To the north is the Sulu Sea, Celebes Sea and south of the. The volcanic islands are under the sovereignty of the Philippines and consist of approximately 80 major and hundreds of smaller islands. The largest are Basilan, Jolo and Tawi - Tawi. The tropical palm islands with their partly seenomadischen population represent the Islamic center ( proper name Bangsamoro ) of the otherwise predominantly Catholic Philippines represents a major educational institution is the Mindanao State University.
The Spaniard kept the archipelago from 1848 to 1851 occupied and sold it in 1898 along with the Philippines to the United States of America.
Jolo and Basilan were the world as a base, which was founded in 1991 terrorist Islamist group Abu Sayyaf known, as in April 2000, a group of tourists abducted by Basilan was. Other abductions tried the doctor Nilo Baran Dino educate, who had been kidnapped in 1992 itself.
The islands or island groups are:
- Tawi - Tawi
- Tapul Islands
- Pangutaran Islands
- Cagayan Archipelago