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       |- The story of Urduja of Pangasinan..

           truth or hoax?
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Mar 04, 2008 11:19 am    
miguel_arcangel

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Princess Urduja ancient accounts say, was a 14th century woman ruler of the dynastic Kingdom of Tawalisi in Pangasinan, a vast area lying by the shores of the Lingayen Gulf and the China Sea. Pangasinan was an important kingdom then, and the sovereign was equal to the King of China. Known far and wide, Princess Urduja was famous for leading a retinue of woman warriors who were skilled fighters and equestrians. They developed a high art of warfare to preserve their political state. "These womenfolk took to the battlefields because the male population was depleted by the series of wars which came with the rise and prominence of the Shri-Visayan Empire in the sixth to the 13th centuries," the accounts said. Strong and masculine physique, they were called kinalakian or Amazons.

The saga of this unique princess was the stuff of legend. Parents and teachers tell her story like they would a fairytale, or the biography of Gabriela Silang, an 18th-century revolutionary, or Tandang Sora, a granny who fed members of the Katipunan.

The legend of Princess Urduja can be attributed to the famous story of Mohammedan traveler, Ibn Batuta of India. In 1347 he was a passenger on a Chinese junk, which has just come from the port of Kakula, north of Java and Sumatra and passed by Pangasinan on the way to Canton, China.
Urduja, who had a particular fascination for the renowed "Pepper Country"--pepper being considered black gold then--was quoted by Batuta as saying, "I must positively go to war with that country, and get possession of it, for its great wealth and great forces attract me."

For a time, feminists tried to revive the Urduja story but were discouraged to learn that Batuta's account of the voyage to Tawalisi was labeled as either an intrigue or a fantasy. Scholars, considering the story absurd, declared Urduja a myth.

The Philippines' national hero Dr. Jose Rizal, in Dr. Austin Craig's 1916 paper
"Particulars of the Philippines' Pre-Spanish Past" was quoted as saying in one of his letters: "While I may have doubts regarding the accuracy of Ibn Batuta's details, I still beleive in the voyage to Tawalisi". He went as far as to calculate the distance and time of travel from the port of Kakula. Rizal's commentary was triggered by a scholar, Sir Henry Yule, who wrote in his time that: "Tawalisi may be found only in a Gulliver geography."

Today, years after scholars have passionately debated whether the 14th-century heroine is a product of mythology or history, Princess Urduja continues to fascinate Filipinos. In Pangasinan, the Governor's office building in the coastal town of Lingayen is called the Urduja Palace. So is a hotel along the highway.

Urduja's name still has great resonance among the Ibaloi, one of the major ethnolinguistic tribes in the Cordillera region. Dr. Morr Tadeo Pungayan, a respected scholar of Ibaloi culture and professor at the St. Louis University of Baguio City, said, "Linguistically, Urduja is Deboxah (pronounced Debuca) in Ibaloi. We've always had a woman named Deboxah from time immemorial among the genrations of Ibaloi. The name usually describes a woman of strong quality and character who's nobly descended. That name is an Ibaloi name. That's why Ibaloi trace their ancestry from Urduja".

The Cordillera tribes, also known collectively as Igorots, pride themselves as being the only ethnic group that doesn't talk about the origin of man according to Spanish chronicles. Among the tribes, genealogy and family history are orally passed history. The Ibaloi, just like other highland tribes, could easily trace their ancestry. This is ensured by their custom of naming newborns after ancestors to help keep their memory alive and evoke affection and protection.

"No Ibaloi will bear the name of an ancestor unless she's related," Dr. Pungayan explained. While the Bontoc tribe bestows the name of an ancestor to a grandchild, the Ibaloi style is namesaking the great-grandchild, he added.

A book on the history of Benguet province, written by Anavic Bagamasbad and Zenaida Hamada-Pawid, shows the Benguet genealogy tracing tribal family lines from the year 1380 to 1899. The book says, "The extent of inter-settlement alliances is climaxed in the memory of Tublay informants with the reign of Deboxah, Princess Urduja, in Pinga. She's acknowledged as the granddaughter of Udayan, an outstanding warrior of Darew. Her death signaled continuous decline of kinship and alliance between highland and lowland settlements."

The Darew mountain range is remembered as the earliest settlement in the mining town of Tublay. The close relations between the Cordilleras and Lingayen are well-accounted for in Batuta's chronicle. It said that the Kingdom of Tawalisi was very extensive, including the vast areas up to the fringes of the Benguet mountains and the Cordillera ranges in the east of Luzon.
Th ruler, Batuta further said,"possesses numerous junks with which he makes war upon the Chinese until they sue for peace and consent to grant him certain concessions."

Despite recent research, however, most academicians remain cold to oral history, saying that such accounts still have to pass through stringent rigors of scholarship.

Today, some historians consider the issue of Urduja's historicity as closed. Compounding the issue is the lack of archaelogical evidence on the existence of the Shri-Visayan Empire. In fact, other aspects of Philippine history are being doubted,too, especially since the late William Henry Scott, an American historian in the Cordillera, proved that the so-called pre-Hispanic laws--the Kalantiaw and Maragtas Codes--were faked or invented by psuedo historians who only wanted fame or riches for themselves.

Dr. Jaime Veneracion, the University of the Philippines head of history department, said that the old Chinese scripts which may have chronicled Urduja's kingdom have remained inaccessible for their archaic language and calligraphy.

But history buffs like writer Ed Reyes remain undaunted. He says: "The researchers aren't conclusive, given the fact that the Philippine history has only been covered in writing for the last 500 years".

http://www.urduja.com/princess.html
Mar 04, 2008 07:53 pm    
nell_

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Lupit pala nitong babae na ito. alam ko may anime nito.

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Mar 04, 2008 07:59 pm   Edited : Mar 04, 2008 08:04 pm    
esoteric08

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heto pa additional info...

1400 C.E.), is a legendary warrior-princess who is recognized as a heroine in Pangasinan. A historical reference to Urduja can be found in the travel account of Ibn Battuta (1304 - possibly 1368 or 1377 C.E.), a Muslim traveler from Morocco. Ibn Battuta described Urduja as the ruler of Kaylukari in the land of Tawalisi. Ibn Battuta stopped by Tawalisi, which is believed to be around the Pangasinan coastal town of Lingayen, on his way to China. Princess Urduja was described as a daughter of a king named Tawalisi of a land that was also called Tawalisi. The ruler of Tawalisi, according to Ibn Battuta, possessed many ships and was a rival of China, which was then ruled by a Mongol dynasty. Ibn Battuta sailed for 17 days to reach China from the land of Tawalisi.

Ibn Battuta made a pilgrimage to Mecca and he traveled to many other parts of the Islamic world. From India and Sumatra, Ibn Battuta reached the land of Tawalisi. Ibn Battuta described Princess Urduja as a warrior princess whose army was composed of men and women. Princess Urduja was a woman warrior who personally took part in the fighting and engaged in duels with other warriors. She was quoted as saying that she will marry no one but him who fights and defeats her in a duel. Other warriors avoided fighting with her for fear of being disgraced.

Princess Urduja impressed Ibn Battuta with her military exploits and her ambition to lead an expedition to India, known to her as the "Pepper Country." But, Princess Urduja also showed her hospitality by preparing a banquet for Ibn Battuta and the crew of his ship. Princess Urduja generously provided Ibn Battuta with gifts that included robes, rice, two buffaloes, and four large jars of ginger, pepper, lemons, and mangoes, all salted, in preparation for Ibn Battuta's sea-voyage to China.

Jose Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines who was also a respected scholar, speculated that the land of Tawalisi was in the area of the northern part of the Philippines, based on his calculation of the time and distance of travel Ibn Battuta took to sail to China from Tawalisi. In 1916, Austin Craig, a historian of the University of the Philippines, in "The Particulars of the Philippines Pre-Spanish Past," traced the land of Tawalisi and Princess Urduja to Pangasinan. Philippine school textbooks have included Princess Urduja in the list of great Filipinos. In the province of Pangasinan, the capitol building in Lingayen is named "Urduja Palace." A statue of Princess Urduja stands at the Hundred Islands National Park in Pangasinan.

The description of Princess Urduja's gifts of rice, buffaloes, ginger, pepper, lemons, mangoes, and salt fits Pangasinan perfectly because of the abundance of those products in Pangasinan. The Pangasinan people and the closely related Ibaloi people also have an oral tradition of a woman warrior who once ruled an ancient kingdom or an alliance of lowland and highland settlements in Pangasinan and the neighboring province of Benguet. Ibn Battuta also mentioned that Urduja had some knowledge of Turkish. During the time of Ibn Battuta period, the influence of the Turkish Ottoman Empire was on the rise.

Ibn Batutta's travel account suggests that he also saw elephants in the land ruled by Urduja. Elephants can still be found in Borneo, and may have been present or traded in Pangasinan in earlier times. Ancient Malayo-Polynesian sailing vessels, like the ones used by the ancient Bugis and those depicted in the Borobudur bas-reliefs, were capable of transporting heavy cargoes, including elephants. There are depictions of such ancient ships in maritime Southeast Asia transporting several elephants for trade.

may animated film nga to The film is set for release in 2008. It will star Regine Velasquez (in the lead role of Princess Urduja), Cesar Montano, Eddie Garcia, Johnny Delgado, Michael V. and Allan K. as voice actors.

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Mar 04, 2008 08:51 pm    
bokya

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meron pala nito galing naman
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Mar 04, 2008 09:09 pm    
war_ren_05

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Well, ako rin, hindi pa sigurado kung paniniwalaan kong totoo si Prinsesa Urduja o hindi. Last sem pa, actually, nang may ipabasa ring articles sa kaibigan ko yung prof nila concerning this very same controversy. But I do hope she did exist. Sobrang maipagmamalaki natin siya.

I think the feminists would agree.

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Mar 04, 2008 10:53 pm    
takyo

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bigla tuloy ako na-curious kung myth lang ba talaga si Princess Urduja.. sikat din kasi maski sa foreign historians si Princess Urduja kasi nga magaling na warrior..

sige hanap ako ng ibang sources..
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Mar 05, 2008 12:16 am    
Erion_24

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hehe ngayon ko lang narinig to, parang sarap tuloy adventure sa gento. mala national treasure
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Mar 05, 2008 12:19 am    
mamoosh

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Unless proven, it is still considered a myth or urban legend.

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Mar 05, 2008 06:45 am    
benedict1023

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ngaun ko lang narinig na may ganito.. d ata to tinuro sa history class nmin.
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Mar 07, 2008 02:38 pm    
miguel_arcangel

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nung debate class namin sa history ko nalaman ito.. pero wala kasi matibay na manifesto na magba-backup sa claim na may urduja nga..
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Apr 12, 2008 07:03 am    
tokwa

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bakit hindi nakasuat sa history natin ito baka naman peke

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Apr 17, 2008 03:59 pm    
iReflect

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...gusto ko ngang panoorin tong anime film nito eh..

I'm wonderin' kung sa kanya ba ipinangalan ang Urdaneta, Pangasinan? Obvious ba?

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Apr 17, 2008 04:08 pm    
musicz6969

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na curious tuloy ako..trip ko tuloy panuorin yung anime movie

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May 01, 2008 03:35 pm    
gianpru

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ipapalabas ito sa sine. animation nga lang.
we should watch this.

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May 01, 2008 03:54 pm    
zaltik

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so yung anime na ipapalabas sa june eh dito nila binase sa story of urduja... actually ngayon ko lang ito nalaman, so kung hindi tinuro ito sa history class noong elementary and HS, hindi ito totoo...

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