UP Press 2006
Two days later, Governor Sebastian Torres and his fleet sailed back to the port of New Samboangan Community from Punta Pana. A very huge welcome and celebration awaited them. Since it was Christmas Eve, a lucky day! A grand double feast was celebrated: Christmas Eve and a consecrated Mass for the victory against the notorious Moro Pirate Jainal. Also the rector of Tandapit Jesuit Residencia, Father Serra, offered a Noche Buena Mass. He had come for such purpose, sailing from his Jesuit Residencia over 100 kms. North to the Fort, as the crow flies. Assisting him was no other than Father Cochea, the chaplain of the Fort Nuestra Señora dela Immaculada Concepcion and the parish priest of New Samboangan Settlement.
But the festivities’ grand and ostentatious point was the hanging of half a dozen chieftains of Jainal the Pirate, for a day before, gibbets had been built and raised all along the road leading to the Fort. Brought alive, and kicking, so to say, to the Fort, the half-dozen chieftains were hanged before the Subanons and Lutaos of the New Samboangan Community. “Let these hangings serve as an example,” Governor Torres told the new settlers, who had been brought to the pueblo’s new settlement either peacefully or by force. “Look: this is what happens to Moro pirates and infidels, who dared the might of Spain and the King.”
Then they gathered the new settlers, Subanons and Lutaos, before the Fort itself, and when everyone was there, the Spanish themselves raised a along wooden pole. On one end was exhibited the decapitated head of the Pirate Jainal, which had already begun to rot during the two-, three-day trip from Punta Pana to the New Samboangan Community. For Governor Torres and Father Cochea were delayed returning to the Samboangan port, since they had to look after the suffering and besieged inhabitants of the stricken sitios and barrios plundered by the demised Datu Jainal.
The following day, exposed to the tropical sun, the uncovered severed head at the end of the pole disintegrated faster and more rapidly. An unbearable, foul smell of rotting flesh polluted the air of the Fort and round the whole plaza, hanging like a mantle over the Samboangan Settlement of the Indios (what all islanders were called by the Spaniards).
And the rest of the week, folks said, that slowly, slowly, the carnivorous birds of the marshland nitpicked piece by piece, morsel by morsel, the rotting, putrefied head of Jainal the Pirate. First the carnivorous birds gorged the eyes, the nose, the ears, and then the loose, rotten flesh round the blackish cheeks. At last, they pecked the skull dry of its hair and scalp. These carnivore birds were already forgotten by Subanon and Lutao natives here, for the
Carnivorous birds were seldom seen, if at all, since they flew only on moonless nights. The horrible birds lived in the marshland, north of the fort, less than half a kilometer away, and indeed gone and forgotten until they reappeared again at the hangings. What the natives knew was that the carnivorous birds had lived there in the marshland long, long before the arrival of the Spaniards in 1521 A.D. _________
Ramirovill cor, Macanhan UCCP Church
Macanhan, Cagayan de Oro City