ) was the most important visayan weapon.it was carried both for security and ceremony, and it figured not only in warfare but in religious functions and businness transactions...."

Page n.149 - The Visayas (from the book :
BARANGAY - Sixteenth-Century Philippine Culture and Society
by William Henry Scott )


IMAGE(BASED ON FANTASY ) OF RAJAH SOLIMAN OR RAHA SULAYMAN

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