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Cotabato Thru Time - COTABATO CITY: In the 19th Century

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Cotabato Thru Time
THE EARLY PERIOD OF SETTLEMENT
COTABATO CITY: In the 19th Century
FROM MILITARY GOVERNMENT TO THE MORO PROVINCE
COTABATO CITY UNDER THE MINDANO AND SULU (1914-1916)
POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS UNDER THE COMMOMWEALTH (1935 – 1941)
COTABATO CITY: A GATEWAY TO CENTRAL MINDANAO
COTABATO MUNICIPAL BUILDING
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COTABATO CITY 
In the 19th Century

The history of Cotabato would have taken on a different course. This could be the way to picture the contrasting relations between the maguindanao sultanate and Spanish government. The maguindanao sphere of influence had begun to shrink with sahrival turning friendly towards Spain and signing treaties in 1789 and 1794 co validating the previous ones. His son and successor Sultan “Kawasa” Anwar ud-Din entered also into a peace treaty with the Spaniards in 1805.

In 1830, Sultan Kawasa died, leaving a son Datu Musa, at manubo a renovated mosque stands on the same site he originally erected the old one, with historical association including an old dabu-dabu (drum) and an ablution jar. According to maguindanao tradition. Datu Almansa Sulkarnain who was the late sultan brother and Rajah Muda succeed to the vacant seat. But pending the succession rites, and on account of the Spanish imperfect understanding of the situation, they recognized Datu Musa as “Amoral Interim’ (ad interim). Unfortunately, Datu Sulkarnain died in 1832, but one son inherited the rule of Sib gay; another of his sons named Rajah Taw had predeceased his father. On the basis of the great compromise of 1837 worked out by Jose Halcyon, Spanish governor at zamboanga, the seat passed on “Islander” to give representation to the house of Rajah Taw; the young Sultan entitled Islander Quadrahtullah Jamul Alma Uniting; his surname means “ the greatest beauty” known as well as quadrate by the Spaniards conferred on him the title “feudal king of tamontaka”.

In Sultan Quadrahtullah, entered into a treaty with the Spaniards allowing a trading house at Cotabato to arrest the declining volume of business in the region. In 1851, the Spaniards occupied polloc. Sultan Quadratullah died 1854 and was survived by a daughter Rajah Put, the sons Datu Marinating, Datu Germander, Datu Mama, Datu Ambulate, and the youngest Datu Matura. One on the left bank of Pulangui River at mid-way between Tuba and Lounging, there is a small monument erected in memory of those who died during the battle with the Spaniards.

In royal order of 1860, the Spanish Politico-Military Government of Mindanao was organized in which Cotabato and polloc formed the central or fifth district. The central district was made the capital of the Politico-Military-Government of Mindanao because of military reasons. A royal order of 1862 directed that the Spanish Governor of the district should reside on the delta of the pulangui, and it was Col. Garcia Ruiz who was the first to be appointed Governor of the fifth district. About 1872, the Spanish Jesuits begun to gather together into a pueblo (township) the sitios around tamontaka and organized population centers called taviran and lara, with their own governadorcillos. It was not so successful at the Awang pueblo, which was composed of Tiruray population. It was experimented by the Jesuits that Tamontaka be organized into a reduction (conversion) mission and an agricultural colony. Runaway slaves were purchased and sheltered by the Jesuits. Those ransomed were called rescate and reared in the catholic mission.

During that eventful year, 1884, an eighteen-kilometer highway, which runs from Polloc and connected to Cotabato, was constructed, passing through simony and ending at the present site of barrio Kalama, opposite Cotabato city. The district grew somewhat under Ramon de Acreaga and Vicente Dota, but afterwards declined because of lack maintenance.

In 1886, the Muslims of Subpangan for some reasons mounted resistance to Spanish incursion peace and order deteriorated on account of an incident between Datu Bansil of Lara and Watamama Mauya, the son of Rajah Muda Maminteng, which resulted in the killing of the former. When the matter reported to Governor Alvaro who tried to take the side of Datu Bansil, tension run high. A peace conference called Tamontaka ended in a fray, resulting in the death of Governor Alvaro, the Fiscal and in the wounding of Watamama Mauya who was able to escape to Talayan. Then, the Muslims burned the Jesuits mansion house at Tamontaka, the town of Amadeo near Polloc, the infantry barracks. Meanwhile, as matter became worse, Governor-General Emilio Terero prepared for a major expedition. After assembling some 3,411 men in the Pulangui River, he personally conducted the military operation against Datu Utu and Rajah Putri and the leading datus upriver; General Tererro’s arrival in Cotabato was celebrated with salvos, festivals while the preparation to attack Buayan made headway.

On March 12, 1887, negotiations were reached but Datu Utu had not even deigned to submit in person and merely sent emissaries. According to reports, only Datu Tambilawan of Kudarangan, an uncle of Datu Uto and the father of Datu Ali, with some 30 followers went on board the carriedo and terms of peace were discussed by Datu Sirungan, Dalandang (dalgan), who excused absence of Datu Utu and Rajah Putri and Dalgan of Tabungao, Gugo sa Buayan were Rajah Muda of Dalgan, Guiamaludin Sultan Tambila-Balsuag, Mama sa Buayan, Datu Ali, Datu Jambangan and Watamama Silungan. The capitulations contained a pledge of loyalty a stipulation not to wage war on the delta datu’s under Spanish regime. On the part of Spain, a stipulation was made for war indemnity in the form of “lantacas, buffalo and horses” and rehabilitations for destroyed rice paddies.

The following year however, after the death of Sultan Pablu the Spanish Government negotiated for a deed of reconciliation from From Rajah Putri, respecting “the religion of (her) forebears and the customs of0 (her) immediate family to be left unperturbed”. Wearied perhaps by the previous years of fighting, the Sultan Kudarat of “Talayan also signed an act of adhesion, allowing the Spanish forces to set up an outpost in Talayan. In 1894, on account of his advancing age Datu Utu took permanent residence at Nuling, close to the tombs of the royal family. Datu Utu died in 1902, but his wife lived to see many changes in Pulangui. Rajah Putri remarried Sultan Mangigin who succeeded Sultan Pablu and during whose reign the Americans came. On the bank of Pulangui just above the old Salimbao market, about three miles from Cotabato City, there is a “tampat” which shares the grave and memory of Datu and Rajah Putri who kept alive to the very end. The heritage of the Maguindanao-Buayan dynasty.



 

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