New Book – Chew The Dogs

If you enjoy Bob’s writings you’ll enjoy his new book, Chew The Bones: Maddog Essays On Philippine History, Bob Couttie’s third book,now available on Amazon.

Says the blurb: “Take a time-travelling journey of a thousand years of adventure and romance as you explore the unknown highways, byways and strange ways of an almost forgotten world. Dip into a unique, eye-opening collection of true stories they didn’t tell you at school. In this world slaves get benefits worthy of a corporate highflier. A redhaired hard-to-handle Hong Kong-born Irish teenager marries a man determined to change his country’s destiny. England’s Queen Victoria is given the world’s most expensive wedding dress, made by Filipinos. The last cavalry charge in American history begins with a hangover as the first Japanese bombs drop on the Philippines. A Scots-American widow find a new purpose protecting and building lives for the indigenous Aeta people of the Zambales Mountains.”

A review says: “Bob Couttie writes with an absorbing, lively sense of fun, fascination and scrupulous research. You come away from this book with a feeling for the romance and adventure that made, and is making, the Philippines what it is today.”

It is available immediately from Amazon here

If you live in the Philippines, a special low-cost edition is available and you can get a personalised signed copy for just 300 pesos

To order one, email bcouttie@gmail.com


Interrogating Tallano – Is the Philippines the richest country in the world? Part 4

Many, if not most people, think that the Spanish language first appeared in the Philippines with the arrival of Magellan on the Island of Cebu in the early 16th century. In fact the first known Spanish speaker in the islands was a slave called Pazeculan. Since the Filipinos of the time were keen on slave raiding and trading and there was a Spanish presence in South East Asia, including Spanish Muslims escaping from the Peninsula after the fall of Muslim rule with Reconquista just a few decades before Magellan’s arrival in the Philippines and the banning of Islam in Spain.

Of more relevance to our swim through history is the man he belonged to: Prince Aceh of Tondo, the man the Spanish thought ruled the whole of Luzon, until they got to Manila, long after the remains of the Magellan expedition seized Aceh’s boat off Brunei and held him to ransom.

Aceh is better known as Rajah Matanda, who ruled Manila along with Rajah Suleyman. Another ruler held Tondo, Lakadula. This triumvirate controlled the Tagalog regions around Manila.
When Legaspi arrived in Manila he discovered that far from being king of Luzon, Aceh was just one of several datus and assorted local luminaries ruling the island.

He is the only King of Luzon referred to in any Spanish documents and clearly on;y ruled an area around Manila.

So, no validated Spanish era records of a king who ruled the whole of Luzon, nor in any pre-hispanic Chinese records like the rutters, nothing in the accounts by the friars who were all over the Philippines like cockroaches in a dirty kitchen.


All that remains is the OCT 01-4 document, and it necessarily follows that if that if fake then every document derived from it must be fake.

Unfortunately, the whole Tallano tale is littered with ridiculously faked documents, including supposed Global Certificated of Immunity, a particularlyrisible example is shown at the top of thispost,  and a treasure dated 1988 that pulls in Queen Elizabeth the Second co-signing a document with Ronald Reagan and Ferdinand Marcos two years after Marcos had been kicked out of the Philippines and was in Hawaii. These make it difficult to accept any document used in support of the Tallano claims seriously.

Oddly, much of the Tallano claims centre around the Marcoses, including the Deuterium hoax that appears aimed at suckering overseas Filipinos into investing in a non-existent, scientifically impossible, deposit at the bottom of the Philippine Trench, all of which is owned by Imelda Marcos. At least so she claims.

Few terms link the Tallano claims with Marcos more than the tribe or Kingdom of Maharlika.

Let’s go there next.

To be continued.
Previous episode



Interrogating Tallano – Is the Philippines the richest country in the world? Part 3


Back in 2009 the Philippine Court of Appeals invalidated a number of documents produce be those connected with the Tallano claim. You can read that decision by clicking on this photo. Among those documents was OC=01-4 and its derivatives. All were declared fraudulent.

But is that good enough?

Can I trust lawyers to establish the authenticity of a document in the absence of a forensic document examiner’s report and an analysis by a historian. I have a reason for not doing so: Until the mid-1990s or so, one outright fraud, the Code of Kalatiaw, produced by a known fraudster called Jose E Marco, and a document misrepresented as the early evidence of pre-hispanic treaties were required studies in Philippine law schools.

For decades not a single law student or professor had noticed, for instance, that a fort mentioned in the Code of Kalantiaw post-dated the supposed provenance of the code. Not one had noticed that the Maragtas was note based on ancient documents – the original publication says that those documents were not readable.

That being the case, I do not regard the dismissal of the OCT/Protocol 01-4 as in any way evidential without a report from a forensic document examiner and a historian familiar with the period. Since the document has not been made available for such examination it is unwise to draw any conclusion from a mere legal case.

Since we can only go by the sole document every presented in court, a supposed translation, then that is what we must look at.

:et us begin with the reference to Hacienda Filipina. Despite more than 300 years of Spanish government and reports from monks and friars, no reference to Hacienda Filipina appear anywhere in the Ultramar archives in Villadolid or in any Spanish era documents in the Philippines.

The reference comes suddenly, out of the blue, in one single document, OCT -01-4.

There are references to Hacienda Filipinas, the fiscal and financial affairs of the Spanish colony, but none whatsoever associated with a King og Luisong or a Kingdom of Maharila.


So the sole existence of the Tallano Hacienda Filipina is to be drawn from the single document, OCT-01-4.

All other references to Hacienda Filipina post date 1 January 1764. And none of those documents have been examined, either.

As of this moment, then, there is nothing to suggest that the nation Hacienda Filipina ever existed and no verified validated documents to show that it did.

So, let us move on to King (of) Luisong.


To be continued

Previous episode











, know as the Maragtas

Interrogating Tallano – Is the Philippines the richest country in the world? Part 2

As we were conducting investigations and interrogation into OCT/Pritical 01-4 dated 1764 we discovered that if you step inside a genuine real estate agency in the Philippines and look around you’ll see a wall poster something like the one here. It is issued by the Housing and Urban Development Co-Ordinating Council, HUDCC, warning of dodgy dealers running squatting syndicates.

Squatting syndicates make money by drawing up fake documents then use them to sell land they don’t own to poorer people. It is a money-making scam that victimises both the real land-owner and the unwary purchaser.

Often the supposed original documents were written before World War 2 and air now claimed to be missing or so damaged as to be unreadable and therefore not available for validation by a document examiner or be presented in court.

Some of the names and docu,emts ciyed in this poster are familiar to those who follow the Tallano gold story.

Indeed, OCT 01-4 is the very first document on the list, just below it is the name of Prince Julian Tallano Group and other connected names.

Here is a closer view of the relevant part of the poster:


In 2002 the Supreme Court of the Philippines nullified a number of bogus land titles including those from theTallano and Acop groups.

Indeed, as recently as June 2017, a National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) probe requested by the DAR regarding a case in the Compostella Valley involving the Tallano group found it had no rightful claim. “Based on the investigation conducted by the NBI, the land titles of Tallanos’ group are fakes as verified by the Register of Deeds. We also found out that their leader, Tallano, is included in the list of professional squatters and a member of a squatting syndicate,” said local DARSheriff Adelaido Caminade. Read more here

Does this prove that OCT 01-4 is fraudulent? Not necessarily. Only a study by a historian familiar with the period together with a thorough forensic examination of the original and textual analysis can do that.  What we do know about the original ‘1764’ document is that it was barely readable which brings into question the accuracy of the translated text. Since that is the text presented by the proponents, that is what we have left to examine. It is a  01-4curious oversight by the Tallanos and, indeed, the courts, that this has not been done.

Before we continue the interrogation of OCT, however, There are certain consistent themes that appear in the Tallano claim:

A King of Liusong/King Luisong

The term Hacienda Filipina

A Kingdom and tribe called Maharlika which comprised the whole of Luzon.

Let’s look at those next.


Next Episode

Read Part One


Interrogating Tallano – Is the Philippines the richest country in the world? Part One

I have long been fascinated by the claim that the Philippines is entirely owned by a royal family that lays claim to many millions of tonnes of gold. Who wouldn’t be? Especially since there is no historical record of a Kingdom of Maharlika and a Hacienda Filipina nor a Christian King Lusong who ruled the entire island of Luzon.

There are references all over social media, Youtube and elsewhere to this fantastic haul of riches and royalty. It would be too easy to dismiss the tale as a fantasy, constructed by a fantasist, supported by a semi-religious cult apparently to show that the late Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines secured his family’s massive wealth by some other means than by being paid backhanders by the likes of Westinghouse – which dropped him $18m for saddling his country with the expesnse of building an obsolete nuclear powerstation in an earthquake zone – and his plundering of the national treasury and the gold reserves of the Central Bank of the Philippines,  to the tune of $10bn.

That would be an ad-hominem argument and not a proper way to discuss a historical investigation of such importance. One must investigate relevant documents. In this case, there is considerable difficulty in doing so. The proponents of the Tallano gold have been very reluctant to present original documents, of which one in particularly is of such importance to the case that without it, there is no case. It is the sole document that supports the claims.

Today it is referred to as OCT 01-4, issued under the authority of Royal Audencia in Manila while Manila was under control of the East India Company. It is allegedly signed by Dawsonne Drake, then governor of Manila and witnessed by His Highness, George III, King of England.

At least according to a translation presented during several court hearings over the years related to the Tallano estate.

The document itself has never been presented in any court and, for some reason, no-one has sought to have it validated by a forensic document examiner or a historian familiar with the period despite the enormous sums of money and territory involved.  So, as of this moment, with a lack of evidence that the original document actually exists we must interrogate what does exist – the certified translation enter into court and presented by the Tallano gold proponents.

At no time have the Tallano gold proponents questioned the translation, or offered an alternative, so it must be accepted as the key document in their arguments since they present no pre-existing document.

An investigation is a journey.

Join me on the journey.

Part Two





Philippine Genocide? The Numbers Don’t Add Up

Philippine Genocide? The Numbers Don’t Add Up

(The following is based on several discussion on the Facebook Philippine American War groupi, we are grateful for the immense wealth of expertise and enthusiasm in researching this issue.)

We cannot know for sure how many died during the conflict of 1899-1902. Estimates of actual combatants range from 25,000 to 36,000 but the main controversy relates to how many civilians died during the conflict, estimates range from 200,000 to 3 million and whether those were deliberate or unintentional.

No estimate has been made in the available literature of civilian casualties during the 1896-1898 revolution nor of civilians killed by Filipino Republican forces during the Philippine-American Warii.

Census figures are immensely problematic especially when comparing the census carried out under the Spanish regime for pre-1899 figures and those under the American regime for the post-1899 period due to different methodologies. Some of the issues are covered in a briefing for the Senate Committee on the Philippine of 1902 (See Appendix). Continue reading “Philippine Genocide? The Numbers Don’t Add Up”