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Muslim Raids On Bohol Coastal Towns

          After the Spaniards established their center of operation in Cebu, they started their plan of converting Bohol to Christianity. On November 17, 1595 two Jesuit priests, Fr. Juan de Torres and Fr. Gabriel Sanchez, left Cebu for Bohol to start the conversion in the village of Baclayon. Through hard work, patience and perseverance the duo succeeded in winning the natives confidence. With the people's help they built a big church like a fort with a belfry that served as a watchtower for spying the coming of the Muslims (Moros) raiders who userd to come and wreck havoc on the people. One such raid took place on October 16, 1600 when 300 Maguindanao Moros in 50 war boats led by Datu Sali and Datu Sirongan attacked Baclayon. Fortunately, through the church belfry their coming was made known 3 or 4 hours ahead and the people had time to run to the mountains for safety, except 3 old women and an old man who were too old to flee. They were killed and the Moros sailed away.

          One intriguing question is, what was the motive for these raids? Why did the Moros attack their Filipino brothers? One possible reason was to convert the Boholanos to Mohammedanism. Another plausible explanation was the policy of "divide and rule" adopted by the Spanish rulers. In pursuance of this policy, the Spaniards used Christians to fight their Muslim brothers. In 1578, for instance, Captain Esteban Rodriguez de Figuera invaded Jolo, using a few Spaniards and many Christian Filipinos for the purpose. Then in 1590 he used 1,500 Christian Filipinos and 214 Spaniards to attack the Muslims in Cotabato. But the Muslims were never conquered.

          Naturally the Muslims resented these attacks by the Christian Filipinos and, in retaliation, they conducted a series of raids against Christian towns in Bohol and in the Visayas, plundering and pillaging villages, abducting native villagers to be sold as slaves to Bornean Datus and Sultans. Because of its location, Bohol became one of the convenient targets of these retaliatory expeditions of the Muslims. These nefarious activities had been going on until the end of 18th century. The course of history is often deflected by trivial incidents. Here in this fortuitous encounter had the most far-reaching effects on the history of Bohol.

Significant Historical Developments

          Historical Setting                                Muslim Raids On Bohol Coastal Towns
          Sikatuna, The Bohol Chieftain             
Dagohoy, The Celebrated Hero Of Bohol
How Bohol Got Its Name                     Bohol Participation in the Philippine Revolution
Christianization of the Natives              Lonoy, Jagna Massacre

Bits of World War II History

          April 1942 Bombing of Jetafe                The Moalong and Ubujan Ambushcades
          June 1943 Japanese Kempatai             The Bohol Liberation
          Underground Movement                       How Bohol was Liberated

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