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Taluksangay: The first center of Islamic propagation; Hataman, a new breed of politician basilan has ever produced


“Those WHO struggle in US (Our Path) unto them we shall show them OUR WAYS.”
-Holy Quran, 29:69

“Almighty Allah is most affectionate towards women than men”
-(Hadith) Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW)

“Ever since the Muslims folk came in successive waves of migration at the 13th and 14th centuries from Malay peninsula and Indonesian, they have lived on subsistence level. But they have survived, they have survived predatory attacks, the campaign of foreign conquerors, the Mindanao conflicts of our day. Conditioned to migrant life they adapt easily. Like all Malays they “eminently adapted to survival” even when hard-pressed, because their peculiarities of temperament and fortitude of  soul (Vic Hurley) “SWISH OF THE KRIS)
-Antonio Orendain II, ZAMBOANGA HERMOSA: Memories of the old Town (1984).

If we are to believe the recent announcement in the media  of ARMM Gov. Mujib Hataman, who after the election “vowed to complete all road projects in Basilan before his term ends, then he must be a new  breed of politician. He did not promise, he did not pledge, but he vowed! A vow is a very solemn act, not fulfilling that vow is a serious offense before Almighty Allah and all creation.

Gov. Hataman knows too well what it means to “vow”. I need not advice him but our muslim elders can tell him if he breaks his vows and what are the consequences of the unfulfilled vow .

I salute Gov. Hataman , for Basilan is known to all – roads are constructed but most are incomplete and take another generation to complete.

Yet politicians build palaces and mansions in Manila, Cebu, Davao and even in Zamboanga City  where this money come from only God and the owners of those edifices know  the source.

PILMAN TRAVEL AND TOURS, this City in its recent brochures included the marker of the “ Oldest Mosque” in the Region (Taluksangay) and some Chabacano words. The only travel agency which promotes the Chabacano language  in recent memory.

In this  Column, I have included with honor and pride the contribution of Ms. Sheila S. Nuño, daughter of Moh. Zen Nuño former City Assesor and Hadja Haifa Sanson Nuño. Some details are not found in history books and Sheila sheds light to some missing links to the glorious past “ Of our forebears (The Balanguingui) tribe.

Taluksangay, Zamboanga City, Philippines
By: Shiela S. Nuño & Prof. Ali T. Yacub, Al-Hj

History of Taluksangay, Zamboanga City

Historical Background of Taluksangay: Barangay Taluksangay is situated 19 kms. East of Zamboanga City’s commercial district- it was in this village where the first Islamic culture was introduced in 1885. It was also in this village where the first Mosque was constructed.

This attests to the fact that Taluksangay was the first center of Islamic propagation in the Zamboanga Peninsula.

Since then, Muslim religious missionaries from Arabia, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Borneo have been flocking to this village- tourists all over the world, most particularly from Europe and America. Dignitaries from Islamic countries never fail to visit this place.

A representative of the Sultan of Turkey (Sheik- Al Islam) visited this place in the later part of 1914. In 1938, before the outbreak of World War II, the commander of the US Pacific Fleet visited Barangay Taluksangay, where the famous Mosque is considered as one of Zamboanga’s tourist spots. At the height of the MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) - military conflict in 1973, at least 12 dignitaries, members of the Quadripartite Committee, Generals Fidel V. Ramos and Romeo Espino, visited Taluksangay village. Even at the height of trouble during the 70’s, tourist continued to arrive in this historical village. The majority of the inhabitants of Taluksangay are Muslims. They are religious and peace-loving. They are the descendants of the Sama Banguingui who were branded by  history as pirates of Southeast Asia, but never conquered.

The founder of Taluksangay village was Hadji Abdullah Nuño Ma-as son of Panglima Taupan, a Banguingui chieftain who was among those captured by the Spaniards.

He was educated by the Spaniards and finished his education at Collegio de San Juan de Letran where Ma-as earned his degree in “Bacheller en Artes”.

He was brought up by a Portuguese chaplain named Capt. Asealdis de Nuño. After his studies, Ma-as was allowed to return home to Zamboanga City to look for his people and relatives.

Ma-as spent some time in Basilan Province and later relocated his people and relatives in a small islet, surrounded by mangroves, separated from the main land by a creek, located 19 kms east of Zamboanga City. He named this islet “Taluksangay” in memory of the sandy Banguingui island and the 450 women and children captured by the Spaniards. “Taluk” in Sama means violet, a favorite color of the Banguingui women while “sangay” is a sandy place where birds called “Tabon” rest and lay their eggs.

Hadji Abdullah Nuño Ma-as constructed a mosque in Taluksangay which became the first mosque in Zamboanga Peninsula and the first Islamic center recognized by foreign countries such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Borneo.

Before the conversion of the Moro Province (1903-1914) into Department of Mindanao and Sulu, Gen. John Fingley, the last governor of the Moro Province, accepted the request of Hadji Abdullah Nuño

Ma-as to hand carry the latter’s letter to the Sultan of Turkey on his way to the US.

In accepting receipt of Ma-as letter, the sultan of Turkey sent an emissary known in the muslim world as “Sheik Al-Islam”, a scholar, with gifts for the  Mosque of Taluksangay consisting of 6 kerosene chandeliers and six large frames with Arabic inscriptions, quoting verses from the Holy Quran written in golden letterings.

The gifts were hanged inside the mosque and thousands of Muslim from Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, Basilan and Sulu Provinces, including Cotabato and Lanao gathered in Taluksangay- met  and held dialogue with Sheik Al-Islam

That events had caused misunderstanding between Muslim leaders of Mindanao and Christian leaders of Luzon. It became a political issue because at that time there was a cold war between America and Germany. The Sultan of Istanbul was an ally of Germany and Sheik Al-Islam was suspected of organizing a Moro battalion and Gov. Gen. Fingley was relieved of his duties as governor of the Moro Province.

Despite his frustrations, Hadji Abdullah Nuño Ma-as continued communicating with heads of Muslim countries and finally missionaries from the Middle East, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Borneo flocked to Taluksangay.

Islamic Studies
Studies on Islamic guidelines, precepts and jurisprudence were taught in the Taluskangay  
Mosque by foreign scholars. They were later reduced into writing and formed into books and
pamphlets, Distributed to Muslim leaders under the guidance of Sheik Muhammad Bahsuan of
Hadramaut, Sheik Ahmad Mustafa, Sr. of Mecca and Sheik Abdulgani of Banjermas from Borneo.
From thereon, Muslim scholars from the different parts of the world visited Taluksangay even up
to this day. Islam flourished rapidly in all sitios and barrios in Zamboanga Peninsula, Basilan and                  
Sulu Archipelago.

For our next issue, an article by Sheila Nuño where she will write of the famous locot-locot”, a Chabacano term term of “jaa” in the many dialects of the muslim south. How the famous “ Locot- Locot is made into delicious delicacies.

I am sure our readers would like to know, specially  the non-muslims,

Prof. Ali T. Yacub, Al-Hj

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