|The Majestic Masjid Tulay Jami dwarfing even the Bud Datu'.|
There are always good and bad sides to all things -- the Yin and Yang. Or else, the world is incomplete.
The innate and pristine beauty of Sulu in the southern Philippines has been largely protected because of the negative publicity that Sulu exhibits to the outside world. Rich land developers and investors would not come for fear that their investments would suffer in Sulu.
But keeping Sulu as "peaceful but volatile" as it is will keep us backward and stagnant for a long time. We can not compete with the world's fast evolving modernity. The Arab words are already competing against each other for prosperity. The Tausug are mostly Muslims, too.
The Tawi-Tawi mining industry has already reaped great dividends to the people in the area. Many people have now found steady source of income.
But the problem, according to the environmentalists, the ecosystem of the place where mining is taking place in Tawi-Tawi would be damaged.
The Tawi-Tawi administrator said that it should not be a problem.
The erstwhile barren land, because of the excessive nickel deposit, will now become fertile after the minerals have been removed, making it a forest out in the center of the sea. The mining industry workers have started planting the trees, as a matter of fact.
|The pristine beach in Bangas, Panglima Tahil, Sulu.|
There may be a need to protect our environment, but sustainable development could help sustain it. The Bangsa Sug should not be afraid of development, but instead they should embrace it.
If only we had developed our industry in Sulu, would the Bangsa Sug still need to go outside Sulu and work abroad for a living? Maybe. But it would be lesser by the day.
Sulu is always a mysterious place. Foreigners, nay even the military, consider it a badge of honor even just to step on the blessed soil of Lupa' Sug. It should be an added star in their medal of honor, an added resume for their bravery, when they survived.
But the foreigners, except the bigots, will always find Sulu and its people interesting, hospitable, and engaging.
As Mr Philip Golingai (an Editor of the Star Online) said, he will come back, again and again.
|Malaysian Philip Golingai haggled for freshly grilled fish at the Asturias Market.|
Mr Golingai was in Sulu last April 23-25, 2014 to cover the cross-border kidnapping. He wondered why the Tausug (the Suluks, for him) could do such complicated crime on Malaysian soil, which according to him has only 0.00001 probability of happening. The EESCOM (equivalent of NBI) is very strong in Malaysia.
He sought BassaKao to help him get contacts for his story. And the BassaKao did as promised, Mr Philip went home after three days, unharm and happy.
But, he might have gone home with more questions than answers, as evident in one of his writes-up in The Star Online.
Mr Golingai might have not seen the other aspect of Sulu, the aspect which is remaining hidden: the growing understanding between people and the military.
During our younger years, we were so afraid to approach the military. The stories we heard about them was mostly of gruesome angles. But the new generation of children is different.
The military has now become super approachable. They are now armed with different weapons: friendship with and understanding of the native.
Unfortunately, those are not enough. The long years of hate, agony, and pain, can never be easily erased by momentary cooperation for peace. Misunderstanding is bound to erupt anytime.
So the Bassakao decided that the presence of military "foreigners" will bring more harm than good, because these people does not care about us. This is not their land. They can not identify with Sulu. What they have are just bad memories of Sulu. Gen Bautista was killed here.
Doc Raden Ikbala, the convener of BassaKao articulated that in the HR Summit in Garden Orchids Hotel in Zamboanga City.
|The frequently misunderstood Doc Raden and friends, at the HR Summit 2014.|
But that bad image of law enforcement has changed with the leadership of Armm Regional Police Director Noel delos Reyes.
|ARMM Regional Director Noel delos Reyes|
Regional Director Noel delos Reyes' abrupt response to the growing tension between kidnappers and the civilians in February and March was appreciated by the Tausug.
He decided for the augmentation of Police Forces in Sulu, even though, the Sulu Governor might not agree with it. It was the Sulu Vice Governor Tan that vehemently opposed the People March and Indignation Rally Against Kidnapping last March 14.
|VG Tan voiced out his discontent about the Anti-Kidnapping rally.|
The VG forces all conspired to derail the people's free expression of hatred and fear against the kidnappers. Text brigade was installed to discourage people to attend the rally. Committed speakers for the rally had been singled out and were admonished not to attend. In the morning of March 14, The local government radio station interviewed the Governor Totoh Tan, wherein he lambasted the BassaKao motive as self-serving.
Everything was only to prove to the world that kidnapping is not a problem in Sulu.
Mr Edmund Gumbahali, a previous kidnap-victim himself, said that additional police forces was unnecesary in Sulu. He contended that the Local Governance in Sulu can address the local problem. He said that to the "face" of RD delos Reyes during the RD visit to Jolo last April.
The audience "Booed!" the whole duration of Mr Edmund's speech.
|Baker Atyani was release after a one and half year in captivity.|
In the Philippine Information Agency entry last March 26, 2014, it declared that a task force aimed to address security concerns in the province of Sulu will be deployed in Jolo, Indanan and Patikul (JIP) or Metro Jolo, the provincial information chief said.
|Philippine Information Agency|
|Chief of Police Junpikar Sitin.|
The New Chief of Police fulfilled his promises almost daily. Thanks to his new-brand of policing, the Jolo town is now peaceful as it should be.
|The town of Jolo, Sulu.|
|Lovely building in Jolo, Sulu.|
|The MSU-Sulu students play at the Capitol Park.|
|Sama children enjoy time at the Maubuh Beach.|
|Fish vendor at Maimbung.|
|A Pharmacist now happy in his business in Jolo, Sulu.|
Through the Mayor Hussin Amin's support, the Governor Sakur Tan as well, the Chief of Police Junpikar Sitin would like to implement proper traffic laws in the town of Jolo, one of the ways to train the population to know and respect the rule of Law.
One step at a time, we will get there.
|The energetic VG and his wife.|
|Jolo Mayor Hussin Amin in action.|