|provincial map at the tourism office|
As soon as we arrived, we headed to the Tourism Office at the airport to ask for information and help on how we're going to execute our planned itinerary. They were very busy at that time, especially their Tourism Head (Ms Salve) because they have prominent guests that they need to attend to.
|Tawi-Tawi's little airport|
|with our super guide Ate Sidang :)|
|our mee goreng and nasi ayam goreng|
I know that Nasi Ayam Goreng looks like an ordinary omelette rice, I even thought to myself "where is the ayam (chicken) here?" But when you actually open the omelette topping, the chicken strips are with the fried rice inside and it was seasoned perfectly. Yum!
|my first sight of Tawi stilt houses|
|passenger boats going to the islands|
|fresh fishes and the jolly fishermen :)|
We bought our food supplies especially veggies because in the islands there are rarely vegetables available.
|cooked fishes and their friendly tinderas :)|
|dried fishes :)|
|Bongao's Badjao Village|
It was quite a hike from the main road and the trail was rocky and muddy. You wouldn't think you're heading to a stilt house village. Ate Sidang took us to the home of the "bagsakan" of the mats. Too bad I forgot her name! Sheez. She was the one selling them in behalf of all the ladies weaving these gorgeous mats because not all of them can converse in Tagalog.
|the lovely Badjao weavers :)|
To give you an idea, the biggest "fully-finished" mat ranges from Php 3000-3500. I said fully-finished because they also sell mats with unfinished edges for a cheaper price. You might think it's expensive but if you'll just imagine how long it takes for them to finish weaving one mat with all those colors and different designs, you'll get it. It was so worth it.
|gorgeous, gorgeous mats!|
We really enjoyed talking and haggling with them. They were all so nice and they will show you all of their works without forcing you to buy them. They are just so proud to present their labor of love. At the end, we were all happy with what we purchased from them.
|yey! satisfied customers|
|a simple and scarce life|
|a one big happy family :)|
Back in the city, we complain about our commuting woes. We complain about how hot the weather is even though we have electric fans and ACs. We complain about the smallest things in our daily lives. I am not saying we shouldn't. But maybe we should learn how to be content and to count our blessings instead. They don't have all that we have. We are living a much more comfortable life. That is already enough reason to be happy. :)
"We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have." ~Frederick Keonig
This is Part 3 of my Zamboanga-Tawi-Tawi travel series.