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Kumalarang (21st Century Crisis)

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City of Kumalarang
Pagpasalan sa Kumalarang (Yakan)
Kota Kumalarang (Malay)
Ciudad de Kumalarang (Chavacano)
Lungsod ng Kumalarang (Filipino)
Isabela City montage.png
(From top, left to right): Capitol Building of Kumalarang, Kumalarang City Plaza, Sultan Jainal Abirin Mosque, Sulu Water Village, Saint Isabel Cathedral, Basilan National High School
Nickname(s): "Capital of the Sulu Archipelago"
Government
 - Mayor Datu Wahab Akbar
 - Vice Mayor Datim Cherrylyn Santos-Akbar
 - District Representative Datu Nur Misuari
Population 97,884
Languages Yakan, Sama-Bajau, Tausūg, Chavacano Zamboangueño, Malay, Cebuano, Filipino, English, Arabic
Kumalarang, officially the City of Kumalarang (Yakan: Pagpasalan sa Kumalarang, Malay: Kota Kumalarang, Zamboangueño: Ciudad de Kumalarang, Filipino: Lungsod ng Kumalarang), previously Isabela City (Zamboangueño: Ciudad de Isabela, Filipino: Lungsod ng Isabela, Malay: Kota Isabela), is a 2nd class city and the capital of the province of Basilan, Philippines. As "Isabela City", it was also colloquially known as Isabela de Basilan in Chavacano, or Isabela dan Basilan in Malay, to differentiate the city's name from the province of Isabela in Luzon island.

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 2012 Borneo War in which Malaysian forces engaged in an armed standoff against Philippine forces and native Sulu militants of the city. 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 the southern Philippines, 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 lesser extent, Filipino, as lingua francas. Filipino is normally spoken as a lingua franca for speakers of non-Sulu languages, such as Cebuano, Tagalog and Kapampangan. 

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 the Philippines, becoming the first city in the Sulu Archipelago to achieve a title.

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