On Datu Ali's Trail (continued)


The Cotabato Basin of Mindanao in the early 1900's

Malabang - Principal American camp and port for southern Mindanao.

Parang - American sub post and terminus of the undersea cable from Zamboanga.

Davao - Few Moros, mostly huge, corporate-owned plantations with pagan tribes living in the surrounding forests.

Mt. Apo - At 9,692 feet (2,954 meters), the highest mountain in the Philippine islands. Together with surrounding mountain range and few trails formed a physical barrier between the Gulf of Davao and the Cotabato Basin.

Cotabato - Principal city and commercial port for central Mindanao. Four miles upriver from the Moro Gulf.

Dulawan - the home of Datu Piang (renamed in his honor in recent times), and central market point for the river trade.

Kudurangan - Army and Philippine Scout post, across the river from Dulawan. Served as the central base for the provo companies hunting for Ali.

Fort Reina Regente - Former Spanish fort and encampment taken over by the Americans.

Fort Pikit - Would become principal base for the Moro Constabulary in the basin.

Seranaya - The center of Datu Ali's rancheria and site of a huge cotta or fortress built in 1904. Besieged by Wood March 10, 1904, Ali secretly abandoned it with all his men in the middle of the night.

Simpetan - Site of the deadly ambush by Ali of Co. F of the 17th Infantry Regiment on May 8, 1904.

Digos -  Small village on the Gulf of Davao. Landing here in secrecy on October 16, Captain Frank McCoy, the 100 man provo company of the 22nd Infantry Regiment, a detachment of ten Philippine Scouts, and 75 hired cargadores marched across a narrow, high mountain pass and descended into the Cotabato Basin.

Buluan - Leaving behind the sick and footsore, McCoy proceeded with 77 men total and on October 22 surprised Datu Ali on the front porch of his house, near Buluan, with twelve of his followers, two of his wives, and three of his children. Armed with a rifle, Ali killed one soldier before going down in a hail of gunfire.