Travel | Tales from Sulu Part 2

Part 2
The trip from Zamboanga City to Sulu is very pleasant. I liked it because I never felt we sailed but arrived at the destination. I thank the fine weather for that. Read the Part 1 here.

Upon docking at the Port of Jolo, I tried to keep myself calm as there is an excitement in me of what to see and hear in the province. Not to my surprise, I heard some blast being fired from afar. I am not sure if that is a cannon or close encounter with rebels. That day we visited is the end of Ramadan or the Eid'l Fitr. It is a celebration welcomed with a bang! It is like a new year for our Muslim friends; a day that they celebrate the holiest time among the Muslims. I just ignored the blast knowing that there is ceasefire because of the celebration. :-P

Jolo, Sulu Tricycle: Calesa-like
At the Port of Jolo, my attention is caught by a tricycle. It is the first time i saw a tricycle! LOL Kidding aside, I am simply happy to see such a design that I think is unique in Jolo, Sulu. The design is simple but for me it stands out. Its design is like a small calesa but attached to a bicycle. Some other tricycles I have seen in other provinces in the country are fancy decorated but this one is simple and authentic.

Jolo, Sulu Norms: Military and Locals
From the port, we headed to our host's house near the airport runway. It was fun seeing Sulu. There, you will see that soldiers and citizens exist as norms - I feel more secure; and not only mosques will be observed but also other churches. It is surprising to see that the runway is just like a park where people can flock, mingle with friends, do exercises and even date someone. I also went to the runway and capture a photo since most runways in the country are busy and no civilians are allowed to get through it. This runway can accommodate commercial flights, by the way, but it is used mostly for the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The Jolo Airport did operate for commercial flights, Zamboanga to Jolo and vice versa, but discontinued perhaps because only few passengers go in and out.

Runway of Jolo, Sulu Airport
Church in Jolo, Sulu
Biggest Mosque in Jolo, Sulu
From there, we worked. After work, we had a chance to have a short tour in Jolo, Sulu.

Patikul, Sulu White Sand Beach
Brgy. Mauboh, Patikul, Sulu
Patikul, Sulu Beach
Patikul, Sulu Beach
As most stories from Sulu say about Abu Sayyaf, especially in Patikul, Sulu, the place becomes blacklisted to be visited. It is the place where most kidnapped individuals are seen walking with the bandits, and sometimes, a place where beheaded kidnapped individuals are found.

Even those stories afloat, it sounds scary though, but I am excited to see what is there, and we went to Brgy. Mauboh, Patikul, Sulu. It is so surprising to see a white sand public beach unspoiled by people. The sand is very fine and the water is calm. It is really something that can be developed if the bandits are not around. It is also a site where sunset can be seen, may not be the best sunset but colors will play in the sky, but we did not stay until sunset as a precautionary measure. Island hopping can be done too as nearby islands are there and beautiful too as the locals say. There is this peaceful space in the island, only that, perhaps, the peace is brought by fear. However, there is our government's call for "peace among the living" that surely hopes to eradicate the Abu Sayyaf and develop the islands fully.

After the short tour, there is this sweet and spicy peanut that is a must buy from Sulu, at least for our colleagues. It is sautéed with garlic, chili, sugar and salt. Once you taste it, you will look for it. Unfortunately, no stock available during our visit since the maker is on holiday. Sad. I also don't have the photo. Sad.

Aside from the sweet and spicy peanut, according to the locals, various fruits like the mangosteen, durian and marang are very cheap in the province - way below the market prices even in Davao. Unfortunately, the time of our visit isn't yet the season of the fruits. Hope to have that chance of seeing that bountiful harvest. :-)

Jolo, Sulu Port
The experience I had in Sulu is not a fearful one. It is more of a fulfilled excitement seeing the people and how they live. It is also peaceful in this place, might be, it is because of the Eid'l Fitr. I want to express my warmest gratitude to the peacekeepers in the province and the family who accommodated us during this work visit. Sulu is indeed a place with utmost potential, it will surely flourish when,

From there on, back to Jolo Port and sail back to Zamboanga City.

Thank you for visiting my avenue, hope to hear from you! :-)

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