Not long before the Spanish arrived in the Philippines, around the year 1500, the Sultanate of Brunei (or the Bruneian Empire) attacked the major trade hub of Kingdom of Tondo on Luzon Island.
At the time of the attack, the Bruneian Empire was under the control of the 5th Sultan, Bolkiah, who ruled the Sultanate between 1485 and 1525. His reign arguably marked the golden age of the Islamic empire as Bolkiah oversaw the growth of Brunei into a superpower that spread across the Malay archipelago.
Bolkiah was known for regularly travelling abroad in a bid to gain new ideas and knowledge that could help him develop his country. However, it was in 1500 when he decided to travel over to the Kingdom of Tondo as he sought to spread his influence that he really began to make significant gains.
Shortly after arriving in Tondo, Bolkiah defeated its leader Rajah Suko and established a city by the name of Selurong (later known as Maynila and the future capital of the Philippines) on the opposite bank of the Pasig River. After the Sultan’s victory in Tondo, the traditional Rajahes (known as the Lakandula) retained their titles and property but their powers were lost to the House of Soliman, within which the Rajahs of Manila resided.
As a result of this victory, Brunei had control over Borneo and the western shores of the Philippines for more than one thousand years, only really beginning to lose its hold in the 18th Century.
"Attack of the Bruneian Empire". HistoryLearning.com. 2023. Web.