suludarussalam/ January 1, 2018/ Historical, Latest Updates

The districts of the island conform in a great measure to its natural divisions. However, political reasons have modified the natural boundaries and increased the districts to six by division. These districts are Parang, Pansul, Lati, Gi’tŭng, Lu’uk and Tandu. The first district on the west is Parang. A line joining the western limit of Bwalu on the south coast, with a point slightly east of the summit of Mount Tumantangis, and projected to the sea on the north, delimits this district on the east and carves out of the western natural division the district of Pansul. The eastern boundary of Pansul is a line running from a point 2 or 3 miles east of Maymbung to Mount Pula and Busbus. The chief reason for separating Pansul from Parang was to reserve for the sultan direct control over Jolo and Maymbung. This district has more foreigners residing in it than any other.

A line joining Su’ and Lubuk marks the eastern limit of both Lati and Gi’tŭng, the third and fourth districts. The watershed line joining [132]the summits of Mounts Dahu, Tambang, and Sinuma’an and falling on the east to the vicinity of Su’, divides Lati on the north from Gi’tŭng on the south. For all practical purposes the district of Lati may be said to lie between Jolo and Su’, and the district of Gi’tŭng or Talipao between Maymbung and Tu’tu’. The land joining Si’it and Tu’tu’ is low. Sulu traditions say that when the Samals arrived in the island this neck of land was submerged and the island was divided by a channel of water. The extinct volcano of Pandakan, generally spoken of as the “Crater Lake,” which lies in this vicinity, may be of late origin and may have been the source of the geologic deposits which helped to fill the channel. Spanish records speak of a volcanic eruption in the vicinity of Jolo as late as 1840, and it is very likely that other volcanic action occurred prior to that date and after the arrival of the Samals in the fourteenth century.
A line joining Limawa on the north and Sukuban or Tandu Panu’an on the south, divides Lu’uk from Tandu, thus forming the fifth and sixth districts respectively. A line joining Mount Tayungan and Bud Tandu divides both Lu’uk and Tandu into a northern and a southern part. In both cases the southern parts are more fertile and better cultivated and probably more thickly populated than the northern.
The Sulus are principally agriculturists. The greater part of the people are farmers and a considerable portion of the interior of the island is under cultivation. They raise a good number of cattle, carabaos, and horses, which they utilize for tilling the soil and transporting its products. Trails cross the island in all directions and the interior is in easy communication with the sea. Fruits are good and abundant. The forests are rich in jungle products and in timber. Some copra and hemp is raised and the amount is being increased annually. The staples are tapioca, rice, and corn. Sugar cane is raised in small quantities. Ubi and taro are fairly abundant. Some coffee is produced, but disease destroyed most of the plantations. Some tobacco and vegetables are raised for home consumption only.
Jolo is one of the best fish markets in the Philippine Islands. The varieties of fish in Sulu waters are innumerable and of excellent quality. The Island of Sulu surpasses Mindanao in the quality and proportional amount of its fruit. There is an abundance of mangostins, durians, nangkas (jack-fruit), lançones,9 marangs,9 mangos of several varieties (mampalam, bawnu, and wanni), oranges, custard apples, pineapples, bananas, etc.
In the extent and quality of cultivation the district of Lu’uk ranks first, Parang second, and Lati third. Good fresh water abounds everywhere except on the western coast. Considerable irrigation is possible in many localities.