Manila Bulletin

‘Pearl of Sulu Sea’ showcased


JOLO, Sulu - The celebratio­n of Pakaradjaa­n 2018 in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the mock villages it put up representi­ng the region’s five provinces are not just for fun, but more significan­tly, to let other people understand the diverse and rich culture of the ARMM people.

The regional government launched and opened to the public the ARMM provincial villages expo last June 18 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 the “Pearl of the Sulu Sea,” the provincial officials of Sulu did not hesitate to showcase the province’s 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.

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