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Legend of the Ten Bornean Datus

The legend says that in the 13th century, 10 datus or chieftains from Borneo
left their land together with their families and friends to escape the cruelty
and injustice of Sultan Makatunaw, the ruler of Borneo. The ten datus were:
Datu Puti (the leader), Datu Bangkaya, Datu Dumalugdog, Datu Sumakwel,
Datu Lubay, Datu Paiburong, Datu Dumangsil, Datu Balensusa, Datu Paduhinog
and Datu Dumangsol. They sailed on their balangays (vintas or boats) without
knowing where to go. Finally they reached Panay Island. They bought the
island from the chieftain of the Atis or Aetas who were then occupying the
island. The chieftain's name was Marikudo and his wife was Maniwantiwan.
Three of the datus decided not to settle in Panay but to sail northward. The
three were: Datu Puti, Datu Balensusa and Datu Dumangsil. They settled in
some parts of Luzon. When Sultan Makatunaw was no longer in power, Datu
Puti returned to Borneo. The seven datus who stayed in Panay divided the
island into three areas: Hamtik (now Antique), Irong-Irong (now Iloilo), and
Aklan (now Aklan and Capiz). Hamtik was under Datu Sumakwel, Irong-Irong
was under Datu Paiburong, and Aklan was under Datu Balangkaya.

The story of the buying of Panay by ten datus coming from Borneo is told in
the Maragtas, a legendary account about the pre-Spanish Panay Island. This
narrative tells us that about A.D. 1250, at about the time Malaysia and
Indonesia were dominated by the Hindu-Malay Empire of Sri-Vijaya, a cruel
sultan named Makatunaw ruled Borneo–or perhaps part of it. Because he was
cruel, ten of his datus decided to leave Borneo and seek their freedom and
fortune beyond the sea.

The Ten Datus were:

#1. Datu Puti (the leader)

#2. Datu Balensusa

#3. Datu Bangkaya

#4. Datu Dumalugdog

#5. Datu Dumangsil

#6. Datu Dumangsol

#7. Datu Lubay

#8. Datu Panduhinog

#9. Datu Paliburong

#10. Datu Sumakwel

One dark night after loading on boats their families, warriors, slaves, and
supplies, they secretly left in their balangays (boats) without a specific
destination in mind. After sailing north for many days, they reached the
southern tip of Panay Island. They landed at the mouth of the Sirwagan
River there, near the present town of San Joaquin in Iloilo. From there they
proceeded to Lake Andona where they met an Ati fisherman. This man led
them to the Negrito village of Sinugbuhan and was introduced to the local
ruler, King Marikudo and his queen, Maniwantiwan. Datu Puti addressed them
and said they came as friends and would like to buy land.

Marikudo consulted his wife and the elders of his kingdom and agreed to sell
some land to them. The purchase price consisted of a gold salakot (a native
helmet) for Marikudo and a long gold sumangyad (necklace) for
Maniwantiwan. The sale was sealed by a pact of friendship and merry
feasting. After that, Marikudo and his people bade farewell to the Borneans
and went into the hills.

Seven of the ten datus settled in Panay. The three others–Balensusa,

Dumangsil and Puti sailed farther north and reached Lake Taal, in present-
day Batangas province. Impressed by the fertility and scenic beauty of the
area, Balensusa and Dumangsil settled there. Datu Puti, however, returned to
Borneo. He told the Borneans about his exciting adventures in the islands of
the north.

Datu Puti

is the supposed leader of theten Bornean datus who sailed to Panay to

escapefrom the tyrannical rule of Datu Makatunaw. Under his command, they
reached Siwaragan (now SanJoaquin),Iloilo. Since he was the most powerful
of the ten, it was agreed that he would returnto Borneo immediately to
challenge the Makatunaw, leaving Datu Sumakwelas the newleader of the
group. Legend says that from the dayof Puti's departure, nothing was ever
heard of him again. Datu Puti is a condiment brand owned by Nutri-Asia, Inc.
(formerly known as Southeast Asia Foods, Inc.). Datu Puti was first
introduced as a vinegar product in 1975 by Hernan Reyes. Eventually, soy
sauce and fish sauce under the Datu Puti brand were introduced in the
1990s.[1] An oyster sauce product was also introduced.[2]


Datu Puti is a combination of the surname of Reyes' mother (Dátu), and the
Filipino translation of the color white ("puti"), which is a primary color of the
traditional palm or sukang paombong. The logo used for the brand features
the image of a datu.

The Mukhasim (a portmanteau of Filipino words mukha; lit. face, and asim;

lit. sour) marketing campaign was instrumental to the brand's recognition.
The campaign was launched in the early 1980s which featured the comedian
Conrado "Pugak" Piring, making a facial expression of having consumed
something sour, dubbed as the "mukhasim" face.