was in 1998 that I had the opportunity to visit Jolo, Sulu in the
Philippines. I had been to the Philippines only a few time before
which was in the late Sixties and Seventies. At that time,
I was impresses with the beauty of the country and the people. It
was a place of growth and progress. Little did
I know at the time that it would be almost 30 years before I would
return to these Islands.
On 12 March 1998, Rosie and I arrived in her home town Jolo in the Philippines. I was all eyes. Since I have traveled all over the world with the United States Air Force and have seen many countries, I was very interested in seeing the home town of my future bride. Although i did a lot of reading there was not a lot written at the time on Jolo, Sulu. I was to learn later that I just had not found the right key to this island paradise.
I had been to the Philippines in 1969 with the Air Force and I
the time I spent there. Now, I was returning to the Philippines to
Rosie's Home Town and meet her family. I was interested in seeing
everything. I was prepared and had brought a trusty camera along
to record everything. Unfortunatly, I was irigorant of the
critical things that I should be paying attention too.
After arriving in Manila, Philippines via Northwest Airlines,
to Philippines Airlines for our travel in country. Jolo in the
of Sulu, is located at the Southern most part of the Philippines.
In order to get to Jol, Sulu we would transfer from the International
airport to the domestic airport. This was an adventure in
itself. Remember, you have to go through coustomes
and then get some form of transportation to the dosmestic
airport. Normally a taxi is available. The wait at the
domestic airport could be a lengthy one depending on your arrival time
and the first flights of the domestic airlines. Most people just
find a confortable spot to nap. I was too excited to
sleep. Almost all the Filiponos that were waiting took a
nap. They were filimar with the process.
Our flight was the first one of the morning that was going to
Zambonaga, Philippines. Zambonaga
was a major trade entrepot since the 14th
century, the Western Mindanao region lies at the crossroads of
centuries-old trade routes in Southeast Asia so this was the city that
has flights to Jolo,Sulu. You could say that Zamboanga was a
gate to getting to Jolo, Sulu.
from Manila to Zambonanga on what appeared to be a new British Airline
A320 jet. I was impressed with the plane, its appearance, and the
attendants. They all looked very professional. Much better
than the attendants
on the American airlines. The flight from Zambonanga to Jolo was
a Falkner 50. This was a small twin engine jet prop aircraft that
50 people. Again it was a very good flight with very professional
attendants. The big advantage of flying in to Jolo on the Falkner
was that you flew lower and slower so you could take in the view and
the beauty of the islands.