Today in Philippine History, January 3, 1749, Sultan Alim Ud Din, arrived in Manila to convert to Christian faith

Friday December 14, 2012 ()

Sulu boat

On January 3, 1749, Sultan Alim Ud Din, arrived in Manila from Zamboanga who was received with all the honor due to a Prince. A house of entertainment of 70 persons were prepared in Binondo. Triumphal arches were erected across the streets which were lined with over 2000 native militia under arms. The Sultan was received publicly in the hall of the Audencia where the governor promised to lay his case before the King.

Earlier, Alim ud Din, with his family and several escorts, came to Zamboanga, seeking the aid of the Spanish against his brother. Sultan Alim Ud Din was not a strong man. His power over the subordinate Datos was small, and in 1748 his brother, Bantilan, usurped his place and was proclaimed Sultan of Jolo.

Today in Philippine History, January 3, 1749, Sultan Alim Ud Din, arrived in Manila to convert to Christian faith

Following the reception, steps were taken for his conversion. His spiritual advisers cited to him the example of the Emperor Constantine whose conversion enabled him to effect conquest over his enemies. Under these representation, Alim Ud Din expressed his desire for baptism.

The Governor-general, Fray Juan Arrechederra, who at the time was a priest, the bishop of Nueva Segovia (Vigan), was very anxious that the rites should take place. However, his spiritual superior, the archbishop of Manila, who along with some others entertained doubts as to the sincerity of the Sultan's profession.

The Governor-general sent for the Sultan and on April 20, 1750, the solemn ceremony took place in Paniqui.

On his return to Manila, the Sultan was again received with great honor, games were held, theatrical representations, fire-works and bull-fights. This was the high-water mark of the Sultan's popularity.

Meanwhile, Bantilan drove away the Spaniards in Jolo, and the fleet of the Moros again ravaged the Visayas.

In July 1750, the new governor, Jose Francisco de Obando y Solis, arrived who was determined to restore Alim Ud Dim and suppress the Moro piracy. An expedition set sail, with Sultan Alim Ud Dim on board and went on as far as Zamboanga but accomplished nothing. Here the conduct of the sultan served to confirm the doubts of the Spaniards as to the sincerity of his friendship.

He was arrested and imprisoned in Fort Santiago who suffered various treatments. He remained there until 1763 when he was returned to Jolo by the British.

Reference:
History of the Philippines, Page 200-202, David P. Barrows, New York, 1925.


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