Basilan, an island in the southernmost part of the Philippines is home to a rich culture and history. It is also home to unravelling natural resources including pristine beaches. Despite being popular as the staging site of uprising of the Moro since the 70’s, the island has thrived and stability has been gained in recent years.
Basilan is part of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region. It is the largest and northernmost of the major islands of the Sulu Archipelago. It is just off the southern coast of the geographic Zamboanga Peninsula.
The main entry point to the island is through Zamboanga City Port. You can ride through a fast craft going to Isabela City or Lamitan City with travel time of approximately one hour, or through a ferry boat that will take approximately two hours. Fare is between Php 100 to Php 200. For trip schedule, click here.
Just about a kilometer away from the port of Isabela City is Malamawi Island with a long stretch of white beaches and crystal clear waters. It is best to seek assistance from the Tourism Office for safety but you can also just ask around in the port on how to go to the island. People of Basilan is one of the friendliests.
Take a passenger boat in the port with approximate travel time of up to 20 minutes depending on the current of the sea. Fare is Php10 per person but you can also rent a boat for Php 100- Php 150. Once you are on the wharf of the Malamawi Island, look for habal- habal or motorcycles. Just tell the driver to take you to the White Beach. One habal- habal can take up to two passengers. Rental is about Php 200- Php 300 for two way already (back and forth). Travel time is more or less 30 minutes where you will take on unpaved roads cruising fields of corn (when in season) and coconut trees.
There is one resort in the White Beach where accommodation is available for overnight stay and cottages for rent if you are staying for the day. There are stores where you can buy food and drinks but it is best to be prepared and bring your own. Also, there are grilling and cooking stations. For inquiries and reservations, check out their Facebook Page here, just go to the ‘About’ section for the contact details.