How to Get to Tawi-Tawi
As the southernmost province in the country and being closer to Sabah, Malaysia than mainland Mindanao, traveling to Tawi-Tawi used to be a difficult undertaking.
Today, with the help of new infrastructures and a tourism program aimed at promoting the province as a new travel destination, going to Tawi-Tawi has become doable for most travelers. Here are the leading ways of going to Tawi-Tawi from major hubs in Manila in Luzon and Zamboanga City in Mindanao.
Currently, there are no direct flights from Manila to Tawi-Tawi so you need to book a connecting flight via Zamboanga. Sanga-Sanga Airport in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi serves Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific flights from Zamboanga City.
Aleson Shipping plies the waters of Sulu Sea to connect passengers from Zamboanga City to Bongao every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Sea voyage usually lasts 15 to 18 hours.
2GO Travel also has ferry routes going to Bongao, Tawi-Tawi from Cebu, and Manila. Another ferry from Semporna in Malaysia goes to Bongao once a week.
Getting Around Tawi-Tawi
Getting around Bongao, Tawi-Tawi is relatively easy as it is a small island connected by paved roads. Jeepneys, and tricycles are the main modes of transportation on the island.
Private vans offered by tour companies are also available. There are also available public ferries that take travelers to the other islands of Tawi-Tawi.
Jeepneys depart Bongao Public Market multiple times daily to shuttle passengers to the other towns in Bongao.
Tricycles are the mainland transportation in Bongao and the other islands in Tawi-Tawi. If you are exploring a town in Tawi-Tawi, the best way is to take the tricycle as they can easily navigate narrow streets.
While motor taxis and tricycles are the main mode of transit on the islands of Tawi-Tawi, sea travel is another main transportation of going from island to another.
Public ferry boats are available from Bongao going to Sitangkai, Simunul, Liyaburan, Sibutu, Sipangkot, and Languyan. Renting a private boat is also possible, especially if you will visit the sandbar of Panampangan Island.