After arriving from Kuching, I headed to Sandakan. After two days we went to Lahad Datu. We directly visited a cape which I named it Tanjung Bukis (open cape), its vicinity is widely open towards the sea that resembles the glaring sky and sparkling sea water into a beautiful horizon. This cape is known to the people here as Tanjung Alangga (Cape of Ant). People here are Tausug. They are very kind and generous.
|Yaz in action taking pictures of the vicinity of Tanjung Bukis, Lahad Datu. He is more than a professional Photographer. He loves views that embraces natural setting.|
Yaz and Bining had expressed his enthusiasm to see this cape. This is adjacent to the Kampung Silam in Lahad Datu. It could be reached around 5 minutes from Kampung Silam. It is along the Darvel Bay where many sea urchins could be seen at sea bottom from the sea surface. The sea water is of white-crystalline that could satisfy our longings to the sea – for swimming..
We were served of diyaral iklug and sardines in our lunch, bangbang mamun (cake) for dessert in long table outside Langgal or small mosque. Of course the common drink was soft drinks – the soda. We were invited to other house to drink more. This has been the culture of the Tausug inherited from their forefathers for being kind and generous – generally it is the entire culture of human for being kind and generous.
When I saw the Istah Kulapu (fish) after we disembark the boat, I thought “I should have been eating this delicious fish in a fried cook or tiyula’”. Yaz took a picture of it, so much I. We took the picture of the fish with someone holding it for a kind of display..
He was so enthusiastic showing us the fish – but never offered us to get one. It cost 30RM a kilogram. Could it be sounds expensive? Yes, it is a special fish. I was hoping that I could have eaten one!
|The vicinity of village at Tanjung Bukis. A typical wooden boat is the main mode of transportation of the villagers.|
When we started to move to the town, the tire of our small car got pierced. Bining, Utu’ Abdulhadi and Apa’ Satia did fixed it immediately.
I find Lahad Datu as a haven of kindness and generosity. There many fruit stands in the streets, much in the central market. The fruit stands are near the central mosque. Buahan (lanzones), Duyan, (durian), Duku, Nangka (jackfruit), Orange and Cempedak (a family of jackfruit) are colouring the vicinity of the town. A Tausug family gave us to taste the Duyan and Buahan – for free! Thank you for being so generous!
Vendors are majority Tausug or known here as Orang Suluk from different ethnicities, Bajau, Jama Mapun and others. Others are Indian, Bugis, Bisaya, Melayu, Chinese and Jawa. In our first visit with the Asreesulu or Asreemoro (the composer and singer of a Tausug song “Indah”), we found that Orang Jawa and Orang Bugis are famous here of their delicious Bakso.
“Waduh Mbak enak sekali bakso nya ya (Oh Mbak your Bakso is very delicious)!”, as we said to the kind lady who served us the Bakso. Sabaw-sabaw thing is Yaz’s favourite foodstuff. “Maghurut da kuman” to describe his love to sabaw-sabaw.
|Langgal or small mosque where we were served delicious food.|
|Boat from/to Tanjung Bukis, chartered for free. Bining is saluting the sun or sighting the horizon.|
|Fisherman showing his fish with enthusiasm. Love to eat this fish!|
So much for this description about Lahad Datu and the people around, it is also known home to Wali Allahu that we had known as Tuan Muda or Tuan Guru Hadji Ghulam Hassan Al-Bikangi. The mosque where he was doing his religious activities and teaching still exist until to this day, it is found in the hill side of the town – adjacent to the Police Station. The mosque called as Masjid Awal Tuan Guru Hadji Muda or Early Mosque of Tuan Gur Hadji Muda.
Muslims are open to do their prayers in this mosque. I don’t know for the tourists of different faiths. Give a try, maybe tourists of different religions are allowed to visit. I assumed there are religious tolerance and no religious discriminations here, although some restrictions may present.
Lahad Datu according to Yaz in his blog, www.alltausug.blogspot.com, it could have been derived from the Sama-Tausug word which mean the “Place of the Tausug Datu”. Lahat became Lahad that would mean “place”. The other meaning of Lahad is a space in the grave of a Muslim buried within that is covered by piling boards.
Lahad Datu is a two-hour drive from Sandakan City. It could be personal car and shuttle bus that cost only 25RM. Lahad Datu is profoundly related to the history of the Tausug and the Sultanate of Sulu. Please do visit for your own understanding!
Photos: Neldy Jolo