Things to do in Sulu: Visiting Camp Bud Datu and Raja Baginda Shrine in Indanan, Sulu

On the afternoon of our first day in Sulu, we went to Camp Bud Datu in the municipality of Indanan. From Jolo Municipal Hall, we were escorted to the provincial capitol complex where we had a courtesy call with the head of the Sulu Area Coordinating Center. It is a coordination and action center of the provincial government of Sulu. After the quick visit, the whole group, together with Mayor Amin's children proceeded to Bud Datu.

Sulu Area Coordinating Center (Photo from kirkanatomy.com)

Bud Datu (Royal Mountain) is located just outside Jolo. It is where Camp Bud Datu, a Marine battalion is based. On the balcony of a Marine battalion officers' headquarters, a breathtaking panoramic view of the town of Jolo greeted us. From here you'll see the port, some houses, nearby islands, and Masjid Tulay, Jolo's central mosque which is considered as the biggest Mosque in the entire Sulu province.

Panoramic view of the town of Jolo

Yes, it is a military camp, but it has also been must-visit tourist spot in Sulu. Did you know that there's a Starbucks and 7-Eleven here? Hehehe! Not the real ones, these were just set-up as an attraction, for picture taking purposes only, I guess? Hahaha!

Starbucks in Camp Bud Datu


Bud Datu is also the final resting place of Rajah Baginda who is considered as the first Sultan of Sulu. According to some sources on the internet, he arrived in Mindanao in 1390 and reinforced Islam until 1460. The shrine commemorates the important contributions of Rajah Baguinda in history.

Short trek to Rajah Baginda Shrine

Rajah Baginda Shrine

The tomb of Rajah Baginda

In Memoriam

The place is teeming with lush vegetation and tall trees

We then went back to Jolo and proceeded to Mayor Hussin Amin's home where we stayed during our entire 3-day trip in Sulu.

Me, Kirk, Jolo Councilors, Nurjam Alfad and Ryan Amin, Ramil and Edgar
(photo from pinasmuna.com)

Again, thank you to Mayor Hussin Amin and his staff for coordinating everything on this trip.


Major airlines fly daily to Zamboanga City from Manila, Cebu or Davao. From Zamboanga City, you may take a 40-minute flight to Jolo with schedules every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. You may also may take a ferry boat from Zamboanga City to Jolo with daily trips at night; fare is around 500 pesos, travel time is about 8 hours.

NOTE: It's certainly safe to travel to Jolo. I suggest that you contact the Local Government Unit of Jolo when planning a visit for proper coordination. You may contact them thru their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/jolo.mungovt.

This trip to the Province of Sulu happened on August 7-9, 2013. Sulu is the 80th province on my list.


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  1. mervs! kamusta naman ang unli Kahawa Sug coffee?:)

    1. oh yes! masarap ang local coffee nila! at unlimited, sa office at bahay ni Mayor! hehehe! :)

  2. A Raja is an Indian Highest ruler. Indians religion is Hinduism that's why they are called Hindus. They only had a muslim in family when his daughter a princess married a datu a very wealthy muslim trader who came to his place.That's where the title Rajah was linked to a Muslim religion and that"s the beginning of Muslim civilization in Mindanao.


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