SULU: "Baluy" and "Pis Siyabit", Colorful Tausug Weaves from Jolo, Sulu

After witnessing the superb performance of "Pangalay" by the Ingat Kapandayan Group, we proceeded to Notre Dame of Jolo College's Cottage Industry, Inc. It is a non-profit development organization inside Notre Dame of Jolo College that focuses on livelihood and handicraft projects. They also sell Tausug products such as the Baluy, Pis Siyabit and other souvenirs, arts and decors.

Baluy or mats are usually made from pandan leaves. The leaves are dyed with one or more colors and weaved to create different patterns characterized by linearity and geometry.

Here are some of the Baluy Mats on display at the center.

Pis Siyabit (or simply Pis) is a Tausug woven head-cloth made from cotton or silk (or with gold threads) characterized with intricate geometric patterns of colors segmented into the smallest squares, triangles and diamonds. It is a multi-purpose head-wear that may be worn on the shoulder, tied around the hilt of the kris (sword) or wrapped around the head used by Tausug men usually as a sign of rank.

These Pis Siyabit are made at the houses of the locals. Notre Dame of Jolo College's Cottage Industry, Inc. helps them in selling the finished products. We were told that each Pis Siyabit is unique, that there is no design made the same.

Indeed, Notre Dame of Jolo College's Cottage Industry, Inc., showcases remarkable examples of Tausug weaving. Don't forget to drop by here when visiting Jolo, Sulu.


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 comment :

  1. the colors. ki ganda ganda <3 <3
    Wish I could visit solo and buy these mats!

    xoxo, Wander Shugah


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