They also had the Sultanate of Sulu which for all intents and purposes was already a much higher form of government than our barangay system at the time.
Unlike our barangays which were small and governed independently of each other, the Sultanate encompassed areas beyond the island and nearby islands of Sulu and includes practically the southern half of Mindanao, Palawan and a chunk of Borneo.
It was because unlike the powerless barangay heads in the Visayas and Luzon, the Sultan of Sulu could easily muster in a short time a strong force by the thousands to resist the invading Spaniards when needed.
Saleeby in his book, History of Sulu, wrote: "The sixth sultan was Mohammedul Halim Pangiran Buddiman.
"This invasion marked the beginning of a state of war between Sulu and Spain, which covered a period of three hundred years and caused considerable devastation and loss of life .
There is no doubt that, besides the reasons Sande gave for the expedition to Borneo, he was really actuated by jealousy of the Portuguese, whose influence had reached Bruney and the Moluccas, and by a strong desire to conquer Borneo, Sulu, Mindanao, and the Moluccas."