Sunday, December 2, 2012

bongao tawi tawi

flying over several thousand feet over the islands in the archipelago's southernmost group of islands was unforgettable. a kind of feeling where you would point to one island and to another and say i want to go there and there and also there.

islands came in forms of coves, lagoons, needle-shaped shoals with portions of white sand coasts. the idea of Chyng and i to seat a row apart just for us to both get a window seat was perfect. it gave us a marco perspective of the islands of Sulu and Tawi Tawi. 
it was just late last year when large operating commercial airlines launched its regular flights from Zamboanga to Bongao. just imagine, that years back, one would travel either by ferry which takes 16hours or by faster seacrafts traveling for 9hours just to get there over today's 30-minute flight.
out of the 107 islands in this province, Bongao island serves as the main gateway to the islands of Simunul, Sanga-Sanga and Sibutu. though Bongao is the central governing municipality of the province, in terms of land area it is smaller than its other neighboring islands.
we had no contact person in the island. but while we were at the Zamboanga City airport waiting to board, we noticed that we will be flying along with a large group of civil engineers from the different provinces belonging to the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). 
one of the head noticed us and knew that we're also going to Tawi-Tawi. we had a long conversation and ended befriending with the head who promised us that we will be endorsed to the police who will then recommend us a guide to tour around the island. quite a great day for us to start!

up next, a tour around the coast of Bongao.

check out Chyng's post on our tandem trip to Tawi-Tawi "A Trip to Philippine's Southernmost Province

Island Profile:
Island: Bongao
Municipality: Bongao
Province: Tawi-Tawi
Region: Western Mindanao

GPS Location: 
5' 1'' 24 N
119' 46'' 13 E

How to get there:
By commuting:
>>From Manila, take a flight to Zamboanga City (1hour and 10mins). The main gateway to Bongao, Tawi-Tawi.
>>From Zamboanga City:
[1] By plane, you can take either Cebu Pacific Air or Airphil Express which flies this route 4-5 times a week (30mins) 
[2] By ferry, leaving Zamboanga almost daily leaving by night time (16hours)

eskapo recommends:
1. if you take the plane, book your flight (Zamboanga to Bongao and back) ahead to assure flight availability on that day.
2. if possible, check situation in the province before proceeding.


Manong Unyol said...

WOW ANG GANDA... di pa ako naka kita ng mga bahay nasa tubig di ba xa marumi yung tubig?

Jerome said...

can't wait na marating ko rin ang tawi-tawi

Elal Lasola said...

Isa to sa mga places na gustong gusto kong marating. Kabilang dulo ni Batanes!

blissfulguro said...

it really pays to be friendly and to be an engineer and to speak the language! :) said...

aaww daming memories of this trip. sa totoo lang at first i was scared pero nung dumating na tayo sa tawi tawi, ok naman pala.

looking forward Doms for next year!

@carla, patas patas kami ni Doms jan. he cant speak Tausug ^_^

Micamyx|Senyorita said...

I want to go there, pero gusto ko kasama kita hehe :D

aboutambot said...


Photo Cache said...

you are a trailblazer in the blogging field. you go where no one has gone before.

happy holidays.

The Nomadic Pinoy said...

There's nothing like re-visiting a place that's made a mark within you. Maligaya na ako mapuntahan man lang ito kahit minsan.

Lifeisacelebration said...

Galing nyo. You and Chyng have a lot of spunk doing what you do. Safe travels and yes, more blogs on southern Mindanao pls!

nik rielo said...

effort kung effort talaga! gusto ko bumalik. meron ako gusto balikan dyan. something like 8 hours away by boat :)

journeyingjames said...

will be following the series of post pre.
i want to go back here and stay for a week or more

Pinay Travel Junkie said...

You HAVE TO go back and make sure you take me with you :)

Traveling Hawk said...

Wonderful landscape but I think few foreigners will dare to go there. After all, which is the truth? Is it dangerous to visit those places? On internet you may read so many things.

Unknown said...

Gorgeous! MABUHAY PILIPINAS!! Add Taal, Batangas Heritage Town to your adventures list for 2013! Discover more about a cornerstone to Filipino history & culture!

LonelyTravelogue said...

Tawi Tawi is definitely on my top list to do before 30!!! thanks for posting this. it inspire me more to go there SOOOOOONNNNN

Unknown said...

i miss tawi-tawi. the songs of the sea and the gentle flickers of the janggay. i first reached tawi-tawi wayback in 2005 when sea air was the only plane that flew to the island. i've visited it a few more times years after. it's a beautiful place. i wrote about it too. :-)


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