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Zamboanga * Basilan * Sulu * Tawi-tawi (ZamBaSulTa): A Paradise, Not a Warzone

From: NAIA Terminal 3, Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines

To: Zamboanga International Airport (ZAM), Zamboanga, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines

Travel Date: September 01, 2018

6 days travel

Posted by markgatus

“If you are given a chance to travel around the world, where would you go?” A question commonly asked to a traveler like me. I still choose to explore the Philippines, my home and where my heart belongs. Aside from breathtaking views at the peak of its mountains, the majestic waterfalls, the calm and relaxing beaches, what more could you ask for? It's a great opportunity to visit our islands and get to know different cultures. Now let me share my 6 days experience of traveling across the Pearl of the Orient Seas, particularly the islands in Mindanao.

Day 1 Zamboanga City
About 700 km away from Manila, a visit to the Zamboanga City is like traveling out of the country because it is so close to Indonesia and Malaysia. But a long trip to this city will give you a worthwhile journey. Zamboanga City is a highly-urbanized city in southernmost part of Zamboanga peninsula. And because of its Hispanic influences in its culture, it is commonly known as the “Latin City of Asia”.
• City Hall
• Fort Pilar
• Marian Shrine
• Pasonanca
• Barter
• Lantawan Grassland
• Paseo del Mar

Day 2 Isabela, Basilan
Most of us incorporate the word WAR or GIYERA whenever we hear BASILAN. Pero huwag mag BASI LANg sa sabi-sabi, go to BASILAN and see for yourself. It is a piece of paradise, not just a war zone. I feel so blessed when I went for a day tour in this place, though I was a bit scared, to be honest. But the fear shifted when I saw what this place can offer, it amazed me.
• City Plaza
• Sta. Isabel Cathedral
• Basilan Provincial Capitol
• Malamawi Island
• Malamawi Hill Top
• Sunflower Garden
• Cabunbata Falls

Day 3 Jolo, Sulu
A good day to find peace in Sulu. Despite all the warnings and fake news that the place isn't safe for a tourist nor a traveler, I got myself stucked in Jolo. Not just to tick off another province of the PH81, but to learn some of the cultures and practices in Mindanao. I never bothered walking under the sun while roaming around the town because there were so many things that were new to me, like their story, language, the food, and religious practices. To be honest, spending a day in Jolo will never be enough because there's still lot of stuffs to learn and places to visit. I will surely come back for more stories, and unlimited laughter along with my newly found brothers.
• I Love Jolo Signage
• Plaza Rizal
• Plaza Marina
• Sulu Provincial Capitol
• Sulu Museum
• I Love Sulu Signage
• Masjid Tulay (Biggest Mosque)
• Abdusakur Tan Square
• Barter (Pasalubong Market)
• Cathedral
• DPWH Office
• Mauboh Beach
• Mangroves
• Shara's Coffee Shop
• Jolo Municipal Hall

Day 4 Bongao, Tawi-Tawi
Cloaking its secrets with verdure and mist, Bud Bongao is Tawi-Tawi’s most famous mountain. It’s a revered pilgrimage site for both Christians and Muslims. Bud Bongao is an icon of terrestrial biodiversity conservation and eco-tourism in Tawi-Tawi because of the wealth of its wildlife and its unique cultural importance. All that we see and experience now, we hope to preserve for the future.
• Bud Bongao Forest Park
• Bongao Peak
• Tawi-tawi Town Hall
• Bajau Village
• Boloboc Beach
• Boloboc Cave
• I Love Tawi-tawi

Day 5 Simunul, Tawi-tawi
Tawi-tawi is an archipelago of islands and islets scattered over Celebes Sea. One of these is Simunul, a small island south of Bongao. Simunul Island is said to be the birthplace of Islam in the Philippines, the first mosque was established here.
• Simunul Arch
• Sheik Makhdum Mosque
• Sheik Makhdum Tomb
• Papa Bull's Park
• Simunul Resort
• I Love Simunul
• Simunul Water Hole
• Traditional Houses
• Sangay Siapo Island (Part of Bongao)

Day 6 Zamboanga City
One of the Philippines best assets is its seven thousand islands, edged by white sand buffering turquoise waters filled with some of the world's most diverse marine life. And most of them are relatively unexplored. Before leaving Mindanao, you shouldn't miss the chance to visit some of it's beautiful beaches and waterfalls that will surely give you a reason to come back. No need to say goodbye to this island.
• Great Santa Cruz Island
• Little Santa Cruz Island
• Lagoon with Mangroves
• Merloquet Falls

• Zamboanga
Sir Leo Francisco - 09292039513 - DIY Travel Zamboanga
Santa Cruz Island (call for boat reservation) - 09056016316
• Basilan
Ma'am Michelle - 09054792819 - Isabela Tourism Officer
Ma'am Jarma - 09264275797 - Lamitan Tourism Officer
• Sulu
Sir Nash Abduhadi Jr. - 09179716659 - Jolo Tourism Officer
Sir Rhu-Rhu Saabdulla - 09971683864 - Tourism Operations Officer
Ma'am Jainab - 09175929225 - Sulu Provincial Tourism Officer
• Tawi-tawi
Ate Nursida Jaluddin - 09063283378 / 09457693679 - Tour and Accomodation
Sir Mads - 09553607711 - Simunul Island Tour
Sir Caz - 09754071083 - Simunul Tourism Officer
Ma'am Sheng - 09389796265 - LGU Simunul

Link to blogsite

Itinerary 6 days travel

Travel Expenses