Discovering Sulu village: ‘Pearl of the Sulu Sea’

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Cotabato City  –- The recently concluded  Pakaradjaan 2018 in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) showcased the culture and best practices among people from  region’s five provinces.

ARMM Regional Governor Mujiv S. Hataman,  said the  mounting of the ARMM villages is not just for fun, but more significantly, to let other people understand the diverse and rich culture ARMM has.

“Lalo kaming na-eengganyo na ituloy ito dahil noong proseso ng Bangsamoro Basic Law, marami talaga sa mga policy makers natin ang hindi nakakaunawa sa ating mga kwento at kasaysayan,” he said.

The regional government launched and opened to the public the ARMM provincial villages expo last month as part of the year-long celebration of Pakaradjaan 2018: The 29th ARMM anniversary.

One of the provinces with an interesting presentation in the expo is the Sulu village. Tagged as ‘Pearl of the Sulu Sea’, the province of Sulu did not hesitate to showcase its larger-than-life culture and history.

Inside the Sulu village, a wooden life-size replica of the Astanah Darul Jambangan, or the Palace of the Sulu Sultan, can be found. Such structure was originally built in Maimbung, Sulu and is believed to be the largest royal palace in the Philippines before it was destroyed by a typhoon in 1932. The term Astanah Darul Jambangan literally means ‘royal house’ (astanah) and ‘abode of garden’ (darul jambangan).

Sulu village chieftain Don Mustapha Loong, the region’s Public Works and Highways secretary, said the significance of building the replica structure of Astanah Darul Jambangan is to remind the people, especially the younger generations, that the Sulu Sultanate existed even before the Spaniards came to the Philippines.

“We want to show and inform the people that even before the Philippine government was created, Sulu has already its own government and that the people in Sulu were already organized,” he added. In other words, Astanah Darul Jambangan symbolizes, or represents, the government of Sulu.

To understand more about the history and the rulers of Sulu, an information area about the sultans is located inside the village. Flags of the old sultanate are also displayed inside the royal house.

Musical instruments, such as Gabbang, are also shown. Gabbang is a bamboo xylophone used by the Tausug people and is associated as producing the musical partner to their traditional dances.

A nightly program is held where visitors can experience the different Tausug performing arts. There is also a food court inside the area for a taste of the varied Tausug delicacies.

To showcase the culture of Sulu and its people through building this enormous structure and the village per se is not just to let people experience and understand the province’s culture and history.

These are significant reminders that the regional government is addressing the historical injustices that happened to the Bangsamoro people, hoping that through these presentations, the Bangsamoro people will gain the right to self-determination soon. (Bureau of Public Information)

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