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  Initial Resistance
and First Conversions

After his success in driving away Tayfusu and his men, Carrion thought that the natives has been awed and cowed by the power of the white men and would therefore cower before them. But he did not reckon with Guiyab of Camalaniugan, the Tuliao brothers of Tular, and Siriban of Pata. Without guns but with no want of guts these local chiefs rallied their fellows to confront with nothing but the duppil, the saffuring, the vutug and the dukkial the white men whom they considered as interlopers and intruders. The tenacity of their resistance made them stand out in the eyes of the Spaniards as the fiercest and most bellicose among all the natives of the islands. When the superiority of weaponry had titled the balance in favor of the Spaniards, the native chieftains either moved their line of defense to the mountains or went upstream to seek alliance with other chiefs.

Harassment of the Spanish forces continued unabated, although sporadic. Even the missionaries were openly made to feel that they were not welcome. Again and again the natives would ask them this question: "When are you, white men, going to leave us in peace?" To which the missionaries would reply: "As long as there is water in your great river, we are going to stay."

In God's good time, the zeal and patience of the friars prevailed over the hostility and indifference of the natives. Siriban and a number of his henchmen received the waters of Christian baptism from the hands of Fray Diego de Soria in the church of Lallo. And as children of Cagayan started to experience peace under the shadow of the Cross, they also gradually learned to appreciate the shelter of the Spanish flag that waved unfurled next to the Cross. Verily, as some Chinese mandarins used to say: "The missionary was the needle that introduced the thread of western colonizers."


from Vignettes About Cagayan and the Cagayanos
by Msgr. Domingo Mallo-Peņaflor



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