Tandubas, Tawi-Tawi

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Map of Tawi-Tawi with Tandubas highlighted
Map of Tawi-Tawi with Tandubas highlighted
Tandubas is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 05°15′N 120°17′E / 5.250°N 120.283°E / 5.250; 120.283Coordinates: 05°15′N 120°17′E / 5.250°N 120.283°E / 5.250; 120.283
Country Philippines
Region Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)
Province Tawi-Tawi
District Lone district of Tawi-Tawi
Established July 1, 1958
Barangays 20
 • Mayor Rahiema Salih
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 29,390
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 7502
Dialing code 68
Income class 3rd

Tandubas is a third class municipality in the province of Tawi-Tawi, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 29,390 people.[2]


The word Tandubas coined from two Malay words Tanjung Bas. Tanjung means “place”, while the word Bas means “Landing”. Therefore, Tandubas means a place of landing, referring to a group of Malaysian traders who sailed across many islands and landed on an island what is now Tandubas Island. Seeing the abundance of resources to sustain their living, this group of Malaysian traders finally decided to settle on that island and named it as Tanjung Bas.

For many years, the island had been named as Tanjung Bas. The Malaysian word Tanjung has its equivalent in Sama dialect which is Tandu. The name Tanjungbas has been changed by the natives to Tandubas, a name that was used from generation to generation.

Tandubas had been a part of the Sultanate of Sulu prior to the creation of Sulu as a province under the Republic of the Philippines. When the province of Sulu was created, Tandubas was one of the Districts, an administrative sub-division of the then Department of Education under the Division of Sulu. By virtue of Executive Order No. 355, dated July 1, 1958, Tandubas was converted to a Municipality under the Province of Sulu, covering areas now under the municipality of Sapa-Sapa, the municipality of Languyan, an area in the mainland of Tawi-Tawi. When the Province of Tawi-Tawi was created by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 302, dated September 27, 1973, the Municipality of Tandubas became one of the municipalities in the Province of Tawi-Tawi.

By 2008, the municipality celebrated its Golden Anniversary. In a bid to create more local government units that comprise the Province of Tawi-Tawi, the Municipality of Sapa-Sapa was created entirely from Tandubas Municipality. Also the Municipality of Languyan was created partly out of the territorial jurisdiction of the Municipality of Tandubas, thus greatly reducing the land area of the mother municipality. This was made possible by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 1086.


The Municipality of Tandubas is located in the north-eastern part of the province of Tawi-Tawi. It is bounded in the north by Languyan Municipality and Sulu Sea; south by Celebes Sea; east by Municipality of South Ubian: and west by Municipality of Sapa-Sapa.

The municipality is approximately 63 kilometres (39 mi) away from the Municipality of Bongao, the capital town of Tawi-Tawi. From Bongao it is accessible by water transportation. Travel time from the port of Bongao to the Municipality of Tandubas takes about five (5) hours using a motor launch with an average speed. For a speedboat or a fast craft it will only take about an hour.


Tandubas is politically subdivided into 20 barangays.[2]

  • Baliungan
  • Kakoong
  • Kepeng
  • Lahay-lahay
  • Naungan
  • Sallangan heya & sallangan diki
  • Sapa
  • Silantup
  • Tapian
  • Tongbangkaw
  • Tangngah (Tangngah Ungus matata)
  • Ballak
  • Butun
  • Himbah
  • Kalang-kalang
  • Salamat
  • Sibakloon
  • Tandubato
  • Tapian Sukah
  • Taruk

12 barangays are located on the island of Tandubas (Tongbangkaw, Tapian, Ballak, Kakoong, Tangngah, Silantup, Butun, Kepeng, Sallangan, Tapian Sokah, Sibakloon and Sapa); 2 barangays are located on Tingungun Island (Kalang-kalang and Salamat); 1 barangay is located at Naungan Island (barangay Naungan); 2 barangays are located on Tandubato island (Lahay-Lahay and Tandubato); 2 barangays are located on Tawitawi Island (Himba and Baliongan), and 1 barangay located on Taruk Island (Barangay Taruk).


Population census of Tandubas
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 19,505 —    
1995 20,646 +1.14%
2000 24,900 +3.82%
2007 33,037 +4.12%
2010 27,748 −5.65%
Source: National Statistics Office[2]


  1. ^ "Official City/Municipal 2013 Election Results". Intramuros, Manila, Philippines: Commission on Elections (COMELEC). 1 July 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010" (PDF). 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 

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