They were known in history as brutal savages, fearless slave raiders and above all - pirates. Hailing from the Sulu Sea region in the Southern regions of the Philippines, the Ilanun, Balangingi Samal & Taosug tribes raided and plundered settlements in the Philippines, Borneo, Java, the Straits of Malacca and all over South East Asia in the search for human cargo to feed the growing demands of the slave trade in the 16th to 19th century.
They wielded deadly weapons, were well organized and built formidable fast warships that ran circles around the bigger and heavier Western ships. These men, either sanctioned by their respective Sultanates or their own tribal leaders, defied colonial occupation and rule, instigating a wave of terror throughout the archipelago for more than 300 years.
But there is evidence that they were not merely the savages they were made out to be. Some historians have argued that these were indigenous people merely defending their way of life from the conquering colonial forces. Others have said that we need to put this violence and slave raids into the proper perspective.
This is a story of men who clung fiercely to their faith, eluding a technologically superior foe. It is also a story of how these men who lived by the sword, eventually died by it.
So were they pirates and barbarians? Or warriors and freedom fighters? Discover the truth behind the Raiders of the Sulu Sea, and judge for yourself.
Episodes : 1
Runtime : 60 mins
Definition : HD
Production Company : An Oak3 Films production in association with the Joongang Broadcasting Corporation
YOP : 2008
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