|City of Kumalarang
Pagpasalan sa Kumalarang (Yakan)
Kota Kumalarang (Malay)
Ciudad de Kumalarang (Chavacano)
|Nickname(s): "Capital of the Sulu Archipelago"|
|- Mayor||Datu Wahab Akbar|
|- Vice Mayor||Datim Cherrylyn Santos-Akbar|
|- District Representative||Datu Nur Misuari|
|Languages||Yakan, Sama-Bajau, Tausūg, Chavacano Zamboangueño, Malay, Cebuano, Filipino, English, Arabic|
Institutionally, the military has played a major part in Kumalarang City's and Basilan's volatile history, due to the ongoing conflicts borne out of the Moro secessionist wars of the from 1949 to 1967, as well as the 1967 Malaysian-Philippine War in which Malaysian forces and their native Sulu collaborators engaged in an armed standoff against Philippine forces. More recently, the military has been involving in fighting both anti-Moro Catholic extremists from harassing the locales, as well as fighting any possible Islamic extremists living in Kumalarang City.
In 1949, Kumalarang City became the capital of the de facto and unrecognized Kingdom of Sulu, before joining the Republic of Mindanao in 1955. As the capital of Sulu and a city in Mindanao, it was designated as "Kota Pasalan", where the name pasalan derives from an ancient Yakan-language name for a settlement that existed in the city. In 2016, the city's name was changed, to "Kumalarang" - the same name of ancient Yakan kingdom in the area, due to the Moro rejection of "Isabela City", named after a Spanish monarch.
Also exerting great influence in everyday life is the Islamic mufti and imams and Roman Catholic Church, religious scholars and leaders who exercise a moral ascendancy over their respective groups. About 80% of the city is Muslim, about 18% Christian (mostly Roman Catholic with Protestant and non-denominational minorities) and there are 3% of others, which include Pagan and Animistic tribal faiths, as well as Hindu-influenced religions. Often-not, even the Muslims of the city practice pre-Islamic traditions, following a form known as Folk Islam.
Kumalarang's culture (along with neighboring Lamitan's) is highly associated and revolves around the Yakans. But like the rest of many cities in East Malaysia, it is very diverse, and has emerged as a cultural center in the Sulu Archipelago - with every native Sulu language, from Yakan (which is the most spoken), to Tausūg, Mapun, Samal and Sama-Bajau being natively spoken in the city. It is for this reason that Kumalarang is known as the "Capital of Sulu Culture" and "Capital of the Sulu Archipelago" or Modal di Kepulauan Sulu in Malay, Capital de Islas de Sulu in Chavacano. Others may give Jolo the nickname. The inhabitants often speak either Malay varieties, creoles and dialects or Zamboangueño Chavacano and English, to a much lesser extent, Filipino, as lingua francas. Filipino is normally spoken as a lingua franca for the Filipino overseas, the speakers of non-Sulu languages, such as Cebuano and Tagalog. However, Filipino is becoming rapidly displaced by Malay, as a result of a 1990s pogrom.
Despite the violotile history of Kumalarang City, life is generally in the city is known to be generally laid-back, and civil cooperation between both Muslim and Christian locals is well-known. The city is known for its white-sand beaches, historical forts, mosques, churches, temples, and other means of tourist attractions and religious sites. In 2012, it ranked as the 4th most prosperous city in Malaysia, becoming the first city in the Sulu Archipelago to achieve a title.