We decided to head back to Bongao, and pass some more spots that we could along the way. We actually took a path that encircled Bud Bongao. There were a lot of green on one side, and to the other, blue all the way.
Of course, Tawi-Tawi won't look the same without the houses on stilts built by the Tausugs and the Badjaos. Tawi-Tawi is also known to be an area for migrants from Malaysia and Indonesia, though I heard most of them are not happy that they are here. Nevertheless, they put up residence on bamboo stilts on the shallow white sand beaches along the coast.
Some of the areas we passed by were entire communities that looked like a village on stilts. Some houses were abandoned though. Some even had the flags of their tribes on poles.
The sun was setting on the other side of Bud Bongao, though some of the rays pierced through to give us a dramatic setting. We found a sand bar that stretched to sea for around 200 meters. Yes, that was long, and it gave us a very nice vantage point to take pictures of the houses on stilts with a backdrop of Bud Bongao. How Tawi-Tawi can you get?
I couldn't resist taking a picture of myself. We all did. The view was really stunning even if you looked up. The tide was coming up, so the sand bar was slowly devoured by the blue sea until I made it back to shore.
There were really a lot of sand patches and bars in Tawi-Tawi, and I wouldn't be surprised. I really think the Sulu and Tawi-Tawi islands has so much potential for tourism, but the unruly situation has just destroyed that. I really HOPE that the rebels feel that this war will go nowhere, and that the government will never have the capability to solve this. It's really not a war I think. It's more of lack of development, resulting to poverty, that leads to all this mess. And the locals are the ones suffering.
Well, I couldn't help but express my frustration over this entire area. I was looking back at Bud Bongao and the beaches, and thought if I showed the world that this place is safe and beautiful, would people start going here?
Well, I wasn't able to answer that question, so I boarded our multicab and headed back to town for our last stop: the provincial capital that I heard had a nice 360 view of Bongao.