Zamboanga City & Tawi-Tawi Backpacking Tour (Part 2 of 4)
Zamboanga City left us with “wow” after “wow after “wow” comments. This is far from the fear that the general media has implanted with Manila citizens. I, who has been here for five times already, was surprised too.
We were still hyped from the Rio Hondo experience and so we want to follow it up with this famous Pink Beach in the nearby island of Zamboanga City. Who haven’t heard about this Kikay Beach yet?
As a certified “son of a beach” I have been to white, gray, black, golden, rocky, coraline beaches but never to a pink beach. So the idea of going there makes me giddy, really really giddy.
Notes and How to Get to Sta. Cruz Pink Beach?
1. Go to Paseo del Mar. From Paseo del Mar, look for the small boat port/terminal that goes to Sta. Cruz Island.
2. There is a regular trip from Paseo del Mar to Sta. Cruz Pink Beach from 8am-3pm. Boat rental is Php1,000 (good for 10pax). If you are solo, pray that you can join a group to save on cost.
3. Terminal Fee is Php5/person.
4. Travel time is approximately 20minutes.
5. Cottages are available in the island for as low as Php300.
6. There is no water source at the island, so bring your own water.
7. You should also bring your own food.
8. Camping is not allowed. You cannot bring home corals or sands too.
9. There is a stroing current when you go farther out of the island and so I suggest that you look after your kids. But they can enjoy building castles in the sand along the long-stretch of white-pink sand.
10. I also saw lots of birds in the island- ravens, kingfishers, sunbirds and some fantails. I know there are more so I encourage birders to explore more.
Sta. Cruz Island aka Pink Beach is actually inhabited by our Muslim brothers. Considered sacred because this has been there home for generations. As such, it has became a place where they bury their dead. You are not allowed to enter the community unless you have a guide. The inhabitants here are mostly from the Sama Bangingi tribe with some Tausugs, Yakans and Sama Badjao.
Why is it Pink?
The island is actually white sand but because of years and years of surf erosion the red organ pipe corals are pulverized and then mixes with the white sand hence making a pink sand.
Two Pink Beaches
Actually there are two pink beaches- The Isla Grande de Sta. Cruz and the Little island that has become a base of the Philippine Navy. The Great Sta. Cruz island is open to public and is now being heavily promoted by both local and national DOT. I remember going there 3 years ago and you don’s have an hourly access via a boat before. You have to make a reservation the day prior to your visit. Nowadays, local tourists are replete and you have scheduled boat trips almost every hour.
As I walked around the island I saw some souvenir vendors that are selling necklaces and bracelets and even some small vintas for collection. Sad thing was when I saw a black coral being sold. It really broke my heart.
But to counter that, I also saw a hatchery for Pawikans during the visit and I hope that the government and DENR and PAWB would seriously consider taking care of the marine creatures in and around the island since it was declared a Protected Landscape and Seascape in 2000 under Presidential Proclamation No. 271.
Upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, and pursuant to the powers vested upon me by law, I, JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA, President of the Philippines, do hereby set aside and declare Big and Small Sta. Cruz Islands Tourist Zone and Marine Reserve situated in the City of Zamboanga, Province of Zamboanga del Sur as Protected Area under the category of Protected Landscape and Seascape and its peripheral areas as Buffer Zone, subject to private rights and without prejudice to the rights of the indigenous people as provided for in R.A. No. 8371, DENR Administrative Order No. 93-02 and other related rules and regulations, if any, as described in the DENR NIPAS Map No. RO9-03.
How about safety?
Don’t worry there are PNP escorts in-charge at the island and I feel safer here than in Manila. #nuffsaid
I also had the chance to meet new friends from Choose Philippines Manila and ABS-CBN Zamboanga during the day tour.
Zamboanga City & Tawi-Tawi Series:
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