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WHERE TWO SEAS MEET: Seven Arguments on the imperatives of  a One-Sama as foreordained One-Sulu Project

where two seas meet, mindaviews, quiling, mucha-shim lahaman quiling

(Read at the First International Sama Summit at the Western Mindanao State University in Zamboanga City on 18 March 2023 by Mucha-Shim Lahaman Quiling of the Sulu Current Research Institute – Sharif Ul Hashim Inc. in Jolo, Sulu. The Summit ended on March 19). 

Auzubillahi minas shaytan ir-rajim. Bismillahi Rahman ir-Rahim. Assalamu alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu.

Today is March 18, 2023. This day is being observed as a public holiday in the Bangsamoro Autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), and also commemorated as Bangsamoro History Day. Contemporary Bangsamoro history is very young, barely half a century old that started in 1968. So perhaps it is but proper to acknowledge the heroes and personalities in the Bangsamoro history who hailed from Sulu archipelago. I dedicate this lecture to the greatest Sama historical personality produced in the Bangsamoro. To Professor Hadji Nurullaji Misuari of Kabingaan, Tapul, Sulu and the Sama mujahideens of the Moro National Liberation Front in Sulu, Palawan and Borneo, both living and martyred.

More heartily I dedicate and humbly offer what I have to say today to the living patriarch of Laminusa, of the clan of Panglima Saipudin, here with us today is Dr. Saladin Saipudin Teo and the many educators and professionals that Laminusa has ever produced in the past and of the present. Bapah Kok Len, magsukul, itiyah ka pakale ma aku.

Introduction and Expectation

After twenty years as faculty and researcher at the Jesuit university in Zamboanga City where I started my career as an academic (1991-2011), in year 2014-2016, I was invited to be consultant on International and Inter-Religious studies at the Mindanao State University- Tawi-Tawi College of Technology and oceanography (MSU-TCTO). Then Chancellor Attorney Lorenzo Reyes assigned me to design a conference on the Sama Dilaut (Philippine Badjau) History and Culture. It was decided after a team of Philippine legislators, with then Senator Ferdinand R. Marcos, visited Bongao for a public consultation on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) where my chancellor and myself as Sama were invited to give our interventions. 

On December 1-4, 2015 Chancellor Reyes and Sama Studies Center director Dr. Abduljim Hassan led in the launching of the  First Sama Dilaut (Sama Badjaw) International Conference.  There were over 300 participants from national and international coming from ten countries. More than ten papers were read by delegates from the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, USA, Indonesia, Borneo, Japan, and the Philippines. Dr. Eric Casino whom I met at Ateneo de Davao University and took advantage to invite, had planned to come but did not make it for some reasons. I emailed Dr. Arlo Harry Nimmo (RIP) nudging him from a blissful retirement in America to come back to Sulu and honor us with a keynote, instead he sent out a video message and finally NCRP Chairman Dr. Kenneth Bauzon gave the message. Dr. Cynthia Sayas of UP Asian Center, the lucky one to document the last of  genuine Suluk Lepa, was one of our national presenters. Attorney Cecilia Jimenez soon to become the UN Special Rapporteur for IDPs shared her experiences with the Sama Dilaut of Rio Hondo and Mariki of Zamboanga as she was introduced to them and briefly involved with  us in our Lumah Ma Dilaut’s engagement with the Darul-Ifta and Ulama Council of Zamboanga Peninsula in the Technical Working Group facilitating the return, reintegration, and rehabilitation of Sama Dilaut IDP’s burned-down and displaced by Zamboanga siege. Everyone was eager to conduct studies or launch development programs for the Sama Dilaut then.

In June of 2016 the First Bangsa Sama Summit was organized by the Tumpukan Bangsa Sama under the leadership of ARMM Sports Commissioner Al-Trekee Dayan in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi held just days before Marawi Wreck happened. I thought those two events would be among the last of passionate speeches I was to make resounding the Sama voice. Since then I have refrained from making political commitments and minimally participating even in civil society activities. Thanks to the pandemic, another three years came with the blessings of silence and an opportunity for reflection and self-temperance. I must confess that speaking before you now is making me both cringy and agitated again. 

Having gone through several unity-conferences, my humble wish to be my contribution in the discussions today is not only to point out the dangers of hegemonic agenda lurking in the project of Unity and Consensus-building, and in every politico-cultural project for that matter, but to resound a reminder that in this age of seamless spaces and fluid time, KNOWLEDGE has been the most important tool of control and weapon of colonization perpetuating forms of subjections by “peaceful means” making hearts and minds sick and dying. 

Unity And Consensus

My presentation is from intercultural and religious perspectives and anchored from a social theory. I want to look at “Unity and Consensus Building” – as what I picked out to be this conference’s theme – from a Gramscian perspective. 

According to Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937), political actions and dynamics are always a by-product of and influenced by social and cultural suprastructures, and vice-versa. 

Unity per se is not an end for itself but a strategy for achieving public consensus and opening political action. Ultimately the end is to influence structures and orders and change landscapes and configurations of power, resulting to a new culture and new values-chain in institutions, the public domain, and the actors themselves. 

The game of dominance is called HEGEMONY.

HEGEMONY is the ability of DOMINANT GROUPS to rule on the basis of the CONSENT of SUBALTERN  or minority groups. Accordingly, the “ruling classes in political modernity need to produce – and reproduce continually – subaltern social groups in order to become and to maintain themselves as ruling classes.” [Peter Thomas – Refiguring the Subaltern]

Sometimes we sugar coat this hegemonic agenda of the dominant class in assurances of unity and belonging of minority. 

Political formations constantly compete for hegemony at the expense of the ‘othered’ and the minoritized. There is a perpetual conflict because of fighting in a “War of Position” (as contrasted to conventional politics of ideology in a “War of Movement” as in mass movement). And the winning is called a “peaceful” conquest or neo-colonization. We used to hear it said as: “colonial mentality” but globalization, an ideology of capitalism, killed this word to legitimize the unfair trading and unbridled one-way flow of goods from North to South developing third world forced dependency and addictive consumption of imported western goods seems ‘halal.’ So now colonial mentality has become a dead term as dead as ‘baduy’. Baduy or outmoded ‘tastes’ such as the color ‘taluk maka kulit’ – violet and tangerine (orange) – used to be considered ‘baduy’ as kolol sama, this fashion, considered fit only for ‘Badjaos’, was shamed and censured in polite spaces as tasteless and scandalous – but violet and orange have now become very much ‘in’ and fashionable in cosmopolitan culture.

In postcolonial and postmodern studies of cultural groups and minorities, hegemony is an important theory to understand the experiences of previously politically colonized, economically disenfranchised, and culturally minoritized societies living through in dominant subjection to their present neocolonial and neoliberal setup. Because hegemony is perpetuated through cultural and socio-psychological methods, such as accomplished through culture and religion with the neocolonial subjects’ complicit playing into the system themselves. This is Cultural Hegemony.

Cultural Hegemony

CULTURAL HEGEMONY is an interesting concept to intercultural and religious studies as it involves “the process of building collective experience, modeling meanings, developing values, establishing worldviews, and guiding society’s moral, cultural, and intellectual direction through education” (H. Laplap 2023). That I add, religious and cultural actions. 

Intellectuals and professionals actively participate in hegemonic agenda by reproducing and perpetuating the dominant values and consolidating the ruling class privileges in the institutions, academe, bureaucracy, mass media, culture, and civil society. The values that we teach in school, produce in arts and the mass media, preach in the mimbal and religious gatherings; practice in workplaces; and act-out as bureaucratic personalities. All these promote standards of living and thinking patterned after consumeristic and materialistic (capitalistic) values of hegemony. 

These values and status legitimize the ruling dominant power, while in imbibing the liberal ways and patronizing the spoiled lives of showbiz and entertainment world, we perpetuate the colonial lifestyle. Meanwhile discrimination and the process of shaming and marginalization of those who cannot belong and be as complicit, reinforce subjection and oppression of those of the lower status. 

The dominant hegemony promotes neoliberal ideas and values of modern society that price competition and survival of the fittest rather than community solidarity. It glorifies liberal freedom and individualism – hedonism, narcissism and practically every social media culture carelessly praised as “enabling” and “empowering” glorifying heedless-ness and irremediable addiction to Facebook.

Some examples

I will mention three examples of activities that have been helping consolidate cultural hegemony. These, many of us are very familiar of:

  1. In schools, we teach our students how to defend the right of indigenous people and advocate the preservation of our cultural capital, but we do so NOT in community solidarity with the marginalized community but through theories and unpracticed legalism. We do so also by appropriating culture in token appreciation of songs and dances, dressing-up performers to romanticize their ways of life. We normalize poverty and injustice and the pauperization and neglect of indigenous people by responding to it in melodramatics. The same images are sold as commodities in entertainment, mass media, eco and cultural tourism, and displayed as living museums to be consumed by voyeurs, tourists and collectors who could pay for the highest bid.
  2. At home we encourage the youth to appreciate history and commemorate our ancestral heroes and defenders of freedom who are our own farmer and peasant parents and relatives, brothers and sisters who are small businessmen and traders, and working-class friends who sacrificed their youth and privileges for ‘Hulah, bangsa, agama’ but we do so NOT by highlighting and emulating their idealisms for social justice or continuing what they have built as spirit of community solidarity but by participating in social and cultural festivities that are mostly of pageantry and entertainment.
  3. Among peers we want to show how wholesome our religious lives we live through compulsion, coercive practices in zealous concern over religious clothing and performative behaviors, but approve or tolerate oppression, discrimination and marginalization of our women and less abled members. As religious elites we are eager to prove our knowledge and show that we can debate the daylight out about every religious topic without the littlest observance of decorum, respect for fellow, and humility. Not only that, we will be first to censure and attack those whom we consider less knowledgeable than us and disrespect our traditional leaders and fellow Muslims who peacefully live in their island and uphill retreats refusing to change their lifestyle for the city’s and chosen to be in recluse and obscurity living out their tradition and teachings of their forebears. We brand them as backward, ignorant, paganistic and name them names, the worst derogatory word of the millennium: “kafir” (unbelievers)and “shirik” (idolater). 

I could think of more harsh examples but I would be kicked out of this room if I say any more. But what are the common denominators in these three examples? That supposed members of the minority or cultural community are coopted into making themselves subservient to the demands for cheap entertainment and escapist values of the dominant ruling class? And as culture-based societies have we produced an upper crust elite who behave no better than the most racist white supremacist from the west? What could be worse?

The New Order, The New Normal and Business As Usual

We have all been through this tiresome refrain of stereo-storyline. Most of us here are already in our late 50’s and many I know have spent a good 50% of that terrible half century of their lives without much of a memory, let alone a happy youth, to brag about on Facebook. The spring of time were wasted to war and violence. 

SOCIAL CHANGE was once promised to be a Unity project too. So did Consortium of Civil society and unity-calls to Building-Back Better into Society of Equals and Equitable Opportunities of Common Good. But building back better has become less and less about progressive reconstruction, and common good has been more of exclusive GOODS for the elite and privileged. 

CULTURE OF PEACE once promised to be more accommodating and accepting to COMMON HUMAN NATURE are political projects of peace, unity, and development that have been more and more about accumulation, mobilization to the center, and consolidation of the dominant position whose primary business of the day is establishing a political and sociocultural NORMALITY and consensus that promotes docile uniformity of producing replicas of totality in the grounds and basic units as images of the new hegemonic order  (i.e. subscribing to ideology in the one common name and nationality).

The language of human rights used to be ours. We have articulated our rights and belonging and claimed entitlements. But – neoliberalism has changed the meaning of economic and social rights – from universal social citizenship to basic needs. No wonder that Citizen-IDP was born. The “Internally displaced persons” have rights to food-packs, relief goods, and temporary shelters but their rights to permanent return to their lands and homes are being denied as human rights.

So once premised on Universal values of Human Rights, cultural self-determination as the third pillar of Human Rights now lacks the interest in tracing the evolution of culture, and in following through the trajectory of development towards the empowering of all cultures to enable each to play and display in a common market of Human Universal. The obsession to building and consolidating structures and institutionalizing systems within fragile and temporary political and economic stability has appropriated indigenous people’s land and sea resources, wrought wanton destructions to nature and ecology, and commodified culture, three among the most coveted economic currencies driving consumerism through tourism and media entertainment

In the meantime Order and Discipline have to be tightened, conformity and obedience have to be coerced and forced-out for the temporary equilibrium and fragile peace to be tenable. Those who fail to the test are rendered as outcast, pushed out to the margins and abandoned in the continuous progression of what is deemed a New order and New Normal, no doubt imaged after western modernity.

As it was in the past, the new landscape is not new to us. It has been called “Civilization” in colonial times whose “history” is replete with narratives of the triumph of Western Enlightenment. It is “Peace and Development” for the post-Martial Law generation, and recently, Post-conflict reconstruction. Nowadays, it is called “Dapat Alam Mo” (“You Must Be All-Knower,” tagline of a popular television News program) that encourages modern enlightenment as  patronage of ‘fast-knowledge,’ knowing wide and many information but superficial and fleeting, to be updated is to be abreast with rumors and intrigues in other people’s life. The greed for information and hoarding of freshest and sensational item of news bred fake news, internet trolling, and “Marites” (“Mare, ano ang latest?” or “Sister, what is the latest rumor”?).

But the victory clearly rings as the triumph of the wielders of Knowledge-Power who names, counts, and assigns the classifications and orders of things – the elite intellectuals and ruling class.

Decolonization as Counter-Hegemony

To refuse to be complicit and not take part in hegemony, DECOLONIZATION should be an inviting concept for intellectuals and academics.

To Counter-hegemony, we must de-colonize. Decolonization is a Unity project that does not fall coopted by the dominant powers nor does it confront hegemony headlong. Decolonization as subaltern alternative flies through to the side-door into a third-space of its own center and power.

Decolonization is a hard path to take as the purging must start from the self. First and fundamental is to remove the robe of privileges and entitlements and the ego of intellectualism to get into this voyage. One goes through a process in a kind of death. It is called “dying to the ego” or “dying before you die” or white death. In this decolonization of the self, one becomes a ‘luwa’an’, a phariah, one will be shunned by society and peers, even accused as some kind of mad or insane. But a blade tempered in fire is sharp. The mirror that bears the pain of constant polishing shines brightest and reflects authentic image. Patience and constancy are the key.

Since my involvement with Sulu Current Research Institute and Sharif Ul Hashim Incorporated, I have quietly quitted and devoted my scholarly interests in decolonial studies. I have acquired a habit of life that you might call nomadic. For one, I am no longer restrained by strict structures and orders when it comes to scholarship. Scholarship need not be for establishing name and prestige. So call me a mundu scholar without permanent fleet mooring in a secret cove. I shall be an honorable privateer commissioned by the Sama Dilaut. In God’s grace, I hope to surrender the last drop of my ink into the sea that launches the last voyage of the sea-nomad of Sulu sea.  

As the theme of this conference is: Bangsa Sama, Da Pehak, Da Bangsa, Da Munda’an, certainly it appeals to the academics and professional in us who are at the forefront of Knowledge production and consumption. The forerunners and organizers of this momentous event are a collective of Sama professionals, I am glad and share in the pride. Kudos to them, to us.

But the decolonization challenges for scholars and erudite as knowledge producers and purveyors are hard.

Have not religious missionaries, explorers, prospectors and adventurers once upon a time broken the frontiers and claimed to “discover the natives and noble savages” and claimed and occupied the unchartered and the un-named for colonizers and conquerors? Then came on their heels the anthropologists and ethnographers, civic clerks, and bureaucratic chroniclers and cartographers counting and classifying, documenting, licensing and legitimizing the colonial loot? Political scientists, philosophers, academics, researchers and social workers, entered next, contributing in the efforts to ethicize and justify in order to consolidate the powers for the oppressors and their collaborating native cohorts – the middleclass and elites. 

Journalists, development actors and service providers cum interventionists, they are numerous. Experts, consultants, political advisers, civil society and NGO executives, peace advocates and counter-terrorists, they are all over the place. 

Yet, still, we are here crying the same ancient cries. My older brother gave an appropriate name for such venues as this as ‘crying basin.’ A bottomless basin indeed.

I fear that our cry for unity and belonging is already sounding like psychiatric and psychological ailment – please pardon my candor. And as belonging is a feeling of ‘at home’ and feeling of ‘safe,’ I am wondering shouldn’t this problem be dealt within psychology and the sciences of the mind, instead of politics, economics, and academic?

With all respect due, and in humility, may I propose then that this campaign for Unity and longing to ‘Be’ be a decolonizing effort transitting from HARMONY. Let HARMONY be a counter-narrative to Hegemony. 

Harmony is the gathering of authentic selves. As creative process, harmony is always rendering, it is never finished or completed for as long as there are endless other stakeholders waiting to be gathered. Of individual strands of differences interweaving without losing autonomy. Neither competing or assimilating, but complementing and collaborating  as in the harmonious becoming of colorful threads of pandan woven into a Baluy Laminusa.  

Or in the elegance of unitary pearls and gems each bearing its own luster, harmony is stringing individuals into a beadwork, forming strands and streams of connectivity into dynamic networks as the Sulu Zone or Sulu Archipelago. These imaging are but two of the many possibilities of a ‘OneSulu’ project. 

As independent researchers, we at Sulu Current Research Institute (SCRI) Sharif ul Hashim call this decolonial academic missionary project as the One-Sulu

One-Sulu proposes a unity, not only by the language and knowledge tools of western sciences and philosophies. Afterall, Western epistemic system has disavowed our tradition and knowledge system of those before us.

One-Sulu unity proposes a collective journey to the Self by way of knowledge but not just any KNOWLEDGE but knowledge as tradition, as our ancient wisdom. Because then we are speaking from the inside. We know as insiders. We shall speak and take positions from knowledge of the self and wisdom of our Kamatto’ahan or ka’mboh-an

Ilmuh Kamatto’ahan (vital wisdom or traditional knowledge), our ancient knowledge cannot be faked or imitated or appropriated. It cannot be poached and stolen away by knowledge prospectors and unscrupulous researchers for personal profit. Because it is embodied. We acquire the knowledge, we BELIEVE and SUBMIT. And practice it. Once we have it, it will never leave, it is there whether in our unconscious or wakeful state. It is embedded in our DNA and flows through our life and energy streams and capillaries whether we search for it or not do anything about it. It will there lying in wait as potential energy until our soul needs it. An embodied knowledge is authentic and liberative. It will not discriminate against religion, gender, race, class, age, or nationality. True knowledge will not perish. It will not sell us out. Never.

Eternal and vital wisdom of tradition speaks to us in many languages of SIGNS, such as the “Signs of Seven”, which is what the title of my talk is all about.

The Seven Signs

Yes, I wanted to speak of some “SEVEN” arguments by modestly taking us to an Ayah, a sign, a warning and admonition from Holy Quran in Surah 41, Fusilat, Signs Expounded (Spelled-Out):

41:53 

Soon will We show them our Signs in the (furthest) regions (of the earth), and in their own souls, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth. Is it not enough that thy Lord does witness all things? (English translation by Abdullah Yusuf Ali (2007)

We have been initiated to knowledge about identity, urged to defend and claim our political, economic, and human rights by ways and through reasons guided by methods of western Enlightenment. 

We have been taught in schools to look into the rational logic of politics, sciences, and philosophy. Digging up from records and colonial journals. And from there taught and learned to imagine ourselves. Are we Bangsa Sama? Are we Bangsa Suluk? Are we Bangsa Moro? So many names but so little unity and belonging.

To find our identity, belongingness, and unity, we have generously relied on anthropologists and ethnographers for data and believed in the analyses and conclusions of experts and academics.

But still how we feel shortchanged by these paths and tools to knowledge of the world and of our self! These have failed us because, all those, so far we learned from basic education and universities have consistently misled us away from knowing the connections as the Ayah warns us to see: “the distant signs (in the horizon) in the signs within (the self)”.

All the while we have been searching for Unity and wanting to be One but all paths so it seems have led so far to endless cycle of separation, brokenness, and incompleteness, all evidences have pointed to our fragmentary, fractured, layered multiplicities of realities that urge us to search some more but only to find and settle in the conclusion of its Truth – of Unity in Multiplicities, of Oneness in Separation. But we can only apprehend and sustain so if true knowledge of the self is grasped and embodied.

It is obvious now that I am not arguing Seven (7) as the numerical value of mathematics.  But Seven as figure or symbol designated by many DIFFERENT meanings, used in many different contexts, and explained in multiple perspectives to emphasize the fact that there are other ways, many ways of knowing ‘SEVEN’ in traditional epistemology. 

Signs are Seven

SEVEN is a mystical number variously symbolizing but is in itself a sign and representation of a system and ways of knowing: 

  • Wali Tudju, Pitu Awliyah (7 Saints of Sulu)
  • Anak-‘mpu Pituh (the 7 generations of ancestry and descents)
  • Pitung-lapis langit maka pitung lapis gumi (7 heavens and 7 earth)
  • Seven seas, seven winds
  • 7 constantly appearing in the heavenly bodies and constellations, the star formations of Ba-tik, Mupuh, the constellations of Al dabaran ( The follower of the Seven) that guide the ancestors and folks in ‘papata’
  • 7 days of creation
  • 7 colors of ROYGIBIV as also the seven colors of chakras or energy seats in ayurveda which is also used in Islamic prophetic medicine.
  • 7 Sifat, 7 senses
  • 7 …

‘SEVEN’ in multiple contexts and perspectives is comprehensible only in a particular language of knowledge. And that language comes from the vital wisdom of Tradition. 

Let us then relate ONE-SULU and the SEVEN SIGNS.

Let us be taken back in time and remember that there is traditional knowledge and ways of knowing of the people of SULU, SOOLOO, XOLO, and known to James Warren as the people of  “Sulu Zone.” I do not refer to particular ethnic or language-community. Sulu Zone was a political economic region inhabited by the Balangingi, Iranun, Bajau, Sama, Tausug and other ethnics also known in ancient and present Nusantara as ‘Suluk.’ As among the “Bajau Suluk” and “Sama Suluk” we used to be the center of our own world, a power of our own.

As Suluk, we have our body of Knowledge and Epistemology, taught and acquired in our own ways of knowing, we have pedagogy and methodology of knowing in ‘pagguru ilmuh.’ Once we have returned to our vital wisdom, we will begin to apprehend the many manifestations of SEVEN AS SIGNS as apprehended by our ancestors as also a way of apprehending the signs foreordained in the Quran that are happening, rendering and continuously becoming in the many routes in our present journeys, sprouts of knowledge springing from multiple roots and nodules of languages and understanding.

To forge unity and find belonging, i am inviting us to try the method via Ilmuh Kamatto’ahan or Ka’mboh’an. Our Ilmuh Kamatto’ahan or Ka’mboh’an teaches of the Knowledge of Self as the Science of the Soul. It is not through pure science or rational philosophy that we know our Being and encounter our Self but through Metaphysics and Psychology. 

Ahap du koh isab mag da pehak, da bangsa, da munda’an. Makajari du sab ganapan ta bi maka pagdakayuh pangatayan, mag da ilmuh, da bowahan:

Da  Pangatayan, Da  Ilmuh, Da  Bowahan

“DA PANGATAYAN, DA ILMUH, DA BOWAHAN” is a UNITY call of coming back to our traditional KNOWLEDGE and WAYS OF KNOWING. An invitation to re-imagine a OneSulu again, as the Sulu Sea, the Sulu Archipelago, and our Suluk ancestry from the views of cultures and peoples in the realm of Nusantara.

I propose to create One-Sulu projects in at least these SEVEN strategies that professionals, academics, and intellectuals could start with:

1. CONSERVATION AND PROMOTION OF KNOWLEDGE RESOURCES OF SULU ARCHIPELAGO:

  • Oral history/ narratives as resources
    • Rituals, songs, arts and crafts, ilmuh kapandayan are knowledge resources deployed as repositories of data (social memory) resources for unity and belonging.
    • Tangible and living heritage – language diversity, cultural and historical landmarks, shrines and built spaces mark our belonging, we must uphold them.

2. ENGAGING IN ACADEMIC AND INSTITUTIONAL KNOWLEDGE PRODUCTION:

  • Engage in researches on traditional and vital wisdom to institutionalize traditional wisdom.

3. ORGANIZING PUBLIC GATHERINGS, SEMINARS, FORUMS FOR PROPAGATION OF KNOWLEDGE.

  • Through Hermeneutical process: Of progressive appropriation of religious texts as cultural texts interpretable within its localized contexts and hence passable as accounts of the past and valued for historicity.
  • ENSURING intergenerational access to religious and traditional knowledge through ritual practices of community solidarity
  • Instill our traditional values-chain as to be mainstreamed in our INSTITUTIONS, COMMUNITIES, AND FAMILY/CLAN FORMATIONS
    • Our Values capital is our Sulu spirituality / ILMUH KAMATTO’AHAN: Esoteric, Mystical traditions, Religio perennis.
  • Practice and propagate SULU SPIRITUALITY: Ilmuh Kamatto’ahan
    • Islamic psychology practices in individual and community physical, mental and spiritual health. 
    • Healing the ailment of society through Prophetic medicine.
  • Re-build, re-open and revive our connections to ancient sea-routes and networks, webs, and reconnect to the chains, roots and nodules in the Nusantara and the greater old celestial worlds and regional unities of the spiritual and psychological. Go back to the Unities of our knowledge-bases, in the Unities in shared narratives of the great teachers and guides, the “Wali Songo”, “Wali Tudju”, “Pituh Awliyah” once the revered intellectuals and learned and thought leaders of our ancestors.

IQRA! 
The beginning and end of knowledge is a return to ONENESS
(TAWHID)

THROUGH KNOWLEDGE HAVE WE COME, 

AND BY KNOWLEDGE SHALL WE BE ONE.

  • Lam. Mim.Nun.Saad.Ain.Yah.Waw.
  • Ma lekosan pituh titik.
  • Lam. Mim.Nun.Saad.Ain.Yah.Waw.
  • Min Laminusa.

This is your Arung Mussah, willing to be strung and beaded into One-Sama, One-Sulu. Inshaa Allah.

  • Wa billahi taufiq wal hidaya. Wassalam.

ALHAMDULILLAH IR-RABBIL ALAAMEEN.

(Mucha-Shim Lahaman Quiling is Chief Executive Officer and Senior Researcher of Sulu Current Research Institute and Sharif Ul hashim Incorporated. She is also the secretary of the Sangguniang Bayan ng Jolo.  She taught at the Ateneo de Zamboanga University from 1991 to 2011 and the Mindanao State University-Tawi-Tawi College of Technology and Oceanography from 2014 to 2018. She is the founder of the Lumah Ma Dilaut schools for living tradition. She belongs to the clan of Panglima Saipudin from Laminusa, Siasi, Sulu on her maternal side and of the sharifin clan of Habib Hadji Jalani Halaman (Abdurahaman) of Pata and Silangkan, Sulu. She holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Inter-cultural and Religious Studies from the consortium schools of Universitas Gadja Mada, Universitas Islamic Negara-Sunan Kalijaga, and Universitas Kristen Duta Wacana in Yogyakarta, Indonesia)

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