The islands of the Sulu seas boast a history of power and a colorful traditional culture. It is the home of the Sulu Sultanate, a kingdom that wielded great power in centuries past. It was one of the strongest states in Southeast Asia, enjoying prosperous trade with China and Europe. The Sultanate waged the longest resistance against colonialism in Asia, surviving attempts at Spanish conquest for more than 300 years. At some points in history, the Sultanate of Sulu controlled parts of Indonesia, Borneo, and Palawan. In contrast to the Mayas, Aztecs, and Incas, who perished with their religion and language before the onslaught of the conquistadores, the people of Sulu continue to survive with their culture and other aspects of civilization intact.
An alternative face of Sulu emerges from the veils of history at the Yuchengco Museum exhibit Beyond the Currents: The Culture and Power of Sulu. To close the exhibit, the museum is presenting a one-afternoon series of lectures, focusing on the rich culture and history of the Sulu archipelago. The lectures will be held on September 20, Saturday, from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. at the Yuchengco Museum. The distinguished roster of speakers includes:
- Abraham Sakili, UP Diliman art studies professor and guest curator of the exhibit Beyond the Currents, who will explore the culture and identity of Sulu’s people as seen in their visual arts
- Ligaya Fernando-Amilbangsa, dance scholar and teacher, who will discuss the historical and ethnological influences of dance and power on Sulu’s people
- Julkipli Wadi, professor from the UP Institute of Islamic Studies, who will explain the dynamics and contexts of Sulu’s power, including the reasons for the Sultanate’s rise and decline
- Atty. Mehol Sadhain, former dean of the UP Institute of Islamic Studies, who will talk on Sulu treaties and their historical implications on the Muslim-Filipinos’ quest for self-determination
The lecture series complements the exhibit Beyond the Currents: The Culture and Power of Sulu, which showcases the power and strength of the Sulu archipelago and Sultanate had when Sulu was the gateway to international trade between Europe and China. Lecture fee is P100, and reservations are recommended. The Yuchengco Museum is located at RCBC Plaza, corner Ayala and Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenues, Makati. For reservations and details, call 889-1234 or e-mail [email protected].