As a Scout Ranger warrior, I had the privilege to visit the beautiful island of Sulu in 2000 A.D. I had read and heard about this place as the former 'kingdom' of a mighty Muslim Sultan who fought the Spanish and American conquerors for hundreds of years.
I had practically criss-crossed this island when we hunted down the bandits who snatched foreign tourists from a resort in Sipadan, Malaysia.
One of the places which attracted me was Bud Datu (Royal Mountain) in Indanan town. This is the site of the present day military camp where one can have the scenic view of Jolo town and the pristine beaches that stretched towards Patikul town.
Bud Datu is the final resting place of Rajah Baguinda who is considered as the first Sulu Sultan. Historical accounts say that he came all the way from Menangkabaw, Sumatra, Indonesia. He was accepted as the ruler of Bwansa Ummah, although Sulu genealogy did not mention that he established a central government in the mainland of Sulu.
He married the daughter of a Tagimaha Chieftain, and was able to effect the implementation of the “Shariah” or Islamic laws at Bwansa village. Bwansa is a community located near the foot of Bud Tumatangis (Mt Tumatangis) where several armed clashes occurred during my visit.
A few decades later, an Arab scholar named Sayyid Abubakar Hashim came and was welcomed by Rajah Baguinda. Due to his expertise in the Islamic jurisprudence, Sayyid Abubakar was accepted as a member of the royal court. He alsowon the heart of Rajah Baginda's daughter who became his wife.
Sayyid Abubakar inherited the old Rajah Baguinda's power and influence when the latter entrusted the administration of the government affairs of Bwansa Ummah to him.
Rajah Baguinda retired and died in his home in Bud Datu where his tomb can still be found until today.
I tagged along my mistah, Cpt Niceforo Diaz, when I paid respects to our dear "Lolo", Rajah Baguinda.
I had the rare opportunity to visit Bud Bagsak (background) where hundreds of Tausug warriors offered the ultimate sacrifice while defending their way of life against the Americans who ruled their land in early 1900s. This photo was taken on top of Hill 509 which is located between Bud Bagsak and Mt Tunggul.
Another view of Hill 509 with Mt Munggit in the background. Below this hill lies a small community that was abandoned when the soldiers started combing the jungles to hunt down all terrorists responsible for the abduction of terrorists from Sipadan, Malaysia. I and my Platoon Sergeant wore the same scarves worn by the bandits.
A local official in Panamao town visited me during my unit's short stay in the area before we proceeded to the outskirts of Luuk town.
These are my soldiers enjoying the waters of Taglibi in Patikul town. You can see Mt Sinumaan and Mt Gasam in the background. I love this beach because it is comparable to the white sands of Boracay island.