SICKNESS MEANS TO REST: A PLEASANT VISIT TO JOLO

By | December 12, 2010
Neldy
Azan or Bang, a call to prayer heard from Masjid Sultan Shariful Hashim near Jolo Port. I arrived with Murshed Salam, a brother from Bangladesh, boarded M/V Jocelyn. We chatted silently about the nightmares in Jolo being experience by the Tausug and Tausug citizenship campaign to ask the Philippines to get out from Sulu territory.
Calmness of the Sea in Sulu Archipelago. Photo: Neldy

I told him to keep his voice slow. I was afraid of something not good to happen. A risk to bring foreigner to Jolo was been daily story of the people outside Jolo, Sulu. But ‘to see is to believe’ is applied here. Alhamdulillah nothing happened unnecessary.

I don’t think that Tausug is too insane and bad enough to treat their visitor with unpleasant welcome. The Tausug Peace Keepers fetched us in the port. Before went to Buansa, we passed went to the Masjid near this port. Many people were looking at us speaking foreign language. Maybe they are thinking that my companion was a foreigner. Yes he is foreigner in the place but not foreigner in faith and belief – Islam.  
I contained the pain since arriving at Clark Airbase, Pampanga from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah in August. I stayed around four days in Manila. Even though in pain, I got some time to visit my relatives here.
I got contacted Rameeta (Rameer Tawasil), A Tausug renowned artist and a great ‘ukkilism-genre’ painter. He came to Manila to discuss about their exhibit in Europe. It happened that he is also in Manila. So we took time to meet in Robinsons Galleria for a dinner. I decided to come along with him to Zamboanga so I have a companion. He booked ticket for us for August 29 Manila-Zamboanga bound Flight.       
While Brother Mushed Salam was with the Tausug Peace Keepers roaming around Jolo, I was just staying in the house to feel the pain. Brother Murshed brought interesting stories and observations about Jolo, Sulu and the Tausug.
They went to the beaches and the woods in Jolo. The Igasan white beach, rural area in Buansa. Only in the seaside of Buansa I joined them, near Subah Datu beach overlooking Bangas Island, where beautiful beach is also found.
We get to Zamboanga after a two days and brother Murshed went home. He did not forget to remind me to pray to Allah. He was able to meet Sharif Yazir Rajim, a Tausug artivist and journalist and talk something about Tausug and Islam and pray together. I and Yaz together went back to Jolo (this would be the next in line story).    
I have been suffering with pleasant backache. I considered this pleasant because I believe this is blessing from God. And I took the advice of many friends, especially Yaz, Asree, Hasan, Abang Samad, Cikgu Hatta and Bining. If I got some illness that would mean I am loved by God and let me to lessen my sins and ask forgiveness from Him.
Most of all to let me to remember Allah always – no forget and skip of prayer. This is still month of Ramadan. Indeed sickness is God meant for me to rest, Alhadulillah!