A week before I went to Basilan, a bomb exploded in a restaurant in downtown Isabela City and left two persons dead and at least 15 others wounded. I was advised by my friends not to push through with my plan, but I didn't mind them. I didn't even bother to tell my family as I don't want them to worry too much. I must admit, I'm a bit scared, but that didn't hinder me in pursuing my goal - to set foot in Basilan.
The Province of Basilan is an island province under the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), while its capital, Isabela City, is administered as part of the Zamboanga Peninsula Region. It is the largest island and located at the northernmost part of the major islands of the Sulu Archipelago. Situated just off the southern coast of Zamboanga Peninsula, Zamboanga City is the major gateway to the island.
The moment the plane landed in Zamboanga City, I felt something unexplainable. Maybe I'm getting scared as to what will happen. Anyway, I took a deep breath and tried to calm down. I told myself, "everything will be fine", "I can do this!". Hehehe!
I looked for a place to stay in the city and settled my things. Had a quick breakfast and went straight to Zamboanga City port.
There are a number of ferry boats and fast crafts that service the Zamboanga City-Isabela and Lamitan City routes, I chose Weesam Express as it is the most convenient and fastest way of getting there.
Since I missed the 1st trip at 6:45 AM bound for Isabela City, I bought a ticket scheduled for 9:30 AM and waited at the port. Fare is 140 pesos.
The security at the port is tight, military and police visibility is very evident. After I have boarded, it still took us about 30 minutes before we were able to sail. Security checks has to be done.
View from the fast craft
At around 10:00 AM, we left Zamboanga City port.
FB Status: Now on board Weesam Express going to Basilan...
July 2 at 9:54am via Mobile Web
I was in constant communication thru text with my host, Ludwig, the brother of a blogger-friend, Dong Ho. He will be my guide in Basilan. Although I haven't met him (or them) personally, I somehow felt secured now because I know someone will take care of me for the rest of my visit.
I just enjoyed the ride staring at the beautiful scenery as the ferry traverses the Basilan straight. Unfortunately, as we go nearer the island of Basilan, the weather turned bad. It was raining hard. Haizt!
After about an hour, I finally reached Basilan.
FB Status: Just arrived in Basilan..
July 2 at 10:44am via Mobile Web
Many thanks to Dom, Ludwig and to the whole family for accommodating and taking good care of me. Gracias!
This is my entry to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival for December 2011 with the theme "Travel is the destination" hosted by Kara Santos of Travel Up.
How about you? What's the most memorable journey have you taken as a traveler?
My Basilan trip is one of the most "nerve-wracking" journeys I've had so far. Known as one of the most dangerous provinces in the Philippines, I bravely set foot on this island province last July 2, 2011. This series narrates the experiences I had in pursuing with my goal of setting foot in Basilan, definitely a one hell of an adventure! To date, this is my 5th solo trip and the 29th province on my list.
|Maps By: Wikipedia |
This post was updated last 12/04/2011 as an entry to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers' Blog Carnival for December 2011.
Read full disclosure here.
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