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The Beauty of Tawi Tawi Province

Tawi Tawi Province is located in the southern end part of the Philippines it is about an hour to reach the Sandakan, Malaysia. The only Jump off point by plane if will coming from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao is the airport of Zamboanga. There is two airline fly to this province, namely Cebu Pacific Air and Platinum. Another option to reach the province is by sea route from Zamboanga City to Jolo, Sulu to Tawi Tawi it will take more or less 20hrs.

I have been planning to explore this province a long time ago, booked a flight in a several time but I don't have the courage to step foot that because I heard a lot of (tsismis) negative feedback on the TV that this province is not safe. When Cebu Pacific Air had a 1 fare it came to my mind to book a flight again and that time I was really thinking about it if this the right time to explore.

Since I’m from the Visayas I booked a flight to Davao connecting to Zamboanga instead of Manila to escape the busy runway of Naia and the same time to shorten the travel time.

The airline had a 4 times flight a week, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. A good friend of mine referred me to a family who lives in front of the Sanga Sanga Airport the Family of Ate Nursida or people known her as Ate Sidang.

The plane leaves Zamboanga airport around 6:05 am, after an hour of flying we finally touch down in Sanga Sanga Airport. When I left the terminal I felt safer because there's a lot of police officers in the entrance/exit of the airport. I was instructed by ate sidang the direction going to their home, but I got lost hahaha, so I texted her to please pick me up at the airport instead.

When I arrived at her home, I was welcome with her 5 adorable kids, they prepared me a breakfast before my tour in Bongao. Before flying to Tawi Tawi I've decided to bring some school supplies from Zamboanga for her 5 kiddos, the eldest was in grade 4 already.

When Kuya Nars arrived, ate sidang husband, he prepared his tricycle for the tours of the day, we left the house around 9 am and decided to make the trek in bongao peak before the city tour. I am not really a fan of trekking I do trek, but quiet sometimes because I worked and live on Boracay Island. A year ago, there is no staircase going to the peak it really difficult to trek if it’s raining, but now there is. Before we headed straight to the Bongao peak jump off point we bought some bananas for the monkey that we will encounter while trekking.

Trekking to Bongao peak is really easy to the person who loved to trek, in my case since there's is no mountain to climb in Boracay It is difficult for me. I always make a stop to take rest, hahaha Kuya nars told me that’s okay I will wait you, take your time. If I will count I think I take a rest more than 10 times in more or less 2km trek, hahaha when I stopped I always asked kuya Nars, Malayo pa bo pa? (It is still far?). This is just like in my Mt. Samat trek in Bataan I've made more than 20x rest in 7km trekk Hahaha.

After 1.5 hours composed of 1hr of rest and 30minutes trek finally, we reach the peak, the view from the top is really amazing just like other peak/viewing deck in the Philippines. Tawi Tawi is an amazing province. 

It's Sunday so its a family day, there's a lot of families, couples are enjoying the view even solo like me. haha

After a couple of hours in the peak we decided to going down. when we arrived in the tourism office satellite in bongao I just noticed why the staff checked the foods, drinks of the people who brought before going up, so I asked kuya nars, he said They need to present so that when they going down the staff will check the trash if still complete  if they  miss  they will charge from 2 pesos to 10 pesos per piece. 

The reason why they did that because to avoid trash in the peak. We take our lunch in the downtown in one of the Malaysian resto before we continue our tour.

Bongao downtown are busy there's a lot of badjao people roaming around begging for food and offering a help for a fee. After our lunch we headed to badjao village it is just about 10 minutes from downtown, When we arrived my first expression is really hard living here because there is no clean water supply they take a bath at the sea, the village is very dirty, and the badjao folks didn't want to go to school as per kuya nars.

Our next destination is in the Provincial Capitol, when we arrived i asked kuya nars if we can go inside to take a photos and he said yes so we enter and told him if this capitol is still the one they used because I can't see that they maintain the plac its just like no one use it.
Before we going home kuya Nars stop a along the way in one of the refreshment to have snacks, the local delicacies that I ate was delicious specially the their Pastel.

We arrived at their house late afternoon, I decided to take a nap because my body is giving up already. I didn't know the time when ate Sidang wake me up to have a dinner and that was past 7 in the evening already. We have a good chat after dinner before we call it a night.

My flight back to zamboanga the next day is 7:30 in the morning, I have nothing worry about because the airport is just about 2 minutes walk from where I stayed.

I woke up around 5:30am to have coffee prepared by ate Sidang and went to the airport after to check in my flight. I went back to Ate sidang house to take breakfast, while waiting to my flight, we have a good chat again explaining the history of Tawi Tawi, I didn't check the time and i was panic when i heard the plane passing by, Maybe because the boarding time indicated in my boarding past is 7:10am and I was checking my watch its already 7:25am. If my miss my flight I really to buy another ticket in Platinum Airlines which is a little bit expensive or to take the ferry back to zamboanga.

Kuya Nars and Ate Sidang told me that there's nothing to worry about because before the plane landed the serine of the airport will turning On. I was relief when I saw the plane was just landed, hahaha I'm over acting, will buying a new ticket will make you have migraine hahaha

The plane leave Sanga Sanga Airport around 8Am and we Safely arrived in Zamboanga despite of heavy rain. 

Will definitely come back in one of this day to explore some of the islet.  


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