In late November 1574, the notorious Limahong and his pirates arrived in the Philippine archipelago. Previous studies have focused on their infamous Manila raid. Cross-examining Ming Chinese and Spanish sources, the present study examines the campaign to capture them in Pangasinan in 1575, which reveals a temporary tripartite Sino–Spanish–Luzonese antipiracy alliance that is occluded in contemporary sources. This study highlights global history based on transregional linkages as embodied by Limahong’s marauding pirates who, as nonstate actors, precipitated state-to-state contact between South China and the Philippine archipelago but whose escape in August 1575 unraveled early Sino–Spanish relations.
KEYWORDS: MARITIME PREDATION • SPANISH EMPIRE • MING CHINA • TRANSREGIONAL HISTORY • HISTORY FROM BELOW