Tawi—Tawi promotes tourism, downplays foreigners’ kidnap PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 18 February 2012 14:05

BONGAO, Tawi-Tawi –  The provincial government here  through the provincial  tourism office will continue to  showcase to domestic and foreign tourists the many splendid  tourist destinations  and  tourism potential sites in this province  after it noted the continued  arrivals of  tourists in this town.

“What we need now is a serious and  aggressive promotion of our  tourism attractions, destinations and potentials and  add more colors  to get the  much-needed boost in  the tourism field,” Sahali told  reporters here.

Sahali  also downplayed the kidnapping of Lorenzo Vinciguerra, a Swiss national, 47, and Dutchman Ewold Horn, 52, on February 1 at  the coast of Panglima Sugala, saying that the incident was just an “isolated case.”

“There is no  problem  in accommodating  tourists in this province   because there are enough good hotels and resorts in the  this capital town — Bongao,” he said.

Meanwhile, Vice Governor Ruby Sahali-Tan also said  the  11 municipalities  of Tawi-Tawi  will also join in  showcasing the many tourist destinations it has in the different towns as they  too guarantee the  safety of  the visiting tourists.

Bongao, she said,  is  known as the microcosm of religious and cultural diversities. The Bongao Peak showcases a breathtaking view of the nearby Sabah, Malaysia. The Bolobok Cave is one of the oldest caves (since 800 AD) located  at  Barangay Lakit-Lakit, Bongao. It is also said to be the original settlement of its early inhabitants.

The town of Simunul is  the site of the oldest mosque in the Philippines and home to the revered Sheikh Makdum,  the  pioneer in the spread of the Islam in the country. It  was at Tubig-Indangan, Simunul where the first Muslim missionary Sheik Karimul Makdum set foot to build the first mosque in the country in  1380 AD, the vice governor said.

Sapa-Sapa, Sibutu is also known as  the  home to descendants of Malay royalty of the Federal State of Borneo. The towns of Sitangkai, South Ubian,  Tandubas and Turtle Islands are known as  the  “Venice of the South,” she said.

As this developed, Gov. Sahali  also lured tourists  to  experience underwater activities like scuba diving, swimming and snorkeling  at the white sand beaches of Sangay Siapo Island; Panampangan Island; Tango Island and Saluag Island.

Tawi-Tawi is irregular in shape, with splashes of fine  white sand beaches  and has 307 islands and islets, 88 of which is characterized by extensive reefs.

Sahali maintained   that Tawi-Tawi is a peaceful and safe province in this part of the country.

First-class  and high valued fish are abundant in this province including crustaceans, lobsters, curacha and coconut and mud  crabs due to its fair tropical climate.

The  province composed of four ethnic groups- Sama; Jama Mapun; Tausug and Badjaos, the rest are Christians and indigenous groups. The prevailing dialect is Sinama. — Nonoy E. Lacson