Infobox Philippine province
name = Tawi-Tawi
sealfile = Ph_seal_tawi-tawi.png
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao(ARMM)
pop2000 = 322,317
pop2000rank = 17th smallest
popden2000 = 296
popden2000rank = 21st highest
areakm2 = 1,087.4
arearank = 7th smallest
hucities = 0
componentcities = 0
municipalities = 10
barangays = 203
districts = 1
languages = Tausug, Sinama,
governor = Sadikul Sahali
locatormapfile = Ph_locator_map_tawi-tawi.png
Tawi-Tawi is an island province of the
Philippineslocated in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao(ARMM). 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 Kalimantan province. To the northeast lies the province of Suluand to the west is Sabahin Malaysia. Tawi-Tawi also covers some islands in the Sulu Seato the northwest, the Cagayan de Tawi-Tawi Island and the Turtle Islands, just 20 kilometers away from Sabah.
Most of the people in Tawi-Tawi belong to the
Samacultural group. Within this group are subgroups and named based on the location of the speaker. Sama Sibutu are those from the Sibutu-Sitangkai Island Group, Sama Simunul are those from Simunul-Manuk Mangkaw Island Group, and so on.
The Jama Mapun are largely found in the Cagayan Mapun and Turtle Island Group. Many of the people from the
Turtle Islandsand Cagayan Mapunmaintain daily commerce with Sabah, since it is only 14 kilometers away.
The Badjao (also called "Sama Dilaut") are widely dispersed across the province. Though their population is diminishing due to diseases and migration to other areas in the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia.
The Tausog or
Tau Sug, Orang Sulukor Aa Suk are migrants from the Sulu Province and came to Tawi-Tawi in search of better livelihood opportunities or run away from the seemingly undending conflict and violence in Sulu.
The prevailing language is the indigenous Bahasa Sama which is widely used in varied tones and accents. This variety led to the development of Sinama dialects. The major ones are Sinama Sibutu (spoken mainly in the Sibutu-Sitangkai Region), Sinama Simunul (concentrated in Simunul-Manuk-Mangkaw Islands), Sinama Kapoan (spoken in the South Ubian-Tandubas and Sapa-Sapa Regions) and Sinama Banguingui (concentrated in Buan Island and spoken by Banguingui people).
Agriculture, fishing, and agar-agar farming are the leading source of livelihood of the people of Tawi-Tawi, with quite a number engaged in the barter trade business. Copra is the top agricultural produce, followed by root crops, fruits, and vegetables.
Sanga-Sanga Airport, the main airport of the province, is located in the municipality of Bongao.
Tawi-Tawi is subdivided into 11 municipalities.
*Bongao - Is the microcosm of religious and cultural diversity.
*Languyan - was created by then President Marcos for rebel leader Hadjiril Matba who decided to join the government fold in the 70s.
*Mapun (Cagayan De Tawi-Tawi)
*Panglima Sugala used to be known as Balimbing. However, after the EDSA Revolution, the word "balimbing" got a rather derogatory definition as a turncoat.
*Sibutu - is home to descendants of Malay royalty in Borneo and not necessarily associated with the Sulu royalty.
*Simunul - Site of Oldest Mosque in the Philippines and home of the revered Sheikh Makdum one of the early pioneers in the spread of the Islamic religion.
*Sitangkai - "Venice of the South"
Most of the municipalities are located on the islands in the
Sulu Archipelago. Two of them, Mapun, and Turtle Islands lie in the Sulu Sea. The municipalities are further subdivided into 203 barangays.
Tawi-Tawi lies at the southwestern tip of the country. Irregular in shape, with splashes of white sandy beaches and rock-bound coasts, the province has 107 islands and islets with a combined land area of 1197 km² (462 square miles).
The province has two seasons: dry and wet The climate is generally moderate. The wettest months are from August to November. The other months of the year are generally dry with occasional rain showers.
Tawi-Tawi was previously part of the province of
Sulu. On September 11, 1973, pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 302, the new province of Tawi-Tawi was officially created, separate from Sulu. The seat of the provincial government was established in Bongao.
The name of Tawi-Tawi is a projection of the Malay word "jaui" meaning "far." Prehistoric travelers from the Asian mainland would repeat the word as "jaui-jaui" to mean "far away" because of the distance of the islands from the continent of Asia. The word "Tawi-Tawi" was picked up to later become the official name of the province.
From Sitangkai and Sibutu
Abdulwahid Bidin - Lawyer, judge and former justice of the Supreme Court.
Datu Nur Jaafar - Political leader. Currently the province's congressman. Scion of the Jaafar Nobility.
Eddie M. Alih - Environmentalist, academician, philanthropist and current Chancellor of the Mindanao State University @ Tawi-Tawi.
Alih A. Bud - 'Alim (Religious Scholar), academician, development worker, peace advocate and until his demise Dean of the College of Islamic and Arabic Studies; Director of the Supreme Council for Islamic Preaching and Guidance - Tawi-Tawi. He finished his teacher education from MSU-TCTO; his Islamic education (baccalaureate) from the International Islamic University, Islamabad Pakistan and his master's degree from another university in the same country.
Filemon Romero - Environmentalist, academician and researcher. Currently associated with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Philippines.
Santanina Tillah Rasul - Political Leader, Educator and Women's advocate. Formerly member of the Philippine Senate and Chair of the Bantay Dagat Philippines, and Chair of the Philippine Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy.
From Panglima Sugala
Panglima Sugala - Traditional Leader. He is recognized as the highest traditional leader throughout the area. The current municipality bears his name.
Imam Jainuddin Dionga - Traditional Leader. He is the undefeated local headman of Buan Island. He was arrested and incarcerated by the Japanese for his involvement in the liberation movement. He serve as Vice Mayor of Panglima Sugala (then named Balimbing) for some time.
From South Ubian
From Cagayan Mapun
Abdulwahid Inju - Religious Scholar, Peace Advocate. He holds the distinction as the first Jama Mapun to have earned a tertiary Islamic education. He obtained his degree from King Saud University in Saudi Arabia. He is currently the Mufti (Jurisconsult) of the province, the first native-born to hold the office. He is also connected with the Supreme Council for Islamic Preaching and Guidance - Tawi-Tawi and is the Division ALIVE Coordinator in DepEd ARMM Division of Tawi-Tawi.
From Turtle Islands
Hadjiril "Gerry" Matba - School Teacher, Revolutionary and Political Leader. He is a school teacher before joining the MNLF raising to become one of the top commanders until he re-join government service. Languyan Municipality was created from Bongao through his initiative and became itslongest serving local executive. During the Marcos time, aside from being the mayor, he was also provincial vice governor. He was the undefeated governor of the province until his demise. He was succeeded by his son, Rasheedin Matba.
* [http://www.tawitawi.gov.ph/ Tawi-Tawi official government website]
* [http://www.wowphilippines.com.ph/explore_phil/place_details.asp?content=description&province=117 WOW Philippines - Tawi-Tawi]
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