Arts & Culture of Zamboanga City

by contributing writer & local artist: Icelle G. Borja


IcelleARTicles: Raiders of the Sulu Sea

“Raiders of the Sulu Sea” A Historiography Documentary film focusing on Zamboanga City depicting how the Spaniards defended the city with the Fort Pilar as Spain’s last stronghold and bastion of defense and economic expansion in the South of the Philippines . It depicts the Southeast Asian flourishing free trading in the area and the adverse effects and repercussions when Europeans such as the English, Dutch and Spanish who wanted to control the economy as well to colonize and Christianize.
The film focuses on the slave raiding as retaliation on colonizers- the sophisticated ancient maritime vessels such as the Lanong, Garay and the Salisipan and tools of war such as the Barong, Kris, and the Kampilan and the well organized forces that is launched for slave raiding the coasts of Mindanao Visayas, and Luzon, between July to October called as the Pirate wind “ Pirate monsoon”

It also focused on the fate of the Captured Balangingi Leader called Panglima Taupan and his family who eventually was exiled to the north of Luzon in Cagayan, and was made to work in the Tobacco Plantation- and his descendants who went back to Zamboanga and settled in the outskirts of Taluksangay with the surname Dela Cruz Nuno- Maas Nuno, the ancestor of the present Nuno clan of Zamboanga.

Art Historian Icelle Gloria D. Borja- Estrada together with Dr. Samuel Tan and Margarita Cohuangco and other International Asian Historians contributed to the success of this film Produced by Oakfilms3 based on Singapore for Q channel, Discovery Channel and the National Geographic for International Release.

Note below added by editor of

There were no Muslims(Moros) in the Philippines prior to the year 1380. And most definitely they were NOT the original inhabitants of Mindanao, Sulu, and Palawan. Moros are Muslims and they are not an ethnicity or indigenous people.

Prior to the arrival of the Muslims, the Datus and the Rajas in each of their own tribal domains or kingdoms ruled. The Tausugs, the Maranaos, the Maguindanaoans , and all the other tribes had their own ancestral domains. None of them were Muslims or Moros.

Never forget that the Moros(Muslims) were the first COLONIZERS of the Philippines. They were the first EXPLOITERS of the Filipino people. The Sultanates exploited the natural resources and the culture of the indigenous peoples. Now they even call the traditional clothing, dances, food, customs, and tools of the tribal indigenous peoples as Moro.

illanun pirate
An Illanun Pirate
illanun war boat
Illanun War Boat
pirate weapons
Pirate Weapons
The pirate wind
Cover of the book "The Pirate Wind" Tales of the sea robbers of Malaya by Owen Rutter