Maranao Sultanate

Topics: Lanao del Sur, Mindanao, Philippines Pages: 11 (3375 words) Published: March 25, 2012
INTRODUCTION The Sultanates of Lanao in Mindanao, Philippines were founded in the 16th century through the influence of Shariff Kabungsuan, who was enthroned as first Sultan of Maguindanao in 1520. The Meranaos of Lanao were acquainted with the sultanate system when Islam was introduced to the area by Muslim missionaries and traders from the Middle East, Indian and Malay regions who propagated Islam to Sulu and Maguindanao.

The Lanao or Maranao Sultanate is given high regard in the Maranao Society even in the present days. In fact, these are some of the things that the said tribe is known about. It can be depicted in the tarpaulins and streamers hanged in the streets of their community. Therefore, studying more about it is found necessary for the new generations to take care of it.

The paper aims to answer the following questions: 1.Why sultanate still exists today? 2. What is its relevance? 3. Why is it so important in the Meranao tradition? 4. Who can assume the position?

The researcher was able to gather idea through surfing the internet, reading some books in the library, and asking some elders who are knowledgeable about the topic.


Legally, the Philippine Constitution is prohibiting the granting of titles of nobility to Filipino citizens. It does not recognize the sultanate system, thus disregarding and undermining this important element of the rich cultural heritage of the Moros of Mindanao. Paradoxically, the Philippine Constitution includes as state policy to protect and preserve the culture of the indigenous people of the Philippines.

The Sultanate system in Lanao has survived colonialism and non-recognition by the Philippine Constitution. In Lanao region (composed of Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte), the Sultanate system has remained important as an integral part of the Maranao society, symbolizing royal authority, cultural heritage and Islamic influence. At present, Maranaos trace their lineage, legitimacy and authority through their Salsila that has chronicled the origins of the Lanao royal houses.

In Lanao, the Maranaos started to be acquainted with the sultanate system in the 15th century through the influence of Shariff Kabungsuan, who was enthroned as first Sultan of Maguindanao in 1520, In 1640 Balindong Bzar of Masiu became the first Maranao Chieftain enthroned as Sultan, with specific title as Sultan Diagaborolah. He was charged to enforce the teaching of Islam and the law and order in Lanao. On the same year Sultan Diagaborolah consulted the seven Maranao Datus on how to govern Lanao. They were Dianaton Naim of Butig. Datu Burus of Pagayawan, Datu Ottowa of Ditsaan, Datu Acari of Ramain, Onbaor of Bansaya, Engki-Okoda of Minitepad, Alanake of Baloi. The eight wise men (including Balindong Bzar) agreed to create the four confederation of Lanao (Pat a Pangampong a Ranao) composed of the States of Butig (Unayan), Masiu, Bayabao and Baloi, and on the second level, the 15 Royal houses (Panoroganan) and the 28 legislative body (Mbabaya/Pyakambaya ko


Taritib). The socio-political system was based on the Taritib, Ijma, laws, customary laws, and adapted practices of the Maranaos. The Pangampong system was further divided into smaller socio-political units. Within the four states is a total 43 Inged or communities classified into 15 Royal Houses (Panoroganan), and 28 supporting Inged or Legislative Houses called Piyakambaya ko Taritib (Decider of Laws).

The Taritib, an ancient order or law bound together the four states or principalities of Lanao into an alliance or confederation and defined their relationships. There is no central, all powerful authority but every state or principality respected the traditional alliance termed Kangiginawai.

In 1557, the Iranuns and Maranaos accelerated their attacks on the Spaniards. There were frequent naval encounters between them and the Spaniards. In some of them, according to reports, thousands have perished.

In 1637, Sebastean...
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