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Tawi-Tawi - Philippines' Southernmost Pearl

Tawi-Tawi is a projection of the Malay word “jaui" meaning "far." Prehistoric travelers from the Asian mainland would repeat the word as “jaui-jaui” to mean “far away” because of the distance of the islands from the continent of Asia. The word “Tawi-Tawi” was picked up to later become the official name of the province.

Although ‘far away’, Tawi-Tawi is not far from other provinces when it comes to industrial improvement and tourists spots. It boasts of numerous destinations that are a must-see for anyone who wish to see the beauty of Mother Nature.

Demographics

1. Population – 450,346 (as of 2007 Census)
2. Land Area –sq. km
3. Capital – Bongao
4. Language/Dialect – Tausug, Banguingui, English, and Filipino
5. Divisions

Cities (0)

Municipalities (11)

  • Bongao
  • Languyan
  • Mapun
  • Panglima Sugala
  • Sapa-Sapa
  • Sibutu
  • Simunul
  • Sitangkai
  • South Ubian
  • Tandubas
  • Turtle Islands

Gusong Reef
Gusong Reef is a top producer of the delicious turtle eggs, ranking second only to the Turtle Islands

Bongao Peak
It is a veritable monkey sanctuary in the principal town of Bongao. It provides a view of the expanse of sea and the necklace of islands for miles around.

Manuk-Mangkaw / Musa
It is an island located slightly beyond and across the channel. It is said to be "floating like an umbrella,"

Cultural

Badjao Vilage
Location: Bongao, Tawi-Tawi
One can visit the Badjao Village to see their lifestyle and the intricate art of weaving, which the Badjaos are known for.

Sitangkai
Location: Bongao, Tawi-Tawi
Eye-catching Sitangkai is considered the "Venice of Tawi-Tawi" for its houses built on stilts above water. It is also the site for one of the few floating markets left in Asia, although it remains one of the liveliest.

Historical

Makhdum Memorial
Location: Sibutu, Tawi-Tawi
Legend has it that Arab Missionary Sheik Makdum,who constructed the Mosque in Tubig Indangan,was a powerful imam who could lift 3-foot diameter pillars. His remains are allegedly buried in two separate islands one of which is Simmunul the other,Tandubanak on the southern shore of Sibutu.

Natural

Gusong Reef
Location: Mapun (Cagayan de Tawi-Tawi), Tawi-Tawi
Seagulls, known to the natives as "tallah-tallah," have settled here by the thousands to lay their eggs. Gusong Reef is a top producer of the delicious turtle eggs, ranking second only to the Turtle Islands.

Bongao Peak
Location: Bongao, Tawi-Tawi
Dominating with a prominent vertical cliff on its north side,Bongao peak towers above the island,welcoming tourists. The peak is a protected monkey sanctuary in the capital town of Bongao. A natural watchtower provides a view of the expanse of sea and the string of islands of Tawi-tawi.

Manuk-Mangkaw Island / Musa
Location: Bongao, Tawi-Tawi
It is an island located slightly beyond and across the channel. It is said to be "floating like an umbrella," under which submarines of the Allied Forces sought refuge from enemy depth charges during World War II. Manuk-Mangkaw derives its name from a cluster of branches atop an ancient tall tree forming the image of a hen about to walk. It was used as a landmark by seafarers who jestingly called upon the "hen" to take the first inevitable step - " manok mankaw," meaning "walk, then walk."

Tahing-Tahing Beach
Location: Tabawan, South Ubian, Tawi-Tawi
With its crystal clear waters, it forms a natural swimming pool. A picnic haven, it is where a group of American soldiers were inspired to compose the song, "Tawi- Tawi Beach."

Turtle Islands
Location: Turtle Island, Tawi-Tawi
The Turtle Islands,together with three islands of neighboring country Malaysia, and the surrounding coral waters, are the only living area of the Green Sea Turtles in Asia and in the whole world.

Religious

Tubig Indangan
Location: Simunul, Tawi-Tawi
On this location stands the first Muslim mosque built by the Arabian missionary Sheik Makdum in 1380 A.D. It is a pilgrimage site for Filipino Muslims.

Tandubanak Mosque
Location: Sibutu, Tawi-Tawi
It is the biggest mosque in Sibutu is the one in Tandubanak. Sporting a pink and green motif,it stands proudly along the narrow and singular road that bisects the island.

Kamahardikaan Tawi-Tawi”
Place: Tawi-Tawi Province
Date: September 24 - 27
The festival commemorates the foundation anniversary of the province. Highlight of the event include cultural presentation that showcases the colorful ethnic cultures of the Sama, Badjaos, Jama Mapuns and Tausugs, fluvial parades marine sports like the Paglomba-lomba ma Tahik Tawi-Tawi, a boat racing competition, and beauty pageant.



Web Phil Info.com

How To Get There?

By Air:
Take a flight to Zamboanga City. From there, take a chartered flight bound for Tawi-Tawi. Plane lands at Sanga-Sanga Airport. Currently, only one airline company flies to Tawi-Tawi.

By Sea
Commercial ferry boats travel to Zamboanga City. Travel time from Manila to Zamboanga City is 29 hours, estimated. Ferry boats at Zamboanga Port travel towards Bongao Commercial Port.

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