Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Malamawi Island's White Beach

They say some of the best spots in the country are those that are hard to reach. And based on my experience, I could say that they are right.

The notoriety of Basilan will give even the most experienced of travelers a second thought of going. Call it brutal stereotypes but there really is a reason why people avoid this place... and safety is probably the primary concern. That is also the main reason why I guess I would never set foot in this place.



But when travel buddy Dong Ho asked me if I wanted to join him and fellow blogger Scud in visiting his hometown, he never had to ask me twice. So, together with another of our best buds, Erick, we booked our tickets and scheduled a trip to Basilan. (There is no direct flight to Basilan yet so we booked a flight to Zamboanga, then rode a ferry to Basilan).



One of the highlights of my Basilan adventure is the trip to the White Beach of Malamawi Island. With all honesty, I could say that this is the scariest beach trip I ever had. From the coast of Santiago City proper, we rode a motorized boat that took us to the docking area of Malamawi Island. From the dock, a 4x4 jeep awaits us. We had two military escorts that accompanied us in the trip. I later learned that they are part of the package when renting a ride there. So, in effect, their primary concern is to protect the jeep and not us. :)



The jeep passed through a thick foliage of plants and trees on the way to the beach. The dirt road is narrow and winding and there are instances that we got stuck on the mud. And since it is a forest trail, both sides of the road are covered by plants so you wouldn't even see and know if there are perils there that awaits you. Oh Boy, my heart keeps on pounding specially when our escorts tell story of ambush in that place.



It definitely was one of the longest one hour of travel in my books but the reward we have gained is a place so pristine and unexplored... a White Beach. Now, I will just let the above photos speak for themselves.

More of Basilan in my next posts.

35 comments:

  1. Wow!
    I agree with your statement. Some of the most beautiful places are the hardest to reach. May you discover more beauty in your journeys.

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  2. I think you're one of the few blogger who dared to try Basilan plus having an escort while on travel feels uneasy and paranoia of what could happen but it still worthy if you'll find a beautiful white beach like this.

    I love the 3rd pic! It was beautifully captured.

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  3. who knew a place very much known for it's notoriety could produce such beauty.

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  4. I like the beach, it looks so clean. indeed the best beaches are far from anybody's reach. Ang layo ng Samal sa amin, mas malayo ang Boracay, and I am not interested to go to Basilan just to have some fun, but this beach looks very inviting.

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  5. A beautiful piece of paradise.

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  6. Wow, amazing place. Although, I will have second though of going there with security issues and all.

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  7. Ang ganda Atty. The second photo is my favorite.

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  8. Sounds like an exciting adventure. Funny about the protection of the jeep.

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  9. hi...ur have nice blog,,,, u are one of my inspiration to make my own blog and keep records of places ive been through...lol...im a new blogger... I have been in samal island in davao city and its really so beautiful...i think u have been there too right??

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  10. the kind of beach not everyone would dare go. though not exotic but still because of fear... less people apart from those from basilan get to see this beach.

    kakatuwa nga at may mga sundalo pa tayong kasama.

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  11. ^ bakit ganun, bakit hindi ako invited? =(


    jaw dropping! i wont mind risking a bit if i can see a gorgeous beach where other ladies dare not go..
    sama pagbalik! =)

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  12. Simply put, it's breath-taking. That is one beach that will never suffer overdevelopment. I like.

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  13. ang ganda! that place is a wonder to wanderers. too bad the province is not a travel destination because of fear but at least it has prevented commercialization and over exposure of the beaches.

    i believe you when u say that it's the longest one hour of travel in your life. parang every minute counts, diba? haha. glad u made it back home safe.

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  14. our country is full of beautiful spots. this one is really spectacular. i can sympathize with your concerns about safety. i'd probably not venture there at all, that's how chicken i get.

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  15. I know I wont ever go there so thank you for the photos because at least I know what the place looks like.

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  16. ako naman magsasabe..d nyo ako sinama. :( maday si Dom, alam naman nya pangarap ko marating ang Basilan eh,but like you said, safety nga yung primary concern.
    ang ganda ng beach! kakainggit!
    sana nxt time ksama ka na nga din s trip! :)

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  17. This is truly a beautiful place although it seems very risky to visit. Cool shots.

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  18. wow! gusto ko din to m-experience. Katuwa naman na ung jeep ung pinprotektahan!

    Calling Dominic, sama daw kme ni Gael and Chyng next time :D

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  19. wow!ganda!!worth the trip talaga.

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  20. I can't walk, but still I appreciarte that the harder to find p,laces are the most seclusded, and more peaceful.

    thank you for your blog

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  21. Sometimes, we got to take risk to see beauty - I just wish peace and beauty will mix well in Basilan and the rest of the country!

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  22. Oh well, one might as well see and enjoy "whatever and wherever" if the urge is there. Sabi nga, dala mo ang iyong kamatayan maski ka nasaan.

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  23. This is a lovely place. Thanks for sharing.

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  24. Another gorgeous place and a breathtaking capture as always! Such delightful trips you take us on! Hope your week is going well! Enjoy!

    Sylvia

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  25. saw you first in Doms blog and its nice to know na gumagala ka na uli with Dom. its a good tandem. namiss naming mga readers no.:D

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  26. I'm sure the tension made the trip all the more exciting and worth it. :) Glad you guys got home safely. :)

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  27. What a place!!! So beautiful! I'm glad you brought us here, even though it was quite an excursion!!!

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  28. I also have a friend you lives in Jolo and we were planning a trip to Tawi-Tawi and probably drop by Jolo but he cancelled just this month saying it wasn't safe. I wonder if I'll ever get there. Thanks for sharing. :-)

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  29. wow, this looks like paradise! absolutely wonderful colors

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  30. atty hindi naman yun totoo na yung jeep ang pinoprotektahan as a visitor to the place kayo ang binibigyang protction ng mga yun and yung sinasabi nyo na ambush wala pong ambush nanangyari sa place na yun that i can be very sure to chyng if u want to visit the place just txt or call me anytime i can assist you there you can even stay overnyt in the place for info the place is well secured it has a 24 hours security just like any other place u go lite and water is also 24 hours my cp number is 09167138518 bobby reynera

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  31. galing ah..
    I interviewed Dom about his hometown and was asking about Basilan. straight up sinabi nya that it's still dangerous pero 'nasanayan' na nila na may putukan. all the while i was thinking he was going to say "media hype lang, etc.." hehe

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  32. ang sakit sa dibdib. hahaha! Kinakabahan din ako habang kinukwento mo to. Super ganda naman diyan. Naiinggit ako sa mga katulad nyong hayok makunan ang mgagandang lugar. Susuungin ang lahat, maka-picture lang. Kayo na! hahaha!

    Kura here btw.. (as if hindi lalabas sa profile e no. lol!) Salamat sa pagbisita mo sa site ko ha. Appreciate it. Yup marami na kong nakakachikahang PTB. Napapadpad din kasi sila minsan. At natutuwa ako. hihihih! Dalaw ka ulit ha

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  33. I had swam and sun tanned in this white beach in the summer of 1986 and I would say one of the most unforgettable places I had been. This was because of the journey we experienced just to get there. From Manila we flew to Zamboanga City, took the ferry to the port of Basilan, then hopped on a motor banca to get to Malamawi island, rode a tricycle to get to the house of my aunt's friend where we changed to our swimming outfit. Then from there we rode a jeepney to get to the white beach. We enyoyed the pristine beach, there were only a few local tourists enjoying the beach with us and we found out that they belong to the old family clan who used to govern the island. That explained the more than a dozen of armed men carrying armalites that were guarding them. The only time I got scared was when we had to hitchhiked with them in a six by six army truck. Imagine yourself riding in an army truck in the middle of nowhere, standing side by side with the armed bodyguards on the way back to the other side of town to catch a banca to get us back to the port. We hitched a ride because the jeepney that was suppose to take us back to the port was a no show. It really was a great and priceless adventure. The pictures of the beach that you posted were the same vivid images that stayed in my mind for the past 26 years. Thank you for the blog, it rekindled the old adventurer in me.

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  34. Perhaps the very reason that it's a risky place to visit is what keeps it so pristine and beautiful Oman, no overload of tourists to spoil it.

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  35. hindi naman talaga nakakatakot sa basilan.. Depende lang yan.

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