Photo courtesy of Tony Sakkalahul

Badjao tribe in Isabela City joins BCOBAR Federation

The Badjao tribe of Malamawi Island in Isabela City, Basilan, joined the Bangsamoro Communities Outside of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BCOBAR) on Saturday (September 19) purposely to push their rights and interests in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
As an initiative, the Badjao tribe formed the BCOBAR-Badjao Tribe Chapter to formalize their joining to the BCOBAR. Lakibul Hadjirul was the elected chairman. 

The newly-formed group is hopeful that the Bangsamoro government shall give them due consideration as manifestation of giving of social justice to the Bangsamoro tribes living outside the BARMM. 

Badjaos are widely known as the sea gypsies of Sulu and Celebes Seas. This ethnic tribe are scattered in Sulu, Basilan, Tawi-Tawi and other coastal towns like Zamboanga City. 

They can also be found in Cebu, General Santos, Davao and in Metro Manila. Members of this tribe earn their living through small scale fishing.
Homeless Badjaos in the cities make streets and vacant lots their dwelling areas. In order to survive, some resort to begging while others are engaged in selling some merchandise and souvenir items.

The BCOBAR communities include the NCR and Overseas, and Calabarzon, Bicol, Central Luzon, Cagayan Valley, Cordillera, Ilocos, Mimaropa, Visayas (Eastern, Western & Central), Caraga, Zampen, Davao and Socksargen.