Battle of Bangkusay

battle of bangkusay
Battle of Bangkusay | @nqcPhilippines

The National Historical Commission of the Philippines and the City of Manila unveiled a historical marker commemorating the 450th Anniversary of the Battle of Bangkusay between the local inhabitants of the Manila Bay area and the Spanish under Gov. Gen. Miguel Lopez de Legaspi.

Leaders from the present-day areas of Pampanga and Bulacan gathered a large 2000 man force of warriors and sailed towards the newly established settlement of Spain near the mouth of the Pasig River. In an attempt to preclude a bloody battle, the Spanish tried to bribe the leaders of the indigenous forces. The attempt failed when the force’s unnamed leader from Macabebe rejected the offer and instead challenged the Spanish to open combat. On 3 June 1571, the two forces met at the mouth of the Bangkusay River, Tondo.

Due to the overwhelming firepower and technological advantage of the Spanish, around 300 local warriors, including the unnamed leader from Macabebe, were killed which cause the rest of the indigenous force to flee.

The Battle of Bangkusay is recognized as one of the earliest displays of valor and resistance by the ancestors of the Filipino people against foreign rule and threats to our sovereignty. It happened 50 years after Lapulapu’s Victory in Mactan against Ferdinand Magellan.

Battle of Bangkusay and the Unnamed Chief of Macabebe (June 3, 1571)

On June 3, 1571, 2,000 Kapampangan muslim warriors aboard 40 karakoas (warships) from the polities of Macabebe and Hagonoy faced the occupying Spanish forces led by by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, and their Visayan allies in a naval battle in the Bangkusay channel in Tondo, Manila.

They were led by the Kapampangan Datu (Chief) of Macabebe who is known by several disputed names such as Tarik Sulayman, Bambalito, or Bankau.

The young leader was killed and the battle ended with the defeat of the Kapampangan forces and establishment of a Spanish municipal government in Manila.

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