You go to a place to find answers. Although you may have read about it, hear about it, watch about it on tv or researched about it in all media forms, still, there is no better way of seeking for answers than actually going to that place.
A mere mention of Basilan connotes something negative. In fact, I ask my friends to describe Basilan in one word and the words "Terrorism, Kidnapping and Dangerous" would surface. I can't blame them because that is what the media perceived Basilan to be. But then again, there is always two sides on a coin. While it may be true that Basilan is not the safest place for travelers, the fact remains that this place has got some of the most beautiful and interesting places on our country.
Now for some facts culled from good ole' Wiki. Basilan is an island province within the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. It is the largest and northernmost of the major islands of the Sulu Archipelago and is located just off the southern coast of Zamboanga Peninsula. Its capital, Isabela City, is administered as part of the Zamboanga Peninsula Region.
Basilan is home to three main ethnic groups, the indigenous Yakans, Tausugs and Chavacanos. The Yakans and Tausugs are predominantly Muslim, while the Chavacanos are mainly Christian. There are also a number of smaller groups. Although the official language is Filipino and English, the lingua franca is Chavacano, but other languages are well represented, with Yakan being the most widespread.
Surprisingly, although classified as a 4th-Class Province in terms of gross provincial income, Basilan has one of the lowest incidence of poverty in the Philippines. Also, the gap between Basilan's rich and poor residents are among the narrowest in the country pointing to one of the most equitable distributions of wealth anywhere in the country.
The province lies within the region in which Abu Sayyaf and Moro Islamic Liberation Front groups operate, to the detriment of the economy and the well-being of the inhabitants. It lists rubber plantation as its main source of livelihood but its no secret where some of the wealth of people there come from.
Some of the more famous people who came from Basilan were Uwang Ahadas, a Yakan musician from Lamitan, Datu Julkanayin, a local hero and Dong Ho
, a blogger from Isabela City.
I went to Basilan to find answers. But I left Basilan with more questions.
Note: Facts lifted here