Sunday, March 8, 2009

Just stopping by: At the Jolo pier

About midway through our 7-hour trip back to Zamboanga City from Bongao, Tawi-Tawi, our Weesam fastcraft made a short stop in Jolo. Maybe it was because of the red alert; the captain probably wanted to do good time on our trip schedule; or maybe both that we were weren't allowed to alight and wander around the port.The heavy presence of Marines quickly conveyed the idea that this is no place to casually go around, much less tote a camera and click away. Bongao, in contrast, seems to be a picture of calm. It's a pity that Tawi-Tawi somehow shares a bad rap along with Basilan and Jolo -- the same sentiment of the friendly folks at the Tawi-Tawi tourism council.From what I've heard from former residents in these parts, the Sulu areas are home to very beautiful vistas -- of relatively untouched shores and forests, verdant mountains even. With the state of peace and order situation here, it looks like this beauty will remain hidden, hopefully away from prying eyes and exploitative hands.


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