Siasi History, Philippines
Located at the northern tip of the entire archipelago, Siasi is a municipality of Sulu. It is an island where Arabs lived long before the Philippines was discovered. These foreigners traded with the natives who earned their living from the rich waters around them. Siasi’s total land area measures 59,009 square kilometers.
Early trades, or barter (as history books would point out), and economic system was already established in Siasi. They exchanged a certain amount of shellfish with any merchandise a man seeking business was bringing with him. Cloths and fishes, too, were items available for barter. They usually take sugar, rice and items they need for everyday consumption in exchange for an equal value of fish and shellfish.
Siasi is the second district of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. Since the time of its formal establishment, there were a total of four mayors who took office. Governing the entire municipality of Siasi today is Honorable Arthur M. Muksan.
The people of Siasi have been using the traditional manner of catching fresh fishes. It has been a trademark of this town. Additionally, Siasi’s coral reefs are left undamaged, promoting the growth of underwater creatures. Up until now, the reefs remain unchanged in a good way.
Mat weaving technique is a skill passed on from generation to generation of Siasi’s natives. Mat weaving is not an easy task. It needs persistence and imagination. Siasi’s residents never run out of creative ideas for their mats and they possess the patience to master the technique. They take pride of their produced mats due to its quality and, adding to that, their artistic designs. The mats made from Limosa Island are popularly known internationally because of its fine weaving. Mat weaving still remains a source of income since time immemorial.
Enormous change has taken over the cities in the country but Siasi retained its characteristic culture. They were not affected by the Spaniard’s ways the manner it had changed Luzon and Visayas. If you look around Siasi today, the place transformed only a bit from what it was. Lightly influenced by urbanization, you can distinguish the usual traditions of the people in Mindanao in the municipality’s populace.
Greatly Filipino, accommodating and hospitable, Siasi town folks are very welcoming and conservative. People who have grown up in Siasi portray the town’s practices and virtues, particularly their honesty in trading. They show great value and respect for nature around them.
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