The Molbog and Jama Mapun [Last Chapter]

The Molbog (Melebognon) on the other hand, has been touted to have come nearby North Borneo, so much so that even the Spaniards had mistaken them to be related to Orang Tindug (Camucone), an Islamized Indigene group, native to the northeast coast of Sabah.

At a closer look, some Sama words (of the Jama Mapun variant) and Tausug words are found in the Molbog dialect. One should not wonder, for in the past, both the Molbog and the Palawanon Muslims were ruled by the Sulu datus, thus forming the outer political periphery of the Sulu Sultanate. Intermarriage between Tausug and the Molbog hastened the Islamization of the latter. The offspring of these intermarriage are known as “kolibugan half-breed”.

Molbog are concentrated in Balabak Island and are also found on other islands off the coast of Palawan as far north as Panakan. The word Molbog is derived from the word “malubog” meaning murky of turbid water. In the past Tausug traders traveling between Brunei, Palawan and Sulu Archipelago usually made stop over at the Balabak for replenishment of their food and water supplies most of the time.

Accordingly, these Sulu travelers found Balabak’s sea water surroundings the river-mouth communities of the island very murky due to flood water flowing from the interior. And because of this, the Tausug, followed by the others lately, started to refer to Balabak as “Malubugon” and its inhabitants as Mulbog, from which, perhaps by sound shifting if mispronouncing, the present form Molbog developed (Revelli, 1982:2).

K – The Jama Mapun – like the badjao, Jama Mapun is another Sama sub-group. Their dialect is known as pullon mapun, which is accordingly, a part of the Sama language. Since their location is in the western side of Sulu and Tawi-tawi, obviously, the term Mapun stands for it – west.

Principally, the Jama Mapun is concentrated in Cagayan de Tawi-tawi (formerly Cagayan de Sulu), just off the coast of Borneo, and the Island Municipality of Turtle Island.

Cultured like the Bangingi and the Sama group, Jama Mapun adopts permanent settlement, a clear cut social organization. They have a Panglima (equivalent to a governor) at the helm and other leader the community who takes order from the Sultan of Sulu.

In the history of the Mulims’ struggle against colonial power, the Mapuns stands as sea warriors or rowers of battle ship, form part of the military forces of the Sultan during raids to Spanish held territories in the central and northern Philippines.

With the creation of the province of Tawi-tawi in 1973 by taken then President Marcos, the whole of Cagayan de Tawi-tawi stand as a single local government unit. It is very strategic because of its location – bordering the South China Sea, adjacent to the State of Sabah. The government has constructed an airport there for easy troop’s movement in the south, in case of eventualities with the neighboring countries in the south.

As of today, the Mapuns conduct business activities more often with Sabah rather than the Philippines. Malaysian dollar and Philippines Pesos is accepted as legal tender there.


The term branding the Tausugs as the people of the Current and Tau Maisug are very appropriate. For there are millions of Muslims, Lumads, and High-Landers occupying in the Sultanate of Sulu.

Dominant among these were the Tausugs whose colorful past, cannot just be ignored.

The term Sultanate of Sulu is historically significant and it transcends social boundaries as this was the label used by the Moro National Liberation Front in its struggle for self-determination.

All in all, the Tausug has a very colorful past. Hence, the study of these people is must for every inhabitant of Sulu Sultanate.
Author’s Note

All praise and thanks belong to Allah,the Lord of the Universe alone.
Blessings and peace be upon the last of the messengers and Prophets Muhammad his family, his Companions and all who follows his footprints till the end of the Universe.

It is my sincere hope that readers will benefit from this article –This article strives to help us WHO WE ARE, a proud Tau Maisug, nevertheless, this article is not only for Tausugs but suitable for all readers. While writing it, I took consideration of feelings and emotions that are common to all. I wrote based on the true Religion that is whether we deviate from it or not, intrinsic to us all. I do hope, though, that you will be just in your judgment and that your bias will be to knowledge that is correct.

I dedicate this article to the “Man of the Hour”, Prof. ALLING H. ARSAD for his full support and his friendship throughout the years have greatly enriched my life. Finally, to tuan Yaz who accepted me as his friend and believed on my talent while writing this article to his blog, This article is my LIFE.


Quezona Naifah Sanguila Sulog aka Dayang Naifah


  1. Indeed the 'people of the current' (Tausugs) are fortunate to have you - one special gift from Allah SWT - amongst them. Your task now and your substantial achievements in myriad years to come will undoubtedly serve a lasting inspiration to all Tausugs, Sama, Jama Mapun and Badjaos. They -all people of the current - who love and take pride in their historical and cultural heritage. Keep pursuing your noble academic task and make the Tausug more proud. We can only doff our fez to you, showing the admiration and appreciation of the Bangsamoro people of Mindanao. Stay blessed!

  2. Thanks brother Ibrahim. May Allah keep us always awake to the reality of what we are as a Muslim, and as a member of humanity who loved peace and justice more than anything else in this world. The twist of fate shall be happening Insya'Allah. Victory is in the hands of Allah!

    Keep coming. Allah Blesses you and your family!

    1. Thanks all... From (sandakan) family Datu Amir Bangsa bin Datu Daniel bin Datu Burrack >Tausug jama mapun

  3. Thank u ..... From family (sandakan) Datu Amir Bangsa bin Datu Daniel bin Datu Burrack >tausuq jama mapun