Diego Silang’s betrayal may have been one of the most talked about part of our rich history but his captivity, as a young messenger, although not as colorful as his betrayal, is another good story that should have been thought in school.
Long before he joined arms with his fellow Ilocanos (and British) against the Spanish Regime, the once young Silang (sometimes Silan), worked as a messenger for a Castillan priest, which was the reason for his frequent travels, either by land or sea ans during a venture by sea, they’ve got shipwrecked, for an unaccounted reason, and was ashore(d) in the Zambales area.Most of his companions drowned, and for those who had made it, like Silang, were held captive by the then vicious and rumored cannibals of the central north, Zambal.
According to rumors, Silang was the only survivor or the ship, where most of the survivors were either killed for no apparent reason or offered to their gods. And rumor has it, they saud that the reason why Silang was spared is because of his unparalleled personality and good nature.
Nonetheless, he was held a hostage for quite sometime, and was placed in the vastness mountains of the Zambales province, until a good friar from Bolinao, Pangasinan heard the news and offered to ransom Silang. The priest exchanged Silang with native cloth, beads, axes, and other gifts, which is commonly called “Sarampuli“.
Silang did not forget this priest and pay his gratitude when he went above and beyond his duty, when he went down to Bolinao, during an uprising against the Spanish Friars, at the height of his power, to protect the priest who had rescued him during his captivity.