Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Our second venue was even more challenging for us.... out of the box.... out of our comfort zone!!! Definitely many will be intrigued because not everyone is given the chance to come over to Layag-Layag, the mangrove community off Talon-Talon in Zamboanga City!

A friend told me its name has the same style as Talon-Talon, which means "Jump Jump". 
Layag-Layag means "Sail Sail" because it is a water community!

Here is a map of Zamboanga City showing the relationship of Layag-Layag to Talon-Talon and the rest of the City.

As you can see from the map, Layag-Layag is separated from the mainland by mangroves and we venture to Layag-Layag by way of open sea.

I am sharing " the Road to Layag-Layag" to borrow the phrase from my Travel Reportage classmate, Jess Yu.

We left at about 8 a.m. 
Doc Anton (of the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation and also our classmate in the Travel Reportage Class) chose this time because of the high tide so we could ride the boat to Layag-Layag, the easier way.

Here I am at the Talon-Talon Salinas (Salt Bed) which we pass by on the way to the mangroves where our jump-off point is. 
I am ready with my Tzu-Chi vest! 
But, even in the Salinas, Mich already had a share of her adventure!

OOOhhhh! So this is what we are going to ride, the bigger version of the Yellow Boats and very apt for visitors... but, I am not so into boats!

We pass through the mangroves on the way to Layag-Layag. It was about a 10-15 minute boat ride. The boat trip was calm, but I don't know why it seemed to tip to each side. It may be an uneventful ride, but others could feel some fear of tipping and others simply had seasickness!
They said, we shouldn't worry about tipping over because the water was mostly shallow... and clear contrary to what we think of mangroves! 
Maybe, it is clear because the place is close to the open sea... 
Photo credit: Doc Anton Lim

If we left too late, we would really have to walk through the mangroves and this would really be difficult. At some areas, others do it this way...

We see a community, although, we are moving on to a different community further on.

So as we move further, the sights are even more breathtaking. And the sandbar is so pristine!
sand bar
Finally, we arrive at the Layag-Layag village.

The mangroves are so beautiful.

Now we are landing in the Yellow Boat village...Layag-Layag!
I didn't realize, we were really going to walk around knee high water and eventually, thigh high!
Yes, you would notice the yellow boats around...the Yellow Boats of Hope!
the Bagong Pag-asa arrives
This is the learning center/day care center which  was featured last March 2012 and sponsored by the Tzu-Chi Foundation.

The community's main livelihood revolves around the Agar-Agar.

We see the mosque at one end of the community. The folks of Layag-Layag helped construct the mosque!
We were all amazed and touched by our Travel Reportage experience at the Layag-Layag Community. 
We were able to relive how the kids do it... 
During low tide, they walk through the thick sea mud. 
But during high tide, they wade in the waters and considering they were little kids, they were practically swimming to school... with wet school supplies!
Travel Reportage Group with Lester Ledesma ---
photo credit: Doc Anton Lim

Doc Anton, the local coordinator for the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation was very wise to introduce us to the place to discover its beauty and the beauty of the people!

We hope we too could help in our own little ways... and also reach out to our friends who may also want to extend their helping hands.

I would like to thank in advance my friends and  High School schoolmates from UP College Cebu, Harry Abilla and Jason Duterte now in the US who have expressed their intention just by seeing this picture! 
Thanks, Jun Lim for the picture... 
They worried about us not wearing any protective footwear... for the possible pain and infection, we may be inflicted with.
So what more for the inhabitants of this village who live this way everyday!

Those who are interested in learning more about the YELLOW BOAT OF HOPE can check out these links:  
and their Facebook Page: YELLOW BOAT OF HOPE FOUNDATION http://www.facebook.com/YellowBoat?fref=ts

Thanks to Doc Anton Lim for sharing the experience with us.
Thanks to the Travel Reportage with Lester Ledesma class because the opportunity was opened to us.
Thanks to the Travel Reportage teacher and classmates who made the activity more enjoyable.
Thanks to Mary June Bugante, DOT RIX director for supporting the group with the escorts and for joining us, too!

Here is a backgrounder for the Yellow Boat of Hope which I lifted from Wikipedia on Jay Jaboneta with this link:

Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation (2010-Present)

On October 29–30, 2010, Jaboneta served as a featured speaker at Mindanao Bloggers Summit in Zamboanga City. It was at this event that he first learned about elementary school students from Layag-Layag, an island community in Zamboanga City. Close to 200 of these students could only attend school by swimming half a mile to get to the mainland.[3][11] Disturbed by what he had just learned, and encouraged by his friend Josiah Go to do something more than just post on Facebook about it, Jaboneta began a movement he called Zamboanga Fund for Little Kids, in an effort to help. The group began by raising funds to be able to provide the community of Layag-Layag with boats which the students could ride to school. Meeting initial success, the group kept pressing forward, searching for ways to be able to serve the Layag-layag community more sustainably while identifying other communities with similar needs. The effort eventually resulted in four separate Yellow Boat communities in the Philippines as of May 2012. His focus is on education, medical support, local ecology, sustainability, and empowering others. Strong community support combined with social networking contribute to the growth of the Yellow Boat Project. Today, the project is formally known the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation, Inc.[3][5][11] with Jaboneta and Anton Mari H. Lim[12] as co-founders.

Communities served by the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation (January 2013)

  1. Zamboanga Funds for Little Kids: Layag-Layag, Brgy. Talon-Talon, Zamboanga City[13]
  2. Masbate Funds for Little Kids: Isla Mababoy, Brgy. Guinhadap, Monreal, Masbate[14]
  3. ZamSur Funds for Little Kids: Lakewood, Zamboanga del Sur[15]
  4. CDO Funds for Little Kids: Cagayan de Oro[16]
  5. Sibugay Funds for Little Kids - Sagip Bahay: Yellow Dorm Project: Zamboanga Sibugay[17]
  6. Negros Funds for Little Kids: Island of Roma in EB Magalona[18] and Matabas Island, Sagay City in Negros Occidental[19]
  7. Zamboanga del Norte Funds for Little Kids, Siayan and Dipolog City[20]
  8. Monte Central Funds for Little Kids, Subanon, Zamboanga Peninsula[21]



  1. The photos are so beautiful. Getting out of your comfort zone, indeed! But the place has a rustic charm, and I bet the people who live there are happy despite the limited means

  2. Lovely photos. It must be a really good experience for you visiting such a place and interacting with the community there.

  3. What a meaningful adventure. I wouldn't wonder why these people prefers to live in this community despite of being far from the mainland. The place is so beautiful.
    More boats for the Layag-layag community.

  4. something new, how i wish yellow boat of hope, also have here in manila.. i think it will be a nice foundation to support..

  5. Oh, I've had a time in my life that I was into this kind of activities, and it was really rewarding. :) Good show!

  6. I bet you really enjoyed this great adventure. Kudos to you and the team. May God bless you more.

    Mommy Maye

  7. great advocacy! your shots reminds me of going back in the province.. :)

  8. I love this! You get to help and have an adventure as well.

  9. Interesting! it is like a water world. Oh, I remember Tzu Chi Foundation, they gave us blanket and a sack of rice after Pedring's calamity in Calumpit. i am really thankful to them.

  10. This is a great advocacy. I used to visit communities, too, but I don't think I have the courage to visit a community like this. I'm afraid of open water!

  11. Looks like a good adventure going to the layag-layag village. Way of living in these communities may not be that easy but I envy them for the beautiful place that surrounds them. Being close to nature gives a stress-free feeling.

  12. Oh wow! What an awesome and touching adventure you had. As a parent, this is something to show to my children and make it a perfect example of how lucky they are compared to these children who has to travel by water just to avail of education. Continue inspiring us with your adventures Mam. :-)

  13. That was a lovely experience! You get some kind of adventure and nature trip plus an opportunity to see the "real world". Congrats Doc!

  14. Great adventure! I remember watching a tv documentary about these yellow boats.

  15. that was a super-super enjoyable adventure cum charitable work
    keep it up

  16. It sure is enriching to travel and get to know other communities and cultures. What kind of shoes did you wear for this adventure? :-)

    1. I just wore sandals. We were just told not to wear slippers because it might float away!

  17. Never been in this place. Actually it's my first time to hear about Layag-Layag. I love the sand bar photo, you took the shot beautifully. :)

    1. Thanks. Many people in ZC also don't know it exists!

  18. I missed my college days, the organization that I have been and the one that opened my eyes to exciting adventures and learning. Too bad during that time there were no digital cameras to capture most of the moments.

    Great photos I enjoyed viewing them.