Datu is the title for chiefs, sovereign princes, and monarchs in the Visayas and Mindanao Regions of the Philippines. Together with Lakan (Luzon), Apo in Central and Northern Luzon, Sultan and Rajah, they are titles used for native royalty, and are still currently used especially in Mindanao and Sulu. Depending upon the prestige of the sovereign prince, this title of Datu could be roughly equated to the European dukes, marquesses, counts, or barons. In big barangays, which had contacts with other southeast Asian cultures through trade, some Datus took the title Rajah or Sultan.
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