|In the prehistoric Times, Sulu
-Chinese relations revolved around a lucrative barter trade system of
products and Chinese goods, whick were loaded on Junks, or tung-yangs
the Middle Kingdom and unloaded on the beaches of Jolo and left there
claimed by their owners. No currency was used. Voyages were
unscheduled with long intervals as theses were determined by halcyon
The trade which went on for centuries in the Yuan Period
where Sulu's appearance was recorded in Chinese Annals. Currency
was already in use then.
During the Ming Period (1368 - 1643) the trade was already a state function where the Sulu Sultanate and the Celestial Throne were supposedly partners; but viewed from the Chinese perspective of ethnocentricity, Sulu was not treated as a partner, rather Sulu was a vassal and China was the Lord. Hence, goods from Sulu were considered as tributes or gifts to the Emperor instead of payment for chinese goods, which were collected by emissaries sent occasionally for the purpose. Poon Tao Kong was one of these collectors. Wu Ching Hong in Supplement to a Study of Reference to the Philippines in Chinese Source in Earlier Times observed:
In 1417 Kamaluddin Paduka Batara, descendant of Rajah Baguinda sailed to China on a trade and diplomatic mission. He was stricked by cholera and lies buried among Ming emperors in Shantong Province. To this day, the state hires caretakers of the tomb, who are Kamaluddin's descendants of the 58th generation.
Sulu society is a
diversity - Asean, Arab, Indo-Malayan and western
are woven in to the colorful tapestry of names of persons, food habits,
dress design, rituals, martial arts, cuisine, fine arts, beliefs and
aspects of local customs and traditions with the dominance of Chinese
nowhere equaled except by Islam. The similarities in Sulu Chinese
cultural refinements born of the early trade and the interaction of
of diverse backgrounds led to the ultimate enrichment of the national
Poon Tao Kong no doubt, contributed a mosaice in the structure.
"The Sulus having great connections with China and many Chinese settled among them, they have learned the art of ingrafting and improving their fruits.." (Captain Forrest, 1774 - 1776).
Datu Teteng of the Sulu Sultanate was a mestizo and so were several warlords. Contemporary political leaders trace their geneology to the Chinese, and so were several landowners who eventually sold out to the natives.
The secessionist upheaval of 1974 and subsequent crises in peace and order resulted in the intermittent exodus of the Sulu Chinese, whice poses a threat to the economy in the transfer of vital components for development in terms of goodwill, capital investment and other material accessories of trade. This problem calls for immediate and sustained attention that the inert socio-economic infrastructure be saved from total loss and once more Jolo and its environs become a hub of commerce and ultimately a tourist destination in Southeast Asia and "the little cup of silver" overflowing with progress and peace.
The restoration and development of the Poon Tao Kong Memorial which, in the distant past served a bond in the solidarity among Sulus and Chinese and with those from other parts of the country and mainland China is timely. The benefit to be derived therefrom will not only redound to the revival of the moribound Sulu-Chinese cooperation, but will also be beneficial for local commerce, global tourism, cultural exchanges and research that will provide a perspective in future rewriting of Philippine History.
|History before 1898||Walt Okon visits Jolo|
|The Town of Jolo||An American in Jolo - March 1998|
|The Province of Sulu||American Insight - 10 September 1999|
|Chinese Presence In Jolo, Sulu by Oswalda A. Cabel||The Family|
|Sulu Tong Jin School||My Heart is in Jolo By Rosie Go|
|Education in Jolo - Education Today 1998||- Send in your Name, and e-mail|
|Chronology of Moro Resistance - By Madge Kho||Food from Jolo|
|Historical Timeline of the Sultanate of Sulu by Josiah C. Ang, PM||News Articles about Jolo and Zamboanga|
|Tribute to a daughter of Jolo||Links to Jolo Web Pages|
|Song of Lelleng||Pictures from Jolo|