Monday, February 23, 2015
Two of the newest planned and proposed construction projects in Iloilo City, Philippines
New Residential and Commercial Complex to be constructed in Iloilo City
Proposed Mall In Iloilo City
Sunday, February 22, 2015
Magdalena G. Jalandoni
Prolific Ilongga Woman Writer and Artist
(1891 - 1978)
Magdalena Jalandoni was known as Western Visayas first woman writer. She is now remembered as one of the most prolific Filipino writer in the Hiligaynon language. She was the first recipient of the Republic Culture Heritage Award for Literature in 1969 by President Ferdinand Marcos. She also wrote poems and novels in Filipino and English language. She did 36 novels, 122 short stories, 231 short lyrics, 8 narrative poems, 7 novelettes, 5 corridos, 7 long plays, a number of sculptures and hundreds of paintings throughout her lifetime. Her works are said to have left permanent and significant milestones in Philippine literature.
Birth and Early Years
She was born on May 27, 1891 in Calle Alvarez in the old city of Salog (now Jaro, a district of Iloilo City) to the pious, devout Catholic couple Gregorio Jalandoni y Jopson from Jaro and Francisca Gonzaga who hails from the town of Pavia. Magdalena had an only younger brother Luis who later married Amelia Benedicto Ledesma , also of Jaro.
Her formal schooling started in the school of Clemente Gonzales and his wife Donata. In June 1902 she studied at the Colegio de San Jose where she was a day boarder, and in 1904 she entered the same school as an enterna. She wrote her fist corrido “Padre Juan and Beata Maria’ at the age of ten, and “Don Juan Gonzaga” also a corrido at the age of twelve. Later on she wrote “Lucibar and Portivillar”, “Principe Recaredo” and Heneral Manfredo.” Her mother brought these corridos at the La Editorial Publishing House where these were printed and sold to the public.
On November 6, 1906 she entered the Iloilo High School. She stopped her studies after the first year because her mother did not approve of co-education and just stayed at their home where she wrote in her native tongue.
Childhood and Early Works
She began writing at a young age wherein she already had her poems published at the age of 12. At the age of sixteen, she published her first novel in Hiligaynon, "Ang Mga Tunoc Sang Isa Ca Bulac" (The Thorns of a Flower) which she finished in December of 1907, which was later followed by many novels, compilations of poems and short stories. Jalandoni only wrote for publication purposes due to the male-dominated society at the time. Back then, female voices in literature were not taken seriously by the general public. Although her mother strictly forbade her to take literature seriously, she refused to do so and devoted her life entirely to literature.
In her childhood autobiography Ang Matam-is Kong Pagkabata (My Sweet Childhood), she cites: "I will be forced to write when I feel that my nose is being assaulted by the scent of flowers, when my sight is filled with the promises of the sun and when my soul is lifted by winged dreams to the blue heavens."
Her famous poem Ang Guitara (The Guitar) is read in classrooms all over the country today. Literary critics and historians claim that she has mastered a special talent for poetry and description as well as dramatic evocations of landscapes and events in her novels and short stories. Her works span from the coming of Malay settlers in the Middle Ages up to the Spanish and American colonial era as well as the Japanese occupation of World War II, all portraying the history of Panay and the evolution of the Ilonggo culture. According to Riitta Varitti of the Finnish-Philippine Society in Helsinki, "Jalandoni was the most productive Philippine writer of all time."
Other famous works include Anabella, Sa Kapaang Sang Inaway (In the Heat of War), Ang Dalaga sa Tindahan (The Young Woman in the Market) and Ang Kahapon ng Panay (The Past of Panay). Throughout her turbulent and displaced life, she still managed to publish 36 novels, 122 short stories, 7 novelettes, 7 long plays, 24 short plays and dialogos in verse complied in two volumes, seven volumes of personally compiled essays including some translations from Spanish and two autobiographies. She has been displaced from her hometown twice and has survived the Philippine Revolution, the Filipino-American War and the Japanese Occupation. In 1977, she received the prestigious Republic Cultural Heritage Award for her literary achievements from the government, about one year before her death.
Her works are kept in the University of the Philippines in Diliman and in the Visayas, the Ateneo de Manila, the Universities of Iloilo and San Agustin, the Universities of Syracuse and Yale in the United States and in the National Library.
Death Of A Great Writer
She died on September 14, 1978 at the age of 87. At the time of her death she had written a total of 66 volumes composed of 24 novels, long poems, dramas, historical epics, translations, meditations, poems, her autobiography, a bibliography of her works and many other literary pieces. The author lost twenty novels during the Second World War when these were burned inside the Archbishop’s Palace in Jaro where she kept them.
During her lifetime she had received many awards recognizing her contribution to the enrichment of Hiligaynon, her native tongue and the genius that made her such a prolific writer. She never married. She is now survived by a few nieces as well as several other close relatives. Magdalena Jalandoni's birth place and ancestral house still stands today as a historical landmark and a museum not far from the cathedral of Jaro and is frequented by students. A street at the Cultural Center of the Philippines complex in Pasay City, Philippines is named in her honor.
Magdalena Jalandoni Wikipedia entry, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magdalena_Jalandoni
First Thoughts: Magdalena G. Jalandoni blog, http://andyesperancilla2.blogspot.com/2010/09/magdalena-jalandoni.html
Magdalena Jalandoni Blog, http://magdalenajalandoni.blogspot.com/
Today In Philippines History, The Kahimyang Project May 26, 2012, http://kahimyang.info/kauswagan/articles/1150/today-in-philippine-history-may-27-1893-magdalena-jalandoni-was-born-in-jaro-iloilo-city
Heroines, News Today December 13, 2007, http://www.thenewstoday.info/2007/12/13/heroines.html
Magdalena G. Jalandoni Ancestral House Facade, ExploreIloilo.com, http://imgarcade.com/1/magdalena-jalandoni/
Friday, February 20, 2015
Florence Nightingale of Panay
(1851 - 1945)
Nazaria Lagos is known as the Florence Nightingale of Panay. She was a pioneer Red Cross leader in the Visayas region. She was a strong woman, compassionate mother and has a deep and deathless love for God and country. She was born not only to become a mother of her own children but of the many wounded Filipino soldiers, sick civilians and of the sick children during the war.
Born From A Wealthy Family
Nazaria L. Lagos was born on August 28, 1851 in Barrio Burongan (now Jaguimit), Laglag town (now Dueñas), Iloilo. Her parents were Don Juan de la Cruz Lagos and Doña Saturnina Labrillaso. As an only child, she was well taken cared of and brought up in comfort but she was not a spoiled girl. When she was six, her mother hired Maestro Gregorio "Oyong" Tingzon as her teacher. She was a beautiful, brilliant young girl who could speak Spanish well and talk to the Spanish officials.
At a very young age of 12, she married her second cousin Segundo Lagos, a son of a wealthy land owner, Don Bartolome Lagos whose ancestors were the founders of Dueñas town and the religion. During her years in marriage life, Nazaria faced lots of challenges of home life with patience. She possessed good qualities of being a wife and a mother and was equipped with proper knowledge on nursing and medical care by Dr. Cuadra, a family friend and doctor, who often visited the family and stayed in the vast family hacienda.
Red Cross and Revolutionary Work
Through the order of Military Governor Don Ricardo Monet with the support of parish priest Father Lorenzo Suarez, Nazaria was appointed as President of the first local unit of Red Cross in the province of Iloilo.
During the revolution under the general supervision of Gen. Martin Delgado, Nazaria Lagos was chosen as secretary and Segundo (her husband) as the adviser of the Revolutionary Volunteers to go against the Spanish Government. Her house in Barrio Burongan (now Jaguimit) was made as a secret meeting place of the high-ranking officers of the revolution in the whole province of Iloilo. Nazaria and Segundo built a secret Army Hospital in their Hacienda in Jaguimit and which Nazaria was appointed as Chief of the Army Hospital and Manager of the Army Food Supply Depot for the Filipino soldiers. This is for the preparation of the revolutionists for the war against the Spaniards. The building of the hospital came from Nazaria and Segundo's own money. The supplies of the food came from the production of their farm. She gave an all out support for the welfare of the Filipinos. Nazaria Lagos and her family together with their "obreros" or workers began to work secretly in Hacienda Jaguimit. She personally supervised the construction of the hospital made from local materials. They made bamboos as beds, chairs and tables and cabinets for the wounded Filipino soldiers.
The war started. Many Filipino soldiers were sick and wounded, and they were brought to the hospital in Jaguimit. The hospital was not only for the Filipino soldiers but as well as the sick and wounded civilians. Since the hospital is certainly located between the North and South revolutionary groups, supply almost ran out. For such a gigantic tack for a woman to bear, the Red Cross helped her in asking donations like food, clothing and medicine. Her tenants had contributed their time and efforts to help in caring for the wounded soldiers. Her knowledge in herbal medicine played an important role in this extraordinary task during the Revolution. Spending almost all her time, effort and fortune for the brother Filipinos, she even was able to bear the death of her two children when the smallpox epidemic struck the country during the years of the turmoil.
Role In Philippine Independence Day Celebration
In Dueñas Nazaria Lagos and her two daughters together with the Red Cross members, sew the Philippine flag. In spite of the scarcity of the clothes, sewing needles and threads, they made improvised needles out of umbrella wire and abaca fibers as the threads. The flag was hoisted at 9 o' clock in the morning of June 12, 1899 in the Dueñas town plaza. Nazaria and the people of Dueñas knelled down with tears rolling down their cheeks and prayed for their safety and independence while the National Hymn was played.
Her Last Years
Nazaria Lagos reserved a legacy not in wealth but as a model mother, leader and a great woman in history. Unfortunately, she became blind and on January 27, 1945, at the age of 93, silently passed away at Sitio Amuyao, Jaguimit, Dueñas, Iloilo. She had served her country and family with love and devotion.
Nazaria and Segundo Lagos will long be remembered from generation to generation. Their service to their fellowmen is worth emulating and their names will be written in Bold Letters in the minds and hearts of all Filipinos, patriots, nationalist and lover of democracy.
Wikipilipinas: Nazaria Lagos, http://en.wikipilipinas.org/index.php/Nazaria_Lagos
Nazaria Lagos, A Great Woman In History, Newstoday 2007, http://www.thenewstoday.info/2007/02/05/nazaria.l.lagos.a.great.woman.of.history.html
Thursday, February 19, 2015
This is an incantation or chant after every vigil for a wake. It is written and sang in vernacular Hiligaynon or Ilonggo.
CRISTIANOS KAMI KON SARANG
ISANG ALIPALOK NGA GUMUWA
SINING MADULOM NGA DABDAB
MGA BUKID MGA DAGAT
MARITUS NGA WALAY PAGSALA
KAG KAMU LAMANG ANG DAPAT
NGA MACAUGDAO SINING DABDAB
LABI PA GANI ANG LISOD KO
SA NAHULOG SA INFIERNO
ANG NAGAPASAKIT KAAYO
ANG HUSTISYA SANG DIOS KO
UTANG NINYO ANG UTANG KO
MADALI NGA BAYARAN NINYO
SAKIT KON MAY PAGKATAPOS MAN
O MATAM-IS MGA KALIPAYAN
KON DILI SAN-O DAW AYHAN
AY DAW WALAY KATAPUSAN
BUOT CON MAKITA NAMAN
ANG SA DIYOS NGA KAGAYUNAN
KABUANGAN KO LIBO-LIBO
SA KALIPAY NGA DAW ASO
SA KAMUT MO O DIOS KO
SA KARSEL NAHULOG AKO
ANG SEKERA SANG PALAD MO
KAY NAGKALADUDLA NA KAMO
DILI MAN KAY IBAN TAPAT
KAY KAMI ANG GAPANAWAG
KON DILI INYO NGA ABYAN
NGA NAG-ANTUS NA SING DUGAY
DAW SA PASIPALA LAMANG
ANG UNA TANG PAG-ALABIYAN
SI TATAY MO AKO ANAK KO
SA DABDAB NADUGAY NA KAAYO
NAGAPANGAMUYO SANG TABANG MO
DILI MO NALIMTAN AKO
DIIN NA ANG IBAYAD MO
SANG PAGPALANGGA KO SA IMO
SI NANAY MO ANG NAHANUKLOG
AMO SA IMO NAG-AYO
O ANAK KO NGA WALAY BUOT
DIIN ANG IMO PAGBALOS
DALI KA LUWASA AKO SA LIKOD
SINING KAIINIT NGA MABASKOG
ANG PAG-AMPO ANG AYONOS
ANG MGA PAGDAYAW SA DIOS
ANG SACRAMENTO ANG PAGLIMOS
ANG HALAD MAHINAY NGA BUOT
GINABATON NGA MANGINTUBOS
ANG MGA PAGKALO-OY SA DIOS
ANG LAWAS MO KAG DUNGOG MAN
SA KUTKUT PAULI NGA TANAN
ANG KALIPAY CON MAGADUGAY
CON IKAW NAMON IGADANGAT
SA GLORIA NGA WA-AY KATAPUSAN
KAY KAMI ANG NAGABALOS MAN
CRISTIANOS KAMI CON SARANG
Thursday, December 11, 2014
The breath taking splendid Balabac Island
Dolphin watching in Balabac Strait
The Philippines is blessed with countless of wonder and the beauty of a bio diverse nature is one of them. With thousands of uncharted islands waiting to be discovered and explored, the Philippines is one of the fortunate countries to have long coastlines, rugged and mystical interiors and jungles so bounty it produces a large portion of the Earth's endemic species of flora and fauna meaning there are lots of flowers, greenery and animals in the country that a nature lover could truly amaze in disbelief.
While Thailand is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world when it comes to tropical beaches, nature and rich, colorful history and culture, Philippines got small attention from the world and welcome a very small percentage of tourist arrivals compared to the rest of the world's destinations. Aside from the aggressive promotion and media campaigns, one reason Thailand is swarmed by tourists is the number of options available to visitors which also include coolest perks and benefits as well as awesome outdoor activities. Each of Thailand's famed beaches like Koh Samui, Krabi, Pattaya, Phuket and Koh Phi Phi Islands has several thousands of accommodations to choose from the cheapest to the most expensive luxury resort hotel and lots of other stores and venues for their needs, services and recreation and most importantly, outdoor activities and leisure and other things to do so as not to get them bored doing nothing other than swimming, diving, snorkeling and sight seeing. This is similar to Boracay but the only difference between Boracay and Thailand's beaches is management and regulation. The now dirty, noisy and crowded Boracay is the effect of abuse, mismanagement and lack of strict regulation. I believe that if strict regulation and proper management governed an island paradise it will keep its pristine beauty for generations to see. I think this can be done with other Philippines' undiscovered gems of nature. If political will and right attitude plays the role, thousands of options that will cater to the needs and service of the visitors shall be put into place into each of these brilliantly precious destinations. What Thailand or Malaysia can offer the Philippines do not only double it but three times or four times their worth and charm.
Visitors and tourists may already have heard and visited places such as Boracay, Palawan, Manila, Intramuros, Vigan, Cebu etc. but they never knew that there tropical beaches in the country that is worth the hype and way much more beautiful than the famed Boracay Island. Here are some of the stunning beaches in the country which could rival that of Thailand's finest beaches:
Canabungan Island, Balabac, Palawan
Bugsuk Island, Balabac, Palawan
Sunset at Bugsuk Island
Bugsuk Island is located in Balabac town, Palawan. This little island jewel located at the southwest Philippines has an interesting history to tell.
On August 13, 1944 eight members on board USS Flier reached Bugsuk Island when the submarine struck a mine while on surface patrol during World War II. They swam 18 hours before reaching an atoll near Bugsuk and spent another three days swimming to two other island before landing on Bugsuk thanks to the help of Filipino guerrilla. Seventy-eight men died including the seven who escaped the sub but didn't survive swimming.
Today, Bugsuk Island is a paradise to behold. Its long stretch of white sand beach defines the horizon that never ends or boundless. This flat island is home to the longest and one of the finest white sand beach in the country – finer that those in Boracay. According to a traveler, the beach in Barangay Sibaring in the southern part of the island is so fine and powdery it will make your feet sink. In this expanse lives the local worm called wakwak and for the ethnic group Palaw’an tribe who lives in the area dipping these crawlies in vinegar means “snack”. You can try it yourself!
The catch is life is laidback! No modern accommodations in the island or in the town proper of Balabac or in Rio Tuba in the town of Bataraza and no electricity or restaurant and not even a reliable phone signals or modern villas. This is an ideal retreat for people who wants to separate themselves for a while from the rest of the world. So tips are bring flashlights and/or matchsticks to light fuel for light in the darkness, cook food or to keep you warm the rest of the night, bring materials; tools or ingredients for cooking otherwise bring ready to eat food and most of all, bring insect repellent to keep you from insect bites.
There are however, small and simple lodging houses in the Balabac town proper just across the shore of Bugsuk Island. These are:
JD Lodging House (Sing and Swing Karaoke Bar) in Poblacion, Balabac town proper
MLK Lodging House also in Balabac.
Here's what to expect and do in Bugsuk Island:
- Visit and view the Spanish era Melville lighthouse built in 1818.and finished in 1892.
- Enjoy the long stretch of powdery white sand in Barangay Sebaring or Sebaring Point.
- Appreciate the bountiful mangrove locations in Sebaring, Bugsuk and Melville.
- Sunrise and sunset in the island is one of the best
- Go snorkeling, diving and scuba diving are free (Bring your own equipment)
- Trek and scale Melville Peak
- Visit the ruins of a Spanish structure at the mouth of Larindon Bay (below the lighthouse of Melville)
Other things of interest in Balabac Town:
- Other mangrove areas
- Island and beach hopping in the following areas: Onuk (Roughton), Nasubata, Candaraman, Matangala, Canabungan, Ramos, Bowen, Siksikan, Secam, Patongong, Pandanan and several others of the 31 islands, islets and sandbar in the town.
- Visit the gorgeous pink sand beach of Comiran Island
- Dolphin watching
- See the endemic species of mouse deers, wild monkeys, crocodiles and other floras and faunas in the wild
- Balabac is also one of the most ideal spot for bird watching as it is home to various migratory and endemic birds like Grey Imperial Pigeon, Philippine Cockatoo, Blue-headed Racket-tai, Palawan Hornbill and possibly even the Philippine eagle you can see them all there.
- The cute fireflies at night
- Immerse with the colorful and distinct culture of the Molbog tribe
- Trek Italawon Peak and Malaking Ilog Peak
- Hidden waterfalls in the mountains of Balabac
- Historical markers in Ramos Island, old Spanish fort in Ulitan
- Shopping for Malaysian products
How to Reach Bugsuk Island
Bugsuk has an airstrip which can accommodate small aircraft but no commercial airline flies to these airstrips.
You can travel via Puerto Princesa City. Puerto Princesa City is connected by air from Manila via Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air and Zest Air; if you are coming from Cebu, Iloilo and Davao you can fly via Cebu Pacific, from Busuanga Airport in Coron, Palawan via Philippine Airlines and from Kota Kinabalu via MAS Wings airline.
By ferry, 2GO Travel serves Manila to Puerto Princesa via Coron once a week and Montenegro Shipping Lines and Milagrosa Shipping Lines have regular trips to Puerto Princesa from Iloilo via Cuyo, Palawan.
From San Jose Terminal in Puerto Princesa city, ride a bus or a van going to Rio Tuba. Buses and vans regularly depart from San Jose Terminal starting at 4 am to 9 pm daily. Fares is from as low as P275 pesos for non-air conditioned bus and as high as P450 for air conditioned shuttle van or bus. Travel time is approximately five (5) to six (6) hours on a non-aircon bus and approximately six (6) to seven (7) hours for aircon transportation.
From the port in Rio Tuba, boat ride for two (2) hours will take you to Bugsuk Island. For boat hires, contact Rene Principe because he own a parcel of land in Barangay Sibaring part of Bugsuk Island. Camping is allowed for a small fee and bring your own tent.
Saluag Island, Sibutu, Tawi-Tawi
Saluag Island is located in the Sibutu island town or municipality in Tawi-tawi, the southernmost island of the Philippines. Saluag literally is the southernmost island of the country. It is just 43.3 kilometers east of Borneo. The Tausug and Sama Dilaut tribes who are the inhabitants of the scenic paradise makes a living through fishing, boat making and seaweed farming.
It is an isolated island community of nice and very kind people if you want to experience and understand their laidback lifestyle. The place is very exotic and if you enjoy cultures, this one is for you. You can see people’s native home above the water or living near the shore, how the Tausugs dive looking for coins underwater tossed by people from the ferries.
How To Reach Saluag Island
Cebu Pacific Air flies daily from Zamboanga City to Bongao, the capital town of Tawi-Tawi.
From Bongao airport, hire a tricycle to Chinese pier and find a ferry going to Barangay Tandubanak in Sibutu. It's a 3-hour ride and costs P200 pesos one-way.
For its alternate, you can look for ferry going to Sibutu town proper for a 4-hour, one-way ride which cost P250 pesos and from here, hire a motorcycle for a 30-minutes ride and bring you to Barangay Tandubanak.
Ferries going to Tandubanak and Sibutu town proper doesn't have fixed schedule so it’s important to confirm trips at Chinese pier.
From Barangay Tandubanak, a 30-minute motorcycle ride brings you to Barangay Tandu-owak and from Tandu-owak, Saluag is just 40 minutes boat ride away.
For more assistance, contact Ms. Salve Pescadera of Tawi-Tawi Tourism Office at +63 910 671 6367.
Olanivan Island, Saranggani, Davao Occidental
Aerial view of Olanivan Island
Another destination of interest is the Olanivan Island.Olanivan is located in the southernmost part of Davao Occidental, the newest province in the Philippines and close border with Indonesia. Olanivan Island is one of the three major islands in the town of Saranggani.It is an 18 hectares of powdery white sand paradise dotted with palms, coconuts and other plants. This palm-fringed island has a circular white sand beach formation and is near Balut Island and Saranggani Island. These three (Balut, Olanivan, Saranggani) make up the island group known as the Saranggani Islands. If you want to get away from the maddening crowd and from the noise and bustling party life in other beach, this serene beach is ideal for you.
You will also be delighted in sharing the island with its gentle locales belonging to the B'laan tribe who modestly dwells on the island's western coast. B'laans are famous for their bead works, brassworks and tabih weave which explains for their colorful embroidered native dress while on the other side is the island's white lighthouse built by the Americans during the early 20th century American colonial period to serve as a guide for American warships going to Australia.
One will never forget the calming ambiance of this pristine island.
Places Of Interests Near Olanivan
Balut Island - Maguindanaoan term for "island" this tropical beach also known as Sanguil is another place of interest and one of the most visited tourist attractions in Davao Occidental. Nestled in the center of the island is Balut volcano (stratovolcano) rising at about 2, 828 feet high.
Saranggani - Considered as an important island in the town, don't confuse this island with the Saranggani province. This place is also as beautiful as Olanivan because of the enticing scenery awaits the visitors.
Tuke Maklang Beach Resort - also in Balut Island, tourists can bring their tents for free. There are also open cottages available for only P100 pesos. Ideal for boat riding and kayaking.
Sabang Hot Spring - still in Balut Island. Just an hour and a half from Olanivan Island, it has two enclosed hot springs where tourists can boil themselves up to 80 degrees celsius or 176 degrees Fahrenheit in temperature.
How to Reach Olanivan Island
As the center of the town, Balut Island is the common gateway to Olanivan.
From Manila or other cities, take a flight to General Santos City. From General Santos City pier, there is a passenger ferry bound for Balut Island everyday except Sunday either from Lion's Beach Port (via M/V Frederick which costs a one-way ticket of P370 pesos) or Puting Bato Port (via M/L Nieky and M/L Sabhan, both costs P300 pesos for a one-way ticket) between 10:00 PM - 12:00 midnight. Travel duration is about 7 - 9 hours depending on the weather condition.
From the Mabila port in Balut Island, Olanivan is an hour away using an outrigger boat.
Omapuy Island, Sitangkai, Tawi-Tawi
Bod Bongao peak, Tawi-Tawi
Facing the endless horizon in Bod Bongao peak, Tawi-Tawi
Foot Bridge in Bod Bongao greet visitors on the boat traversing the canal that serves as main gateway of Bod Bongao
An emerald island part of Sitangkai group of islands located in the province of Tawi-Tawi in the south westernmost part of the country is another piece of gem waiting to be discovered and tapped its potential.
Omapuy Island is an island surrounded by hectares of seaweed farms and stilt houses floating over shallow waters. Another chance of experiencing cultures by meeting the local Tausug and Sama Dilaut people harvesting tons of seaweed.
How to Reach Omapuy Island
Cebu Pacific has a regular daily flights Zamboanga City to Bongao, the capital town of Tawi-Tawi. From the Bongao airport, hire a tricycle to Chinese pier and find a ferry going to the Sibutu town proper which has a travel time of approximately four (4) hours and cost a one-way trip of P250 pesos. There's no fixed schedule for ferries going to Sibutu town proper from Bongao but there are at least three trips per week so it is important to go to the Chinese pier and inquire about possible trips to Sibutu.
From Sibutu town proper, Omapuy Island is just an hour ride away by an outrigger boat.
For assistance, you can contact Salve Pescadera of the Tawi-Tawi Tourism Office at +63 910 671 6367 and +63 905 154 7865
Onuk Island, Balabac, Palawan
Foot Bridge in Onuk Island
Small sandbar in Onuk Island During High Tide
Finally, Onuk Island is another one of the most remote islands in the country located in the south westernmost tip of Palawan. It is apparently privately owned by Hon. Shuaib Astami, mayor of Balabac town to which Onuk Island is part of so you need to ask permission from the mayor so you can visit the beautiful island treasure.
This piece of jewel lying at the edge of the Sulu Sea is an endless horizon of powdery white sand and crystal clear azure water meets the vast expanse of the clear skies. The only obstruction are the greeneries on the island.
The shallow water is so clear you don't need any cameras to see the marine life underwater.
There are structures on one corner of the island inhabited by the caretakers of the island. The island is just small yet the picturesque scene is quite huge. This is also home to the sea turtle sanctuary to protect them from poachers who hunt them for money selling them to restaurants.
How to Reach Onuk Island
In order to gain access since Onuk Island is a private island, you need a permission from the Office of Balabac Mayor. The permission should be accompanied by your formal letter of request so it is a must to write your letter of request early on before asking for permission. Balabac local government office has a satellite office in Puerto Princesa located at Pajara, Barangay Sta. Monica in front of Bible Baptist Church.
Once you have a permit granted by the Balabac LGU, they will assist you or your group from Puerto Princesa all the way to Onuk. All applicable fees including boat transfers apply.
Article and Photo Sources:
Harry Limlingan Marcuap, Akrosdayunibers.com
Angel Juarez, lakwatsero.com
Len Jingco, pinterest.com