On October 23, 1417, the "king of the eastern country," Paduka Batara was buried in Dezhou, Shandong Province, China. Paduka Batara, along with two other kings, Maharajah Kolamating of the "west country" and Paduka Prabhu, the "Cave King", registered in Ming China as a tribute mission from Sulu in 1417.
This year (2017) will be the 600th year since the mission of Paduka Batara to China. To commemorate, three balangay boats were built and launched from Sulu to go to China, tracing the same route once taken by Paduka Batara. While it can be seen as friendly reminder of Filipino-Chinese relations, one may wonder why a Philippine "king" like him would bother going to a tribute mission to China? It is known that the Chinese tributary system involved China being the "Middle Kingdom" or the center of the world, with the rest of the states as subordinates. While the Chinese did not regard them as colonies, and did not administer them directly, they have become planets which gravitated and began revolving around the Chinese sun. In a way, however, is it perhaps symbolic of the Filipino kowtow (bowing down) to Chinese supremacy?
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