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Jojie Alcantara | profile | all galleries >> MY PHILIPPINES >> Province of Tawi-Tawi tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Province of Tawi-Tawi

Province of Tawi-Tawi, 2012

Excerpt from my article: "Tawi-Tawi: on the Edge of Paradise" (by Jojie Alcantara)

An island province of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Tawi-Tawi lies in the southwestern tip of the Philippines, sharing sea borders with the Malaysian State of Sabah and the Indonesian East Kalimantan province. Flanked by the province of Sulu to the northeast and Sabah, Malaysia to the west, one can visibly see the neighboring country on a clear day from the highest peak, Bud Bongao. Tawi-Tawi also covers some islands in the Sulu Sea to the northwest, the Cagayan de Tawi-Tawi Island and the Turtle Islands, just 20 kilometers away from Sabah.

Tawi-Tawi forms a part of the Sulu Archipelago chain of islands which has small submarine ridges protruding from the sea, extinct volcano cones and winding limestone-based isles rising from the southernmost ridge. This island chain is said to be an important migration path for birds. From the plane, its irregular shape of islets tinged with fringes of white sandy beaches and rocky coastlines make this province of 107 islands (a combined land area of 462 sq. miles) a veritable world class tourist destination in the future. Some of the islets even resemble those of the stunning atolls in Maldives. From my plane window, uninhabited tiny dots form a chain and had amoeba-like appearances solid around the edges with lagoons in the middle.

Composed of 11 municipalities, the unique island clusters are home to the Tausugs, various groups of Sama people including the semi-nomadic Badjao, land-based Sama, Yakan and Jama Mapun. The people are warm and friendly, peace loving, and content with the islander pace of life.
 7107 Islands Mag Issue 3 Vol. 4
::  7107 Islands Mag Issue 3 Vol. 4 ::
Badjao houses on stilts
Badjao houses on stilts
Badjao houses in Sulu Sea
Badjao houses in Sulu Sea
Me in Panam Pangan Island
Me in Panam Pangan Island
Panam Pangan Island
Panam Pangan Island
Sandbar Lepa Resort
Sandbar Lepa Resort
Tawi Tawi Capitol Building
Tawi Tawi Capitol Building
Badjao weaver
Badjao weaver
Badjao weaver of mats made from pandan leaves
Badjao weaver of mats made from pandan leaves
Sandbar Lepa Resort
Sandbar Lepa Resort
My piece of sunrise
My piece of sunrise
Badjao houses on stilts
Badjao houses on stilts
Badjao houses on stilts
Badjao houses on stilts
Tawi Tawi islet
Tawi Tawi islet
Badjao houses on stilts
Badjao houses on stilts
Tawi Tawi
Tawi Tawi
Approaching Bud Bongao
Approaching Bud Bongao
Aerial of Bud Bongao
Aerial of Bud Bongao
Downtown Bongao
Downtown Bongao
Market scene in Bongao
Market scene in Bongao
Entrance to Bolobok Cave
Entrance to Bolobok Cave
Sunset at Sandbar Lepa
Sunset at Sandbar Lepa
Panam Pangan Island
Panam Pangan Island
Panam Pangan Island from my cellphone
Panam Pangan Island from my cellphone
Badjao houses on stilts
Badjao houses on stilts
Badjao houses on stilts
Badjao houses on stilts
Photographer at sunrise
Photographer at sunrise
Sunrise in Sandbar Lepa Beach
Sunrise in Sandbar Lepa Beach
Girl from Simunul
Girl from Simunul
Me in Panam Pangan Isle
Me in Panam Pangan Isle
Badjaos frolicking
Badjaos frolicking
Badjaos having fun
Badjaos having fun
Approaching Panam Pangan Isle
Approaching Panam Pangan Isle
Panam Pangan Island
Panam Pangan Island
Badjao houses on stilts
Badjao houses on stilts
Badjaos preparing fish to dry
Badjaos preparing fish to dry
Dried fish on badjao stilts
Dried fish on badjao stilts
Sama house on stilts with gate
Sama house on stilts with gate
The oldest mosque in the Philippines in Simunul Island
The oldest mosque in the Philippines in Simunul Island
Oldest mosque in Simunul
Oldest mosque in Simunul
Badjaos having fun
Badjaos having fun
A Taste of Tawi-Tawi
A Taste of Tawi-Tawi
Tawi Tawi in Manila Bulletin
Tawi Tawi in Manila Bulletin
 7107 Islands Mag Issue 3 Vol. 4
7107 Islands Mag Issue 3 Vol. 4