Western Mindanao region may have had its share of bad publicity, due to the pestering conflict there between separatist rebels and the government over the years. But, if you take a really close and more balanced look at this area, you’ll be so surprised to find a lot of areas that show great promise, especially in terms of travel and tourism. Located just a few hours away from Sabah, Malaysia, Tawi Tawi is an island-province blessed with white sand beaches, dive sites, stunning mountain lookouts, prehistoric caves, and more. For the bold and daring, there are a lot of rewards for visiting this gem in the Sulu Sea.
Sangay Siapo Island
If you want to feel like a castaway for a day in a majestic island, then take a boat ride at the Bongao port and head to Sangay Siapo Island. Once you arrive here, you’ll be mesmerized by the turquoise, blue-green waters that surround this small island. A trip to this far-flung outpost should make a perfect addition to your Philippine Beach Holidays!
According to a local caretaker, the island used to be a popular resort, until the original owners fell into tough financial times. The resort’s main structures have now been abandoned, and remain in disrepair. That’s why if you plan to come here, make sure you bring your own food, as well as your own diving and snorkeling gear, because the waters off the island teem with lovely coral reefs and rich marine life!
You could also ask your guide to buy “Junay”, which is rice steamed in coconut milk with toasted coconut, from the public market. This aromatic rice is wrapped in banana leaves, and goes well with salty dried fish, along with shredded mango in soy sauce and chili. Now isn’t that delicious?!
Sandbar Beach Lepa and Restaurant
If Sangay Siapo is too far for you at the moment, you can actually swim, snorkel and dine at one of the newest tourist resorts near the capital town of Bongao, and it’s called Sandbar Beach Lepa and Restaurant.
This is located on a very scenic part of the town, where the mountain meets the sea, and visitors can enjoy a hearty meal and go swimming afterwards! The resort has stylish, good-looking villas for overnight stays, and its main restaurant is designed like the “lepa” boat, which is the houseboat of the Badjao tribe.
Other Nice Things To Do In Tawi Tawi
Apart from swimming, diving and snorkeling, visitors to Tawi Tawi will also enjoy exploring Bolobok Cave, and paying a visit to the Tawi Tawi Provincial Capitol too. Likewise, they can buy dried fish and other seafood at the market and Old Chinese Pier, also souvenir items at the Badjao Village. A quick trip to the mangrove forest should also offer a refreshing respite.
And of course a trip to amazing Philippine Tourist Attractions like Tawi Tawi will not be complete, if you don’t experience hiking up Bongao Peak, or Bud Bongao! Locals often go up the cliff to pray for good health and more blessings, as well as enjoy the sweeping views of Bongao Island. Don’t forget to bring bananas for the monkeys living along the hiking trail!
Mindanao is a well-known giant island in this archipelagic country due to numerous provinces filled with stunning resorts. Indeed, these attractions have captivated the eyes and hearts of many Filipinos and even tourists across the globe.
One such famous island in Mindanao is Samal. Having different beach resorts suitable for simple to high class individuals, the island is listed as a top favorite under Philippine Beach Holidays.
Below are some of Samal’s best:
1. Pacific Heights Resort
If you love exploring newly established resorts, the Pacific Heights Resort is your perfect choice. Boasting of amazing white sand coastline accompanied by crystal clear waters, this dream beach guarantees first rate amenities. Have fun playing beach volleyball, relax at the coco bar and let your kids play on the football area or the playground.
How to get there
If you’re not bringing your car, take the barge at Sasa Port towards Babak Port for approximately 15 minutes. Upon arrival, turn left and look for the sign that leads to Monfort Bat Cave, around four kilometers from Babak proper. The Pacific Heights Resort is located downhill of Camudmud Barangay Hall.
2. Club Asiano Beach Resort
Looking for a private resort filled with solitude and clear waters? End your search by booking a reservation for Club Asiano Beach Resort. Featuring accommodations which are Filipino designed, this one provides amazing ambiance, apt both for fun and leisure.
How to get there
As you reach Babak Wharf, go left, following the road to Camudmud, approximately seven kilometers from the port. Watch for the signage of Barangay Camudmud. Once spotted, the signage of Club Asiano can be seen at the left side, then, turn left. Continue traveling and once you reach the road end, turn right; the second signage points to Club Asiano.
3. Camp Holiday Resort and Recreation Area
If you’re a party lover, go head for Camp Holiday Resort and Recreation Area. This is the perfect place where you can truly spend your summer vacation with kins and friends. A 3-star hotel and resort, the place has over 30 cozy guest rooms.
Another interesting feature is its great function halls, perfect for business conventions as well. Cottages and hotel rooms are air-conditioned, with hot and cold shower, and cable TV. Best part, campers can take advantage of the resort’s camping ground area and stay overnight.
How to get there
If you don’t want to travel afar, Camp Holiday Resort is again the excellent option. Why? It’s just a few steps away from Babak Port!
4. Mahan Beach Resort
Looking for a great resort even with a limited budget? No worries! Mahan Beach Resort offers white sand and clear water beaches at an affordable price! Filled with several cottages and a gazebo, the resort management promises to give you the kind of relaxation that you need.
Wait, there’s more! You can even bring and cook your own food in the designated area, with the offer of the resorts’ free firewood. No corkage fee!
How to get there
Ride the barge at Sasa in Davao City for Babak. Upon arrival, go right and do some walking exercises for approximately 180 meters. You can also ride the motorcycle which will take you to your destination straight away.
So, here’s the main question – when in Mindanao, which Philippine Tourist Attractions would you want to visit? Still can’t figure out the answer? Navigate the website and search for more noteworthy destinations!