February 21, 2012

February 11, 2012

Photography 101

PHOTOGRAPHY 101 by: Chloe San

I have experimented taking these photos under the heat of the sun. I just wanna have a snapshotof things surrounding me (wanna know if the light is eyesore or not).
The result is not that really impressive! Go on, browse to see it yourself... however, it is not that bad, i guess...

                  Except for these photos: dead tree and two beautiful flowers (below) taken from Sibutu, Tawi-Tawi.        These photos were taken around 6:00 in the morning-- just a comparison.

February 08, 2012

It is Still more Fun in Bongao, TawiTawi

The Tawi-Tawi kidnapping of two foreigners and a Filipino on February 1, 2012 affects the community and the country as a whole; however, there are some things that people don't know why Bongao is still full of fun.

List of what makes Bongao fun:

The people are hospitable

If you visit Bongao, you will be amazed by how the people treat you  ( they will show you that big smile particularly the children).      
As a matter of fact, the Tawi-Tawians love to see foreigners-- you will be surprised  that  you will be treated like a celebrity. The native delicacies will always be available to be served to the visitors. 

Jogging and Cycling in the morning along beachside and in Capitol hills are the best forms of morning exercise   (not to mention taking breakfast particularly eating Satti overlooking or facing the sea- the best!).

The Tawi-Tawians enjoy the active lifestyle by engaging in morning exercise such as jogging, cycling and swimming. Most of them love to wake up early in the morning and use that Nike or any shoes (even slippers) for jogging. You can see young and old bending and stretching 'till they sweat. It is such a best feeling when you jog, then have a plunge in the sea, and  have a taste of coffee with pan or satti overlooking the sea. You seldom enjoy this moment when you are in big city chasing time. But here in Tawi-Tawi, you own your time, and there's more to do with that precious time if you know how to use it.

Swimming in the beach 

The miracle brought  by the sea encourages the Tawi-Tawians from having a morning plunge in the sea aside from (of course) bonding or family reunion. You can taste the sea and feel the fresh air that brushes your hair. It is a feeling of " renew"- all tension and stress will be washed away.

Watching Sunrise and sunset ( the famous is in Sanga-Sanga beach and Capitol hills)

Sanga-Sanga bridge --also known as lover's lane-- is very popular in the area. You get to see the sunset as lovers watch it with amazement with the hope of love, faith and happiness. It is the same feeling you'll have while watching sunrise at Capitol hills.Everybody enjoys the beauty and pleasure of savoring the feeling of "contentment and simplicity" at the moment. This brings peace to the inner soul. In addition, you will also enjoy the courage of small badjaos who dive without any equipment straight from the bridge that is about 6-8 meters in height. These little guys are very brave!

Climbing the Bud Bongao and feeding the monkeys

Bud Bongao is the highest peak in the province with an altitude of 340 meters. There is a manmade stairs of about 280 steps before reaching the summit.

What is interesting about Bud Bongao is that, the people believe in the sanctity of the mountain. There are  people who can testify of the miracles it brought to their lives. In addition, there are different species of animals and plants that are considered to be "endangered" that can be found in this area;thus, there is a need to make Bud Bongao a " protected area" to preserve the mountain.

There are practices, rituals and beliefs that are performed by the mountaineers or visitors. One common practice of most mountaineers is the throwing of stone near the adjacent mountain; if it reaches the other mountain, your wish will come true.The mountaineers can pay respect to the Sacred tomb if they wish to. Another belief is the knotting  to the branches of the tree; they believe that by doing this, all your baggage such as illness, pain and heartache will be left in the mountain.

Scuba diving at Mussaf Reef and Balobok cave

Most people don't know the existence of Tawi-Tawi as a diving site. The Mussaf reef and Balobok cave are a treasure spots for locals and tourists. I wish that this will be developed and protected by the community and the government.

The photos (below) show some of the species that can be seen underwater.

Other things that make Bongao fun include the spirit of Ramadan month where Muslims fast. Also worth mentioning is  the essence of christmas in the province where you can feel the love and affection of everyone.  

One interesting fact about Bongao is that the gasoline is  in coca-cola bottle-- where you can find it only in Tawi-Tawi!

And last but not the least, the riding of pump boats to adjacent Islands make it really fun for the visitors.

Safety and security measures for the tourists are the  top priority of the government; thus, for those who would like to visit Tawi-Tawi, coordination with the local officials is needed.

 It's still more fun  in Tawi-Tawi!