Sulu Archipelago
Overview
 
The Sulu Archipelago is a chain of islands in the southwestern Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

. This archipelago is considered to be part of the Moroland by the local rebel independence movement. This island group forms the northern limit of the Celebes Sea
Celebes Sea
The Celebes Sea of the western Pacific Ocean is bordered on the north by the Sulu Archipelago and Sulu Sea and Mindanao Island of the Philippines, on the east by the Sangihe Islands chain, on the south by Sulawesi, and on the west by Kalimantan in Indonesia...

.

The archipelago is not, as is often supposed, the remains of a land bridge between Borneo and the Philippines. Rather, it is the exposed edge of small submarine ridges produced by tectonic tilting of the sea bottom Basilan
Basilan
The Province of Basilan is an island province of the Philippines within the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao . Basilan is the largest and northernmost of the major islands of the Sulu Archipelago and is located just off the southern coast of Zamboanga Peninsula...

, Jolo
Jolo
Jolo may refer to:* Jolo Island* Jolo, Sulu* Jolo, West Virginia* Jolo is also the nickname of Swedish author Jan Olof Olsson....

, and other islands in the group are extinct volcanic cones rising from the southernmost ridge.
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
The Sulu Archipelago is a chain of islands in the southwestern Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

. This archipelago is considered to be part of the Moroland by the local rebel independence movement. This island group forms the northern limit of the Celebes Sea
Celebes Sea
The Celebes Sea of the western Pacific Ocean is bordered on the north by the Sulu Archipelago and Sulu Sea and Mindanao Island of the Philippines, on the east by the Sangihe Islands chain, on the south by Sulawesi, and on the west by Kalimantan in Indonesia...

.

The archipelago is not, as is often supposed, the remains of a land bridge between Borneo and the Philippines. Rather, it is the exposed edge of small submarine ridges produced by tectonic tilting of the sea bottom Basilan
Basilan
The Province of Basilan is an island province of the Philippines within the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao . Basilan is the largest and northernmost of the major islands of the Sulu Archipelago and is located just off the southern coast of Zamboanga Peninsula...

, Jolo
Jolo
Jolo may refer to:* Jolo Island* Jolo, Sulu* Jolo, West Virginia* Jolo is also the nickname of Swedish author Jan Olof Olsson....

, and other islands in the group are extinct volcanic cones rising from the southernmost ridge. Tawi-Tawi, the southernmost island of the group, has a serpentine basement-complex
Basement (geology)
In geology, the terms basement and crystalline basement are used to define the rocks below a sedimentary platform or cover, or more generally any rock below sedimentary rocks or sedimentary basins that are metamorphic or igneous in origin...

 core with a limestone
Limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

 covering. This island chain is an important migration route for birds.

The largest cities or towns in the area are on Maimbung and Jolo
Jolo, Sulu
Jolo is a municipality on the island of Jolo, and the capital and largest town of the province of Sulu. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 87,998 people in 12,814 households. Part of its population is of Chinese descent, mainly from Singapore...

 of the Sulu Archipelago, plus the larger island of Palawan
Palawan
Palawan is an island province of the Philippines located in the MIMAROPA region or Region 4. Its capital is Puerto Princesa City, and it is the largest province in the country in terms of total area of jurisdiction. The islands of Palawan stretch from Mindoro in the northeast to Borneo in the...

 to its north, the coastal regions of the westward-extending Zamboanga Peninsula
Zamboanga Peninsula
Zamboanga Peninsula / Western Mindanao is a peninsula and an administrative region in the Philippines. Designated as Region IX, the region consists of three provinces, namely, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and Zamboanga Sibugay, its component cities of Dipolog, Dapitan, Pagadian, and...

 of Mindanao
Mindanao
Mindanao is the second largest and easternmost island in the Philippines. It is also the name of one of the three island groups in the country, which consists of the island of Mindanao and smaller surrounding islands. The other two are Luzon and the Visayas. The island of Mindanao is called The...

, and the northern part of the island of Borneo
Borneo
Borneo is the third largest island in the world and is located north of Java Island, Indonesia, at the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia....

 were formerly parts of the thalassocratic
Thalassocracy
The term thalassocracy refers to a state with primarily maritime realms—an empire at sea, such as Athens or the Phoenician network of merchant cities...

 Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo.

The archipelago is the home of the indigenous Tausug people; various group of Samal
Samal
-Cultures:* The Sama languages of the Sulu Archipelago in island Southeast Asia* The ethnic groups that speak this language , see Samal people-In Turkey:* An ancient Hittite city, now the Zincirli archaeological site in southern Turkey...

 (or Sama
Sama
Sama may refer to:* A verse from the Samaveda, one of the Vedas* Sama , a part of Harstad city in northern Norway* Sama, Asturias, a parish in the municipality of Langreo in northern Spain...

) people including the semi-nomadic Badjaw
Bajau
The Bajau or Bajaw , also spelled Bajao, Badjau, Badjaw, or Badjao, are an indigenous ethnic group of Maritime Southeast Asia...

; the land-based Sama; the related Yakan
Yakan
The Yakan people are among the major indigenous tribes in Mindanao. Having a significant number of followers of Islam, it is considered as one of the 13 Moro groups in the Philippines. There are also a good number of Christians in this tribe as a result of the conversion of the line of Datu Kalun -...

 people; and the Jama Mapun people. The Tausug language
Tausug language
Tausūg is a language spoken in the province of Sulu in the Philippines, in Malaysia, and in Indonesia by the Tausūg people....

 is spoken widely in the Sulu Archipelago as both first and second languages throughout these islands. The Yakan language is spoken mainly in Basilan
Basilan
The Province of Basilan is an island province of the Philippines within the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao . Basilan is the largest and northernmost of the major islands of the Sulu Archipelago and is located just off the southern coast of Zamboanga Peninsula...

 Island. Numerous dialects of Sinama are spoken throughout the archipelago, from the Tawi-Tawi
Tawi-Tawi
Tawi-Tawi is an island province of the Philippines located in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao . The capital of Tawi-Tawi is Bongao. The province is the southernmost of the country sharing sea borders with the Malaysian State of Sabah and the Indonesian East Kalimantan province. To the...

 Island group, to the Mapun island group (Mapun), to the coast of Mindanao and beyond.

Excavations in the area of "Bolobok Cave" on Sanga-Sanga Island, Tawi-Tawi Province, have shown the remains of humans dwelling there about 4,000 years ago.

History

The grip of the Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

 on Mindanao
Mindanao
Mindanao is the second largest and easternmost island in the Philippines. It is also the name of one of the three island groups in the country, which consists of the island of Mindanao and smaller surrounding islands. The other two are Luzon and the Visayas. The island of Mindanao is called The...

, Palawan
Palawan
Palawan is an island province of the Philippines located in the MIMAROPA region or Region 4. Its capital is Puerto Princesa City, and it is the largest province in the country in terms of total area of jurisdiction. The islands of Palawan stretch from Mindoro in the northeast to Borneo in the...

, and the islands to their south was always tenuous. This area was generally under the control of the Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 Sultanate of Sulu, centered in northern Borneo, which continually tried to extend the influence of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 over the southwestern Philippines. In the 16th century, Spanish military expeditions against the sultan
Sultan
Sultan is a title with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic language abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", and "dictatorship", derived from the masdar سلطة , meaning "authority" or "power". Later, it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who...

ate were launched. From the 16th century through 1898, there were about 16 military campaigns against the sultans five of these resulting in a short occupation, except for the last one. During these three centuries, the Spaniards ruled Jolo for a grand total of about three decade
Decade
A decade is a period of 10 years. The word is derived from the Ancient Greek dekas which means ten. This etymology is sometime confused with the Latin decas and dies , which is not correct....

s and so Spanish rule over the Sulu Archipelago was generally limited to annual tributes by the sultans to the Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

, mostly in the form of pearl
Pearl
A pearl is a hard object produced within the soft tissue of a living shelled mollusk. Just like the shell of a mollusk, a pearl is made up of calcium carbonate in minute crystalline form, which has been deposited in concentric layers. The ideal pearl is perfectly round and smooth, but many other...

s, a product of the region. An effective occupation of Jolo by the Spanish Empire did not take place until the year 1876.

1587 to 1844: The Sulu Sultanate vs. Spain

From its first encounters with Jolo, Spain was met with stiff resistance from a highly-organized people under the Sultanate of Sulu, which had been established in 1457 by an Arab born in Johore, Shari’ful Hashem Syed Abu Bak’r. He arrived in Sulu from Melaka in 1450. The sultanate had strong ties with Borneo, which by the 15th century was under the influence of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

.

Although Miguel Lopez de Legazpi had successfully established a colony in Cebu in May 1565, the initial push of the Spanish conquista was northwards. It was not until June 1578 that Governor General Francisco de Sande dispatched captain Esteban Rodriguez de Figueroa, together with the Jesuit priest Juan del Campo and the coadjutor Gaspar Gomez to Jolo. The result was not occupation but a negotiated compromise where the Sulu sultan paid a regular tribute in pearls. The following year, Figueroa was awarded the sole right to colonize Mindanao. In 1587, during a campaign against Borneo launched by Sande, Figueroa attacked and burned down Jolo. The Spaniards left Jolo after a few days, so they probably had had no intentions of occupation, but they were moslty securing their rear areas on their way to attack northern Borneo.

Spanish hostilities had secured the Joloanos resolve to resist Spanish intrusions. In response to attacks, raids were conducted against the settlements and reducciones organized by Spain. In 1593, the first permanent Roman Catholic mission was established on the Zamboanga Peninsula, and three years later, the Spanish Army launched another attack on Jolo, but this one was repelled by the army of Rajah Bongsu.

In November 1593, the Spanish Empire sent Juan Ronquillo to Tampakan to thwart the slave raiders. However by the following year, the Spanish Army troops had relocated to Caldera Bay (Recodo), Mindanao. In 1598, another expedition was launched against Jolo, but this one was repelled by the Joloanos.

In late 1600, Captain Juan Gallinato with a group of about 200 Spanish soldier
Soldier
A soldier is a member of the land component of national armed forces; whereas a soldier hired for service in a foreign army would be termed a mercenary...

s attacked Jolo, but this force was decimated. By 1601, after three months of heavy fighting, the Spanish troops retreated since they had been unable to capture Jolo. In 1628, a larger raiding force of about 200 Spanish army
Spanish Army
The Spanish Army is the terrestrial army of the Spanish Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is one of the oldest active armies - dating back to the 15th century.-Introduction:...

 officers and 1,600 soldiers was organized to attack Jolo again - in order to break the backs of the Moslem slave raiders and traders. However, this rather-large expedition failed to take Jolo. Again on March 17, 1630, a large Spanish force of 2,500 soldiers attacked Jolo but to no avail. When its commander Lorenzo de Olazo was wounded, the Spanish troops retreated.

On January 4, 1638, de Corcuera led a naval and military expedition of about 80 ships and 2,000 troops to attack Jolo, but the Sultan Wasit carried out a stern defense. However, a serious epidemic
Epidemic
In epidemiology, an epidemic , occurs when new cases of a certain disease, in a given human population, and during a given period, substantially exceed what is expected based on recent experience...

 of tropical disease
Tropical disease
Tropical diseases are diseases that are prevalent in or unique to tropical and subtropical regions. The diseases are less prevalent in temperate climates, due in part to the occurrence of a cold season, which controls the insect population by forcing hibernation. Insects such as mosquitoes and...

 developed within Sultan Wasit’s kuta army, hence he and his chieftains sought refuge in the Dungun area of Tawi-Tawi
Tawi-Tawi
Tawi-Tawi is an island province of the Philippines located in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao . The capital of Tawi-Tawi is Bongao. The province is the southernmost of the country sharing sea borders with the Malaysian State of Sabah and the Indonesian East Kalimantan province. To the...

. The Spanish Army easily occupied Jolo, and a small garrison was left there to control the area.

This Spanish garrison was withered away by frequent raids launched by Sultan Wasit. By 1645, this garrison had been wasted away. This was the first time that Jolo had been occupied by the Spaniards for an appreciable length of time.

From 1663 to 1718, an interregnum of peace reigned because the Spanish troops were ordered to abandon the Zamboanga Peninsula, and all of the forts south of that - and then regroup in Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

 to prepare for the impending attack of Koxinga - and attack that was never carried out.

Hostilities resumed in the 18th century and this was triggered by the decision in 1718 by Gov. Gen Juan Antonio dela Torre Bustamante to reconstruct Real Fuerza de San José in Bagumbayan, Zamboanga. The fort completed in 1719 was renamed Real Fuerza del Pilar de Zaragosa (Fort Pilar is its popular name today). The rebuilt fort was inaugurated on 16 April by Don Fernando Bustillos Bustamante Rueda, senior maestro de campo of Zamboanga. Three years later in 1722, the Spaniards were launching another expedition against Jolo. Led by Andres Garcia, this expedition failed miserably. In 1731, General Ignacio Iriberri lead a force of 1000 solfiers to Jolo and captured it after a lengthy siege, but the Spaniards again left after a few days.

In 1755, a force of 1,900 Spanish soldiers led by the captains Simeon Valdez and Pedro Gastambide was sent to Jolo to extract revenge for the raids by Sultan Muiz ud-Din, but those Spaniards were soundly defeated. In 1775, after a Moro raid on Zamboanga, Capitan Vargas led a punitive expedition against Jolo, but his force was repulsed.

The second half of the 18th century saw a new player in the Sulu Zone. After occupying Manila from 1762 – 64, during the Thirty years war between Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 and Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

, the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 withdrew to the south. There they established trading alliances between the Sulu Sultanate and the British East India Company. Spanish attacks on Jolo were now directed at weakening British trading interests in the south. In 1784, Aguilar conducted a series of unsuccessful assaults against Jolo and in 1796, Spanish Admiral Jose Alava was sent from Madrid with a powerful naval fleet to stop the slave-raiding attacks that had been coming from the area of the Sulu Sea. The British presence was signaled when in 1798, Fort Pilar in Zamboanga was bombarded by the British Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

, which had established a base in Sulu. In 1803, Lord Arthur Wellesley
Arthur Wellesley
Arthur Wellesley may refer to:*Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington , Anglo-Irish soldier and statesman*Arthur Wellesley, 2nd Duke of Wellington , British soldier and nobleman...

, the Governor-General of India
Governor-General of India
The Governor-General of India was the head of the British administration in India, and later, after Indian independence, the representative of the monarch and de facto head of state. The office was created in 1773, with the title of Governor-General of the Presidency of Fort William...

, ordered Robert J. Fraquhar to transfer trading and military operations to Balambangan island near Borneo. By 1895, the Great Britain had withdrawn its army and navy from the area of the Sulu Sea.

In 1815, there was the end of the galleon trade across the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 between the Philippines and Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, since Mexico had declared its indepencence of the Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

 in 1810, and an extended war of independence had begun that lasted through 1821. Most of the rest of the Spanish-ruled areas of the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

 had also rebelled against the Spanish Empire. In 1821, the administration of the Philippine Islands was shifted directly to the Kingdom of Spain in Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

, rather than the Philippines being ruled via the Viceroy of Mexico, since Mexico and its southern neighbors (in Central America
Central America
Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...

) had won their independence from Spain. Hence the office of Viceroy of Mexico had been abolished.

The Spanish Empire sought to end the "Moro threat". In 1824, the Marina Sutil, a light and maneuverable naval force under Capitan Alonso Morgado was sent to confront the slave raiders in the Sulu Sea.

1844 to 1889: Spanish colony

In 1844, Gov. Gen. Narciso Claveria led yet another expedition against Jolo and in 1848 Claveria with powerful gunboats Magallanes, El Cano, and Reina de Castilla brought from Europe supervised the attack on Balangingi stronghold in Tungkil. The raid resulted in the capture of many Sama Balangingi and the exile of many to the tobacco fields of Cagayan Valley. However, the leader of the Sama, Paglima Taupan, was not captured. With the fall of the Balangingi, a powerful ally of the Sulu Sultanate was decimated, this started the downturn of the sultanate’s maritime sea power. In 1850, Gov.Gen. Juan Urbiztondo continued with Claveria’s campaign and successfully annihilated of the remaining Balangingi strongholds at Tungkil. However, a raid on Jolo that same year was a failure. On 28 February 1851, Urbiztondo launched another campaign against Jolo, destroying the whole town by fire and confiscating 112 pieces of artillery. The Spanish troops later withdrew after their successful assault.

In 1876, the Spanish launched a massive campaign to occupy Jolo. Spurred by the need to curb slave raiding once and for all, and worried about the presence of other Western powers in the south (the British had established trading centers in Jolo by the 19th century and the French were offering to purchase Basilan Island from the cash strapped government in Madrid), the Spanish made a final bid to consolidate their rule in this southern frontier. On 21 February of that year, the Spaniards assembled the largest contingent against Jolo, consisting of 9,000 soldiers, in 11 transports, 11 gunboats, and 11 steamboats. Headed by Admiral Jose Malcampo, they captured Jolo and established a Spanish settlement with Capt. Pascual Cervera appointed to set up a garrison and serve as military governor; He served from March 1876 to December 1876 followed by Brig. Gen. Jose Paulin (December 1876 - April 1877), Col Carlos Martinez (Sept 1877-Feb 1880), Col. Rafael de Rivera (1880 – 81), Col. Isidro G. Soto (1881 – 82), Col. Eduardo Bremon, (1882), Col. Julian Parrrado (1882 – 84), Col. Francisco Castilla (1884 – 86), Col. Juan Arolas (1886–93), Col. Caesar Mattos (1893), Gen. Venancio Hernandez (1893 – 96), and Col. Luis Huerta (1896 – 99).

The Spaniards were never secure in Jolo, so by 1878, they had fortified Jolo with a perimeter wall and tower gates; built inner forts called Puerta Blockaus, Puerta España, and Puerta Alfonso XII; and two outer fortifications named Princesa de Asturias and Torre de la Reina. Troops, including a cavalry unit with its own lieutenant commander, were garrisoned within the protective walls. In 1880 Col. Rafael Gonzales de Rivera, who was appointed by the Governor dispatched the 6th Regiment to Siasi and Bongao islands. The Spaniards were not secure in their stronghold because it was sporadically attacked. On July 22, 1883, it was reported that three unnamed juramentado succeeded in penetrating the Jolo town plaza and killed three Spaniards. The word “Ajuramentado” was coined by the Spanish colonel Juan Arolas after witnessing several such raids while serving with the Jolo garrison.

1898 to present: American rule and independence

In 1898, the Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

 broke out. Commodore George Dewey
George Dewey
George Dewey was an admiral of the United States Navy. He is best known for his victory at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War...

 of the U.S. Navy defeated the Spanish fleet in the Battle of Manila Bay, following which the American army occupied Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

. The United States took possession under international law of the Philippines after the Treaty of Paris of 1898
Treaty of Paris (1898)
The Treaty of Paris of 1898 was signed on December 10, 1898, at the end of the Spanish-American War, and came into effect on April 11, 1899, when the ratifications were exchanged....

 ended the war. The Philippine-American War
Philippine-American War
The Philippine–American War, also known as the Philippine War of Independence or the Philippine Insurrection , was an armed conflict between a group of Filipino revolutionaries and the United States which arose from the struggle of the First Philippine Republic to gain independence following...

 followed during which the American military fought and defeated the Philippine forces under Emilio Aguinaldo
Emilio Aguinaldo
Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy was a Filipino general, politician, and independence leader. He played an instrumental role during the Philippines' revolution against Spain, and the subsequent Philippine-American War or War of Philippine Independence that resisted American occupation...

 for control of the Philippines.

In December 1941, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor, known to Hawaiians as Puuloa, is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet...

 and in the Philippines. The United States declared war on Japan and entered World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. Japan conquered and occupied the Philippines during the Philippines Campaign (1941–42). In 1944 the Liberation of the Philippines
Philippines campaign (1944-45)
The Philippines campaign of 1944–45, the Battle of the Philippines 1944–45, or the Liberation of the Philippines was the American and Filipino campaign to defeat and expel the Imperial Japanese forces occupying the Philippines, during World War II. The Japanese Army had overrun all of the...

 began with the Battle of Leyte Gulf
Battle of Leyte Gulf
The Battle of Leyte Gulf, also called the "Battles for Leyte Gulf", and formerly known as the "Second Battle of the Philippine Sea", is generally considered to be the largest naval battle of World War II and, by some criteria, possibly the largest naval battle in history.It was fought in waters...

 and succeeded in driving the Japanese from the islands.

On July 4, 1946, the Philippines became an independent country.

The fortifications of Jolo remained in good state during the American occupation when its walls, gates, and the buildings within it were photographed. These early pictures of 20th century Jolo show a well-ordered town, neatly laid out in a grid of streets and blocks — characteristics of Spanish urbanism applied with the rigidity characteristic of the military.

It is in the postwar years that the walls degraded. Jolo suffered major destruction due to bombardment and fire during the military operations in Jolo in 1973. There are no records of how many of the existing walls were destroyed during this time. Presently, short stretches of degraded perimeter wall still exist, but take some time to find because they are covered by houses or buildings, or partially-demolished to less than a meter in height.

See also

  • Basilan
    Basilan
    The Province of Basilan is an island province of the Philippines within the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao . Basilan is the largest and northernmost of the major islands of the Sulu Archipelago and is located just off the southern coast of Zamboanga Peninsula...

  • Tawi-Tawi
    Tawi-Tawi
    Tawi-Tawi is an island province of the Philippines located in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao . The capital of Tawi-Tawi is Bongao. The province is the southernmost of the country sharing sea borders with the Malaysian State of Sabah and the Indonesian East Kalimantan province. To the...

  • Sulu
    Sulu
    Sulu is an autonomous island province of the Philippines located in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao . Its capital is Jolo and occupies the middle group of islands of the Sulu Archipelago, between Basilan and Tawi-Tawi...

  • Banguingui
    Banguingui
    Banguingui, also known as Sama Banguingui, Sama Bangingi’, Bangingi, and Samal Banguingui, is a distinct ethno-linguistic group dispersed throughout the Greater Sulu Archipelago and southern and western coastal regions of the Zamboanga Peninsula in Mindanao.-People:The Banguingui are not officially...

  • Operation Enduring Freedom - Philippines
    Operation Enduring Freedom - Philippines
    Operation Enduring Freedom – Philippines or Operation Freedom Eagle is part of Operation Enduring Freedom and the U.S. Global War on Terrorism. About 600 U.S. military personnel are advising and assisting the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the Southern Philippines...

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