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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Chinese Pirate Who Dreamed Of Conquering The Philippines

Chinese pirate,  Limahong, Philippines

News about the occupation of Chinese navy ships in the disputed Kalayaan Group of Islands is alarming for many Filipinos. Let's go back half a millennium ago during the early years of Spanish colonization of Philippines.

There are a Chinese warlord and pirate named Limahong who actually planned to conquer the Philippines.

It is a little-known fact that a pirate and warlord attempted to grab the power from the Spaniards and eventually annexing the territories as his own. Limahong is a notorious Chinese pirate who acquired power by defeating other pirates and stealing ships from the Imperial Chinese Navy during the mid 16th Century.

Once he gained enough armaments and firepower from his exploits in the South China Sea he set his eyes to the Philippine archipelago especially in the Northern parts of Luzon. Along with his motley ragtag crew consisting of criminals, pirates, and other undesirable elements of the society he attempted to besiege Manila for two times, both ended up with tragic losses.

While his attempt to conquer Manila was a failure, he succeeded in establishing territories in Pangasinan and Lingayen Gulf. He boasted about his exploit to the locals about defeating the oppressive Spaniards and he is now the rightful ruler of Luzon. Along with his crew, they terrorized local villages and coerced people to give them tributes and offerings that caused starvation among the locals.

Chinese pirate,  Limahong, Philippines, Pirate ship
Credits: Zolima CityMag

His reign of terror came to an end when the joint forces of Spanish and Filipino navy and army men came to Pangasinan and managed to drive Limahong and his crew back to their territories out of the Philippine seas. Limahong suffered a crushing defeat and resided on Guandong, China.

Limahong may not be as famous as other notable pirates, he still left an indelible mark in our country's history.

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