Sama impact on the Philippines and the World

Here are some little known facts that the Sama deserve credit for in the Philippines and worldwide.

The name for Zamboanga City

Many would like to deny that Zamboanga City comes from the Sama12.  People are quite proud of their “flowered” city.  Finding out the details of where the name Zamboanga comes from are just as simple as asking an old Sama fisherman.  In Central Sinama the word “Sambuwang” means a large mooring stake.  “Sambuwangan” is a derivative of the word that means a place for mooring.  Zamboanga City, known as Sambuwangan by the Sama people is a place where they have traditionally gone with their boats and interacted with the land dwellers in trading.

The Coming of Islam to mainland Mindanao

The Sama are often counted as the last/lowest of the 14 Filipino Muslim tribes, but it is often neglected that it was the Sama who brought Sharif Kabungswan to the Maguindanaon people on Mindanao island.  This is a well documented detail within the Maguindanaon tarsila as well as in the book, “Studies in Moro History, Law, and Religion” by Najeeb Saleeby (pg. 54)3.

LapuLapu was Sama?

The evidence is not clear enough to claim that LapuLapu was Sama though he very well may have been.  However, we do know from the Aginid (oldest historical work about Cebu) that LapuLapu was an Orang Laut4.  Orang Laut is Malaysian for man of the sea and that his origin is the same location that many say the Sama came from, Borneo.  In Borneo today it is the Indonesian Bajau that are considered, Orang Laut.  It means to say that to think of  LapuLapu as a Cebuano would be a lot further from the truth than to think of him as a Sama.  Culturally LapuLapu was very much like the Sama.

More to come later.   Do you have any input about Sama impact on the Philippines and the World?   We would love to share them here.

10 thoughts on “Sama impact on the Philippines and the World

  1. Linguistic evidence supports that the Tausug are descended from mixed marriage between Sama and a tribe from the Central Philippines (Visayas region). However, the Tausug sarsila has a different story. Islam probably came to the Sama first based off of the mosque that Sheik Makdum built in Simunul.
    (Google Translation to Malaysian)
    Bukti linguistik menyokong bahawa Tausug berasal dari kahwin campur antara Sama dan suku kaum dari Filipina Tengah (Visayas wilayah). Walau bagaimanapun, sarsila Tausug mempunyai cerita yang berbeza. Islam mungkin datang untuk Sama yang pertama berdasarkan masjid bahawa Sheik Makdum dibina di Simunul.

  2. I think the preHispanic Kapampangans were also culturally very much like the Sama. I have a theory that the two thousand strong warriors who were with Tarik Soliman ( Bambalito of Makabebe) at the Battle of Bangkusay are the ancestors of the present day Sama DiLaut.

    1. I am unfamiliar with this part of history, especially in regards to Pampanga. Is Tarik Soliman the same as Rajah Solaiman? I assume that Islam's arrival to Luzon was probably quite similar to its arrival in Sulu and Maguindanao, carried by Sama ships. This would account for the Islamic name and certainly hint at a connection. Please remember that Sama Dilaut and Sama Deya would not be all that different at the time. More likely there was no distinction. The adoption of Islam by Sama people is in my opinion the major factor for why the Sama began building communities connected to the land. Also I have heard it hypothesized by a linguist who works with Tagalog in Batangas that the name for Batangas is very likely connected to the Sama. Current lore says that a Santo Niño floated into the town on a log known by the natives as batang. Batang is the Sama word for log (also the Tausug and Malayu). The Datus of Batangas allegedly came from Borneo.
      May the other tribes of Luzon remember that Sama Dilaut are not foreigners in their land, but their existence there predates the Spaniards. May they have pity on the Sama as Filipino law on land ownership rules against the Sama culture's housing customs.

      1. Tarik Soliman,also called Bambalito of Makabebe is different from Rajah Soliman.Bambalito is the courageous Kapampangan youth who led the last resistance against the Spaniards in the Battle of Bangkusay June 3,1571.Bambalito with his two thousand warriors in forty boats were overpowered by the superior fire power of the enemy.After their leader was felled by a Spanish canon the rest of the warrriors fled and dissappeared(?)into the haze of history and the whole of Pampanga was vanquished.Before the Battle of Bangkusay.Rajah Soliman,Rajah Lakandula and Rajah Matanda have all ready decided to welcome the Spaniards in friendship.Bambalito resisted saying that he would rather have the lightning strike him dead and the sun cut him in half and his wives abandon him if he as much as one moment befriend the Spaniards.My hypothesis is that the followers of Bambalito,having the same point of view, would escape to the open seas with all their wives and children and opt for a free and peaceful nomadic lifestyle rather then remain in Kapampangan shores as ” friends ” of the Spaniards.They became the People of the Seas ( Sama DiLaut ) who for centuries continued the resistance of Bambalito and preserved the Maharlikan culture of freedom at the expense of being regarded as cowards,vomit and God forsaken.By the banks of the historic Parua River in the” City of World Peace ” of Mabalacat Pampanga a community of Sama DiLaut are safely harbored where they can organized to gain a voice that can be heard throughout this land that rules against their customs and culture that predates its conquest by foreign invaders.

  3. To avoid confusion I have to clarify that I sometimes post with my pen name ” ysagani ybarra “. Sigfried T, Ranada

    1. Undocumented people in the island communities in Sabah called themselves Ubian. And the word Bajao is even missing. Just came back from my fieldwork and was totally lost with names of groups or their ethnic affiliations. At first they do not want even to call themselves by any other name except being ‘orang Islam’. My guess is that it is more politically correct to say so rather than identifying themselves with a particular group/tribe.

      1. Thanks for your comment here Linda. Things seem more clear on the Philippines side than Malaysia side as far as identifying groups. There are two Ubian islands in the Philippines. The Sama Ubian in Malaysia are originally from South Ubian in Tawi-Tawi. I’ve had Ubian ask me about this and not know about the island since they were raised in Malaysia. I had a linguist who worked for some time in Malaysia act surprised to hear that Ubian are related to the Bajau. Actually their language is classified as Southern Sinama, but it certainly has a distinctness to it. My wife has a little Sama Ubian blood on her father’s side. Relatives in Malaysia have therefore helped with migration towards Malaysia. The wikipedia article on Bajau as I first read it did not recognize that the names of different Bajau groups were all related to islands. I had to add that information. If you have any questions regarding your fieldwork, it would be a pleasure to try and help.

Ai tapah'llingbi pasal itu?