Basilan: “Dangerously Beautiful”, Indeed!

Every backpacker’s dream is to set foot in the most feared but amazing provinces of the Philippines – Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi or most commonly called ZamBaSulTa. Our 6-day backpacking to the said provinces was originally planned last June 2017 but due to Marawi Seige, we hold off the trip.

Basilan is just a stone’s throw away from Zamboanga City, hence, getting there is just as easy as 1-2-3. Take a ferry boat to Isabela City for 45 minutes or RO-RO (Roll-on/roll-off) for 1.5 hours travel time.

Prior to our visit, we coordinated with Isabela Tourism Office and asked for a local guide that will accompany us throughout the tour. We first went to Malamawi White Beach. Based on my research, Php5.00 lang daw yung boat fare papunta dun. Pero kung dalawa lang kayo sa boat at walang ibang kasama, 100 pesos per way yung bayad, bes! Tapos 2-3 minutes lang travel time.  Hahah! Wag na magreklamo, tulong na natin yun sakanila. 😀 After boat ride, 30 minutes habal-habal ride naman.

Image03Papet boat used by the locals to cross Malamawi Island and to other stilt houses.

Image02Welcome to Malamawi White Beach. Who would have thought that a beach as peaceful as this lies in an eluded province? Yung kahit ang layo mo na sa shoreline, mababaw pa din yung tubig! 😀

Image01May advantage din yung pag-iwas ng mga tao sa Mindanao kasi unexploited pa mga beaches nila dun. 


TIP: Before dipping on the beach, first, ask the resort staff if there’s enough supply of clean water in their shower room. In our case, there’s no available supply so, we just changed our clothes and wiped some wet tissue in our body to rinse off the saltwater. hahah! 😀

After having fun under the sun, we went back to the town for a short city tour.


Image04Sta. Isabela Cathedral a catholic church located at the city center of Isabela, Basilan.

Image05Isabela City Plaza

Image09Basilan Provincial Capitol

Jollibee Basilan! I bought Twirlie ballpen here as my souvenir in Basilan. Hahah! 😀



■ Getting to Isabela, Basilan from Zamboanga City: Take Weesam fastcraft, travel time is 45 minutes or RORO for 1.5 hours.

■ Terminal fee in Zamboanga port is Php11.00 and Php8.00 in Isabela port.

■ Ride tricycle going to Isabela City Hall and register at Tourism Office.

■ Getting to Malamawi White Beach: Take a passenger boat in Isabela port. The fare is Php5.00/way, if you’re part of a big group and Php100.00/way, if 2-3pax and it will take you 2-3 minutes to reach Malamawi Island. From there, hire a habal-habal going to the White Beach. Fare is Php150.00 roundtrip, 30 minutes travel time.

■ Entrance fee to the White Beach is Php30.00/head.

■ You may also visit Bulingan Falls in Lamitan City, Basilan. Getting there is just an hour by van from Isabela City.

■ READ: ZamBaSulTa : Travel Guide for complete itinerary and expenses.


Our ZamBaSulTa trip is one for the books. We felt no terror when we visited the said provinces, contrary to what others say. Thanks to our Christian and Muslim guides/new friends that we met in every province, who taught us their culture and traditions and for giving us a glimpse to the serene beaches and other unexploited tourist spots. Yet, there’s still so much more to discover. Hoping that their tourism will continue to grow further. 🙂




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