Tawi-Tawi

Tawi-Tawi is an island province of the Philippines located in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The capital of Tawi-Tawi is Bongao. The province is the southernmost of the country sharing sea borders with the Malaysian State of Sabah and the Indonesian Kalimantan province. To the northeast lies the province of Sulu and to the west is Sabah in Malaysia. 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.

This is I think an undiscovered beauty in our country. Due to a lot of terrorism going on the South of our country, this province I think will never be discovered. Why? Because tourist will never risk sailing going to this beautiful island. However, below are some photos to show how breath-taking this province is…

Tawi-Tawi Airport – Sanga-Sanga Airport also known as Tawi-Tawi Airport, is an airport serving the general area of Bongao, the capital of the province of Tawi-Tawi in the Philippines. The airport is classified as a secondary airport, or a minor commercial airport by the Air Transportation Office, a body of the Department of Transportation and Communications that is responsible for the operations of not only this airport but also of all other airports in the Philippines except the major international airports. It is not an international airport, contrary to its classification by the Tawi-Tawi provincial government.

Tawi-Tawi Provincial Capitol – It is built at an elevated ground at the foot of Bongao Peak facing the commercial center of the capital town of Bongao. A 270 degrees bird’s eye view of the town that extends up to the neighboring islands is just plainly awesome.

The building is of Muslim architecture with its prominent mosque dome majestically crowned atop the building like a headress.

Statue found in downtown in Tawi-Tawi

Bongao, Tawi-Tawi -Before the armed rebellion of the MNLF in the early 1970s, Bongao is merely a backwater village ruled by the prominent noble Halun family, who used to own about 3/4 of the island. The capital of the province is Bato-Bato in the mainland situated in a cove with deep waters suited for anchors of the Philippine Navy. At the height of the armmed rebellion and fearing that the provincial capitol might be overrun, the government transferred it to Bongao. The white-washed, Taj Mahal-inspired provincial capitol building is located on a hill overlooking the bay and the whole town to the North of the Island against the backdrop of Mount Kabugan and the famous Bud Bongao (Bongao Peak).

Bongao Peak –Bongao Peak is the welcoming view to those coming to Tawi-tawi as it slowly towers above upon approaching the island. The peak juts out at the center of the island giving a towering presence as if watching over you as you go around the circumferential road of the island touring the whole place.

Towering with a prominent vertical cliff on its north side, 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. Climbing this peak takes about 2 hours on an easy relaxing pace.

After which we went to Mapun Island. Mapun is a remote municipality in the province of Tawi-Tawi, Philippines.Mapun (formerly Cagayan de Tawi-Tawi and Cagayan de Sulu) is a small island in Tawi-Tawi. The people inhabiting the island are known as Jama Mapun or “people of Mapun”. Their dialect is Pullun Mapun, which means “Mapun dialect”.

The Jama Mapun are friendly, peace-loving people. Majority of them are Muslims although there are some who are Catholics and Seventh Day Adventists. However, there is no tension between them because of the difference in their religion. In fact, they have been living in harmony for many years already.

Don’t have much photos for Mapun, the travel time going there is very very tiresome. 72 hours in Jolo Strait coming from Zamboanga. And the boat there goes only once a week. Chances are of going home back to Bongao if ever is… “Pray that the sea is calm. If there is a gigantic wave, most likely, you will wait for the next nice season to sail” 😉

Till next trip….

Tarlac

While we had our vacation at Clark, Pampanga, we have decided to try and see this new restaurant there. I saw this restaurant one morning while I am on my way to work.

So we headed from Pampanga to Tarlac, to see and experience this unique restaurant by ourselves. The following pictures will show you how great this restaurant is. Not just their place but as well their gimmicks, foods and their friendly crews.

Front of Isdaan Village at Gerona, Tarlac.Gerona is one of the 17 towns of the province of Tarlac. It is bounded on the north by Paniqui; on the east by the Pura; on the south by Tarlac City (the provincial capital); and on the west by Santa Ignacia. The town is 73 km. from San Fernando City, the regional center; 50 km from Clark Special Economic Zone in Angeles City; and 139 km north of Metro Manila.

The floating restaurant, like a small village at daylight.

The floating restaurant, like a small village at night.

Yes, these Coy fish swim beneath the floating restaurant. However, I was surprised that they also eat sisig. Yeah I know I shouldn’t be feeding them with pork but with their sizes, I am sure they can still digest it. 😀

The other things you can see at Isdaan Village are these huge statues. Very tribal isn’t it.

You can wish on this hand.. They believe that it will come true.

One of their game. You have to cross this 3 inches wide bridge with a bucket of water. There are huge shells along the way and to add it up, the water that will hit you. Once you cross this bridge and will be able to go back, you will win one bucket of Fish for free.. But if you fail, you will fall in this 10 feet deep water.. 😉

They call this game Ungoy-Ungoyan.. (Monkey-Monkey). When you pass these five monkey without getting wet, you will also win I pail of fish. This is a two player game. The other one, waiting to get wet in front of those monkeys and the other one, trying to figure out which bulb is connected to those monkey and try to avoid it. There were like 20 water faucet to choose from so be very careful. Like when we played this one, my partner got wet. Ooops. Sorry! 😀

They said when you wish here, it will be granted.. Hmm… I hope I actually wish though.

Your babies can ride with them.. 🙂 I didn’t know sheep can be used as transport now 😀

And most of all, their main attraction, the Taksiapo wall. Here you can throw plates, TV, glasses, name it they have it. Whenever you eat at their resto, depends on how much, they will give you free plates to break. Yeah, you will experience this break the plates in this place.

Until my next travel.. 🙂

Iya dire sa Cebu!

Oh well I almost forgot to upload some pictures during 5 day trip to Cebu. It was actually a business trip but I don’t think it was a work related trip though. I remember the line for Enya’s song “Oronico flow”. It mentioned the name of this province. I wonder if she was ever been to this province.

From Bissau to Palau – in the shade of Avalon,
From Fiji to Tiree and the Isles of Ebony,
From Peru to Cebu hear the power of Babylon,
From Bali to Cali – far beneath the Coral Sea.

See in this stanza if you will listen to the video above, it mentions the name of this province. I wonder did she even visited Philippines before. Enya is one of my favorite singer. Believe it or not!Often called the “Queen City of the South” and the Seat of Christianity in the Philippines, Cebu is the country’s oldest city. Exploring Cebu City, one encounters a rich historic past. Cebuanos are extremely proud of their cultural and historical heritage, a legacy which has endured thru the centuries from the time the great explorer Ferdinand Magellan first planted the cross on Cebu’s shore.

On April 8, 1521 Ferdinand Magellan arrived in Cebu and discovered the island for the Europeans thus opening a route that would be followed by sea traders until today. Magellan planted a cross in the island that would become Cebu’s most famous landmark.

Anyways, below are some pictures we took while we are in Cebu.

We arrived at Mactan Airport around 10 a.m. We are really excited to go to the hotel.

Yeah, we stayed at Waterfront Lahug. Very nice hotel.. I just simply love it.

View from my room.

The Garden.

This the painting on their ceiling. Very creative. You will also see an old globe painting there showing where is Philippines there. Before it was known as Filipinas, named after the King of Spain, King Felipe.

Our client posing outside the hotel.

Magellan’s Cross.Magellan’s Cross is a Christian cross planted by Portuguese and Spanish explorers as ordered by Ferdinand Magellan upon arriving in Cebu in the Philippines on April 21, 1521.

This cross is housed in a small chapel next to the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño on Magallanes Street (Magallanes being the Spanish name of Magellan), just in front of the city hall of Cebu City. A sign below the cross claims that the original cross is encased inside the wooden cross that is found in the center of this chapel. This is to protect the original cross from people who chipped away parts of the cross for sourvenir purposes or in the belief that the cross possesses miraculous powers. Some people, however, believe that the original cross had been destroyed or had disappeared after Magellan’s death, and the cross is a replica that was planted there by the Spaniards after they successfully colonized the Philippines.

Magellan’s Cross is a symbol of Cebu City and the chapel’s image can be found in its city seal. It is also seen as the symbol of Roman Catholicism in the Philippines.

Colon Street. Known as the oldest street in the Philippines, Colon Street was built by the Spaniards during the time of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi. Named after Cristobal Colon (Christopher Columbus), it is the heart of downtown Cebu, a glittering area by night lined with movie houses, restaurants, department stores, and other business establishments.

Fort San Pedro. Close to the Pier Area in Cebu City you will find the historic Fort San Pedro. It was founded by the Spaniards after they have settled in Cebu and its ancient walls have endured until today. Nowadays it hosts a museum which offers insight into the old times. You can walk through the wide attached park and have a look over to the piers to watch incoming ships like the Spaniards used to do over the centuries.

Taoist Temple. Located at Beverly Hills in Cebu City, on of the areas where the more wealthy people choose to live, the Taoist Temple overlooks the whole City Area and beyond. Even Mactan Island is clearly visible from there. As it is a bit elevated the air is fresher and you are above the city smog. This temple preserve the teachings of Lao-Tse the 600 B.C Chinese philosopher. People come from far to request a view into the future by the monks. In any case its a place to mediate and to relax.

Filipino Streetfoods

Last night it was a sinful night. I am supposed to stick to my “D.I.E.T” however, when my niece asked me to accompany her to 7-11 we passed by this BBQ stalls. But hey in our country, BBQ stalls they also sell unique Filipino street foods. I had these last nights.

Chicken Intestine a.k.a Isaw ng Manok

Pork Intestine a.k.a Isaw ng baboy

Pork blood a.k.a Dugo or Betamax (Yeah they call it betamax because of the rectangular shape resembling to a betamax before)

Pork’s ear a.k.a Tenga ng Baboy

Quail egg with flour a.k.a Kwek-Kwek

Fishballs (flat one), Squidballs (the one being fried) and Kikiam (the longer one)

And that’s what I had last night. But my niece added these following foods because they love it. Which I don’t eat. But I will just post it here anyway so you will have an idea what are the streetfoods we have here in the Philippines.

Balot (it has also a counterpart which is called Penoy. However, I don’t eat this, just Penoy. Penoy doesn’t have duck embryo while Balot has. And yes, the duck embryo should be eaten too. They said it is delicious but I don’t think I am ready for that)

Chicken feet a.k.a Adidas (They call it Adidas since it is a shoe and this is a feet. I eat this if it is cook in Chinese resto but I don’t like this being grilled.)

Chicken head a.k.a Helmet (Yes, they call this helmet because it is chicken’s head)

So now you see, Philippines have unique streetfoods right? But I can assure you that they all yummy..

Why live in the Philippines

I got this from an email. I find written here very funny but unfortunately true. Have fun reading

When I travel, people often ask me why I live in the Philippines ? Well here it is…..

It is the only place on earth where……

1. Every street has a basketball court.
2. Even doctors, lawyers and engineers are unemployed.
3. Doctors study to become nurses for employment abroad.
4. Students pay more money than they will earn afterwards.
5. School is considered the second home and the mall considered the third.
6. Call-center employees earn more money than teachers and nurses.
7. Everyone has his personal ghost story and superstition.
8. Mountains like Makiling and Banahaw are considered holy places.
9. Everything can be forged.
10. All kinds of animals are edible.
11. Starbucks coffee is more expensive than gas.
12. Driving 4 kms can take as much as four hours.
13. Flyovers bring you from the freeway to the side streets.
14. Crossing the street involves running for your dear life.
15. The personal computer is mainly used for games and Friendster.
16. Where colonial mentality is dishonestly denied!
17. Where 4 a.m. is not even considered bedtime yet.
18. People can pay to defy the law.
19. Everything and everyone is spoofed.
20. Where even the poverty-stricken get to wear Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger (peke)!
21. The honking of car horns is a way of life.
22. Being called a bum is never offensive.
23. Floodwaters take up more than 90 percent of the streets during the rainy season.
24. Where everyone has a relative abroad who keeps them alive.
25. Where wearing your national colors make you baduy.
26. Where even the poverty-stricken have the latest cell phones. (GSM-galing sa magnanakaw)
27. Where insurance does not work.
28. Where water can only be classified as tap and dirty.
29. Clean water is for sale (35 pesos per gallon).
30. Where the government makes the people pray for miracles. (Amen to that!)
31. Where University of the Philippines where all the weird people go.
32. Ateneo is where all the nerds go.
33. La Salle is where all the Chinese go.
34.. College of Saint Benilde is where all the stupid Chinese go and;
35. University of Asia and the Pacific is where all the irrelevantly rich people go.
36. Fast food is a diet meal.
37. Traffic signs are merely suggestions, not regulations.
38. Where being mugged is normal and It happens to everyone.
39. Rodents are normal house pets.
40. The definition of traffic is the ‘non-movement’ of vehicles.
41. Where the fighter planes of the 1940s are used for military engagements and;
42. The new fighter planes are displayed in museums.
43. Where cigarettes and alcohol are a necessity, and where the lottery is a commodity.
44. Where soap operas tell the realities of life and where the news provides the drama.
45. Where actors make the rules and where politicians provide the entertainment.
46. People can get away with stealing trillions of pesos but not a thousand.
47. Where being an hour late is still considered punctual (Grabe talaga ‘to!)
48. Where the squatters have more to complain (even if they do not pay their tax)
– than those employed and have their tax automatically deducted from their salaries.
49. And where everyone wants to leave the country!

FILIPINO SIGNS OF WIT:

1. The sign in a flower shop in Diliman called Petal Attraction.
2. Anita Bakery
3. A 24-hour restaurant called Doris Day & Night
4. Barber shop called Felix The Cut;
5. A bakery named Bread Pitt
6. Fast-food place selling ‘maruya’ (banana fritters) called Maruya Carey.
7. Then, there are Christopher Plumbing
8. A boutique called The Way We Wear
9. A video rental shop called Leon King Video Rental
10. A restaurant in Cainta district of Rizal called Caintacky Fried Chicken
11. A local burger restaurant called Mang Donald’s
12. A doughnut shop called MacDonuts
13. A shop selling ‘lumpia’ (egg roll) in Makati called Wrap and Roll
14. And two butcher shops called Meating Place and Meatropolis.

Smart travelers can decipher what may look like baffling signs to unaccustomed foreigners by simply sounding out the ‘Taglish’ (The Philippine version of English words spelled and pronounced with a heavy Filipino such as:
15. At a restaurant menu in Cebu ? We hab sopdrink in can an in batol? [translation: We have soft drinks in can and in bottle].
16. Then, there is a sewing accessories shop called Bids And Pises – [translation: Beads and Pieces –or– Bits and Pieces]

There are also many signs with either badly chosen or misspelled words but
they are usually so entertaining that it would be a mistake to ‘correct’ them like…….
17. In a restaurant in Baguio City , the ‘summer capital’ of the Philippines : ? Wanted: Boy Waitress?
18. On a highway in Pampanga: ?We Make Modern Antique Furniture?
19. On the window of a photography shop in Cabanatuan : ? We Shoot You While You Wait?
20. And on the glass front of a cafe in Panay Avenue in Manila :?Wanted: Waiter, Cashier, Washier?.

Some of the notices can even give a wrong impression such as:
21. A shoe store in Pangasinan which has a sign saying: ? We Sell Imported Robber Shoes? (these could be the ‘sneakiest’ sneakers);
22. A rental property sign in Jaro reads: ?House For Rent, Fully Furnaced? (it must really be hot inside)!
23. Occasionally, one could come across signs that are truly unique – if not altogether odd.

City in southern Philippines which said: ?Adults: 1 peso; Child: 50 centavos; Cadavers: fare subject to negotiation? .
24. European tourists may also be intrigued to discover two competing shops selling hopia (a Chinese pastry) called Holland Hopia and Poland Hopia – which are owned and operated by two local Chinese entrepreneurs, Mr. Ho and Mr. Po respectively – (believe it or not)!
25. Some folks also ‘creatively’ redesign English to be more efficient.?The creative confusion between language and culture leads to more than just simple unintentional errors in syntax, but in the adoption of new words, ?says reader Robert Goodfellow who came across a sign …..

House Fersallarend’ (house for sale or rent). Why use five words when two will do?
26. According to Manila businessman, Tonyboy Ongsiako, there is so much wit in the Philippines because?We are a country where a good sense of humor is needed to survive?. We have a 24-hour comedy show here called the government and a huge reserve of comedians made up mostly of politicians and bad actors.

Now I ask you where else in the world would one want to live?