Basilan is an island province of the Philippines located in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Its capital is Isabela City and is located just off the southern coast of Zamboanga Peninsula. Basilan is the northernmost among the major islands of the Sulu Archipelago.

Isabela inhabitants include Christians and Muslims from tribal groups such as the Tausugs, Samal Bangingihs, and Yakans. Tribal fishermen, farmers, small-store and market vendors favor the traditional native attire.

Basilan is seen as one of the strongholds of the Islamic separatist group, the Abu Sayyaf. This group kidnapped a group of tourists from Palawan and brought them to Basilan, including an American Christian missionary couple.

When the town of Zamboanga became a chartered city in 1936, it included Basilan. on 1942, the Japanese soldiers landed in Basilan, in 1945, liberated in Basilan landed from the Filipino troops and Filipino guerillas used the weapons and Kampilan and Kris swords attack to the Japanese troops during World War II, On July 1, 1948, by virtue of a bill filed by then congressman Juan S. Alano, Basilan itself became a separate city. The city was converted into a province on December 27, 1973 after incessant fighting forced the hand of Filipino Dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos to issue a Presidential Decree to the effect. Initially, 10 Municipalities were created, and these were: Isabela, Lamitan, Maluso, Lantawan, Sumisip, Tipo-Tipo, Tuburan, Pilas, Tapiantana, and Malamawi. This was eventually reduced to seven municipalities, with the three outlying island-municipalities being merged with their nearest neighbor.