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!
check out Chyng's post on our tandem trip to Tawi-Tawi "A Trip to Philippine's Southernmost Province"
Region: Western Mindanao
5' 1'' 24 N
119' 46'' 13 E
How to get there:
>>From Manila, take a flight to Zamboanga City (1hour and 10mins). The main gateway to Bongao, Tawi-Tawi.
>>From Zamboanga City:
 By plane, you can take either Cebu Pacific Air or Airphil Express which flies this route 4-5 times a week (30mins)
 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.