The Most Devastating Moro Attack in Mindoro (October 23, 1753) and the Martyrdom of Fr. Andres de Jesus Maria (October 23, 1753)
The first recorded Moro attack in Mindoro was In May 1602. The raid was led by Rajah Mura and Datu Sirongan of Buhayen, Mindanao. Since then the frequency of moro raids escalated to almost yearly and grew in ferocity up to the end of the 18th century.
Calapan, being the capital of Mindoro had a small garrison and some twenty cannons and small arms. A fort was built in the center of the town adjacent to the Church and Casa Real (municipal building). This fort was able to withstand several moro raids until 1733.
On OCTOBER 23, 1753, the fort and the whole town of Calapan fell to THE MOST DEVASTATING MORO RAID ever recorded. The raiders took one-third of the inhabitants of Calapan as prisoners.
Overall, the Moros had 74 boats. They laid to waste all the coastal settlements in Mindoro (Minolo, Camurong, Ilog, Sto. Tomas, Mamburao, Sta. Cruz, Dongon, Pinamalayan, Balite, Sumague, Bongabong, Wasig, Manaol, and Bulalacao).
The raid in Calapan was recorded in detail in a manuscript written by Antoon Postma. It was noted that on October 23, 1753, a Moro fleet composed of 17 boats laid anchor at the mouth of the Mag-asawang Tubig River, a distance of about 17 km.
Written and illustrated by Mr. Florante D. Villarica
You may want to read: