You are also called Sug,
a contraction of the old word Sulug,
which means "currents of the sea",
the sea now known to the world as Sulu Sea.
From your own tongue it comes,
not from others' mouths.
While you were also called Suluk or Solok,
your name will always take us back
to what is called the “tranquil
flowing current of the sea”,
which has the characteristics of
“travelling in the right path”.
And you are peaceful.
The Lannang called you Sulu,
a maritime polity recorded in Ming Shilu.
Around 1375, an Arab from Mecca,
Sayed Ali, called you Suluk.
He heard from the natives the word Sulug.
Ibn Majid in 1462 wrote it as Suluk
but didn’t claim the name comes from him.
Your Malay brethren know you as Suluk,
from Sulug (where g becomes k)
and from Sulu’ (where k changed
into a apostrophic symbol
as a glottal stopper).
That’s the nature of their tongue,
And that’s real and “birthtal”.
Your brethren from Banjarmasin
were calling you Banjar Kulan,
possibly from Kulaan, which means “close-knit”
in their native tongue.
You were a “Banjar Close-knit” then.
Every now and then your name changes
into different kinds according to people’s ex situ understanding.
You’ve been called Karasikan, Kola and Kaling.
When the Spanish arrived
on your archipelago,
they named you Felicia,
which means “happy things or happy times”.
Does this mean
you were once a happy place
but not anymore now? And why not?
Purple Couch. 15 May 2017. 2:33PM.
I love you, peace. Let's sail together. Layag Sug!