|Born|| Pedro Javier Cuevas |
May 6, 1845
Cavite, Spanish East Indies
|Died|| July 16, 1904 |
Lamitan, Philippine Commonwealth
|Burial||Lamitan, Philippine Commonwealth|
At the age of 27, he was sentenced to death along with his two friends for their anti-Spanish militancy during the Cavite Uprising of 1872. He was involved with the death of several Spanish officers. He was set to a penal farm known as the San Ramon Penal Farm in Zamboanga, where he tought his inmates how to successfully revolt. With a raid against the farm, led by both the Royal Sulu Army, as well as independant Moro militants from the Sulu Archipelago, Cuevas fled to modern-day Basilan aboard a vinta commandeered by a prominent Yakan chief sent by the Sultan of Sulu. Word got to the Sultan of Sulu about the rebellious Cuevas, in which the Sultan sent a force to rescue him, seeing him as a viable asset in his war against the Spanish army.
In 1885, Pedro had gained the respect of the Sulu natives. Sultan Ali Ud-din of Sulu granted him the title "Datu Kalun", as he united more than 25 villages for the Sultan, helping in raids against the Spanish garrisons and settlements in the Sulu Archipelago, as well as the Zamboanga Peninsula. Datu Djulkanayin, a well-respected war leader from Jolo, challenged Datu Kalun to a duel. Though Datu Kalun lost the duel and sustained some injuries, he conceded to Datu Djulkanayin in building a joint-force of resistance against the Spanish Empire during the waning days of the Great War in Mindanao and Sulu.
During the American occupation, Datu Kalun collaborated with American soldiers in flushing out the rest of Spanish forces in the southern Philippines, and made one last trip to his Cavite home in 1900. He also visited Datu Piang, a prominent Maguindanaon-Chinese datu in Cotabato - the father of the national hero Gumbay Piang. The U.S. Armed Forces offered him a leadership position within the Moro Battalions, a native unit of the U.S. Armed Forces consisting of native fighters from Muslim Mindanao. However, he politely rejected the offer, choosing to live a quiet life in Basilan, the position was instead taken up by Datu Piang. Datu Kalun died in 1904.
Datu Kalun was a polyglot, and fluent in his native Tagalog language, as well as Spanish, Chavacano and later eventually picked up on Arabic, English, Malay and some functional phrases of Yakan and Tausūg.