Mayor Rodrigo Duterte was warmly welcomed by Antiquenos during his visit to the province of Antique on Monday, May 25.

Among those who welcomed Duterte are Gov. Exequiel Javier, Congressman Paolo Javier of the Lone District of Antique, and Simbalon Mayor Joel Occeña. Antique is in Panay Island in Western Visayas and home to three other provinces: Iloilo, Capiz and Aklan.

BRIEFERAntique is considered as the cradle of Philippine Civilization as the Story of Maragtas in Philippine History. From what I’ve read, the 10 Malay datu from Borneo settled into the Philippine islands.

According to the Maragtas, at around 1250 A.D., 10 Bornean datu and their families left their kingdom in search of new homes across the sea to escape the merciless rule of Sultan Makatunaw. Led by Datu Puti, the Borneans landed in the island of Panay and bought the lowlands from the Ati king named Marikudo in exchange for one gold saduk (native hat) and a long gold necklace for Queen Maningwantiwan.

After the land sale and pact of friendship, the Atis went to the hills. The Malay datus settled in the lowlands.

Datu Puti, Balensusa, and Dumangsil sailed northward to Luzon and landed in the region around Lake Bonbon (Taal). There they built their settlements. Dumangsil and Balensusa’s families occupied other neighboring regions now known as Laguna and the Bicol Peninsula. Datu Puti left for Borneo after he knew that his men were leading peaceful lives.

The other seven datu stayed in Panay. They divided the island into three districts. Hantik (now Antique) was under Datu Sumakwel. Datu Paiburong ruled Irong-Irong (now lloilo). Datu Bangkaya governed Aklan (now Aklan and Capiz).

Led by Datu Sumakwel, a political confederation of barangays (Madya- as) was formed for purposes of protection and close family relations. The story as told by Father Santaren, further described the expansion of the Malay settlers to other parts of the archipelago.

The legal code written by Datu Sumakwel also known as the Maragtas Code was previously known as the “oldest known written body of laws” in the Philippines.


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