Sulu

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This article is about the Philippine province. For other uses, see Sulu (disambiguation).
Sulu Province
Wilāya sin Sūg
Provincia de Sulu
Lalawigan ng Sulu
Province
Flag of Sulu Province
Flag
Official seal of Sulu Province
Seal
Map of the Philippines with Sulu highlighted
Map of the Philippines with Sulu highlighted
Coordinates: 6°00′N 121°00′E / 6.000°N 121.000°E / 6.000; 121.000Coordinates: 6°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
 • Total 2,135.3 km2 (824.4 sq mi)
Area rank 60th out of 80
Population (2010)
 • Total 718,290
 • Rank 27th out of 80
 • Density 340/km2 (870/sq mi)
 • Density rank 13th out of 80
Divisions
 • Independent cities 0
 • Component cities 0
 • Municipalities 19
 • Barangays 410
 • Districts 1st and 2nd districts of Sulu
Time zone PHT (UTC+8)
Spoken languages Bahasa Sūg (official), Zamboangueño Chavacano

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 principality of Buansa Sumatra, who settled there and married the daughter. A decade earlier (1380), Karim-ul-Mahkdum, an Arab religious missionary and learned judge, reinforced the Islamic foundation of Rajah Baguinda’s polity (1390–1460) and that of the Sultanate of Sayid Abubakar, princely scholar from Arabia who married Paramisuli, the daughter of Rajah Baguinda. Sayid Abubakar eventually inherited the rule of Rajah Baguinda, established the Sultanate of Sulu and became its first Sultan. To consolidate his rule, Sayid 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.

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's main island, Jolo, is the 15th largest island of the Philippine Archipelago in terms of area, spanning 1,600 square kilometers. 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.

People and culture[edit]

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.

The Tausug are referred to as ‘people of the current’, reflective of their close ties to the sea. 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.

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.

Politics and administration[edit]

Political map of Sulu

Sulu is subdivided into 19 municipalities.

Municipalities[edit]

Municipality No. of
Barangays
Population
(2007)
Area (km²) Pop. density
(per km²)
Banguingui (Tongkil)
14
22,502
124.00
181
Hadji Panglima Tahil (Marunggas)
5
6,192
49.50
125
Indanan
34
85,220
101.90
836
Jolo
8
140,307
22.20
6,320
Kalingalan Caluang
9
30,046
55.80
538
Lugus
17
21,650
35.40
47
Luuk
12
33,508
167.10
200
Maimbung
27
38,092
47.90
795
Old Panamao
31
49,903
51.10
977
Omar
8
25,102
-
-
Pandami
16
23,527
86.90
271
Panglima Estino (New Panamao)
12
35,263
45.00
783
Pangutaran
16
29,571
258.10
114
Parang
40
65,019
97.40
667
Pata
14
20,095
58.60
343
Patikul
30
56,805
179.30
316
Siasi
50
63,518
102.50
620
Talipao
52
85,920
141.00
609
Tapul
15
17,430
55.50
314

See also[edit]

External links[edit]