Towns and Cities
Places to See
  • The impressive, palace-like Provincial Capitol sits on a hillside overlooking the town.
  • The 300-m. long Ridjiki Blvd., the town’s busiest, extends to the wharf.
  • The imposing, 314-m. (1,030-ft.) high Mt. Bongao is a monkey sanctuary and a sacred place for Muslims and Christians alike.  There are two Muslim graves near the summit, including that of Anjaotal, a member of the old royal family.  Prayers are said in the four-square meter white cloth-draped enclosure.  Take off your shoes before you enter the enclosure.  A festival takes place in Bongao during early October and the hillside gets crowded at this time.   Birdlife is plentiful, snakes are common (watch your hands and feet!) and many inquisitive and tame monkeys are found on the slopes.   The monkeys imitate the movement of people they see.  It is believed that a person touching a monkey will die or go insane.To get there, take a 5-km. jeepney ride to Brgy. Pasiagan where there is a trail leading up the hill.  It is a hot and tiring 1-hr. hike to the top where there is a good view of coral-rimmed shores and low, wooded Sibutu Island and Simunul Island.
  • Sangasiapu Island, located southwest of Sanga-Sanga Island, has a white sand beach and offshore coral ideal for snorkeling.
  • The Tawi-Tawi Ethnological Museum is located within the Mindanao State University Sulu College of Technology and Oceanography.
Brief History
  • It was formerly Bongao in 1903, Bungaw in 1918 and Bonggaw in 1939 and 1948
  • This town was converted into a municipality on August 26, 1959 by virtue of Exec. Order No. 355.
Location and Topography

Bongao is located on Bongao Island which is connected to Sanga-Sanga Island by a causeway

General Information
  • Area (sq. kms.):114.9
  • Population (2000): 58,174
  • No. of Barangays:35
  • Income Class: Third
  • Zip Code: 7500
  • Area Code: 068
Where to Stay
  • Southern Inn, along Datu Halun St., opposite the mosque, has non-aircon rooms with or without bath, restaurant and two pleasant balconies.
  • Sarah's is located on the main street near the wharf.
  • Beachside Inn
Where to Shop

Ridjiki Blvd., the lone shopping center in the province, has tiny shops selling imported perfumes, clothing materials, cigarettes and foodstuff as well as local brassware and fresh fruits such as durian, marang and rambutan.

How to Get There


Destinations (Bongao to:)

  • Cebu City (Cebu): (4 hrs., Mindanao Express)

Sanga-Sanga Airport, located on Sanga-Sanga Island, north of Bongao., has a 5,200-ft. long paved runway.

Airline Ticket Offices:

  • Air Philippines - 95-H Kasanyangan St.
  • Mindanao Express - Badjao Travel & Tours, Lamion (tel: 1248, cel: 09184160237)
  • Philippine Airlines - Sanga-Sanga Airport (tel: 993-2955-57 & 993-6001)
  • Philippine Airlines - Government Center


Bongao has two deep harbors; one for ships coming from Zamboanga City and Sitangkai, and the other boats going out to the neighboring islands of Bilatan, Manuk-Manka and Simunul.  The town is an 8-hr. trip from Siasi and is served by ships coming from  on most days.  It is a 2-day trip from Zamboanga to Tawi-Tawi.

  • Philippine National Bank - Bagay St., Poblacion (tel: 520-4221)
Medical Assistance
  • Datu Halun Sakilan Memorial Hospital
  • Holy Family Hospital



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