When 7,107 Islands Magazine (my country consists of such number of islands) launched the latest issue with the theme of “Seven Most Daring Travel Destinations”, it was quite a brave move on the editor’s part and the team behind it. How can you promote places most feared in my country due to travel advisories and media hype? Of the seven daring destinations, I have only been to four so far. Actually I had a pending invitation to two of those, but things had a way of preventing me from going at that time. In this particular issue, I got the cover photo and two beautiful destinations, Marawi City (article written by Gael Hilotin) and Tawi-Tawi, situated at the last frontier southernmost of the Philippines (my article and photos). Braving a destination despite the negative claims is sometimes worth it, just as long as you don’t take too much risk. View large pages here
7107 Island Travel Magazine 5th Anniversary Issue Photo Cover: Badjao Houses on stilts by Jojie Alcantara
This Badjao baby caught my eye as I walked carefully on wooden planks stretched across the waters within a cluster of houses built tightly and interconnected by footpaths. The family welcomed me into their community, even though I was a stranger in their eyes, just passing by to document their unique way of life. I took note of their smiling faces, houses on stilts, and their floating boats as vehicles.
“In a sense, each of us is an island. In another sense, however, we are all one. For though islands appear separate, and may even be situated at great distances from one another, they are only extrusions of the same planet, Earth.” ~ J. Donald Walters Excerpt from my published article: “Tawi-Tawi: on the Edge of Paradise” 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 …
An island province in the southwestern tip of the Philippines, Tawi-Tawi is home to the Badjaos, indigenous ethnic groups referred to as “sea gypsies” who inhabit the shores and waters of the Sulu archipelago.
“A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci This sunset can be viewed overlooking the sea where we stayed in Sandbar Lepa Resort in Tawi Tawi. As it gave its last peek before disappearing from the horizon, we quietly captured it from our cameras, silenced in awe. If I were to relive this moment over and over, I will most likely be staying longer in this island and coming over to this spot each day. Tawi-Tawi is an island province southernmost of the Philippines, located in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), and sharing sea borders with the Malaysian State of Sabah and the Indonesian East Kalimantan province. To the northeast lies the province of Sulu and to the west is Sabah in Malaysia, which one can visibly see on a clear day from its highest peak, Bud Bongao. Tawi-Tawi also covers some islands in the Sulu Sea to the northwest, the Cagayan de Tawi-Tawi …
“Too many of us are hung up on what we don’t have, can’t have, or won’t ever have. We spend too much energy being down, when we could use that same energy – if not less of it – doing, or at least trying to do, some of the things we really want to do.” ~ Terry McMillan, From Disappearing Acts