Datu Bambalito (1550 – 1571)
On 1565, the Spanish empire returned to the archipelago under the rule of King Philip II, led by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. He landed on the Visayan region and quickly befriended and made a blood compact (an ancient ritual to seal brotherhood) with a few chieftains of the Visayan region. Miguel Lopez de Legazpi heard of the existence of a prosperous Kingdom in Luzon, he then proceed to set sail into Manila Bay on May 8th1570. With some resistance from the warriors of Tondo but eventually welcomed by the natives. Legazpi focus on forming an alliance with some chieftains of Luzon. One resisted, his name is Bambalito, a 16th century Kapampangan Datu, the young brave warrior of Macabebe. He organized more than 2000 warriors from Pampanga and other villages to sail with their caracoas (war ship) to Tondo to oppose the Spanish empire.
The Battle of Bangkusay
Datu Bambalito and his warriors encountered the Spaniards at the Bangkusay channels on June 3, 1571 that is know as the “The Battle of Bangkusay”. Bambalito and the brave warriors of Macabebe fought courageously but the firepower of the Spaniard was overwhelming and the young leader died from a rifle shot from the enemy. Once the brave leader lay dead the others scattered and fled. The Spanish empire proceeded with the conquest of the rest of Luzon. Bambalito’s bravery, leadership and sacrifice should never be forgotten and should serve as an inspiration to our Kasaysayan (histoy).