Author’s Note: This article uses virtual reality technology to provide an immersive experience. Click the images to view the 360-degree VRs. Adobe Flash 10 or higher is required. Average VR size is 1.8Mb each.
This article is part of the Pinoy Travel Blogger’s Blog Carnival.
Sitangkai is the southernmost municipality of the Philippines. With a distance of 1,100 kilometers from Manila, it is the last main island of the country (the southernmost island is Siluag near the southern tip of Sibutu). Geographically nearer to North Borneo, majority of the island’s basic needs are Malaysian in origin.
Called as the “Venice of the Philippines,” houses are connected by stilt footbridges and boats as the primary mode of transportation; the Sama (Badjao) people lead an idyllic life with fishing and dried marine products as sources of livelihood.
With an average elevation of 1 meter above sea level, getting to the “water world” of Sitangkai is an adventure in itself. Upon docking in the main seaport, one has to take a ‘temper,’ long flat-bottom boat suitable for shallow water, into Sitangkai. The 30 minute ride cut across extremely shallow sand bars that you often have to get out of the boat and assist in pushing. During low tide, people actually walk in getting to their destinations.
Sitangkai, together with Simunul and Sibutu are relatively peaceful islands in the south. They can be reached from Bongao, Tawi-Tawi as daily trips (weather permitting) depart from the “Chinese Pier.” They also have great potentials for tourism development as part of the country’s historical and cultural interests.
All VRs taken on August 11, 2010 as part of the Balangay Voyage’s last Philippine leg journey. Reference source: www.wikipedia.org. The author can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org