Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Off-The-Beaten-Path Destination : Bongao, Tawi-Tawi

Tawi-Tawi is the southernmost province of the Philippines. Aside from Sulu, it is probably the least visited province in the Philippines due to the unstable peace situation in the area. I was kinda hesitant to pursue my travel to Tawi-Tawi months after the Zamboanga siege but at the same time a part of me wants to explore the road less traveled.


The flight to Tawi-Tawi from Zamboanga City is in the early morning. We had to check out from the hostel we stayed inn and chartered a tricycle going to the airport. I felt excited when we boarded the plane and at the same time a little nervous. I did not know what awaits us in Tawi-Tawi. It was an hour flight and I was amazed of the islands and white sand beaches I saw up in the air. I was too busy taking pictures I did not realized we were about to land. Truly, the province has a lot of islands to explore.



Welcome to Sanga-Sanga Airport!
We landed in Tawi-Tawi and my excitement was doubled. We're finally in the southernmost province in the Philippines. We immediately went out and chartered a tricycle to Bongao where we planned to stay for the night. We stayed at HOTEL and the staff were very accommodating. We took a room for P1200 good for 3 people. It was fair enough. There's nothing fancy about the hotel but it's location is in the town proper so it's easy to get around. It is a walking distance to the market and municipal hall.


Climbing Bud Bongao
The hotel staff asked the security guard of the hotel to accompany us to climb Bud Bongao. I was hesitant to go at first for some reasons but my travel buds have convinced me to join them. I am not used to trekking so I had difficulty reaching the top of Bud Bongao. The trail was difficult because it rained the night before we climbed. It was slippery which made the trek very challenging. After about two hours, we reached the top.


An Amazing View
We finally reached the top of Bud Bongao and we were greeted with an awesome view of the town of Bongao. It was fascinating and the feeling was phenomenal. One of the best views I've had. It was surreal and it was all worth the trek. I'd definitely want to back there and stay longer. 






Trekking Down
I thought it would be easier to go down but I was wrong. It was equally hard as climbing up. The trail was slippery so you have to trek slowly and carefully. It was one of the hardest trek I've had so far.

Exploring Bongao
After climbing Bud Bongao, we had lunch in a carinderia in the town proper. After lunch we stsrted exploring the town. We visited the municipal hall which actually looked good and new. We also visited the provincial capitol and had a great overlooking view from there.






Sunrise at Sanga-Sanga - Bongao Channel
On our way back to the airport we were greeted with an amazing sunrise. We could not help ourselves but to tell our trike driver to stop so we can shoot. 




*Some of the photos were only taken by my phone so pardon me for the quality of the photos. :)
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