I never heard about Salipada Pendatun, until I visited Buluan, Maguindanao last month. I chanced upon a hanging tarpaulin at a trade exhibit when I first learned about this Filipino hero. I would say I’m impressed after reading a short biography of Pendatun.
This former senator was called a man of “many firsts”.
1. He led a a combined Muslim Christian-American guerilla army. The Philippine-American military surrendered to the Japanese Imperial Army, but few factions continue to fight the occupiers, and Pendatun was one of those.
2. The first Filipino Muslim to be married in a Catholic church, but still remained a Muslim.
3. The first Maguindanaoan to be elected as senator, he served two terms. He also was a Speaker Pro-Tempore of the House of Representatives of the Philippines (1962–1967).
4. He was a descendant of the first sultan of Maguindanao who reigned from 1520 to 1543.
5. Pendatun was born in Cotabato. He died in Quezon City. His body was buried in Buluan, Maguindanao.