Visit the beautiful place of Sintangkai, Tawi- Tawi: Venice of the South


Ever dreamed of traveling to Tawi-Tawi? If Taguig has its own Venice-inspired gimmick, there is another Venice-inspired place in Mindanao. Tawi-Tawi is a popular foreign destination in the Philippines and is popularly being the "Venice of the South" and the Agar-agar (Carrageen seaweed) hacienda of the country. It is an island province of the Philippines located in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The capital of Tawi-Tawi is Bongao.

 Contrary to what many people believe, Tawi-Tawi is an incredibly peaceful island. The island is one of the most culturally rich provinces in the country. The beauty of its islands is something we can all be proud of as Filipinos. They are not only comparable to what Coron and Boracay can offer its comparable to what the Maldives and even the Caribbean could offer. Tawi-Tawi has a very rich nature and culture. From the charming islands and islets dotting the seas of Tawi-Tawi to the breathtaking peak of its tallest mountain, from the flavorful traditional cuisines of its people to their colorful dances and lively music, -- amazing things that are truly and uniquely Tawi-Tawi's.

The mode of transportation in Sitangkai, Tawi-Tawi is by sea using a pump boat. Due to the use of the boat as primary transportation, although footbridges connect one house to another. The major source of livelihood is fishing, seaweed farming, and agriculture,  although there is very sparse agricultural land available. Here, instead of roads and cars, you will be welcomed by a wide canal that serves as the main highway characterized by the place just like its European counterpart. Boats serve as the only venue for trade and transportation, as they pass through Sitangkai's central canal. Trading is still a way of life in Sitangkai. There are only a few floating markets in Asia; however, when you go to Sitangkai you will be brought to a new world. The floating markets of Sitangkai feature the freshest of fishes. Fruits are hard to come by and come either from the bigger islands of Sibutu or Bongao, if not from Semporna, Malaysia.

Aside from the floating market, by visiting Sitangkai, you will witness white sand beaches, coral reefs stretched out in the deep blue sea, and other rich marine resources.

Other scenic spots in Tawi-Tawi

>Bud Bongao Peak
>Panampangan Island
>Sheik Karimol Makhdum Mosque
>Saluag Island
>Sibutu Island
>Bolobok Cave

THINGS TO REMEMBER BEFORE GOING TO TAWI-TAWI:

1. You have to coordinate with the tourism office before going here. Of course, this is a safe place.
2. It is better when you’re traveling with someone or with a group so that you can spend less as expenses would be shared especially when renting boats for the whole day.
3. Be a responsible traveler. Honor their place and follow their rules.
4. Tawi-Tawians love spicy! So expect lots of spicy food around. Don’t worry, though, because they have other food choices that are not spicy.

HOW TO GO TO TAWI-TAWI:

1. You can go here via plane. There are no direct flights to Tawi-Tawi from Manila that’s why you have to fly first to Zamboanga City before heading on to Tawi-Tawi. Cebu Pacific provides trips during Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, though at the last checking, they also fly to Tawi-Tawi during the rest of the week. Check their website for the specific schedule.

2. You can also go here via ferry. From Zamboanga City, various ferries have daily trips going to and from Tawi-Tawi. This option might be cheaper, but is it definitely much longer.

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