Puerto Princesa, the capital of Palawan.It is home to one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and one of the 7 Wonders of Nature: the Underground River. It spells warmth—the people, the weather and food (hello, crocodile sisig!). While the beaches are not as pristine as El Nido, Coron or Boracay, the sand, sand castles and trip inside the cave will be enough to take your breath away. (Tip: keep your mouth closed for the duration of the ride.)
A visit to the Crocodile Farm, Baker’s Hill and Butterfly Eco-Garden and Tribal Village will make you feel like a tourist in your own country…do these tours. An interactive, educational and cultural tours are provided by local tourist guides. When it comes to eloquence, flexibility and generosity in bathroom breaks, Filipino guides are the best.
It was just like a field trip that my Google-searching expertise can’t provide extensively. I learned that most butterflies have a lifespan of only 2 weeks and that the smaller scorpion has the deadlier sting than the bigger one. I held a snake & a scorpion, saw a ‘tulala’ tuko & sleeping bear cat, a hundred crocodiles and a walking bayawak for the first time, up close. I came to know that there is a group of birds called peafowls— peacocks refers to the male while the female peafowls are called peahens & their offsprings, peachicks.
I saw how one’s imagination can lead to a wonderful creative paradise called, Baker’s Hill. And it’s not only bread or pastries that they sell (heck, they don’t even charge for an entrance). It has this Alice in Wonderland vibe with well-manicured lawns and garden, beautifully arranged flowers, colorful tiles, life-size figurines of Shrek, Snow White, etc., and tall trees that cover the sun.
We met the indigenous tribe, Pal’awan, who were confident in their flawless brown skin wearing only bahags (loincloth for men). They showcased their hunting tools and musical instruments like kulintang (the names I only remember reading in my highschool books). They played music and showed us how to start a fire the natural way (done in seconds!). It’s good to know that they are encouraged to make handmade products to sell and not only thrive by hunting alone (I bought a bamboo speaker).
Puerto Princesa has a good geographical location close to seaports that is why it is also called the princess of ports. For more technical information, please search the internet.
Palawan, you were a wonderful, hot summer fling. I hope to see you again next year. El Nido or Coron, here we go!