In about an hour, I shall be taking a bath and get ready to go to the airport and head eight Senior High Students together with the Science Coordinator, Millette Estidola, for a tour of Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia.
This will be my first time to go to that land which was, in my childhood, was being claimed by the Philippines as its own. I remember looking at the Philippine map and wondering why I am seeing Sabah underneath Mindanao. It was believed that the Sultanate of Brunei had given the northern part of Sabah to the Sulu Sultanate for its help during the civil war. The land was ceded to the British and after decolonization was claimed by the Malaysian Federation. The Philippines, under former President Diosdado Macapagal, renewed the claim. The Sabah claim was abandoned by Pres. Marcos sometime during his reign and with a lot of scandal. In the story told and re-told, Marcos instituted what was to be Operation Merdeka of Macapagal, a plan to destabilize Sabah by having men infiltrate and sabotage and legitimize the claim. Marcos' plan was to be called Jabidah. Somehow, the plan did not work out and caused the massacre of the commando unit allegedly by members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Events like these have been forgotten and the Philippine claim to Sabah has been abandoned. Needless to say that there exists a rich history between the two lands and I shall set foot on the shores that could have been ours. .You can read about the story here and here
I have no idea what this trip would be like but I suspect it would be very fruitful and enjoyable. Our schools, theirs and ours, have been having this program for several years now and I have had the privilege to be involved in one trip where I was to accompany the company of students from KK who visited the country several years back and got acquainted with their adult leaders, Mesdames LynnLulu and Noraisha Wan. I am excited at the prospect of meeting Madame Lynn again. Too bad, Madam Wan is no longer connected with the school and has gone, probably, to KL.
We fly to KK at 4:25 pm and expects to reach the BKL airport at around 6:25 pm. I am so excited by this trip and hoping I can blog every night my day to day experience.