Thursday, November 14, 2013

Climbing Bud Bongao

After a few cancellations, and several rebookings, I'm finally flying to tawi tawi; and gladly, a friend's friend is hosting me ;-). 

I really dont mind introducing myself to strangers, but having a ready acquiantance will always offer convenience.

The plane arrives in Sangga Sangga airport at about8. My host had her brother in law pick us up. We dropped by their house just a walking distance fr sangga sangga before heading to our destinations.

Our first stop was bud bongao. We stopped by a bridge for a panoramioof bod bongao, but the sunlight makes it more inviting to jump off the bridge and to the water.

The river has a white sand bed, and crystal blue waters, you'd regret that bridge was even there.

We had to drop by the market to buy some bananas that we'll feed for the monkeys in the trail. I took the chance too to have a muslim brekkie.

It took us about an hour and a half to get to the summit. There were a number of hikers, but surprisingly, not the regular mountaineers. While there may be some young ones who probably take a weekend break in the mountain, some are pilgrims who, according to my host khen, normally do the hike as thanksgiving, or sacrifice. Several of them are families, including infants who are carried on cloth tied around the chest. Khen said, some pilgrims come all the way from zamboanga and sulu. (Too bad couldn't take picture; kinda hesitant taking pictures just like that in muslim areas).

Sometime after an hour of hike, we heard some movements. The monekys are approaching. Coming out from the thick buhes, and into the wires, they came so close waiting for us o hand the bananas. Their count was amazing. I thought we'd come across with only a few but they came in about 30 or so. From the grannys, to moms with their babies, to small independent ones. They followed us through until they finally realized there are no more bananas to give.

Upon getting close to the summit, we came through what appeared to be a tomb. I asked khen what it was. She said it is in fact the burial of royal families, and now a site for where people offer prayers. A number of cut cloth scattered around, and she said, its what is offered to the dead. It is te same cloth that is used in burying muslims.

There are three viewing areas in the summit. The best one is that with a 180 degree view of the bongao town, the airport and sulu sea.

Mt bongao actually has 3 summits, though one of them doesn't really seem to be accessible by feet; more for wall climbing. Khen said locals normally throw a stone to this other summit, and if that stone touces the wall, you can be granted a wish. I wanted to try but there isn't any stone available; it was but improper though to cut through the rocky ground just for it (i mean, if every visitor is to do so, it will eventually flatten out at the level f the

There was a group of students having picnic in the summit; while i have water for myslef, i thought khen might run of supply, so left mine for her too, and asked for orange juice from these kids. They were great and kid, i did not bother asking for another glass ;-)

*there are no jeepneys or so in Tawi Tawi. You'll have to take a trike to go around.For those visiting tawi tawi, I highly suggest renting a trike (commonly referred to as motor) for the whole duration of the trip. Sanga sanga itself to town may cost P100 already. In our case, Khen had a brother in law who drives a motor so not much of a problem and hassle. You can probably negotiate for 300-400/day exclusive of gas (tell them you'd shoulder for gasoline).

see here for my post on Sang Ai Shapo and our discovery in some random sandbar

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