Wednesday, July 25, 2012

malamawi island

the timing and the mode of getting there will be the most important factor. generally, tourists going to the island of Malamawi would always go there to visit White Beach. the island's nicest beach area for swimming. timing is important as this beach is totally different during weekdays and the weekend. on this particular trip, i had Chyng of No Spam No Virus No Kidding with me.
since i wanted her to experience how a usual local would go there, we decided to take the public boat ride (10mins) and the habal-habal ride from the Malamawi's main port to White Beach (20-30mins). 

it was the best time as it was summer on a weekday. there were very few people in the area with soldiers who are regularly stationed in the area for security purpose. this was the first stop for the Eskapo Mindanao Series.  

the beach
a large portion of the coast of the island are white sand beaches but it's the area called White Beach that is popular to many. the sand in White Beach can be compared to that of Boracay, the crystal clear waters is exceptional but the expanse of an almost rock-less area for beach swimming is limited to less than a kilometer. both side of the main beach stretch is rocky. making it best for beach swimming, snorkeling and shell picking.






the people
the island of Malamawi is shared by both Christians and Muslims. the coastal areas are mainly occupied by the Badjaos while mostly Christian communities are settled inland. the island has an extension of Isabela city's public school but due to accessibility some of the people in the island still prefer studying in the main island of Basilan.  










the distance
it is accessible from Isabela City by a public motor boat enough to carry 20 people crossing the Isabela channel. it travels daily the entire day as most locals would travel to the city and back everyday. length of the boat trip is 10-15minutes. main mode of transportation within the island are motorbikes.










the topography
composed of two major islands connected by a large protected mangrove swamp. one side is facing the Isabela channel where the city of Isabela is visible while the other side is the Sulu sea. a hilly portion is set on the middle of the island the rest is flat and roads are mostly unpaved.





the security
it is relatively safe to go to the island but as i would always recommend, it is better to have a local join you or best yet coordinate with the city tourism. (see contact number below).










check out Chyng's post on her experience of Basilan
 Dont Tell My Mother I Spent a Summer Day In Basilan



Profile:
Island: Malamawi
Barangay: Carbon
City: Isabela
Province: Zamboanga Peninsula
Region: Western Mindanao

GPS Location: 
6' 43'' 20 N
121' 57" 45 E

how to get there:
from Isabela city:
option 1: take a boat trip from Isabela city's boat dock site for Malamawi bound trips. it is just a short walk away from the main dock site of ferries coming from Zamboanga. Isabela dock site to Malamawi pier (10minutes or less). 
from the Malamawi pier or is locally known as Carbon pier, there are motorbike drivers who can bring you to White beach. if you've arranged in advance for a pick-up ride, they will pick you up from here for an hour or less trip to White beach.
option 2: rent a boat from Isabela city pier Malamawi bound that will bring you directly to White beach. warning: this can be risky as waves are most of the time big for this route. this less recommended.

eskapo recommends:
it is advisable to check first the situation in the island before setting a visit. i also recommend that you know of someone from the island who can guide you around. 

Mr. Gerald Louise Tubil - Isabela City Tourism 0917-6344989

Sunday, July 22, 2012

the road to three sixty

i just returned to my room from a day around the city of Harbin in China last February when an email with a subject "Hello from 360PHL" popped from my laptop screen. a good news. it was an invitation to be a cast of an indie-travel reality based webisode.
the concept was to send eight travelers grouped into four to travel in the Philippines particularly sending each group north, south, east and west. i was chosen to be one of the cast. i immediately replied "this is a go!" clicked sent without thinking when it will be shoot. 
it was my last five days with my previous company when i returned to Manila. so anything beyond that time was indefinite except for my "yes" to be part of this travel web series. days after that, i started to receive more information including the schedule of shoots of interviews and the projected travel date.
 
it was only days before the trip when we met the rest of the cast and the crew. the biggest shock was when the pairing was revealed because i never expected that i'll be partnered with Rob and that we will be sent to Mindanao since i am from the South. it seemed that almost everything i expected was wrong.
the most challenging aspect of being a cast was the fact that we really don't know where we were bound and what we will do. our option that time was either to have a mind set expecting the worst or best yet no expectation.
South leg with teammate Rob and the crew Agnes, Lai and Dane
but the best thing of being part of this project was that everyone in the team worked with passion. it was formed out of what each individual does best and loves the most. 
looking at how everyone worked so hard, i believed that only crazy people will do this not getting paid. true. these people are simply crazy in making the country's first reality travel web series.

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or check out cheap flight to faro

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