Jolo, Philippines

The Town of Jolo

The Town of Jolo is located on the Island of Sulu.  It is the largest town on the Island. Jolo is the Capital of the Sulu Province: Jolo Island is mountainous, being volcanic in origin.  The island is bounded on the north by the Sulu Sea and on the south by the Celebes Sea.  With an area of 894 sq. km (345 sq. mi), Jolo is the second largest island in the Sulu Archipelago after Basilan.  The island is of volcanic origin and contains a number of extinct volcanic cones, including Mount Tumatangas.  The Sulu Museum Library records the founder of Sulu is RAJAH BAGUINDA in the year 1390A.D.

Jolo Sulu Government:


Yusup Jikiri.   Sulu Governor elect Yusoph Jikiri
                 joined Ampatuan in urging civil leaders in Basilan and Sulu "to help build a bridge of
                 peace and understanding" among residents, and in asking relatives of Abu Sayyaf
                 members to convince them to refrain from attacking civilian targets.

Governor, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM);
 Parouk Hussin (April 2005)

Govenor, Sulu Province;
Ben Loong (April 2005)

USAID; Development Assistance Specialist
Jocelyn Daway; (April 2005)

Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program Manager
John Dalton; (April 2005)

Hussin Amin, and  Congressman, Munir Arbison of the second district

Chief Of Police:
Chief Inspector Mohammad Noel Alamia
Jolo, Police Chief Muhibuddin Ismail
Hadji Suod B.Tan (Won against Rashdi Abubakar: Incumbent Mayor)
Vice Mayor:
Butch Izquirdo  (Incumbent Vice mayor)
Vice Mayor
Hja. Delma Ynawat (New, Former Councilor)
Councilors (As of: 2002)

Hon. Alkramer R. Izquierdo (City Vice Mayor)
Hon. Erich Q. Tan (Councilor)
Hon. Temo-Gen S. Tulawie (Councilor)
Hon. John S. Schuck III (Councilor)
Hon. Jazmihar S. Anni (Councilor)
Hon. Mozar S. Abubakar (Councilor)
Hon. Sharif Jul-asiri J. Abirin (Councilor)
Hon. Jester T. Tan (Councilor)
Hon. Arnaldo T. Lao (Councilor)
Hon. Kadil U. Sadil, Hji. (ABC President)
Hon. Ali-Yashreff A. Hadjiri (SK. President)

Transportation:  Philippines Air Lines (PAL) use to fly flies from Zamboanga City to Jolo twice a day, flying time is about  40 minutes.  They stopped flying there in Summer 2000.  The airport on Jolo is only 500 meters from the town proper.  Boats sail from Jolo to Zamboanga City almost daily, the trip takes about 12 hours.  However, they also have the fast boats which is like traveling in an air plane cabin.  Local transportation around town is provided by the Drivers of Tamaraw vehicles.

Industry and Commerce:   Its fertile soil and ideal climate make Jolo Sulu ideal for growing a great variety of crops. They have abaca, coconuts, oranges and lanzones, exotic fruits seldom found elsewhere in the country such as durian ("Smells like Hell; Taste like heaven") and mangosteen are grown. Fishing is the most important industry since the Sulu Sea is one of the richest fishing grounds in the Philippines.  Also, Pearls are extensively gathered and there is a pearl farm at Marungas Island. It can be reached in a 30-minute pumpboat ride from the mainland of Jolo.  In addition, the backs of sea turtles are made into beautiful trays and combs.  During non fishing time, the people build boats and weave mats.  The Sulu Sea is dotted with coral reefs and can provide probably some of the world´s best dive spots for the ultimate in underwater beauty and adventure.  Tubbataja Reef is the best known site in the Sulu Sea, drawing divers from all over the world.

People:  The people from Jolo are called Tausug.  There are about 330,000 Tausug in the Philippines.  50% of the people are literate according to the Philippine government. The industry of most of the people is fishing or connected with fishing.  About 90 percent are Muslim and ten percent are Christian.  In Jolo Sulu the people are mostly Muslim, with Tausug and Samal as the major ethnic groups.  The Tausugs are the dominant group in the Sulu Archipelago, numerically, economically and politically.  The name "Tausugs" means "people of the current".  They were the first Filipinos to adopt Islam as a religion and the Muslim way of life. they are renowned as superb sailors, brave warriors, and shrewd traders. The Tausugs have a rich cultural heritage, a mixture of the foreign influences they have been exposed to. This is reflected in their traditional dress, weapons, jewelry, songs and architecture.  The principal dialect of the inhabitants is Tausug. The rest speak Samal, Chavacano, Cebuano and Tagalog

Schools:  Notre Dame of Jolo College, Jolo, Sulu, Philippines.  University/College:Mindanao State University, Notre Dame of Jolo College, Notre Dame of Jolo for Boys. Central Sulu College, Hadji Butu School of Arts & Trades, Lapak Agricultural College, MSU-SDTC, Southwestern Mindanao Islamic Institute     Sulu State College  High School:   Dayang-Dayang Hadji Piandao Memorial High, School Hadji Butu School of Arts and Trades, Mindanao State University (High School), Notre Dame Girls Department,  Notre Dame of Jolo for Girls, Sulu Tong Jin School.

Hardware &Lumber:  Goteckleng Hardware and Lumber Store is located in the Walled City at 30 Sanhthes Street.  This store carries a complete line a hardware supplies for any building need.  They have lumber available for builders.  In addition, builders can order lumber in any size or quantity.  Goteckleng Hardware and Lumber Store is associated with the Goteckleng Lumber Mill.  They can supply your lumber needs.

Cable TV:  State-of-the-Art cable TV system is provide to people in the city of Jolo by Luis (Nonoy) Go Jr.

Internet Cafe:  NextStep Computer Center, B5L5 Kakuyagan Village, Jolo, Sulu, Philippines, Telephone Number:  24-83    Mobile: +63 9168423431, E-mail Address:

Telephone:   Jolo Telephone System, Jolo, Sulu, Owner - Mr. Hadji Soud B. Tan
    Dialing and Connecting Instructions

Bank:     SULU BANK BRANCHES, PDCP,  Jolo, Gen Arolas St., Jolo Sulu,  M-F 9 AM - 3 PM

Seaport: Jolo Port,  LOCATION
                    06º03'N latitude,121º00'E longitude, NW side of Jolo Island, SW of Mindanao Island
                     Jolo Lighthouse in 1903
                      Jolo Lighthouse  in 1961
                         Jolo Lighthouse in 2003

                Then there are the restaurants, grocery stores, photo studios, telecommunication companies, the market and even jawal murah (used clothing) merchants.
Native Restaurant is located in town near the Hardware Store.  The Native has always been know for it good and plentiful servings.

Food: Mangosteen

Attractions/Points of Interest:

Jolo - At the entrance of the town are four gates used as watchtowers during Spanish times. Building that were once gutted by fire or riddled with bullets during the 1970´s still stand.

Rizal Plaza.  - is in the center of the City of Jolo. 

American Monument  - See the 2nd Calvary

Maimbung Mosque - See 1968 picture in Culay
Sultan's Palace in Maimbung, Jolo, Sulu, Philippines
Sulu Ethnological Museum at Notre Dame College. The Provincial Capitol has Moor-inspired architecture, the Masjid Jami, the largest of the town's mosques, and the Barter Trade Market.

Sulu Museum and Library:    The records from the "Notes on Sulu Culture" by Oswalda A. Cabel at the Sulu Museum and Library 1993.  The official name of this Museum is Jolo National Museum Branch Capitol Site, Jolo Island, Sulu Western Mindanao.  Proprietor: Sulu Provincial Government Curator: Museum Administrator Ms. Oswalda A. Cabel; Open Hours: 8-12pm; 1-5pm (Mon-Fri) Closed: Sat, Sun & Public Holidays.  Provincial museum established in 1982, containing historical and ethnological artifacts (notably in connection with the performing arts) from the South-Western Sulu islands group. NB: plans are currently underway to transfer this museum to the proprietorship of the National Museum of the Philippines, with a view of establishing it as a National Museum branch in Sulu. Oswalda A Cabel. On Seaborne Sulu. Paper (File No. 004 Sulu). This paper portrays the Sulus as masters of the sea, and as such they flourished in trade and commerce, international politics and diplomacy, unconquerable in their defense against imperialism

Bud Dato, a 200 meters high hill outside Jolo, is the site of the revered tomb of a Muslim missionary from abroad. The town and sea below may be seen from a nearby military camp.
Bud Daho is located in Patikul and is 2,247 feet.  This mountain has a magnificent view of Jolo.

Native handicrafts that are good souvenirs include the Laminosa mat with its colorful geometric designs, decorative cloths, shell craft and food covers. These are available at the market or visit the NACIDA store at Notre Dame.

Beaches:  such as the kilometer-long white sand Quezon Beach next to Jolo. But the province is more known for its excellent diving spots, the best of which is Tubbataha Reef.
Alutauag Beach

Notre Dame Of Jolo Cottage Industry (NDJCI) is a non-profit development organization in Jolo, Sulu, Mindanao, Philippines.
(You must click your BACK button to come back)

Peace Center and Culture of Peace Seminar:
Launching of NDJC Peace Center and Culture of Peace Semina r for Peace Animators, Jolo, Sulu.   The Notre Dame of Jolo College and the Apostolic Vicariate of Jolo successfully launched the NDJC Peace Center on December 10th, the golden anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. The launching was in line with the celebration of the Peace Week in Jolo. The Peace Center aims to create a culture of peace in the Sulu and Tawi-Tawi area and heal the wounds of conflicts.  The Center was created to address the needs of the Jolo Sulu area, which many feel has been neglected.  In line with the creation of the Center and the promotion of a culture of peace, 28 peace animators from Sulu and Tawi-Tawi provinces took part in a Culture of Peace Seminar held on December 11-15, 1998 at the Eugene de Mazenod Formation Center in Jolo, Sulu. The participants were from the different Notre Dame schools in the area as well as from the different programs of the Apostolic Vicariate of Jolo.  Resource persons/facilitators came from CRS, NDU-PEC, MinCARRD, OPAPP and NDJC-Peace Center.  Other activities of the Peace Week included a mural painting contest, a peace concert, a symposium with Under-secretary Nabil Tan of OPAPP, an essay-writing contest and a motorcade.   The celebration was also held to honor the memory of Bishop Benjamin de Jesus, OMI and Fr. Jose George Florante Coronado, OMI, both of whom suffered violent deaths.
(You must click your BACK button to come back)

Rare Jolo Bird:  SULU HORNBILL (Anthracoceros montani) Family Bucerotidae: Hornbills Description: 70 cm. Black, glossed with green above; tail white; bill and feet black. Distribution and habits: Scarce. Occurs in the mountains of Jolo, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. Usually travels in pairs or in small noisy groups. Feeds on forest fruit, small lizards and some insects. Like other hornbills, nests in tree holes.
(You must click your BACK button to come back)

Industrial Building:

Seaweed Buying Station, Sulu, Seaweed Growers Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Jolo, Sulu; The project aims to install a buying station that will serve as a venue for direct buying of seaweeds and seaweed products. This will minimize the control of traders/middle men buyer and enable the growers to receive higher price.  Cost is 0.5 M.  Tyhis is a Joint venture and will invpolve the procurement of Machinery & Equipment, and Market acces

Two coconut oil mills:   a P800 million worth of private-sector investment was assured by the Board of Investments.  This will include two coconut oil mills and a refinery expansion project in Tanjung, Jolo, Sulu, and in Malabang, Lanao del Sur.  President Ramos assured the release of much-needed funds to implement development projects in the area.

Weather: Jolo

Return to Jolo Table of Contents

Go to the Next PageThe Province of Sulu -

Rashdi Abubakar:
Jolo has had a taste of a good mayor in Rashdi Abubakar from 1998 to 2001. But he lost in the last election because of division in their ranks. Under his watch, the public market vastly improved, sidewalks were cemented, illicit drug use was dramatically reduced. He invested public funds in infrastructure, worked closely with the military and police to curb the number of firearms.

Only in his 30s, Abubakar now spends his time running a gasoline station in Jolo and other businesses in Zamboanga. Will he go back to politics? “It can get frustrating,” he says. “Leading by example wasn’t enough. People need to change their attitude. They’re not yet politically mature.”

Educated in Ateneo de Manila University, he is a moderate Muslim and worries for the future of Islam in Sulu. “Radicalism is growing,” he says. “Young religious leaders train abroad with radical groups and they espouse violence.”

The likes of Badiri, Arbison, and Abubakar give people faith in Sulu and optimism that the province is not moribund. They’ve taken the first step. For, as a government worker says, “The first thing to do in Sulu is to rekindle hope—because even that is gone."

Page 4

Return to:
Jolo, Sulu Page
Walt Okon's Home Page

Page created by Walt Okon: Walt Okon
Changes last made on: 07 June 2003