February 07, 2012

Hello Turtle Islands, Tawi-Tawi!

One of the municipalities of Tawi-Tawi is Turtle Islands. It is located within the Sulu Sea and south of Palawan. The Turtle Islands consist of seven (7) Islands-one is Taganak. Taganak is volcanic in origin and considered to be the biggest island among the seven islands. We are so grateful that we were given the  chance to see how incredible the place is. In Taganak for instance, the crystal clear water  offers you peace of mind and an unutterably word just "WOW". It is just so beautiful that it matched with the beauty of other foreign beaches in the nearby areas. The two (2) photos below were taken recently ( September 6, 2013) . 

How to get to Taganak, Turtle Islands? Taganak is near  Sabah, Malaysia with 30-45 mins. ride via motorboat. There is no regular travel schedule to Taganak.  However, you can reach Taganak via cargo ships or motor launch from  Zamboanga. Motor launch can also be chartered to reach the area.

When we visited the place, we were able to witnessed some green turtles laying eggs. According to the some residents we interviewed, there are only few turtles lay egg in Taganak due to the existence of dogs, sounds and noises coming from residences unlike before. It was funny to describe us hiding in bushes and limiting ourselves from talking because it might scares the female green turtle. When it finally found a good spot to dig nest, it laid eggs after making a hole. Then it covered the hole leaving no trace at all.

The Female green turtle laid more than 50 eggs that time. And accordingly, the turtle can lay egg up to 200 eggs. Wow! It would really look amazing if all these eggs will survive and grow into beautiful turtles.

However, we felt sad that the nature of female turtle after laying eggs, just simply swim back to the water leaving the eggs behind. And it takes 45 days or more for these eggs to hatch.  I can just imagine the danger that awaits these eggs when it's not protected.

Once the eggs hatch, they are on their own. The baby turtles or hatchlings race to have a taste of the sea.The experience of watching these hatchlings race to the sea is just "awesome".  But the adventure for these hatchlings have just begun. And the real danger awaits them. Sad to say that from more that 50 eggs, only few survive in this phase. Some experts say that 1 in 1000 hatchlings will survive the adulthood- sad reality!


  1. Wow ganda! Puwede po bang bumisita ang outsiders diyan?

    1. Hi hormel! pwede po pumunta dun. The only problem is no regular travel schedule to Turtle Islands.

  2. Hi asia. I am kong from zamboanga. U have really nic blog and i envy you for making it to turle island. Haha

  3. Im planninh to go to tawi tawi for a solo backpacking before this year ends. And i hope u dont mind some of my queries..is it safe to go solo to turtle island? How bout in bongao, sitangkai, sapa sapa and panampangan? Do u know of a place wherr to stay in turtle island? Muchisinas gracias asia and dios te bendiga.

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  5. Hi kong, thanks for dropping by... I think you can go to TI via zamboanga. Its either you ride a vessel going to Sandakan or directly from zc. The only problem which is same problem when you are in Bongao is the irregularity of the transportation schedule. The schedule usually depends on the availability of the cargoes, passengers and considering the weather condition... And when you are in TI, you might get stranded for a week or months if you happen to experience these circumstances.. If you want to stay in Bongao and want to have a unforgettable experience of Tawi-Tawi, I recommend you to coordinate with the tourism management. The focal person is Ms. Sidang, and her office is located at Sanga-Sanga Airport. She will be pleased to serve and help you. thank you!

  6. Hi maam asia. Thank u very much answering answering my queries. I so appreciate it. Looking forward to see tawi tawi and your next adventures... Gracias.