This post may seem to be a little late, but it’s way better than not sharing my experience with you, right? So here it goes..
I’ve been to Tawi-tawi last August 2012, we stayed near Sangga-sanga Airport. At 6AM we woke up early to hike the Tawi-tawi’s famous Mountain- The Mt Bonggao also known as Bud Bonggao by the locals.
From the airport, it took us 15-20 minutes ride towards the jump-off point of Bonggao Peak.Motorclycle and Tricycle are the modes of transportation in Bonggao, Tawi-tawi. We paid P20.00 for each ride.
At 7AM we started to hike, the trail going to the peak is not that hard, there are some parts of the trail which are concrete especially the stiff.
Locals keep on going to the top to pay respect to their elders which are buried on the mountain. We trailed amidst lanes of coconut trees and bananas for the first few minutes. After that you will pass through the forest where monkeys are mostly found. Many locals bring banana to feed the monkeys they see along the way.
I am fascinated with the sight of monkeys on the wild – which is way better to see than seeing them in captivity. I was amazed to see those monkeys roaming around the trees freely and not afraid being catch or hunt.
As we went along the trail, we saw cellophanes tied on the trees. They believed that if they tied that cellophane on the trees the spirit wont not hurt them and if not there’s something bad luck will happen to them. We achingly respect there custom but we are glad to know that some environmentalist collect those plastics from time to time because this practice is not good for the trees.
Near the peak we saw a group of people doing their rituals to tombs. There are plenty of tombs at the mountain, we saw at least a dozen. Only the tribe’s leaders are allowed to bury their kins here according to our guide.
After an hour of hiking we reached the peak of Mt Bonggao. On the top you can see the whole Boggao. Its panoramic view simply washed away our stress and hardships from walking and trekking.
After doing 15 minutes of camwhoring we go to the other side of the mountain. We walked for around 15 minutes to reach the view deak facing Simunul Island- the very place where Islam was first introduced here in the Philippines and where the first mosque, Sheik Karimal Makdum is located.
Then we started to descend. Its much easier going down than going up.
While on our way back, we stopped by a resort found just below the Bonggao Peak. This resort is the perfect place to relax for a while and rejuvenate and yourself from strenuous hiking.Dan Mar Resort was the name of the place is one of the newest and most beautiful resorts found in Bonggao Peak. And because we stopped over here, we didn’t miss eating their famous dish – KAMON or deep fried aluhipang daga.
Tawi-Tawi is actually a paradise only few knew. It is because it has always been portrayed to be an unsafe place for tourists – both locals and foreigners. There is no denying that security issues in Tawi-Tawi is one of the main concerns why people seldom visit the island, however, if this major concern is properly addressed, then this place could’ve been one of Philippines best tourist locations – trust me, I’ve been there.