Monday, March 14, 2016

Filipinas in History

6:21 AM

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Whether she’s the product of myth or history, Princess Urduja still rocks.

In celebration of Women's History Month, The Thing is releasing a series on heroines in Philippine history. For the next few weeks, we'll be posting the profiles of prominent female figures who played crucial roles in serving the nation yet are rarely spoken of. Join us as we honor these women by giving them the moment of fame that they truly deserve!

Princess Urduja slips into our lives the same way she slipped into history: hella mysteriously.  Muslim traveler Ibn Battuta’s account of his 14th century travels is the first and only time she appears in written history – the woman ruler of Tawalisi, now possibly Pangasinan (or Cebu or even Cambodia).

Her story told today goes something like this: Angry at her brother’s cowardice to become king in the face of war, Princess Urduja stepped up to become the kingdom’s warrior queen.

Urduja was strong, taking to the battlefield with other kalakian, women who fought just like men. She ruled alone all her life, refusing to marry anyone who couldn’t defeat her in battle. And speaking to foreign traders after learning their tongues, she learned about the world beyond their shores and declared she wanted to extend her empire beyond them.

It’s the stuff of legend, with not much to back her up aside from Battuta’s now-disproven account and oral tradition from Ibaloi tribes. But that hasn’t stopped Filipinos from remembering and admiring her – naming buildings after her, creating countless artworks in her image, passing her story down from generation to generation.

Urduja and her empire may not have existed back then, but who’s to say she doesn’t live now?

You can learn more about Urduja here.


If you want us to feature a fearless historical Filipina, hit us up at with your suggestion, as well as a short description saying why she should be on the site.

Article by PaCho
Collages by Sean 
Illustration by Elle
PaCho is the nickname of a full-time fangirl who has the extraordinary ability of being able to cry at any given opportunity. Sometimes instead of crying, she complains about the government, goes on some trips, takes some okay photos, and writes stuff.


Sean is a 15-year-old muggle-born who is proud to say that he is perfectly abnormal, thank you very much. Peculiar in many ways, he is a far cry from that common stereotyped teenager.  He has a great passion for art, and would love to do nothing more than making collages and other creative thingamajigs. 

Elle is a 17-year old aspiring doctor who somehow found herself at art school. She loves rap music and bunnies. She still hasn't grown out of her otaku stage (which started all the way back in elementary school, thank you very much).


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