TALIPAO, Sulu (MindaNews / 13 August) — The mountain breeze was soft on the cheek as we started trekking up Bud Talipao early morning of Saturday. Soldiers from the Philippine Army had earlier carved small steps up the mountain to ease the difficulty for us reaching the top. They also brought bags of cement, sand and containers of water in the past weeks to build the marker as a tribute to our great grandfathers and great grandmothers who were martyred in the last battle of Tausug resistance against American colonial aggression in Sulu.
There is very little written account on this battle of Bud Talipao that occurred on August 12, 1913, but the narratives remain in our hearts and minds.
The most that I could do was to share our narratives and some books with Brig. Gen Eugenio Boquio and his officers under the 1101st Brigade of the Philippine Army stationed in Bud Bayug, Talipao, Sulu. They did their homework diligently, understanding our narratives, reading the books and building the permanent marker.
Governor Abdusakur Tan was represented by provincial administrator Erwin Tan. Mayor Nizar Tulawie joined with several officials from the different barangays of Talipao. Just like myself, there were fourth generation descendants of the martyred among the attendees.
I felt very emotional as the soldiers offered the 21-gun salute. I solemnly walked with Mayor Tulawie and Brig. Gen. Boquio as we laid the wreath on the marker.
The martyred were recognized and honored, among them my great grandfather Apu Jalalain.
(Fatmawati Salapuddin, a former commissioner at the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, now serves as consultant to the Sulu College of Technology).