HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 50 no. 1 - 4 (2004)

Rebellions and Mutinies in Mindanao: A Quick Review

Macario D. Tiu

Discipline: History



While Moro resistance to Spanish rule is well known, the struggles waged by the other tribes in Mindanao hardly get noticed in our historiography. But the Spanish advance from northern Mindanao to southeastern Mindanao is a history of resistance and rebellions. There might have been periods of accommodation, but the east coast of Mindanao down to Davao remained volatile until the last days of Spanish rule. The culture of resistance was deeply ingrained among the various tribes. In the early and middle 1600s, the Calagans of the east coast and Datu Dabaw in upper Agusan fought Spanish penetration in the area. The Spaniards could only advance with great difficulty, managing to conquer Davao Gulf only in 1848. Even then, their rule was marked by many rebellions. As the Revolution swept Luzon in 1898, Mindanao was convulsed by mutinies, with the Filipino soldiers finally turning their guns on their hated masters. These various strands of struggles show the pluralist nature of Mindanao consciousness, a matter still very evident today.