Sulu

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This article is about the Philippine province. For other uses, see Sulu (disambiguation).
Sulu
Wilayah Sulu
Province
Sulu Provincial Capitol Building in Jolo
Sulu Provincial Capitol Building in Jolo
Flag of Sulu
Flag
Official seal of Sulu
Seal
Map of the Philippines with Sulu highlighted
Map of the Philippines with Sulu highlighted
Coordinates: 06°00′N 121°00′E / 6.000°N 121.000°E / 6.000; 121.000Coordinates: 06°00′N 121°00′E / 6.000°N 121.000°E / 6.000; 121.000
Country Philippines
Region Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)
Founded March 10, 1917
Capital Jolo
Seat of Government:
Patikul
Government
 • Type Autonomous province of the Philippines
 • Governor Abdusakur Tan II (Liberal Party)
 • Vice Governor Abdusakur Tan (Liberal Party)
Area[1]
 • Total 1,600.40 km2 (617.92 sq mi)
Area rank 66th out of 81
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 718,290
 • Rank 38th out of 81
 • Density 450/km2 (1,200/sq mi)
 • Density rank 12th out of 81
Divisions
 • Independent cities 0
 • Component cities 0
 • Municipalities 19
 • Barangays 410
 • Districts 1st and 2nd districts of Sulu
Time zone PHT (UTC+8)
ZIP code 7400 to 7416
Dialing code 68
ISO 3166 code PH-SLU
Spoken languages Bahasa Sūg (official), Zamboangueño Chavacano, Malay
Website http://www.sulu.gov.ph/

Sulu (Tausūg: سوگ, Sūg; Chavacano: Provincia de Sūlū; Filipino: Lalawigan ng Sulu) is an autonomous island province of the Philippines, located in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Its capital is Jolo and it occupies the middle group of islands of the Sulu Archipelago, between Basilan and Tawi-Tawi.

History[edit]

The peaceful advent of Islam around 1138 through merchants and traders had a distinct influence on Southeast Asia. The coming of Arabs, Persians and other Muslims paved the way for the arrival of religious missionaries, traders, scholars and travelers to Sulu and Mindanao in the 12th century.

Painting of Sulu home & coconut plantation

A landmark born of the social process was the founding of the Sultanate of Sulu. Year 1380 CE, Karim-ul Makhdum came to Sulu and introduced Islam to the Philippines. Year 1450 CE, a Johore-born Arab adventurer, Sayyid Abubakar Abirin came to Sulu and lived with Rajah Baguinda Ali, eventually marrying his daughter Dayang-dayang Paramisuli and eventually inheriting Rajah Baguinda's polity (which was a principality before) and turning it into a sultanate. Sayyid Abubakar eventually inherited the rule of Rajah Baguinda, established the Sultanate of Sulu and became its first Sultan. To consolidate his rule, Sayyid Abubakar united the local political units under the umbrella of the Sultanate. He brought Sulu, Zamboanga Peninsula, Palawan and Basilan under its aegis.

The navigational error that landed Ferdinand Magellan in Limasawa brought awareness of Europe to the Philippines and opened the door to Spanish colonial incursion. The Spaniards introduced Christianity and a political system of church-state dichotomy, which encountered fierce resistance in the devastating Moro wars from 1578 to 1899. Sultanate of Sulu formally recognised Spanish sovereignty in Tawi-tawi and Sulu in middle of 19th century, but these areas remained partially ruled by the Spanish as their sovereignty was limited to military stations and garrisons and pockets of civilian settlements in Zamboanga and Cotabato (the latter is under Sultanate of Maguindanao), until they had to abandon the region as a consequence of their defeat in the Spanish–American War.

After Spain ceded the Philippines to the United States, American forces came to Jolo and ended the 23 years of Spanish military occupation (1876 to 1899). On August 20, Sultan Jamalul Kiram II and Brig. Gen John C. Bates signed the Bates Agreement that continued the gradual emasculation of the Sultanate started by Spain (Treaty of 1878) until March 1915 when the Sultan abdicated his temporal powers in the Carpenter Agreement. The Agreement eliminated opposition to the civilian government of Gov. Clinton Solidum.

The Department of Mindanao and Sulu under Gov. Carpenter was created by Philippine Commission Act 2309 (1914) and ended on February 5, 1920 by Act of Philippine Legislature No. 2878. The Bureau of Non-Christian Tribes was organized and briefly headed by Teofisto Guingona, Sr. With the enactment by the US Congress of the Jones Law (Philippine Autonomy Law) in 1916, ultimate Philippine independence was guaranteed and the Filipinization of public administration began. Sulu, however, had an appointed American governor until 1935 and the Governor General in Manila had a say in Sulu affairs. At any rate, the essence of local governance forged by Rajah Baguinda continued to permeate the ethos of Sulu politics despite centuries of colonial presence. History points to a local government in Sulu that antedates other similar systems in the country. Today, Sulu has a locally constituted government and is part of the ARMM.

Geography[edit]

Sulu Province covers an area of 1,600.4 square kilometres (617.9 sq mi).[1] Sulu's main island, Jolo, has an area of 868.5 square kilometres (335.3 sq mi),[3] making it the 16th largest island of the Philippine Archipelago in terms of area. Sulu is a part of the Sulu Archipelago, which stretches from the tip of the Zamboanga Peninsula to the island of Borneo. The main island and also its islets are located between the island-provinces of Basilan to the northeast, and Tawi-Tawi to the southwest.

Subdivisions[edit]

Political map of Sulu

Sulu is subdivided into 19 municipalities.

Municipality No. of
Barangays
Population
(2010)[4]
Area (km²) Pop. density
(per km²)
Banguingui (Tongkil)
14
17,802
124.00
143.6
Hadji Panglima Tahil (Marunggas)
5
5,850
49.50
118.2
Indanan
34
65,858
101.90
646.3
Jolo
8
118,307
22.20
5329.1
Kalingalan Caluang
9
26,848
55.80
481.1
Lugus
17
19,839
35.40
758.4
Luuk
12
29,897
167.10
178.9
Maimbung
27
28,445
47.90
593.8
Old Panamao
31
37,933
51.10
742.3
Omar
8
18,098
-
-
Pandami
16
22,474
86.90
258.6
Panglima Estino (New Panamao)
12
27,724
45.00
616.1
Pangutaran
16
28,461
258.10
110.3
Parang
40
58,028
97.40
595.8
Pata
14
14,918
58.60
254.6
Patikul
30
42,036
179.30
234.4
Siasi
50
64,229
102.50
626.6
Talipao
52
75,173
141.00
533.1
Tapul
15
16,370
55.50
295

Demographics[edit]

Population census of Sulu
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1980 360,588 —    
1990 469,971 +2.69%
1995 536,201 +2.50%
2000 619,668 +3.15%
2007 849,670 +4.45%
2010 718,290 −5.93%
Source: National Statistics Office[2]

Although consisting of a mixed community of Muslims, the Tausug dominate the Sulu Archipelago. The Tausug were among the first inhabitants of the Philippines to embrace Islam as a religion and a way of life. They are referred to as ‘people of the current’, reflective of their close ties to the sea. The Tausug language is the lingua franca of Sulu, as in the case of the rest of the provinces in the Sulu Archipelago. The other local language is the indigenous Bahasa Sama which is widely used in varied tones and accents. This variety led to the development of Sinama dialects. The major ones are Sinama Sibutu (spoken mainly in the Sibutu-Sitangkai Region), Sinama Simunul (concentrated in Simunul-Manuk-Mangkaw Islands), Sinama Kapoan (spoken in the South Ubian-Tandubas and Sapa-Sapa Regions) and Sinama Banguingui (concentrated in Buan Island and spoken by Banguingui people).

The Βajau-Ѕama language is also spoken, as are English and Filipino (Tagalog). Many locals and barter traders can speak Malay and Indonesian. Zamboangueño Chavacano is also spoken by Christian and Muslim locals who maintain contacts and trade with the mainland Zamboanga Peninsula and Basilan, as Tawi-tawi and Sulu were partially ruled by the Spanish as their sovereignty was limited to military stations and garrisons and pockets of civilian settlements in Zamboanga and Cotabato (the latter is under Sultanate of Maguindanao), until they had to abandon the region as a consequence of their defeat in the Spanish–American War. The rest of Muslims speak Cebuano because of the mass influx of Cebuano settlers to Mindanao, especially with the Tau Sūg since Bahasa Sūg is a Visayan language.

Majority of population of Sulu is Muslim, with minority of Christians.

A majority of Sulu's Muslim population practice Sunni Islam of the Shafi'i tradition, as taught by Arab, Persian, Indian Muslim, Chinese Muslim and Malaccan missionaries from the 14th century onwards.

Relatively newer Islamic sects, mostly brought by returning veterans of the Afghan wars and missionaries from Pakistan's stricter Sufi traditions, referred to as the Tableegh, have been active in propagating what they believe to be a "purer" Islamic way of life and worship. A very small number who have since married into Iranian or Iraqi families have converted to Shiite Islam.

Majority of Christians are Roman Catholics. Non-Catholic Christians include Evangelicals, Jesus Miracle Crusade, Episcopalian, and Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), Mormons, Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, and a number of other Protestant denominations. Only the most recent Chinese immigrants adhere to Buddhism or Taoism, while most of the older Chinese families have acculturated and have either converted to Christianity or Islam while retaining most of their Chinese beliefs.

Economy[edit]

The province of Sulu is predominantly agricultural with farming and fishing as its main livelihood activities. Its fertile soil and ideal climate can grow a variety of crops such as abaca, coconuts, oranges, and lanzones as well as exotic fruits seldom found elsewhere in the country such as durian and mangosteen.

Fishing is the most important industry since the Sulu Sea is one of the richest fishing grounds in the country. The province also have an extensive pearl industry. Pearls are extensively gathered and a pearl farm is established at Marungas Island. The backs of sea turtles are made into beautiful trays and combs. During breaks from fishing, the people build boats and weave mats. Other industries include coffee processing and fruit preservation.

The handicrafts of Sulu have both Islamic and Malay influences. Skilled artisans make boats, bladed weapons, bronze and brassware, pis cloth, embroidered textiles, shellcraft, traditional house carvings, and carved wooden grave markers.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Province of Sulu: Brief Profile (There seems to be major discrepancies among authoritative sources: 343,699 ha (NSCB 2007), 175,460 ha (NSCB 2000), 167,377 ha (NAMRIA))
  2. ^ a b "Population and Annual Growth Rates for The Philippines and Its Regions, Provinces, and Highly Urbanized Cities" (PDF). 2010 Census and Housing Population. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  3. ^ "Islands by Land Area". Island Directory Tables. United Nations Environment Programme. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  4. ^ "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010" (PDF). 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 

External links[edit]