Isabela, officially the City of Isabela (Chavacano: Ciudad de Isabela ; ) and often referred to as Isabela City, is a 4th class city and the capital of the province of Basilan, Philippines. It is also colloquially known as "Isabela de Basilan" to differentiate the city's name from the province of Isabela in Luzon island.
While administratively the island province of Basilan is part of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Isabela City itself is in not part of this region and is placed under the Zamboanga Peninsula region.
Institutionally, the military has played a major part in Isabela City's and Basilan's volatile history, due to the ongoing conflicts borne out of the Moro Secessionist wars of the 1970s, and more recently, by Al Qaeda backed Islamic fundamentalist groups fomenting a running gun-battle with the Philippines' armed forces for more than a decade.
Also exerting great influence in everyday life is the Roman Catholic Church and the Islamic mufti and imams, religious scholars and leaders who exercise a moral ascendancy over their respective groups.