Jolo, Philippines

American Insight to Jolo
Walt Okon

On 10 September 1999, Rosie and I received the news that her Mother had died of heart failure in the city of Zamboanga.  We immediately packed and caught the next plane out of Washington DC to New York to Vancouver to Hong Kong to Cebu, Philippines to finally Zamboanga, Philippines.  It was a two and a half day trip.

The family of course had grown during Mama's life from 1910 to 1999 and the ten children that she had.  It was decided that the funeral would be in Zamboanga instead of going back to the original home town of Jolo.  The reason for this decision was the danger and unrest in Jolo.  There has been many killings and kidnappings during the past year.  The danger to the town people of Jolo,Sulu has increased.  At this particular time, transportation to and from the island of Jolo has become more difficult instead of better.  Philippines Air Lines (PAL) canceled its operation into Jolo. The year before the Philippine Air Lines flight from Zamboanga to Jolo was aboard a Falkner 50 a small twin engine jet prop aircraft that could hold 50 people.  Now, Jolo is without any air line transportation service.   The people that live, work, have business in Jolo have the need for the transportation.  They hope an airline will realize that there is a need and a desire for air transportation.  The only way to get into Jolo is by boat.

Upon arrival in Zamboanga City, I could sense the increase of tention from last year to this year.  At the same time, I was aware of the love, honor, and comitment of the people.  They are firm in their personal honor and credability of their person.  Life for the people is not easy.  Yet, they live it in dignity.  There is little to no Hot water for showers.  So, you get a cold water shower.  Water and eletric are not 24 hours a day.  Although I did not notice a schedule.  There were times when it was not available.  But, it must be realized that hot water is not that major concern in Zambonaga and Jolo which is just 5 degrees above the equator.  This land is warm all year around.

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Page created by Walt Okon: Walt Okon
  Original page made on: 24 April 1998
Latest update added:  27 June 2005