Soliman was the last native ruler of Maynilad, then a
and its most important native chief when
Martin de Goiti and Juan de Salcedo landed there in 1570. Spanish sources refer
to him as Rajamora or Raja Mura, the Spanish transcriptions of Rajang Mura
meaning Young Raja. He was also known as Ladya Soliman or Raja Sulayman. 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
In the light of the
genealogy of Fernando Malang Balagtas (1503-1589) a descendant of a royal
The large house of Rajah
Soliman marked his affluence. It was said to contain many valuable things, like
gold, copper, iron, porcelain, blankets, wax, cotton, and wooden vats full of
brandy. His furniture alone was said to cost thousands of ducats.
When the first Spanish expedition headed by Martin de Goiti reached
Rajah Soliman’s behavior
showed that he was no friend to the Spaniards, to use the words of Martinez de
Zuniga. And in the afternoon of the first meeting which was probably
This mission of peace
spoken b Goiti in his conferences with Rajah Soliman implied recognition by the
Maynilad rulers of their vassalage to the king of
Rajah Soliman would not accept peace on that basis. He let it be known to Goiti that he would never pay tribute. He considered the implication of 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 since tribute had been asked.
So Goiti asked for another meeting and immediately went ashore and entered the
fort. In the meeting held with the Maynilad rulers, terms of peace were
discussed that Spaniards would be allowed settlement in
In the afternoon of the drawing up of the peace pact and despite it, 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 when 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 Maynilad. 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 in opposition to his uncle, Rajah Soliman ordered the attack on the Spaniards and had fired the first shot which pierced the side of Goiti’s ship.
In 1571, the Adelantado Miguel Lopez de Legazpi
cameas head of the second Spanish expedition to Maynilad. It was in pursuance
of the order of the King of Spain to colonize the
Rajah Soliman would not welcome him. But through the prodding and intercession of his uncles, Rajah Matanda and Lakandula who were convinced of Legazpi’s honeyed words of goodwill, Soliman reluctantly went with them to conclude a pact with the Adelantado.
By the terms of the
agreement, the Spaniards were allowed to settle in the old site of the burned
Legazpi formally took hold of Maynilad. And the native rulers remained faithful to their pledge of frienship to him.
In the latter part of 1571,
Rajah Soliman, together with Lakandula went with the expedition of Martin de
Goiti in Pampanga to serve as interpreters in the pacification of the province.
About this time also, Rajah Matanda, who had no children by his legitimate
wife, gave word to Legazpi that his nephew Rajah Soliman be his heir and
successor and given the senorio or
chieftainship of Maynilad. Shortly, Rajah Matanda died and Leagzpi formally
declared in the name of the King of
Two years after the death of Legazpi in 1574 Rajah Soliman and Lakandula headed a local revolt in towns north of Maynilad. 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 the two leaders held in Pagaga were unacceptable to Rajah Soliman so that he took his men to another village. He was found to pose the greatest problem to Marin, because he “did not act fairly in whatever the Spaniards were concerned, nor did he regard them with friendly eyes”. With the aid of Capitan Juan de Salcedo, the conciliator effected peace first with Lakandula, and later, Soliman yielded to the assurance that the rebel’s complaints would be given due attendance by the Spanish government.
After this incident, the name of Rajah Soliman was no longer mentioned in Spanish accounts and chronicles. The exact date of his death, therefore, remains unknown and has become the topic of controversy among present day historians. Some writers, however, boldly presume that Rajah Soliman lived in the person of Agustin de Legazpi, a leader of the Tondo Conspiracy (1587-1588) who died in 1588.