Rajah Lakandula

Rajah Lakandula
( -1575)

One of the most illustrious ancient Filipinos. Chief of Tondo, when Legazpi came to Manila in 1571. He became a Christian and took the name of Carlos, after the king of Spain. He made the blood compact with Goiti. He fought alongside the Spaniards against the Chinese pirate, Limahong. Died in 1575.


Rajah Lakan Dula

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Rajah Lakan Dula
Rajah (chieftain) of Tondo.
Reign 15581571
Full name Lakan Dula
Titles Lakan
Predecessor Rajah Sulaiman I
Successor Rajah Sulaiman III
Royal House Kingdom of Tondo

Lakan Dula was the Rajah (King) of Tondo who fought the Spaniards during the colonization of the Philippines. Together with Rajah Sulaiman II and Rajah Sulaiman III, they governed a settlement along the Pasig River in Manila during the 16th century.

Lakan Dula (Kapampangan lakan “lord” and dula “palace”)[1] was the Malayan title for chieftains in Tondo. Banaw[2] was the personal name of Lakan Dula recorded in Philippine history at the period of the Spanish colonization. The name Lakan Dula suggests he was a follower of a mixture of Animism and Islamic religion.

His name is written in the 1665 document by his great-grandson Juan Macapagal, the Datu (chieftain) of Arayat:[3]

Don Carlos Lacandola, his great-grandfather, was Lord and principal of the town of Tondo and other surrounding towns, whose natives paid him tribute and vassalage and other recognition as their natural lord and when ships from China came to this bay, they similarly paid him duties and anchorage fees, he removing their sails and rudder for this purpose and taking their merchandise by paying half its value at the time and the other half the next year, without any other natives being able to buy anything from the sangleyes but only from the said Lacandola, from which much profit, which he ceded at the coming of the Spaniards to these Islands, they collecting the said tributes and duties for His Majesty.

Lakan Dula was involved in the annexation of his settlements which led to the foundation of the province of Pampanga. The Spaniards used him in pacifying the last independent villages in Luzon which include Lubao and Betis. He helped the Spaniards in defending their settlements against the invasion of Chinese pirates led by Limahong.


The Lakan Dula descendants are mostly found in the Kapampangan region.[3] He fathered at least four sons, including Datu Dionisio Capulong of Candaba, Datu Phelipe Salonga of Pulu, Datu Magat Salamat of Tondo and Martín Lakandula who entered the Augustinian monestary to become a priest in 1590.[3] He had one daughter by the name of María Poloin who married Alonso Talabos.

In 1587, his sons Magat Salamat, Dionisio Capulong and Phelipe Salonga, along with his nephew Augustin de Legazpi and the chieftains of Pandacan, Marikina, Navotas and Bulacan participated in what has since been called the “revolt of the Lakans” and were all punished by the Spanish authorities. Augustin de Legazpi was hanged and his head cut off and exposed on the gibbet in an iron cage. His properties were seized by the Spanish authorities and his lands plowed and sown with salt so that they would remain barren. Dionisio Capulong, then Datu of Candaba, was exiled from his town and paid a heavy fine. Governor-General de Vera eventually pardoned him. Later, he served as a guide and interpreter for two Spanish expeditions into Igorot country in 1591 and 1594. Felipe Salonga, then chief of Polo, was exiled to Mexico and was thus one of the very first Filipinos to settle in there. Wenceslao E. Retana relates that “Magat Salamat was condemned to death. His goods were to be employed for erection of the new fortress of this city (Manila). He appealed to the royal Audiencia, but the case was remitted to the governor, in order that justice might be done- except that the goods were to be set aside for the treasury. The sentence was executed.[4][3]

A grandson of Lakan Dula, a mestizo by the name of David Dula y Goiti, escaped the persecution of the descendants of Lakan Dula by settling in Isla de Batag, Northern Samar and settled in a place now called Candawid.[5][6] He was imprisoned by Spanish soldiers in Palapag and was executed together with several followers. They were charged of treason with planning to attack the Spanish settlement.

The current David Dulay descendants are the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Petre, Hilario father of Eleuterio Dulay, Sr. of Laoang, N. Samar and a mayor for more than 20 years during the Marcos Regime died of heart ailment. The other descendants are those carrying the surname Dula related to Councilor Rufo Dula. Wishing to avoid the persecution experienced by his latter ancestors, Lakan Dula’s great grandson Juan Macapagal aided the Spanish authorities in suppressing the 1660 Kapampangan revolt of Francisco Maniago and the Pangasinan revolt of Andrés Malong and the 1661 Ilocano revolt. Because of his service to the Spanish crown, the Spanish authorities revived the special privileges offered by the Spanish crown to Lakan Dula and his descendants spread across the province of Pampanga.[3] A Gremio de Lakandulas was created in 1758 to protect the privileges of the Kapampangan descendants of Lakandula.[3] During the British occupation of Manila in 1762-1764, the descendants of Lakan Dula, now located in the province of Pampanga, formed a group of volunteers to fight the British and were granted autonomy by Governor General Simón de Anda y Salazar.[3]


  • The Order of Lakandula is one of the highest honors given by the Republic of the Philippines. It is an order of political and civic merit, awarded in memory of Lakandula’s dedication to the responsibilities of leadership, prudence, fortitude, courage and resolve in the service of one’s people.
  • The BRP Rajah Lakandula (PF-4) was the a Destroyer Escort / Frigate and is the only ex-USN Edsall-class destroyer escort that served the Philippine Navy. She was also the flagship of the Philippine Navy from 1981 to 1988. Struck from the Navy List in 1988, she was still in use as stationary barracks ship in Subic Bay as of 1999.

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