Thursday, June 27, 2013

Flip Side Sulu

this.is.me
We conquered Sulu on a mission and experienced the camp life as if we were one of our dedicated soldiers struggling to maintain normalcy for the people of Mindanao. And in between those moments, we had time to explore a little side of Sulu which probably is not commonly shown to us. The flip side of Sulu.

Everything we did was on a brisk. No time for contemplating and stuff. Still with our trusted Marine escorts, we were at the town of Jolo and the place of interest was the Sulu Provincial Capitol. It was a Sunday and only a few were at this grand structure and we did what we had to do - adore its grandness and let the shutters take over. 

Sulu Provincial Capitol
on guard
loud... very loud pink
It was an honor to meet a Sultan in Patikul, Sulu up close. It was Mohammad Muejuddin Jainal Abirin Bahjin. And it wasn't as if we were in a state dinner or something. We were invited to visit his house (facing a gorgeous beach) and chat with him like you would do with your friends. He was so cool that while some of his very humble family were serving some snacks, he kept on telling stories on his lineages while holding a cig on his hand. Just like your ordinary lolo with home court advantage. Very cool.

full battle gear
one cool sultan
camouflage
We obviously needed some water element on this trip to freshen up our tired and abashed souls. And just right in front of the Sultan's house is the gorgeous Quezon beach. And with our "life guards" stationed everywhere, we soaked into the water and enjoyed the stillness and pureness of this place - very different from what was happening on the other side of the road. It reminded me much of the Dumaluan beach in Panglao, Bohol maybe because of the ripples and its depth. No annoying rocks or shells on the seabed and the water was clear enough to see some fish even without using some goggles. We needed to walk a few meters to get a good depth but this is definitely a happy beach for me.

Quezon beach
by LP
by LP
under-over fail
life guards
We also had the chance to catch the sunset on this side of Sulu - breathtaking I must say. 

Patikul sunset
And as a surprise, I didn't know that you could spot some whales on Sulu. So one full moon night, we boarded a Navy watercraft and headed to the sea for a Whale watching adventure. All throughout the trip I was on the bow of the watercraft (thanks google) imitating Rose on a scene from the movie Titanic

The Marines anchored our boat somewhere in the middle of the sea and we waited. It was full moon and we had some snacks on board. We stayed there for more than an hour but it didn't feel like it because we were goofing around. How I love waiting for whales to pass by. And oh by the way, we didn't get to spot a whale but we had so much fun being "stranded" on a full moon in Sulu. 

full moon
where are those whales?
by LP
We also went to the Kan-Ague Elementary School. This was the school where the late Gabriel Canizares last served as an acting principal before he was abducted and beheaded by some rebel groups (read story here).  


In memoriam
The group also got the chance to witness a summer class graduation at Danag Elementary School in Patikul, Sulu. The overflowing love from the kids were shown through the flowers that were showered and given to us when we arrived. Teddy bears were given to those kids who graduated. They never let go of their teddies.

teddies
wired
And how can I forget the food in Sulu. I tasted almost everything that was offered to me. Along with the locally grown Kahawa Sug brewed coffee and the Tausug native delicacies, our tummies were always happy.

my fave - Daral
and also this one - Pitis
clockwise from left
Kahawa Sug coffee, Pasung, Pangih Pangih, Pan Pan, Patel, Pitis
clockwise from left
Lokot lokot, some pretzel bread (I dunno how they are called) and Baulu
the "colored" bread (I dunno how they are called) and Baulu
I love this trip. Everything about it. Everything. Such an epic one. Still vivid on my mind. It's not just about the place, it's the experience that I value the most. It made me realize so many things. This is how I want to remember Sulu. That laid back atmosphere. How time felt so slow. The happy Sulu on my mind. I want it to stay that way. Sakto na 'to.



20 comments:

  1. ang ganda ng first photo at gusto ko yung cowboy hat hahaha... kakaiba mga tinipay nila may ganyan kaya dito sa manila?

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  2. ..love your 'sarong type' pants ;) i'm dreaming of Sulu without life guards.ü one day....

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    1. yes rebie. sana maabutan pa natin ang araw na yun :)

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  3. now that's one really really unspoiled beach! hehe

    bet ko din yung pants!

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    1. talaga nagandahan ka chyng? bulong ko sayo kung san ko naiscore yang pants na yan :)

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  4. Loved the first pic - 5 star! That's the spirit of a wanderer =)
    It's nice to read posts about Mindanao and particularly Sulu... we discover the other sides of the country, parang breaking the traditional travel places to posts. Ganda ng beach at sunset photo! Hindi mo aakalain na ganyan kaganda ang Sulu...

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    1. hi ian! maganda talaga ang sulu and i also looove the 1st pic! :)

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  5. I never thought Sulu is as beautiful as this one. Great shots!

    Also, Pitis looks so delicious!

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    1. pitis is yummy! i've tasted like 3 variants and they were all the bomb! :)

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  6. wla akong masabi kundi wow! miss you ate carla! naks!

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  7. Ang sarap pa sana mag swim dun sa beach kung di lang dumidilim na. Sayang :(

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    1. ang mga naka-snorkel na wala namang naispatan na mga corals. hehe. buti may mga isda at crab :)

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  8. The marines stationed there are not issued armor vests?

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    1. i haven't seen one bert. siguro meron pero pang special missions? i dunno. hehe

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  9. how come u were able to conquer Sulu? for a solo regular traveler like me im afaid to visit ARMM what can u recommend to finish my 80PH challenege? any safety precautions..

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