Monthly Archives: January 2012


Neldy Jolo

The country the currency

Sulu Archipelago was ruled by Raja Baginda through Raja system of government. It was 24th Jumadil Awal 808 Hijrah, equivalent to 17th November 1405, Sayyid Abu Bakar Ibni Sayyid Ali Zainal Abidin established Sultanate of Sulu to put Sulu different ethnicities under one banner of Islam that right now known as Tausug.

Upon enthronement as Sultan, he became known as Paduka Batara Mahasari Maulana Al-Sultan Sharif Al-Hashim Sayyid Abubakar. Sultanate of Sulu was the first institutionalized system of government that became part of Dar Al-Islam of the Islamic world supporting Khalifah Usmaniyah.

This unconquerable country ruled by amphibian warriors never fade their courage to face the Spanish invader until it was illegally annexed by United States of America upon granting the Philippine independence to the Filipino in the 4th July 1946. This was after 10 years of transition given to the Filipino in the commonwealth government started in 1935 amidst vehement protests by the Tausug.
The last Sulu Sultan was Sultan Muhammad Jamalul Kiram II that died in 1936, after his death never one of the descendants was recognized by the masses until 2009, now known as Tausug Citizens.

Tausug Citizens is lead by Datu Ladjamura Bin Datu Wasik Aranan – Bantilan from the lineage of Sultan Muhammad Muizzuddin Bantilan I. After the Tausug Citizens installed him as Sultan on 19 March 2009 at Banua Buansa, he became known as Paduka Batara Mahasari Maulana Al-Sultan Bantilan Muhammad Muizzuddin II.

17th November 17 2010 marked the 605th anniversary and declaration of reassertion of independence and sovereignty by the Tausug Citizens known as Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam or Sultaniyah Sulu Darul Islam from decades defending from the colonial strangulation and subjugation by the foreign invaders.

Having matured over the years, Sultaniyah Sulu Darul Islam is now ready to embark on the full building of her sovereignty as an independent country, free from the colonial stranglehold of the Republic of the Philippines.

The unification of Shaykh and the Sultan. Graphic: Yazir Rajim. Photo: Asree Sug

This embarkation period is taking the old tradition of currency usage known as pisita or kusing dublun and pilak; that is to use the dinar and dirham as the legal currency of the country as part of the world Dar Al-Islam.

Tausug called coins as pisita or kusing, dinar as dublun and dirham as pilak. Through these coins everyone is very much welcome; only those who don’t believe with the truth and justice are not welcome. This usage of the coins was reminded by the dinar and dirham warrior, Shaykh Prof. Dr. Umar Ibrahim Vadillo. The Sultaniyah Sulu Darul Islam coins will be in the market soon. Insha Allah.

Introducing the Islamic Dinar & Dirham

Abu Bakr ibn Abi Maryam reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say: “A time is certainly coming over mankind in which there will be nothing [left] which will be of use save a dinar and a dirham.” (The Musnad of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal)

1. History of the Dinar & Dirham

In the beginning the Muslims used gold and silver by weight and the dinar and dirhams that they used were made by the Persians.

The first dated coins that can be assigned to the Muslims are copies of silver dirhams of the Sassanian Yezdigird III, struck during the Khalifate of Uthman, radiy’allahu anhu. These coins differ from the original ones in that an Arabic inscription is found in the obverse margins, normally reading “in the Name of Allah”. Since then the writing in Arabic of the Name of Allah and parts of Qur’an on the coins became a custom in all minting made by Muslims.

Under what was known as the coin standard of the Khalif Umar Ibn al-Khattab, the weight of 10 dirhams was equivalent to 7 dinars (mithqals).
In the year 75 (695 CE) the Khalifah Abdalmalik ordered Al-Hajjaj to mint the first dirhams, thus he established officially the standard of Umar Ibn al-Khattab. In the next year he ordered the dirhams to be minted in all the regions of the Dar al-Islam. He ordered that the coins be stamped with the sentence: “Allah is Unique, Allah is Eternal”. He ordered the removal of human figures and animals from the coins and that they be replaced with letters.
This command was then carried on throughout all the history of Islam. The dinar and the dirham were both round, and the writing was stamped in concentric circles. Typically on one side it was written the “tahlil” and the “tahmid”, that is, “la ilaha ill’Allah” and “alhamdulillah”; and on the other side was written the name of the Amir and the date. Later on it became common to introduce the blessings on the Prophet, salla’llahu alayhi wa sallam, and sometimes, ayats of the Qur’an.

Sample new designs. courtesy of Shaykh Umar Vadillo
Gold and silver coins remained official currency until the fall of the Khalifate. Since then, dozens of different paper currencies were made in each of the new postcolonial national states created from the dismemberment of Dar al-Islam.

Allah says in the Qur’an:

“And amongst the People of the Book there are those who, if you were to entrust them with a treasure (qintar), he would return it to you. And amongst them is he who, if you were to entrust him with a dinar would not return it to you, unless you kept standing over him.” Qur’an (3: 75)

Qadi Abu Bakr Ibn al-Arabi, the greatest authority on Qur’anic Law wrote in his famous “Ahkam al-Qur’an” about this ayat:

“The benefit that can be taken from this is the prohibition of entrusting the People of the Book with goods”.

Qadi Abu Bakr said: “The question concerning entrusting property is legislated by the text of Qur’an.” This means that the ayat is a legal judgement of absolute validity and of the greatest importance to the deen.

Entrusting wealth to non-Muslims is not allowed, but furthermore, taking a non-Muslim as a partner outside Dar al-Islam (where we stand over them) is extremely restricted, because they might cheat or might use our wealth in forbidden transactions.

Since paper-money is a promise of payment, can it be permitted to trust the issuers while they hold the payment (our property) outside our jurisdiction? History has also demonstrated repeatedly that paper money has been a permanent instrument of default and cheating the Muslims. In addition, Islamic Law does not permit the use of a promise of payment as a medium of exchange.

2. What are the Dinar & Dirham?


According to Islamic Law…

The Islamic Dinar is a specific weight of 22k gold (917.) equivalent to 4.25 grams.

The Islamic Dirham is a specific weight of pure silver equivalent to 3.0 grams.

Umar Ibn al-Khattab established the known standard relationship between them based on their weights: “7 dinars must be equivalent to 10 dirhams.”

“The Revelation undertook to mention them and attached many judgements to them, for example zakat, marriage, and hudud, etc., therefore within the Revelation they have to have a reality and specific measure for assessment [of zakat, etc.] upon which its judgements may be based rather than on the non-shari’i [other coins].

Know that there is consensus [ijma] since the beginning of Islam and the age of the Companions and the Followers that the dirham of the shari’ah is that of which ten weigh seven mithqals [weight of the dinar] of gold. . . The weight of a mithqal of gold is seventy-two grains of barley, so that the dirham which is seven-tenths of it is fifty and two-fifths grains. All these measurements are firmly established by consensus.” Ibn Khaldun, Al-Muqaddimah

How are the Islamic dinar used?

1. The Islamic Dinar can be used to save because they are wealth in themselves.
2. They are used to pay zakat and dowry as they are requisite within Islamic Law.

3. They are used to buy and sell since they are a legitimate medium of exchange.


Using the Dinar & Dirham

Gold and silver are the most stable currency the world has ever seen.

From the beginning of Islam until today, the value of the Islamic bimetallic currency has remained surprisingly stable in relation to basic consumable goods:

A chicken at the time of the Prophet, salla’llahu alaihi wa sallam, cost one dirham; today, 1,400 years later, a chicken costs approximately one dirham.

In 1,400 years inflation is zero.

Could we say the same about the dollar or any other paper currency in the last 25 years?

In the long term the bimetallic currency has proved to be the most stable currency the world has ever seen. It has survived, despite all the attempts by governments to transform it into a symbolic currency by imposing a nominal value different from its weight.


Gold cannot be inflated by printing more of it; it cannot be devalued by government decree, and unlike paper currency it is an asset which does not depend upon anybody’s promise to pay.

Portability and anonymity of gold are both important, but the most significant fact is that gold is an asset that is no-one else´s liability.

Sample Sulu coin design. Graphic by Asree Sug
All forms of paper assets: bonds, shares, and even bank deposits, are promises to repay money borrowed. Their value is dependent upon the investor’s belief that the promise will be fulfilled. As junk bonds and the Mexican peso have illustrated, a questionable promise soon loses value.

Gold is not like this. A piece of gold is independent of the financial system, and its worth is underwritten by 5,000 years of human experience.

4. The Importance of Paying Zakat with Dinar & Dirham

“Islam is based on five: testifying that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing the prayer, paying the Zakat, the Hajj and the fast of Ramadan.”

Zakat cannot be paid with a promise of payment.

Zakat can only be paid with tangible merchandise, called in Arabic ‘ain. It cannot be paid with a promise to pay or a debt, called in Arabic dayn.

From the beginning the zakat was paid with dinars and dirhams. Most significant is that the payment of zakat was never allowed in paper money during all the ottoman period right until the fall of the Khalifate.

Shaykh Muhammad Alish (1802-1881), the great Maliki Qadi, said that if you were to pay zakat with paper-money only its value as merchandise (‘ayn), that is, its value as paper can be accepted. Therefore, its nominal value is irrelevant as payment of zakat.

“If the Zakat was obligatory by considering its substance as merchandise, then the nisab would not be stipulated according to its value but according to its substance and its quantity, as is the case with silver, gold, grain or fruits. Since its substance [paper] is irrelevant [in value] in respect to the Zakat, then it should be treated as the copper, iron or other similar substances.”

Fatwa of Shaykh AlishPayment of Zakat is perfectly explained and regulated in the Islamic jurisprudence. For centuries when Islamic Law was enforced by a Caliph or an Amir, the Zakat was collected in gold and silver. When paper-money was being first introduced, during the last century by the colonial powers the traditional ulema rejected it as being opposed to Islamic Law.

According to them paper money was to be treated as fulus or lower category of currency with limited used, basically just as small change. It is, for example, not allowed to make a qirad with fulus. Among those ulema, stands out the famous scholar of magrebi ascendance, Shaykh Muhammad Alish (1802-1881) who was the Shaykh of the Shaykhs of Maliki fiqh in the University of Al-Azhar in Egypt. He wrote in his Fatwa.

“What is your judgement in respect to the paper with the stamp of the Sultan that circulates like the dinars and the dirhams? Is it obligatory to pay Zakat as if it was a coin of gold or silver, or merchandise, or not?”

I responded exactly in the following way:

“Praise belongs to Allah and blessing and peace upon our Master Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah.”

“Zakat is not to be paid for it, because Zakat is restricted to the flocks, certain type of grains and fruits, gold and silver, the value of rotational merchandise and the price of the goods withheld. What is referred previously does not belong to any of these categories.”

You will find an explanation by comparison with the copper coin or fulus with the stamp of the Sultan which is in circulation and for which no Zakat is paid since it does not belong to any of the categories mentioned. It says in the “Mudawwana”:

 “Those who possessed fulus for over a year for a value of 200 dirhams does not need to pay Zakat unless are used as rotational merchandise. Then, it should be treated as if it was merchandise.”

In the “At-Tiraz”, after mentioning that Abu Hanifa and Ash-Shafi’i obliged to pay Zakat for the fulus, [is stated that] since both affirm that the payment of Zakat is from value, and considering that Shafi’i has two contradictory opinions about the subject, the opinion of the school is that there is no obligation to pay Zakat for the fulus since there is no discrepancies about the fact that what counts with respect to the fulus is not its weight or its quantity but only it’s given value.

If the Zakat was obligatory by considering its substance as merchandise, then the nisab would not be stipulated according to its value but according to its substance and its quantity, as is the case with silver, gold, grain or fruits. Since its substance [paper] is irrelevant [in value] in respect to the Zakat, then it should be treated as the copper, iron or other similar substances.

And Allah, ta’ala, is the Wisest. And may Allah bless and give peace to our Master Muhammad and his family. (Translated from the “Al-Fath Al-‘Ali Al-Maliki” pp. 164-165).

This Fatwa considers paper-money to be fulus, because it only represents money and does not have value as merchandise. It follows that since Zakat cannot be paid in fulus, which has no value as merchandise, it cannot be paid in paper-money, which value as weight of paper is null. On this basis, it becomes clear the urgent need to restore the use of the Dinar and the Dirham as payment of Zakat.

If the millions of Muslims who now make their payment of Zakat in paper money would do it in newly minted Dinars and Dirhams, they will put in circulation millions of gold and silver coins into the mainstream of daily commercial activities of our communities.

That single act will became the most important political act of the century, opening the path towards the establishment our own halal free currency breaking away from the usurious financial system.

The return to the payment of zakat in gold and silver is an essential part of the reestablishment of Islam.

The Quran points to the importance of Gold and silver in various ayats: ‘To mankind the love of worldly appetites is painted in glowing colours: women and children, and heaped-up mounds of gold and silver, and horses with fine markings, and livestock and fertile farmland. All that is merely the enjoyment of the life of the dunya.The best homecoming is in the presence of Allah’ Sura Al Imran, 14.

In other words our attachment to gold and silver is not something ephemeral and which will be supplanted by paper [money] – it is a part of our fitra, our natural make-up. To deny it is to deny this natural love for it. This appetite for it is tempered – and purified – of course by the payment of part of it in zakat. This purification can only take place if gold and silver are freely available in the form of gold dinars and silver dirhams.

Dinars and dirhams are explicitly sanctioned in the Qur’an by the following ayats: in sura al-Imran 74: ‘Among the People of the Book there are some who, if you entrust them with a pile of gold, will return it to you. But there are others among them who, if you entrust them with just a single dinar, will not return it to you, unless you stay standing over them.’ And in Sura Yusuf, 20: ‘They sold him for a pittance, a few dirhams, considering him to be of little worth.’

Gold and Silver in legal judgments

Dinars and dirhams form the basis of a great number of legal judgements in fiqh, from matters of marriage to commercial contracts. In other words, without these coins justice cannot be established in many aspects of Islamic law. Imam Malik, radi Allah anhu, for example said that ‘I do not consider that women should be married with less than a quarter of a dinar’ Muwatta, Bab an-Nikah.

Gold and Silver as currencies

Ibn Rushd makes it clear that money ensures fluidity in transactions, as a means of evaluation, but is not in itself a negotiable commodity: Ibn Rushd, Bidaya al-Mujtahid, K. al-Buyu’: ‘Since it is difficult to establish equivalence between things which are different in essence, dinars and dinars have been instituted as the means of attaching prices to them, or in other words of evaluating them.’

The importance of dirhams and dirham – as the preferred means of evaluation and payment is clear from all the works of law: Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawaani in his Risaala for example immediately begins the chapter on sales with a discussion of dinars and dirhams.

Gold and Silver in Zakat

Ibn Ashir says in al-Murshid al-Mu’een: ‘Zakat is a fard obligation on everything which has been laid down (in the shari’at): gold and silver, grains and fruit, and grazing livestock.’ It is well known that zakat on livestock and on agricultural produce is payed in kind but as Ibn Ashir in al-Murshid al-Mu’een notes: ‘on goods for trade, and on a credit incurred (as capital) to buy and sell (on a daily basis), the amount due is the same as gold and silver ‘. In other words the goods one trades in are also evaluated in terms of gold and silver when assessing their zakat.

There is no zakat on fulus [copper money], and so by extension none on paper fulus. See Imam Malik, Mudawwana al-Kubra K. Az-Zakat al-Awwal, and Shakh Muhammad Ahmad Ileesh, Fath al-‘Ali al-Maalik, K. az-Zakat.

The inviolability of Gold and Silver

Gold, silver and storable, measurable foodstuffs are all commodities subject to riba. As such they are currencies against which other things not subject to riba are valued. These commodities admit of no exchange which entails an increase. When gold is exchanged for gold or silver then it must be like for like and immediate, from hand to hand.

If there is any delay it is riba, usury. In other words riba is not merely ‘interest’ but a far more radical interdiction. See Malik Muwatta K. al-Buyu’, bab as-Sarf. Again, Marwan ibn al-Hakam, the fourth Umayyad Khalif forbade the buying and selling of chits of paper [used to distribute foodstuffs to specific persons] denouncing it as riba.

See Malik’s Muwatta K. al-Buyu’, bab al-‘Ina. This too clearly demonstrates that riba is not merely ‘interest’. It was not the chits of paper as such that were forbidden as riba but the buying and selling of them as if they were a commodity.

Another of the meanings of riba is that you exchange one thing for something of less value: Ibn Rushd declares in his Bidaya that one would not sell a horse for a shirt for there would be an unjust excess of profit for one partner. Likewise the exchange of a piece of paper [as ‘paper currency’] for something of worth is an example of riba. Gold and silver ensure the abolition of these aspects of riba.

Ibn Rushd says in the Bidaya al-Mujtahid: ‘It is obvious from the law that the purpose of the prohibition of usury is prevention of the fraud that usury entails, and ensuring equity in transactions consisting in close approximation and equivalence between the goods exchanged.’

Gold and Silver and Leadership

The essential nature of gold and silver currencies in Muslim society is emphasised too in the link between authority and currency. One of the seven responsibilities of the person in authority is to ensure the minting and purity of gold and silver coins. Al-Qurtubi in his Tafsir al-Jaami li Ahkaam al-Qur’an cites the first of the seven matters in which the leader of the community is to be obeyed as ‘the minting of dirhams and dinars.’

In other words not only is the establishment and overseeing of bimetal currency a duty of the person in authority but also obedience in accepting and promoting it is a duty of the people. The importance of the mint lies in its reviving the means of purification of society from riba and from its denial of fitra.

Thus tawhid manifests in the aqeeda but also in the myriad aspects of the mu’amulat: Allah has prescribed how to act in every situation. To deny that Allah and His Messenger have prescribed the necessity of the mint, the dinar and dirham, the market and just trade is to deny tawhid.

People without tawhid make a split between this world and the next – the Muslim ruler joins, unites and establishes tawhid: in his capacity as the safeguarder of the mint, the bayt al-mal, the markets, the currency and trade he ensures that tawheed extends into this world.

The Muslim ruler is responsible for the purity of the currency in his realm. Therefore he is also responsible for setting up a mint. Only coins of pure gold and silver are legal currency, and only those sanctioned by him.

The mint ensures the flourishing of trade, and as we know from the Messenger, sallallahu alayhi wa salam, nine tenths of wealth is from trade. The mint is a ‘grounding’ of finance – instead of the fantasy world of figures in the stock exchange and on paper currency, the production of dinars and dirhams purifies and legalises the gold and silver extracted from the earth.

Ibn Khaldun points out in the Muqaddima that the degree of power of the ruler is reflected in the purity of the gold and silver coins minted under his authority: only the purity of the gold and silver can safeguard his rule. The impurity of the coins in a realm indicates the imminent collapse of the ruler.

Abu Bakr ibn Abi Maryam related from the Rasoul, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, that ‘a time is certainly coming over mankind in which there will be nothing else which will be of use to pay other than a dinar and a dirham’.

The mint ensures the flourishing of trade, and as we know from the Messenger, sallallahu alayhi wa salam, nine tenths of wealth is from trade. As Umar Vadillo has pointed out in the End of Economics – in this society trade is forbidden and usury is permitted, the exact opposite of Allah’s ayat.


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Neldy Jolo

I have been looking for any book that tackles about the Japanese Army in relation to the Tausug warriors in the Sulu Archipelago. Here is it. I got one. I am very thankful to Kah Abdel and his wife Auntie Mhar for extending a gift far from the State of Qatar and ordered it from the Although I do need to finish reading the book, I was ignited to share the importance of the article below this.

While browsing the book written by Helen Follet, “Men of the Sulu Sea”, published in New York in 1945, I came across with the name “Willard Straight Agricultural School” that was operating in rural Indanan, Jolo Island, Sulu Archipelago in the late 1920’s.
Upon curiosity with that school name, I googled it until I found the magazine Boy’s Life and contain herein an article “Barongs and the Scout Staves” written by Henry F. Phelen. It is about the courageous Tausug and about the Tausug Boys Scouts who made the Scoutmaster happy with the hospitality and kindness of this people.   

Follet’s book was published after few years in memory of the World War II in the land of the “master warrior of the Sulu Sea”. Japanese landed for the first time to Jolo in 23 December 1941 during the war. This is the year that Japanese launched a Kamikaze attacked burned the Pearl Harbour in Hawaii, the American territory.

I retyped the article from the “print screen” picture of the magazine because there is no available copy in a text form. I will not write much about it but let us read the article and judge it with our own conscience.

Hopefully, the young Tausug generations could get lessons from this article on how the foreign invaders respected their forefathers of which to die in defending the truth is their joy.  The memory of the courage in the heart of our forefathers shall not vanish.  

——————————–Start and End Here—————————-


By Henry F. Phelen

Boy’s Life: For All Boys Published by the Boys Scouts of America

June 1929 Vol. XIX, NO 6

Pages 26, 67, 68, and 69

In the Sulu Archipelago, the home of the Sulu Moros, once the most fierce and dreaded pirates of the Far East, is a Boy Scout Troop, unique in many respects. For one thing it is the only Mohammedan Troop commissioned by the Boy Scouts of America.

The three hundred or more tiny islands that form this archipelago, lie a very near the cost of the great island of the Borneo. They form the most southerly group of Uncle Sam’s great island empire in the Far East, the Philippine Islands. The early Spanish explorers named the people who inhabited Sulu, Moros, because they were Mohammedans, like the Moors or Moros the Spanish had been fighting for centauries in Europe and Africa. 

These Sulu Moros are a proud race of fighting men and sailors. Before the Spaniard Magellan had landed in Cebu the might of these Moslem Sulus had been felt for to the north. The natives of the Visayas, of Palawan, of Luzon, knew them and feared their power. The vintas travelled as far north as China and Japan, and as far to the south and west of Java and Sumatra.
The Moros fought most ferociously and tenaciously against the might of Spain. Time and again Spain secured a foothold in Sulu, only to be driven out again by the dauntless Moros. Masters of the Seas, in their swift sailing vintas, the Sulu warriors carried the war up among the northern islands, ravaging the coasts and sacking towns. With all her might, Spain was never able to conquer the valiant Joloano Sulus who at no time in their history numbered more than 70,000 people.

It took the American Government nearly fourteen years to establish itself completely among the Moros. Their spirit is inconquerable. They were, and are, ready to stand up against any odds. They love a fight for itself, and being Mohammedans believe that a short cut to Paradise is to kill an infidel and be killed.

Some years ago in a combat a small group of Sulu warriors rush a much larger force of soldiers armed with modern rapis0fire rifles. The Moros had no guns, only their terrible fighting knives called barongs. The last Moro attacker died within three feet of the blazing rifle muzzles. Not one of that little band stopped, not one turned back. The wounded dragged themselves on until killed.

Consider the spirit behind the well-authenticated story of the Moro warrior who was struck in the breast by the bayonet of an American soldier. The bayonet did not penetrate deeply enough to kill. Vainly the Moro swung his terrible knife at the soldier whom he couldn’t reach.

Finally the desperate Moro seized the muzzle of the rifle in one hand, leaned on it, pushing bayonet through his body, giving him one instant of life in which to strike down the soldier. He died while killing and infidel and Allah’s Paradise was his. It is such magnificent and ruthless courage that made the Moros the terror of the Celebes.

It is from the youth of this remarkable people that the Moro Boy Scout Troop is formed. The grandfathers of many of these Scouts were fearless sea-rovers, and the fathers of some of the boys died fighting against the soldiers Uncle Sam. The Moro Agricultural Foundation, organized by Bishop Brent, Mrs. C. Lorillard Spencer would be an excellent supplement to efforts to bring more peaceful ideals to these people, who, for hundreds of years, have known only warfare and piracy.

Every boy in the school attended the first Scout meeting. When I had explained in simple English what a Boy Scout was, what were the ideals that he stood for, and asked how many desired to study and train to become Scouts, the answer was a roar as a hundred young voices shouted, “We all do.” But what a Boy Scout really was, only a few had the remotest idea at the time, for in the whole archipelago of over three hundred islands there was not one Boy Scout.

After the meeting one young boy, who had come from the distant island to attend this school in order to “better his condition of life” as he quaintly said the day he enrolled, asked me what color the Boy Scout uniform was and if I thought he was big enough to carry a gun! Another young Moro boy, a Samal from Tawi Tawi, wanted to know if, after he became a Boy Scout and had earned his uniform, ideas on good turns would come into his head, for he wanted to do as many good turns as he could.”

Knowing that it would be impossible to train one hundred boys all at once, I picked out twenty who looked as if they might become leaders. I concentrated on these boys. Result as were astonishing good. With one exception they came through splendidly in their tests, which were purposely made rather difficult. From this group I selected my Patrol and Assistant Patrol Leaders, and three Assistant Scoutmasters, and formed a temporary skeleton troop.

I explained carefully to the boys that only thirty-two could become registered members of the first troop, but that I would train them all and that hard and meritorious work would determine which would be the lucky thirty-two. Surely there never was a troop of the Boy Scouts of America who came to Scouting with the greater keenness than these thirty-two boys who formed the Moro Troop – No. 155 of the Philippines.

When I left the Philippines a few months ago our troop had been in operation only eight months. Already the boys have a striking record. They seem to have grasped the real spirit of the Good Turn. A part of the Scout Law is in their very blood.

Perhaps the most striking tribute that could be paid to the thoroughness of the Scouting they practice, and the value it has been to them in the development of the responsible and public-spirited citizenship, is shown in the fact that six of the eight Patrol Leaders, because of their Scout experience, have been chosen for work in the Government schools. Fifty boys have since qualified in their Tenderfoot tests and will be formed into troops.

The country is ideal for the practice of the auto door activities of Scouting. Because the boys themselves are handy, and water-and-forest wise, the troop has had a hiking and sailing record, remarkable for an eight-month-old troop. Here is part of it:

  1. A hike of 25 miles to the village of Silangkan, formerly pirate town.

  2. A climb up Mt. Tumantangis, an extinct volcano – 3, 100 feet – distance, 8 miles.

  3. Fourteen-mile hike into the crater of the Bud Tukay volcano, whose crater is a lake. The Scouts cooked their meals and made camp on the banks of the lake inside the craters. Excitement was furnished by presence of the crocodiles in the lake.

  4. To the town of Maimbung on the coast, former residence of the Sultans of Sulu, and once the most important town in Sulu. 18 miles.

  5. A week’s sea-trip in the vintas. 150 miles.

  6. Hike of 20 miles to Parang, the largest Moro village in Sulu. Most of the houses are constructed over the water piles.

  7. A five-day hike to Timpuak Crater Lake and Bud Bagsak Volcano, Total distance over 100 miles. It was in Bud Bagsak that the battle of Bagsak Cota was fought in 1914. In it America and Filipino soldiers crushed the Moro warriors in a fierce two-day engagement in which hundreds of the Moros perished.

The first important hike of the troop was made about six weeks after the first meeting. It was to quaint Moro village on the coast of Jolo Island called Silangkan once a famous stronghold of the Sulu sea-rovers. The houses of these sea-Moros are built out over the sea on wooden piles which allow their boats to be tied at their doors.
The hike was rather a stiff one, nearly twenty miles under a broiling tropical sun; one that would prove a test to a group of American tenderfoots, but one of which these sturdy Moro boys thought nothing.

The principal diversion on this hike was a Scoutmaster being treed by an enraged carabao, a native work-buffalo, which seems to have an inherited dislike for the white man. It was great entertainment for the Moro Scouts to see their Scoutmaster perched on a limb, minus his hat and resembling, as the boys later told him, a Kukao – a large native bird whose call suggests a person in a sorrow.

Carabaos rarely molest the natives. One of the smallest of the Scouts walked up to it, and hitting it on the nose with a piece of bamboo drove it away. These animals weigh about 2,000 pounds. They have been responsible for the death of quite a number of white people, although they rarely bother the natives.

As we neared the coast we attracted quite a bit of attention in the neighborhood. Moros often travel about the islands but usually in groups of two or three and with a set purpose. Large bands of people were usually looked on with suspicion as perhaps a war party or a group of outlaws. To see a gang of young boys making a long hike for no particular purpose was a source of amusement and surprise to the people.

After a swim in the sea the boys found a lovely white sand beach in the shade of the tall coconut palms. Each patrol cooked its own lunch, which it had carried.
One of our longest hikes was a five-day trip to Bagsak, the scene of the decisive battle between General Pershing and the Moros. This hike proved to be one of thrills and surprises. On the first night we had planned to camp on the banks of a stream running through a teak forest. When we arrived at our chosen over-night camp site about 3 P.M. a Moro boy appeared on the opposite bank of the river and ran towards us.

As he neared he seemed quite excited. Still panting for breath he rapidly poured out his tale in the Tausug dialect. My boys immediately translated what he was saying . . . it wasn’t safe for us to stay here, there had been a fight between the Constabulary and a large band of outlaws that morning, the outlaws had defeated the Constabulary and driven them off. . . as the outlaws were very near it wasn’t safe to stay here. Without waiting to be thanked he ended his tale and dashed into the forest.

A halt was called, and a troop-in-council held. To stay there was dangerous, and to turn back difficult. The best thing would be to push on in a forced march to the coast. One of the boys said he knew a place on the coast where we could hide. We had travelled fifteen miles since morning, carrying full packs and blanket rolls.  

Without a single complaint, in perfect order we pushed on, a long line of khaki clad Scouts, in a single file, followed by ten big Bengali Bulls carrying food, water, lanterns, and extra baggage, travelling along a narrow trail, at times in thick forest, sometimes in dense jungle, through open grass lands, uphill and down, we must have presented quite a sight. If any outlaws were watching us from nearby hills they must have thought the staffs were guns and mistaken our unarmed Scouts for a reinforcing column of soldiers!

It was nearly dusk when we reached the coast and halted on a white sandy beach; we had covered eight miles in two and a half hours or a total of twenty-three miles since morning. After a ten-minute rest we pushed on along the beach led by the Scout who had been there before.  

We soon reached the place he had in mind, an ideal hiding place mad to order for us in this emergency. A tiny grass and tree covered island barely 150 yards by 100 wide, surrounded on three sides by deep swamps infested with crocodiles on three, and on the fourth by sea. That night the tide came up and closed the beach trail so that we were safety locked in for the night.

With the aid of their sharp bolos (knives) which the Moro boy always carries, grass lean-toss were soon constructed. Patrol fires were started and dinner cooked. A tired, famished but cheerful lot of boys answered mess call that night. As they ate their dinners, the talk was all on how we had out-witted the outlaws and found a fine camping site Patrol sentries were set and the rest turned in for a will earned rest. 

As I made my turn of the sentry posts I thought how different our night’s slumber might have been had not that Moro boy warned us. We never found out who he was saw him again; nor even now do we know why he did us such a good turn.  Surely he is another “Unknown Boy Scout.”

Six months later I met the Chief of this outlaw band, after he had surrendered to the officials. I asked him if they remembered our passing through the teak forest long months before. The old Chief smiled grimly.

His fierce eyes bored into mine: “Yes, I remember well. My men reported a force of soldiers entering the teak forest, and had you camped there that night, we would have rushed you at day break!”

How the boys of your Scout Troop might attend an Athletic   Meet held on another island, eighty miles from the school, was rather a problem until the boys asked to be allowed to sail in their own vintas there and back. Sons of a sea people, the toys are home at sea as on land.

The start was made from the Moro village of Parang on the South Coast of Jolo Island, early Thursday morning. Despite the early start great crowds of Moros gathered to see the unusual sight – a group of Moro boys dressed in the attractive Boy Scout Uniform with their red Fez hats setting out on a trip to a distant island, twenty-seven of them accompanied by three Assistant Scoutmasters and the Scoutmaster, in five fleet vintas.

There vintas are long narrow boats cleverly fashioned out a very light wood, with long bamboo out-riggers on both sides to prevent capsizing under the tremendous   expanse of sail they carry. In a good wind they are swifter than steamboats and are a most picturesque sight with their brightly colored sails, the white water curling under their sharp bows. A vinta under sail in fresh breeze is a sight one never forgets.

 It was in just such boats that the famous Sulu pirates, the forefathers of these boys, cruised the Sulu, Celebes, South China Seas, and inland waters of the great Philippine Archipelago. One can picture the fear aroused in the breast of northern natives who saw approaching their shores, fleets of swift vintas, crammed with fierce Mohammedan warriors armed to the teeth, who laughed as they died.

The Sulu Sea dotted by some 300 islands and hundreds of reefs, is traversed rarely by large steamers and one which captains dread. Very few light exist to guide the mariner.   The Sulu mariner seems gifted with an inborn sense of direction, and travels at night as we as in a day time.

With a skilled boatman at the helm of each vinta, and the Scouts as crews we sailed on through the night in as single file. A lantern was hung over the stern of each vinta as a beacon. The gurgling of the water under the sharp prows, the creaking of the sails, the subdued voices of the boys ads they chatted in Sulu, the warm fragrant air, were soothing. But dangers lurked on every hand.  

Unseen reefs dotted these seas, and to capsize or swamp is a serious thing in a sea teeming with sharks; where low banks are the abodes of the fierce crocodiles, the one creature feared by all Moros. This anecdote may illustrate the danger from crocodiles found in salt water as well as in fresh water.

Not very long ago a young American Officer in the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, while engaged in a charting one of the low coral banks, every nearly lost his life while travelling in a motor launch very close to the beach.

A large crocodile rose out of the water and seized his leg in its tremendous jaws. The young officer was standing on the rail with his leg pressed against a stanchion. Fortunately the crocodile grasped the iron stanchion as well as the leg. This saved the officer’s life, since pulling with all its might the crocodile could not pull him over the side, but the cruel teeth mauled his leg terribly, breaking the bones in several places.

 Luckily, an armed constabulary soldier, whose business was to protect the working parties from crocodiles was in the launch. He immediately emptied his rifle into the crocodile. Crocodiles often seize people who are wading, but this is an actual case of one trying to pull a man out of a moving motor launch.

Our trip lasted twenty-seven hours. These boys are born Sea Scouts. They are natural sailors, and their skill brought us through a dark night without even the suggestion of an accident. They were without aid of compass or light house. Often on his trio and on its return through the velvet blackens an island or a reef would loom up before my untrained eye, and it seemed a miracle that these boys unfailingly found the exact channel.

The Meet was a most successful one. The boys won numerous events and carried back with them the thought that they had been the first Boy Scouts to take part in a Sulu Athletic Meet. To say that these boys are at home on the sea is putting it very mildly. They are at home even under the sea!

In the Troop are six boys who can dive over ten fathoms, or nearly ninety feet, in search for pearl oysters. With only rock to carry him swiftly down and a knife between his teeth this boy would dare the dangers of sharks, octopuses and giant clams, time and again, for pearl-diving is a profession in Sulu, and many boys are trained from infancy to dive to great depths.

For centuries these Sulu Moros have led an existence of almost continual warfare. The youths of the race were trained to warfare, for those who unskilled in the use of arms quickly fell in battle.

To-day the Moro children are anxious to go to school and fit themselves for a life of peace. Only the facilities are not adequate. So very much remains to be done. These Mohammedan subjects of the United States look to Uncle Sam for aid and guidance.

Being so far away, so few in number, they are apt to be overlooked and forgotten. Yet of all the peoples in the great Philippine group, whose population totals over ten millions, the Moro of the South (about 300,000 all told) are perhaps the most loyal subjects of Uncle Sam in the Far East.  

Through the efforts of the Willard Straight Agricultural School in starting a Boy Scout Troop, a new outlet has been opened to Moro boys. Moro youths can spend their surplus energies in a field where; as I pointed out at the beginning, a harvest is already being reaped.

Instead of learning to handle weapons to kill, they are endeavouring to live up to the Scout Laws, to bring into the life of their communities the Scout ideals, and to learn the many useful things which are so useful in our country, but which mean infinitely  more to these Mohammedan boys of Sulu.
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ADZU Family Day

January 22, 2012Ateneo Blue Eagle This is my nephew. Since his mom is busy I’m the one who accompanied him in the Family Day of their school.We bought birds – The Mayas Php. 50.00 (1 pair)  This one died…so we freed the other oneMe and…


National Youth Ambassadors for Peace Program 2012 Peace Tech, Inc. will be launching its National Youth Ambassadors for Peace Program with the theme “Kabataang Kumikilos para sa Kapayapaan” through holding a workshop for selected young leaders in Maraw…

Secuya’s art

Had a chance to be in the right place when two of Davao’s artists, Kublai and Secuya mounted a exhibit. Below is a close capture of some of Secuya’s art.

Pinoy beefsteak

Yes, our pinoy “bipstik” is no where near the original beef steak. But, hey! This is what makes our version stand on its own.Here’s my version. I must have overcooked it, coz it is really soft when you eat it. Aside from slices of beef, added also pota…

Appetizer galore

It was a time to see a lot of family members around. So we decided to prepare some appetizer as well. This one is composed on (L to R) squid balls, kikiam and fish ball; and the sauces are (L to R) sweet chili, sambal and really HOT garlic! 

menjadi diri sendiri.. itu satu pilihan

pilihan untuk terus bebas seperti burung.. bebas yang cuma dapat dirasa, hanya terkadang dapat dilihat.. dan andai tidak terlihat.. itu tidak sepenting bila kepuasan mengatasi lagu cinta sedunia.. ahha.. dah mula merepek.. aku takkan berubah demi kamu….

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Public Announcement

  Dear Sir/ Madam Our salam and greetings. The Royal Hashemite Sultanate of Sulu and Sabah (RHSSS) under the benevolent reign of His Majesty Sultan Muhammad Fuad Abdulla Kiram I, The Sultan of Sulu & The Sultan of Sabah, with the Royal Foreign Minister and the Grand Master of the Royal Orders HRH Prince Omar […]

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An Open Letter on the Validity of Decorations

An Open Letter on the Validity of Decorations Currently Bestowed by H. M. Sultan Muhammad Fuad Abdullah Kiram I, Reigning Royal Hashemite Sultan of Sulu and Sabah January 18, 2012 To Whom It May Concern: As a student of chivalry, heraldry, and matters nobiliary, I have from time to time encountered in the course of […]

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Reform is Needed in a Nation of 95 Million -Tony Lopez

“Reform is needed in a nation of 95 million (the 12th largest population in the world), a country where one of every four families is certifiably poor, where 70 percent of the wealth is owned by only the top two percent of the population, where both unemployment and underemployment are massive and beyond mitigation, where

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Media Bias against Ron Paul

Watched the SC GOP debate. John King was quite subtle in not giving Ron Paul equal time. When he does not ask Paul first (so he won’t be able to rebut the others), he leaves him for last. But, instead of letting him answer the same question, he asks him a new question to begin another round of debate. But the audience apparently caught on. On the question of Right to Life, where King instead of asking Paul, was about to start another topic, the audience shouted Paul! Paul! Shame on King! Shame on CNN!
Two weeks ago, when covering Ron Paul’s campaign after the New Hampshire primary, Dana Bash said to husband and CNN colleague John King. “I’m sure you talk to Republicans who are worried as well, just like I am, that Ron Paul will continue on long into the spring and summer.” 
In a statement, CNN said: “The notion that Dana is anything but objective is preposterous. Dana’s report should be fully reviewed in the context in which she meant it—to reference John’s sources and her sources, not her own opinion. “
Obviously, CNN does not know what OBJECTIVE means.  It was very clear to all and sundry that Bash said, “as I am”. She told the world that she was worried that “Ron Paul will continue on long into the spring and summer.” Where is the objectivity in that? And it was very much her own opinion.
Really, I have never seen such Media Bias against any candidate! Too bad I’m not teaching Journalism or Media Studies anymore. The GOP campaign is a great eye-opener for students. 
It’s a pity that Filipino professors could not care less about the US elections. So Journalism or Media Studies students are missing the historic opportunity to observe in “real-time” Media Bias in action and thus confirm Media Studies theories.

Royal communiqué: Royal Grant of Award of Knighthood Elevation

Hrh Prince Omar Kiram Royal communiqué: Royal Grant of Award of Knighthood Elevation to the Ranks of Knight Commanders to The Honorable Lady Datin Grace Aguilar, LCRSS; The Honorable Datuk Sir Ferdinand N. Cortez, KCRSS; The Honorable Datuk Sir Emerito F. Salud, Bt., DRK, KCRSS; The Honorable Datuk Sir Myr Agung Sidayu, KCRSS and The […]

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Brief information about the Sultanate policy

The Royal Hashemite Sultanate of Sulu & Sabah We are the 35th Reigning Sultan of Sulu & Sabah being the last son of HM Sultan Esmail E. Kiram I (Sultan of Sulu & Sabah 1947 to 1973). Our policies are: 1. Peace and order and peaceful co-existence with others; 2. To unite our people in […]

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Royal Grant to Datuk Sir ali Tanjung,KRSS

Hrh Prince Omar Kiram Royal communiqué: Royal Grant of Knighthood as Datuk/ Knight of The Royal Order of Sulu & Sabah to The Honorable Datuk (Sir) Ali Tanjung, KRSS, (Lawyer in Jakarta, Indonesia) 18 January 2012 Royal Maimbung, Sulu … A Royal communiqué from His Royal Highness Prince Omar Kiram Dux de Legazpi Duque de […]

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aku maafkan kamu

saudaraku..untunglah kamu kalau boleh bertindak lebih berani..kerana baiknya kita sama-sama akan dapat..untunglah kalau kamu berani suarakan isi hati..kerana baiknya kita sama-sama akan dapat..untunglah kamu kalau tak terus berkata yang tidak terkata i…

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Royal Grant awards

Hrh Prince Omar Kiram Royal communiqué: Royal Grant of Award of Knighthood to The Honorable Datuk Sir Ahmad Ruzizan Maphilindo Mohd. Isa, KRSS; The Honorable Datuk Sir Azhar bin Asfandi, KRSS and The Honorable Datuk Sir Jorge Enrique Hernandez, KRSS: 15 January 2012 Royal Maimbung, Sulu A Royal communiqué from His Royal Highness Prince Omar […]


Hrh Prince Omar Kiram KNIGHTLY ARMS OF THE HON. DATUK SIR MARI ALKATIRI, KGCMRSS, INCOMING PRIME MINISTER OF EAST TIMOR: We are pleased to present the Arms of The Honorable Datuk Sir Mari Alkatiri, KGCMRSS (Datuk/ Knight Grand Commander of Royal Order of Sulu & Sabah). Datuk Sir Mari was granted the recognition and accolade […]

fresh start

After all the ranting, heaven has answered my prayers. 2012 ushers in a new film project Qiyamah. In the film, residents of a rural village in Maguindanao are horrified when the sun rises in the West. According to Islamic belief, this phenomeno…

A Stronger IMAN inshaAllah

In The Name of Allah,The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful The recent Sendong tragedy has kept many of us busy with each of our owndonation drives. International communities are continuously pouring out assistance while some NGOs locally aim for long-te…

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Good Old Days, Anyone?                   The old Manila circa 1938, grandma who took ward of me fondly story tell of the ‘peace time’ she says teary eyed while I was little, the Manila she knew now obviously crumbled, made even uglier by disregard of people -monopolists bilking what’s left of the once beautiful city. Grandma was at

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Neldy Jolo

I chatted this morning with a Tausug young artist and musician, who composed songs with rap genre. He is indeed a guy of hope and a model to the new generation of Tausug who has a good talent in music. He is from the group known in Zamboanga City as “Upshot Krew & Top Dog”. He is a proud Tausug. He and his brother are still finishing the new track called jolo sulu.

Their music somehow can change people’s mind and heart towards awareness to love their homeisland. Insha allah. I was touched when he extolled about my article he read somewhere and inspired him to write. When we chatted this morning, 12 January 2012 via facebook chat, he said:

“nung nabasa ko article mo, i was like man bigla nlg ko nag sulat”.

That’s the inspiring message that this young talented guy uttered. There should be many young guys that must follow their steps. This artist has a great influence to any social awareness to develop the minds and hearts to the young Tausug generations.

I would like to share to everyone to enjoy the overwhelming writes of this guy. There is less young Tausug guy that could express this way, thinking that the foreign elements have infiltrated the traditional culture of Tausug and the Sulu archipelago.

With this guy, there is nothing left to teach him that he campaign through his music and lyric. This is somehow will reopen the Tausug youth hearts and minds in the Sulu Archipelago to fight the ignorance of the peoples’ origin and identity: TAUSUG. 
Jan Zeyryad with his metal-rap music gear.  

This guy is none other than: JAN ZEHRYAD, a heavy metal-rap music guy. His kind heavy metal music doesn’t only mean characterized by loud distorted guitars, emphatic rhythms, dense bass-and-drum sound, and vigorous vocals but a sense of patriotic message of hope and peace to the psyche of the other heavy metal rock aficionado. Indeed an ARTIVIST (artist-activist).

The Tausug youth is for peace and no to terrorism.
Here is the current work to finish and take off your soul from the Filipino colonialism:

jolo sulu سوگ

by Jan Zehryad on Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 11:13am


welcome to the hood jolo sulu land of the pearls, the land of the brave the oldest battle ground in the world, haven of the true brawler, this is the place where mahardika and warriors are made, we raisin the sword of honor!

straight out from the south coz we the bangsamoro (bangsa mindanao and bangsa sulu) we fight for dignity and pride stood not to be oppressed we cant be x-out by no one,  coz we are united as one.


so heres some history son lets come look back time when  the spaniards is about  to invade our land  man they failed with pride and fame.

our ancestors fought  and none of em became slave remember the bloody  battle in bud daho back in 1906, man they fought til the last drop  of their blood.

and yesss jolo sulu was never been colonized by no one now we are fighting for the true history  so fuck ya historians and fuck the rays of the  sun, j slu was  never been part of the philippines.

well i dont  give a shit i never been  proud to be  called a filipino cuz i aint a filipino im a moro (tausug), i was born this way, i was never been part of your citizenry.

fuck ya system coz with the help  of the west they deprive and demean us of our culture, histories, territories, and privileges to the law.  freedom is what we need, and  justice for all  our brother  who fell.

links of some of their works:

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My eye My witness, Oligarchs & Robots   Look how vulnerable humans are today, and I see you from one among conscienceless human robotic that this country should be rid of, shame shame! People in the next decade will have broken into the mind barrier; limitless and living in interconnectivity, stations may man virtual replica of people who today may

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