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Lilpink Travels: Fun Things To Do in Tawi-Tawi

I may come from one of the places that has the best beaches, but I really haven't explored my lovely archipelago yet. Ahuh! You got it right. I am not the adventurous type. I'd rather read books on a sunny afternoon by the beach while having tea.

However, for the sake of the people who are enchanted by the group of islands down south, here are some of the fun things to do in Tawi-Tawi.

Chasing sunrises and sunsets in Bongao.

Tawi-Tawi has the best sunsets around. If you are in Bongao, the best spot to look at the sunset is the Sanga-Sanga Bay Walk. There is usually a number of people who waits for the sunset there, not to mention you can eat sidewalk food and the local delicacy, pastil, too.

If you want a good sweat while chasing sunrises and sunsets, then you have to consider climbing the stairs to the Provincial Capitol of Tawi-Tawi. At around 3-5 AM, the place is packed with joggers from around the municipality. All of which are waiting for the sun to rise. Before the sunrise, you will also witness the mystic view of the Town of Bongao.

photo by: Johnny Lee

photo by: Johnny Lee

Island-hopping around the archipelago. 

Tawi-Tawi is an archipelago of 107 islands. Yep, 107 of the 7107 islands of the country is in Tawi-Tawi alone. So, if you plan to island hop on a daily basis, it will take you at least 107 days to roam entirely around my lovely home.

The truth is, I only have gone to at least five islands. hahah! But I am now more open to roaming around.

photo by: Basil Sali
Boating/Boat-riding in Sitangkai, also known as the Venice of the South, and other parts of the province.

If you have gone to Venice or to Damnoen Saduak and have fallen in love with the romantic scene of being in a boat with your loved one, then why not try it in Tawi-Tawi. Sitangkai is famous for the use of boats as primary transportation, although footbridges connect one house from another.

Walking on the vast powdery white sandbar of Panampangan Island. 

Panampangan Island is located in Sapa-Sapa, Tawi-Tawi. It is very famous among locals because it has powdery white sand similar to Boracay, but still untouched and the surrounding sea has numerous  aquatic species you can clearly see with your naked eye.

Talking and interacting with the locals. 

Tawi-Tawians are very much hospitable and have a lot of stories to tell. Why not spare a moment of your tour and talk to locals? If you are lucky, you might score an invite to their home and be entertained with spectacular stories while eating local delicacies. And if you are luckier, others may offer to tour you around.


The archipelago is blessed with various classes of seafood that you can never say NO to simply because they come at a really low price. Moreover, the Tausug, Sama and Badjto ao local delicacies should also be in your travel bucket list.

You can also try Malaysian cuisine and products in Tawi-Tawi. Well, most of the products in the province either came from the Philippines or Malaysia. It's like a mixture of both countries!

 Staying overnight or more in a stilt house away from the land. 

Try the lifestyle away from the land by living on a stilt house that has no other mode of transportation to reach to except the boat. The Badjaos live away from the convenience of the land and embrace the aquatic lifestyle. It will be an eye-opening experience.

Scuba-diving/snorkelling around the clear waters of Tawi-Tawi.

There are countless Scuba diving spots in Tawi-Tawi. In Bongao, there is an organized Scuba diving club that can accompany you to have a good dive. The clear waters will let you see as much species as you want to.

Climbing Bud Bongao, feeding white monkeys and beaching in Silisad afterwards.

Bud Bongao is the highest mountain in Bongao. Accordingly, you haven't gone to Bongao if you are not able to climb the mountain. Then, I am sorry to say that I haven't gone to Bongao at all! I haven't climbed the mountain nor fed the monkeys. haha. The magnificent view of Bongao and surrounding municipalities will welcome you once you reach the peak.

The trek to Bongao Peak is near the Silisad Beach. So, upon climbing down, locals would usually go for a beach. I don't know if it should be recommended but people do that.

Trucking from Bongao to Panglima Sugala.

Bongao is now connected through land with Panglima Sugala. Thus, taking a trip to the capital of Tawi-Tawi should not be missed. Bongao is actually the de-facto capital of Tawi-Tawi since all of the local agencies are located in the municipality, even the Provincial Capitol.

Planting seaweeds.

There are countless seaweed farms around the archipelago. Why not take the day off and try to be a marine farmer?

Learning to dance the Pangalay/Igal.

While you're at your peak of visiting the place, why not take home with you its native dance? At a glance, pangalay is such a simple dance. But when you try it, your muscles and bones will really have a workout. In fact, Ligaya Fernando Amilbangsa teaches this now as a form of an exercise.

Visiting the oldest mosque in the Philippines, Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Mosque in Tubig Indangan, Simunul, Tawi-Tawi

Tawi-Tawi is known for being the first place to be islamized in the entire country. It is also where Islam spread to most of the regions in Mindanao and even to Manila where Raja Sulaiman reigns. The mosque shelters the four pillars of the first mosque, because it was renovated several times already.

Just beside the mosque is the tomb of Sheikh Makhdum. The locals will tell you interesting stories when you get there.

Whether you are a tourist or not, there are numerous things to do in Tawi-Tawi. Be sure to indulge yourself in adventures and fun things to do in Tawi-Tawi. Don't be like me who let all the opportunities to travel the archipelago go to waste.

I promised myself  that I will be making up for it real soon! There are far more things to do in Tawi-Tawi than the list.

Let's explore the southernmost frontier of the Philippines.


  1. Such breathtaking views! And the sunset! I really hope to visit Tawi-Tawi one of these days.

  2. How I wish I can go there one day. Of course, the safety issue is still so crucial since you have to pass by Zamboanga. I hope the peace and order of the region will be restored in my lifetime.

  3. Gandaaaaa. Sana makapunta ako jan. <3 added to bucket list na talga :)

  4. This place is so beautiful, I wish to stay in the stilt house away from the land as well. You got many nice photos.

  5. Those are all so beautiful. You're very lucky to have experienced all of those activities. I'd love to go there someday and do these fun things myself!

  6. Oh my goodness this is beautiful! I would love to go there especially since it's not very known to tourists. I do wish there is an easier and safer way to get there because it looks like paradise!

  7. This travel post really made me smile!! The photos are quite beautiful and I learned so much about Tawi Tawi :D

  8. I honestly didn't know there's so much to do in Tawi-Tawi. This is a nice post to share and promote. It will help other locals tourists to visit the place. It's indeed surprising to know that the 107 islands can be found there! Would it be possible to go through all islands in a day or two? Haha! That would be a nice experience to have for this year!

    ❤ Louise |

  9. I never knew that Tawi-tawi was as beautiful as the other famous tourists spots. There's even so much to do. So thank you for sharing this, this is definitely going on my travel bucket list :)

  10. I really should start investing on traveling around the Philippines. The scenery of Tawi Tawi looks great!

  11. Loving the photography😍 masha'Allah definitely wanna visit insha'Allah. Thanks for sharing😊

  12. I like how you include your tips into your photos and make them so PINterest-sy and shareable! Can I try out your style one day?

  13. Such an interesting place to visit! :) How do I get there from Cagayan de Oro?

  14. Tawi Tawi is really beautiful. It has a taste of Venice and has a lot of natural wonders to visit.

  15. Wow! Philippines is calling my name!
    Sunset looks amaaaazing.. And the mountain, sounds perfect for me :)

  16. I'm going to bookmark this post, and keep instigating my husband to plan our next travel here. After Sri Lanka late last year, this is now going first-up on my travel bucket list. PS You are so lucky to be living around such gorgeousness.
    - Heena,

  17. Keep travelling and keep on documenting! :) this is really a great post! it captured every thing from small details to the grandeur of the whole landscape.

    Rey | MODMENCO

  18. I haven't really thought about going to Tawi-Tawi, maybe because not many people go there and I haven't read much about it. Now that I read your post though, I'm convinced I should go there too. I specifically want to go to Sitangkai, it reminds me a little of the Mekong River.

  19. Your pictures and review of the area make me wanna go so bad

  20. Venice of the south reminds of the "river village" in Cambodia. I hope one day we get to visit Tawi Tawi with the whole fambam. Thanks for sharing the beauty of Tawi Tawi. :)

    Mhaan <3 | Mommy Rockin' In Style Blog

  21. I never knew there are lots of fun things you can do in Tawi-Tawi. One of my life goals is to photograph sunrise and sunset and this place is just amazing. Bookmarking this post. Totally in love Tawi-Tawi :f

    Vanessa | Ai ♥ Capture Memories

  22. Love it! Never been to Tawi Tawi and it's about time people start writing more about Mindanao's treasures.

  23. Haven't been to Tawi-Tawi. This post has served as my visual tour. You are so good in promoting the Province, the Dept. Of Tourism should hire you:)

  24. Hey there! I'm a travel blogger and I wish to visit Tawi-tawi! I hope you can help me out. By the way, awesome photos. You gave us a gem of an insider view of Tawi-tawi! :)

  25. I was in 4th grade when I first learnt the word Archipelago. Ever since its enchanting. I've been wanting to visit Andaman & Nicobar atleast. Should do it soon...

  26. Thank you so much for this post! The Panampangan Island looks like the Kalanggaman Island! And wow, I didn't know seaweeds are planted. LOL. I though they grow out of nowhere just like the "land" weeds that we take out. HAHAHA

    ­xx, Janine | Wandering Ella

  27. Such beautiful place, would love to to take a ride on that boat with my wife

  28. So many breathtaking pics and places! Thank you for taking us there :) xx

  29. Such a beautiful place, MaShaAllah...

  30. What stunning pictures, and your food mentions make my mouth water! I hope to visit your lovely islands one day iA, and pray I'm fortunate enough to meet and chat with a local.

  31. You have absolutely stunning photography, I would love to visit!

  32. This makes me want to hop on a plane and go somewhere warm ;)

  33. Subhanallah never heard of Tawi-Tawi... but all I can say is Wooow Masha Allah. Allah's creations are so magnificent.

    Will you be my tour guide??? 100+ islands...

    If I ever find myself there, I will surely indulge yourself in all of the adventures and won't be like YOU who ''let all the opportunities to travel the archipelago go to waste''. I love travel adventures.

    Thanks for sharing x

  34. wowwww amazing place and even more amazing photos!!

  35. We haven't visited here yet, but it is definitely on our travel plans for next year. I would love to try out the traditional dancing, some great ideas here, thanks.

  36. Oh wow that looks like such a beautiful place! Would love to visit one day

  37. wow Kai,
    eally worthvisiting,espec the white sandy beach.

    Eat Healthy Stay Healthy :)

    Myda Tahir

  38. Wow the place looks beautiful. I love how you have edited the pictures and added text.


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