Sunday, October 21, 2012

sta cruz pink sand beach

every time i went home to Isabela City in Basilan from Zamboanga i would often see the Great Sta Cruz island from afar but never the chance to go there. it was just this year along with Chyng that we made sure we'll drop by this island famous for its acclaimed pinkish sand beach.

believe it or not, even most of the Zamboanguenos has not been on the beach island of Sta Cruz. the main reason, the concern for safety and accessibility. the funny thing is it is safe and very accessible. on this trip in Zamboanga, we were hosted by the Soler family who also joined us to the island. like i said, it was also their first time.
the smaller Sta Cruz island is occupied and controlled by the military while the larger island or known as the Great Sta Cruz island is open to tourists. even though it looked like a large island, it is entirely flat with a large mangrove area surrounded by a beautiful beach coast.

the pink-like sand beach gives it a unique feature, combining white sand and crashed red corals which is abundant in the Zamboanga peninsula. the public beach area is wide but the length of the beach for swimming is a bit limited because of the sudden-deep beach lines.
but beyond the pinkish sand, one of the most interesting spot in the island is the Badjao cemetery. it is just a short walk away (10mins) from the main beach area on the way to the fishing community. partly hidden on one side of the coast with used cloth hanging from one tree to another.
 the tomb stones come in different forms but still like most tombs, the name of the person and the date the person died is engraved. some particular tombs comes with engraved Arabic characters and a more unique feature are its wooden boat-shape outrigger seen within the cemetery, symbolic to the Badjao community.  
despite the beach area having shaded cottages and good comfort rooms, still it lack food shops. so tourists needs to bring their own food. on a small corner, souvenirs are sold by locals including miniature vintas, shells and bracelets. please don't  buy those made of black corals. 

the beach
the entire island is surrounded by sand but only a portion, facing Zamboanga City is open for tourists. the pink-like sand is its most interesting feature. though the coast is a sudden deep beach front, the length of the coast is long enough. the entire coast facing the city has very less rocky areas but one needs to check sea conditions as this is an open sea channel.


the people 
though majority of the island's population are Badjaos som Christians are already sharing a portion of the small fishing village.  you can interact with some of the locals who are selling souvenirs to get to know more about the island.

the distance
one of the best thing about the Great Sta Cruz island is its proximity from the city port. though not by any public boats but by official boats accompanied by a security personnel as coordinated with the city tourism office. the entire one way boat trip is just about 20-30minutes.

the topography
the entire Great Sta Cruz island is flat and majority of the land area is swampy and filled with mangroves. the island is believed to be surrounded by rich coral reef that includes black and red corals.   

the security
from the time you will be picked up by the boat guide at the Zamboanga city you will be accompanied by an armed security personnel. don't be surprised as more military visibility are expected when you reach the island. island is relatively  safe. this is to assure safety of tourists from any unwanted incident.

the issue
despite the big environmental issue last year, where a large number of black corals were confiscated in Cebu, some locals wer still seen selling bracelets made out of black corals. one local still handed this piece to show what the bracelets were made of. 

please don't buy items made of corals and other restricted resources.

related articles:
Black Coral Vendor Charged
Huge Stash of Corals, Shells, found in Zamboanga warehouses

check out Chyng's post on Sta Cruz island "Sound and Secured Zamboanga Trip"
special thanks to Marx Velasco  of Marxtermind for helping us  coordinate with Zamboanga tourism office for our trip slot reservation.

Island Profile:
Island: Sta Cruz Island/The Great Sta Cruz island
City: Zamboanga
Province: Zamboanga Peninsula
Region: Western Mindanao

GPS Location: 
6' 51'' 57 N
122' 3" 44 E

how to get there:
from Zamboanga City:
coordinate with Zamboanga City Department of Tourism office located in Lantaka Hotel. book in advance for a boat ride to sta Cruz island.

eskapo recommends:
do the reservation at least a day before your planned trip to the island. 


Asiong32 said...

wow, pink beach! mukhang interesting tong lugar nato Dom tas pati yung Badjao cemetery. Di pako nakakakita ng black coral in person pero i plan not to kasi they deserve to be underwater instead. u

Manong Unyol said...

wow nice beach kakaiba..

escape said...

Asiong, interesting at ito dapat di i-miss out pag nakapunta ka ng zamboanga. lapit lang din naman sa city. i agree. it's still best to see the black corals under water.

Manong Unyol, kakaiba to sa usual na white sand beach.

John Marx Velasco said...

Sayang di namin nakita yung cemetery, pero pumunta kami sa mangrove area.

I saw some souvenirs na corals, sabi ko sa mga Tita at Mama ko wag bumili. Hehehe.

Thanks for the mention. :D


Thanks for bringing this story (and photos) to us, Idol. Reading this made me want to go to this province. Safe and secure pala dito.

Hope makapunta ako dito soon. Ang ganda.

Micamyx|Senyorita said...

Sana makapunta din ako dyan soon :D

blissfulguro said...

i remembered how deep it went from a very short distance. kakagulat kahit marunong ka lumangoy :)

we also went to the mangroves like marx :)

people there were ecstatic upon hearing me say how famous that island is in manila...

escape said...

>Rizalenio, yes it is safe there. naayos na nila ang security at sulit makita itong beach.

>Mica, makakapunta ka din. abangan lang ang ga seat sale.

>Blissfulguro, yes. lakas din ng water current sa channel na yan. the mangrove site is huge surrounding the swamp. marami pa kasing taga Zambaonga na di pa nakakapunta sa isla.

Traveling Hawk said...

It's a beautiful landscape and the color of the sand makes a good match with the shades of the water. Interesting post, dong ho!

lakwatserong tatay said... i wish makapunta talaga ako rito....

kelan ba un susunod na trip mo rito dom...

isama mo ko ha...^_^

killerfillers said...

With all the barrage of Zamboanga post I've been reading lately, i might plan a trip next year before it become touristy. Great post!

escape said...

>Traveling Hawk, by mid day the sand would actually look like it's close to white and one needs to look at it upclose to see the mix of red and white sand.

>Lakwatserong Tatay, no schedule yet to return to Sta Cruz island. hopefully by early 2013 when i go home to Basilan.

>Killerfillers, next year will still be a good time. i noticed that too. i actually think number of tourists going to Mindanao in general is growing.

Photo Cache said...

I'd like to see a pink beach too.

Chyng said...

aaww, i remembered this trip! dito tayo nasunog ng todo! ^_^

it was really a great time going to mindanao with you, kainis lang kasi andami mong alam na dialect =P

j(velpepper) said...

Ang ganda!!!!

sheng said...

Just like most of your visitors here, I'd like to see a pink beach too!

Eds said...

wow naman. pink beach, love to see it. sana soon wala na yong alinlangan ng mga tao na bumisita sa lugar na yan in terms of security

The Nomadic Pinoy said...

I remember seeing this island from across the city of Zamboanga. Buti pa kayo ni Chyng, nakarating na doon.

Anonymous said...

Just as the gods used WWII to justify an influx of new technologies so will they use the impending pestilence which kills over half the world's population to justify historical medical advances, including the "cure of aging", initiating the "1000 years with Jesus on Earth".
We've seen this tactic used recently with AIDS, targetted at homosexuals and blacks in Africa.
Then, as promised, The End will come with fire::::Global tectonic subduction.

Anyone the gods role play telepathically or use for positioning in this Situation extensively have a legacy of hurting others. The more they hurt the more eggregious in history their legacy. Considering they tell me my auidence at any one time is nearly half a billion it is not inconceivable Adolph Hitler was reincarnated into the Situation.
Due to the expansive accumulated audience in this Situation these individuals have now qualified for a legacy of hurting billions of people, and as a result own a very exclusive legacy which will qualify them to be used for the pestilence event which kills half the world's population:::The monsters of tommarrow.

Don't forget the lessons the 'ole white preacher taught:::Dancing is a sin.
The gods used the liberal tool to ridicule away so many taboos, paving the way for the decay of society and ultimately the End Times::::::
Black behavior was controlled by the KKK. Men's behavior was controlled by marriage for thousands of years.
When married by 15 men never gained the taste of promiscuity. Once the gods used the budding liberalism tool the men set the tone for the deteriorating enviornment centered around their gross disfavor.
Women's relinquishing control of pre-arranged marriage will be what costs mankind everything in The End. It's all their fault. Men are pigs, essentially just primally responsive disfavored beings who if given the freedom will abuse based on the impulses the god's push them into. Whereas under pre-arranged marriage this behavior was contained now the promiscuous fraternity house epitomizes the pinnicle of what a "real man" should be like. And sadly the women fall into line.

The gods behave monsterously in the course of managing Planet Earth, matching our decay, but they demand people be good if you are to have a chance to ascend as a child in a future life.
Not only is doing the right things important (praying, attoning for your sins, thinking the right way:::accepting humility, modesty, vulnerability), so is avoiding the wrong things important as well:::"Go and sin no more".
You NEED active parents who share wisdom to have a real chance to ascend into heaven in a future life, and you MUST be a good parent as well to have that opportunity.

The god's primary goal with this Situation was their minimization of culpability arising from destroying our planet with social liberalism. Everything I have taught is true. Now that this Situation is complete the disfavored have been taught. The antients are no longer/minimally responsible from this point forward.
As with the retard, military draft vs. volunteer force and other examples from earlier, expect it boils down to an issue of culpability::If the gods don't accept blame they don't have to "make it up to us" and the decay we experience accelerates when you are reincarnated without their assistance in placement or during life.
If they were honest how little they ultimately intended to grant us our sacrifice would have ended long ago, but they used this lie "We'll make it up to them." to further our misery, with absolution of obligation on the agenda for the future.
The antients used me to absolve themseves of culpability then attacked me for the act of absolving them (educating the masses).
They've destroyed my health in the name of punishment, positioned with their theater, when my efforts were their goal all along:::The epitome of perverse depravity. They don't allow anything unless there's something in it for them.

Raft3r said...

pinkish talaga
na-excite ako don, ah

Reena said...

ang ganda dyan. sana makarating din ako ng western mindanao. waaahhh

Mike said...

wow pink sand thats something new, usually people craves for white powdery sand. I like the view its outstanding.

Anonymous said...

A very pristine island I do agree, but what a shame that even locals don't have easy access to the island. The photos are well captured and makes it even more beautiful.



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