Basilan Tourist Spots
Traveling to Isabela City, Basilan is less than two hours from the port of Zamboanga City. Is it safe in Basilan? It's a YES! There are news about ASG and terrorist acts happening in the province, but it doesn't mean that it's not safe. There are two cities in Basilan, Lamitan (the capital) and Isabela (part of Region 9), that serve as the center. Like the other cities, huge business establishments, transportation and people are present in every corner. From the port of Isabela City, while holding my mobile phone and using Google Map, I walked on the streets to the different tourist spots, attractions and destinations in the city. Did this alone and it's safe.

 Basilan Provincial Capitol
VISIT BASILAN PROVINCIAL CAPITOL: From the port, the capitol is a walking distance. First, had my breakfast at Jolibee while starring on the artistic walls of the capitol. This is the building where the seat of the most powerful people in the province is situated.  It is one of the centers, therefore, the streets surrounding the area are busy.

Basilan Tourist Spots
VISIT ISABELA CITY PLAZA: This spot is situated beside the Basilan Provincial Capitol.

Basilan Tourist Spots
VISIT STA. ISABEL CATHEDRAL: This cathedral is beside Isabela City Plaza.

Basilan Tourist Spots
TAKE A SELFIE BY THE "I LOVE ISABELA" SIGNBOARD: This signboard is located inside the city plaza.

Basilan Tourist Spots
RELAX AND GET TANNED AT THE WHITE BEACH IN MALAMAWI ISLAND: One of the must visit in Isabela City, Basilan is the famous Malamawi Island where the whitest and finest sand can e found. Malamawi White Beach Resort is owned by one of the political individual in the province. The area is relaxing because it is surrounded by coconuts and trees which protects the cottages against the sun. As mentioned, there's a long stretch of super fine white sand and the water is cool and crystal clear, can be compared to what Boracay has.

NEW POLICY - NO RESERVATION, NO ENTRY: On December 1, 2018, Malamawi White Beach Resort implemented this policy. Without a reservation, visitor can no longer enter the resort. They don't accept walk-ins. For reservation, you can contact 09450628568 and 09974400765.

HOW TO GET TO MALAMAWI WHITE BEACH RESORT: At the port of Isabela, I chartered a boat (entire trip) to the port of Malamawi. FARE: 100. Travel Time: 10 minutes. At the port of Malamawi, rode on a motorcycle to the white beach resort. FARE: 50 pesos (one way). Travel Time: 15 to 20 minutes.

If you are staying overnight, cheap hotels can be found in the city. A friend of mine recommended Sophia Hotel in Isabela. If you want to visit Lamitan, you can contact Ms. Cora on 09175577874. She knows a lot in terms of tourist destinations, where to stay and she also arranges habal-habal tour to Bulingan Falls.

At the port area in Zamboanga City, Aleson Shipping Lines, Weesam Express and Sea Jet has their respective trips to Isabela City. Going to Isabela, I chose Aleson MV Trisha Kerstin 1. FARE: 70 pesos. Travel Time: 1.5 hours. Isabela to Zamboanga, I chose Sea Jet. FARE: 150 pesos. Travel Time: 45 minutes to an hour. Terminal tickets are purchased separately.

Note: The port entrance situated on the street beside BPI, left side of Zamboanga City Hall. The location of the ticketing office, if you're facing the gate, turn right and walk 50 meters. The ticketing office is inside a compound. Kung saan yung maraming tao at maingay, yun na yun!!! ahahaha.

TRAVEL TIPS AND REMINDERS: Solo-backpacking is safe! Don't be shocked with the presence of the PNP and army, with there long fire arms. I talked to different locals and they are friendly. They will answer your question and they will also give suggestions (if your asking about location and transportation). Just don't forget to bring your smile! READ: SOLO-BACKPACKING: ZamBaSulTa, Zamboanga Provinces and Misamis Occidental