Thursday, June 26, 2014


Previously: Masjid Tulay

After spending a holy hour at Masjid Tulay, PO3 Serabani drove me along the outskirts of Jolo.     

MASJID TULAY: The First and Biggest Mosque in Jolo

Previously: Sulu Provincial Capitol

Masjid Tulay is said to be the oldest and biggest Islamic temple in Jolo. This mosque welcomes everyone who docks in the port of Jolo.  

After visiting the Provincial Capitol of Sulu, my guide PO3 Najar Serabani drove me to Masjid Tulay. He drove me along the busy streets of Jolo where I witnessed the usual streetlife of the Tausugs.

SULU PROVINCIAL CAPITOL: A Magnificent Islamic Architecture

Previoulsy: Meeting the Sultan of Sulu     

The Capitol Building of Sulu is a truly admirable Islamic architecture. It's prominent dome in a verdant landscape made me think of India's Taj Mahal. I could not almost believe there is such a wonderful structure in that part of the map.

After my escorted tour to Patikul, I was back to Jolo and endorsed back to the Provincial Police Office. We were approached by a fully armed police officer, rushing to leave with his team. He was so grateful to see me back safe. They were rushing to Brgy Liang, a place where we just passed by going back to Jolo where we saw a throng of marine officers. He said an encounter between the marines and the Abu Sayyaf members just took place. He then instructed me not to leave the office until my new escort arrives. 


Previously: Quezon Beach

After basking in the awesome Quezon Beach, we headed to the house of the barangay captain of Igasan, Patikul for courtesy call. When we entered the door, my eyes were shocked by the view of a banquet attended by respectable people in their royal apparels, men and women celebrating the Feast of Ramadan. SPO1 Moridz greeted everyone with a kiss. What if I would do the same? I was so confused and reluctant, afraid I might offend all them. In traveling shorts, I opted to glue my feet on the doorstep and gave everyone a forced smile.


Later, I was ordered to get inside another room and was introduced to Kapitan Faridz K. Bahjin. I was so behaved and soft spoken. The captain was so accommodating and was glad to accept me as a visitor.

Later, two lady servers came in with different foods, some I have never seen before.  An invited guest or a gatecrasher, I was so shy to be treated that well. My escorts came in and joined me in the table.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

QUEZON BEACH: A Jewel of Patikul, Sulu


At the Sulu Provincial Police Office, I waited for my then escorts to Patikul. At 10am, the long wait culminated. There arrived a police car labeled PATIKUL MUNICIPAL POLICE STATION.

So I would be escorted by no less than 4 police officers. The team leader SPO1 Maradjani Abdul Moridz stepped down with the three others. He directed to the office and talked in a high tempered voice I narrowly understood.


Previously: Sulu: The Most Feared Paradise

I woke up the next day seeing all the passengers getting ready to off board. It was nearly 6am. I was afraid and excited to see the port of Jolo and the view of the Islamic province. I was afraid more when I didn't know what to do then.

When I removed myself from the ship, I approached a marine navy at the port.

Sir, saan po ba dito ang police station? 
Sir, may I know where the police station is? 

Bakit? Taga-saan ka? Mag-isa ka lang?
Why? Where are you from? Are you alone?

SULU: The Most Feared Paradise in the Southwest

Dont be afraid of Sulu. Be afraid of terrorism which can happen in your own home, the metro or even the White House in Washington, D.C.

SULU, an autonomous province in southwest Philippines, garners extremely opposite impressions. While a few view the province as paradise, most see it as an Armageddon--- a battlefield. 

According to

"The islands of Sulu, in the south-west Philippines look like the type of tropical paradise you would see on the front cover of a tourist brochure." 

"But appearances can be deceptive. This is a violent and unstable region - a breeding ground for international terrorism."

Thursday, June 12, 2014

RAFFLESIA: A Gigantic Pride Blooming in Bukidnon

Rafflesia (Rafflesiaceae) is a parasitic plant that periodically blooms in some parts of Southeast Asia. In the Philippines, there are recorded sightings of this organism in the mountainous areas of Laguna, Compostela Valley and Bukidnon. Rafflesia blooms 3 to 5 days and gets decomposed. The flower is also called "flesh flower" and "corpse flower" since it smells like a rotting flesh. In Lantapan, Bukidnon, it is commonly called "busaw", a native word for monster or aswang.