by - Wednesday, May 30, 2018

When Tita Gams, one of my host during my visit in Tawi-Tawi told me that in the afternoon of my first day in the province they will take me to this oldtown called Bato-Bato. It was one of the nearest town near Bongao, the capital of Tawi-Tawi. Since I only have limited days they want to make my stay worthwhile.

Honestly, I didn’t know what’s in Bato-Bato, never heard of the place either. But I trusted my tour with them during my entire stay and so here we are. Riding in an open pick-up truck we head to a long drive going to Bato-Bato alongside with Sophie, granddaughter of my second family host and co-workers of Tito Mike.




It was a long drive but the views and landscapes were amazing. Unlimited coconut trees, some rough roads, banana trees, lakes, seas, and a lot more. The cold breeze is maddening touching my skin and its so fresh and pure. This is what I love most to places that’s not been popular to other people, the unpolluted both from people and all they bring during their travel (I am not generalizing).

On our way, we meet Tito Mike’s another set of friends, the Tawi-Tawi Hidaya Motorbike Club. You should have seen their motorbikes, all awesome!!! Oh, wait, I have a photos here, look!



Together, we make our way to Bato-Bato. It was so late in the afternoon when we reached the oldtown. Kuya Ver, who happens to be the group’s photographer, take in charge for taking of all of my photos and they are all amazing! We tour around the market place and he takes so much good photos of me.

But what really surprises me is where we headed. I asked Tita Gams what is this market called. There are plenty of vendors scattered all over the place with different goods and not just to sell, according to Tita Gams they are here to barter. Yes! Barter! Word probably I will use on a daily basis in school for reviewing purposes only and here I am staring at it and experiencing it firsthand! It was amazing! Most of them came from different tribes and the goods were from their lands and what they caught at the sea. Goods I haven’t seen in my life and don’t know what they called, really. But admiring them, and observing them and how it is done is exceptional! These are the things I only read in the book and now I get to experience it.




According to Tita Gams, aside from trading of goods, other people without goods to trade may buy to them and I am so tempted to buy and it is all cheap but too bad it needs to be brought home in a few days and I will be going back to Zamboanga after my Tawi-Tawi trip to continue my exploration. Aaahh, next time!

It is always good to know that something like this still exist until today. It is part of the history of our country and it forever lives on. 




This is one amazing thing about traveling with no particular place to check-on, you get surprises, amazing surprises and get to learn a lot more! I enjoy and feeling overwhelmed whenever I get to experience something like this during my travel. The not so usual and the places less traveled are truly my thing and in there you will find something worth living, worth keeping, and worth remembering.

More photos below!



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Thanks for the wonderful message!