Islands and Beaches

9 Things to Do: Simunul Island, Tawi-tawi


Esther Bongalos
Esther Bongalos | Sep 02, 2013

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1) Visit the first mosque in the Philippines.

Originally built by Sheik Karimul Makhdum in 1380. Although the mosque has been redeveloped, the original pillars of the mosque were retained.

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2) Visit the tomb of Sheik Makhdum.

The Sheik was the first Muslim missionary in the Philippines.

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3) See one of the largest trees in the country.

Yep, it's found at the heart of Simunul Island! The roots of this tree form a semi-lagoon where you can swim and enjoy a cool bath.

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4) Swim at Tawi-tawi's beautiful white beaches.

The whole island boasts of white sand and Bermuda grass. Yeah, Bermuda grass!

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5) Hire a boat for the island tour.

What's a good alternative to walking on the white sand and swimming in the clear waters? Well, experiencing the coast aboard a boat!

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6) Bike around or hire a motorcycle.

But make sure you have a guide!

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7) Taste Tawi-tawi's delicacies.

They're mostly made from coconut and cassava. Yummy.

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8) Take a walk along the shore (as far as you can) during low-tide.

Get some sea shells while you're at it!

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9) Take pictures of the scenery.

Nature, mosques, the people -- the island has them all!

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How to Go to Simunul Island:

  • 1A. Ride a ferry at Zamboanga port (for Php 1300 pesos). This is an 18-hour ride.

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  • 1B. Easier (but less thrill), ride Cebu Pac or PAL Express from Zamboanga to Bongao.

  • 2.Take a boat to Simunul Island and hire a multi-cab or motorbike (be sure to have a guide), or hire a private boat for a tour around the island. (Note: There are no hotels or inns in Simunul.)

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