Palawan is no doubt the Best Island in the World recognized by different travel organizations and publications such as Travel + Leisure Magazine, Conde Nast Travel, National Geographic Website and others. As a Travel and Lifestyle blogger I really want to visit Palawan for I love beaches and nature. Since I’m hands on in managing my business, I don’t have enough time to travel further and stay longer for leisure or vacation. But this June, something great come up unexpectedly. 🙂
It’s like fate is on my side when Philippine Airlines emailed me to join their familiarization tour on June 13-17, 2017 in cooperation with the City Government of Puerto Princesa to rediscover the island paradise. I immediately confirmed my attendance and endorsed everything to my assistant to be in charge of my business while I’m away. I’m really excited about this trip for finally I can now see the beauty of Palawan.
This trip will be hassle free for there are now direct flights from Clark International Airport to Puerto Princesa City via Philippine Airlines which only takes 1 hour and 20 minutes.
We started the tour by having a courtesy visit to Acting Mayor Luis Marimla Marcaida III, who happen to be a Kapampangan. We had a nice conversation with him and he gave us a coffee table book of Puerto Princesa with his signature in it. It’s an honor to meet a fellow cabalen who managed the Best Island in the World.
Palawan is the last ecological Frontier of the Philippines. What does it mean? It’s a place where preserving the environment and natural resources are used in a sensible way. The government has a huge part in protecting the environment yet it provides livelihood to the community through Community Based Sustainable Tourism(CBST). Locals and tourists are part of the story, we should do our shares to protect and preserve our environment.
Palawan is the home of New 7 Wonders of Nature and UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP). Having that main attraction what else Puerto Princesa can offer to the world? All I can say is there’s a LOT MORE! Our 5 days tour is not enough to visit all the major attractions. One great reason for me to revisit and rediscover the so called “The Forest City”.
Since 5 days is quite long to narrate everything during the tour and to make it easier for you to decide where to go and what to do in Puerto Princesa City I just created a list.
Here are my Top 10 Must Visit Places in Puerto Princesa City
1. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP). Ofcourse, number one should be the world famous underground river. This pride of the Philippines is located in the Saint Paul Mountain Range. It features an amazing limestone or karst lanscape with the most complex cave system. This top tourist destination contains a full mountain to the sea ecosystem and forests which is important for biodiversity conservation. It’s amazing how nature created this work of art. You will definitely appreciate God’s creation when you see this natural wonder.
2. Honda Bay (Luli Island, Cowrie Island, Pambato Reef). I’m a beach person, I love white sand beaches with crystal clear water complemented with peaceful surrounding. If you are a person with old soul like me then the Islands in Honday Bay are for you, lol. But if you like water activities, they also offer jetsky, banana boat ride, snorkeling and scuba diving.
3. Ugong Rock Adventures. This place for thrill seekers is found in Brgy. Tagabinet, Northern part of Puerto Princesa City. Ugong has taken its name from the echoing sound of the rocks produce when tapping it. You can try trekking, spelunking caving, zipline. I tried the spelunking and zipline and I highly recommend it.It’s a great quick workout I must say; its also a tress reliever as you shout your heart out when you are up there.
4. Seafood Restaurants. Puerto Princesa Palawan is a haven for seafood lovers like me, you can indulge your tastebuds with different dishes made with freshly caught seafoods. During our 5 days tour I had the chance to dine in some of the restaurants which serves the best dishes in the city.
Badjao Seafront Restaurant. My top pick restaurant during the tour. The food is definitely good, made with fresh ingredients. It’s complemented with great ambiance for as if you are dining in a floating restaurant in front of the sea. You need to pass a bridge in the middle of a mangrove forest before you reach the restaurant. What an amazing view! 🙂
KaLui Restaurant. If you want fancy restaurant which looks like a museum wherein great work of arts are in every corner then this is for you. Everything on the menu is seafoods and vegetables such as sashimi, tempura, shellfish soup, sinigang, baked mussel and others. I personally love the Sashimi, it melts in your mouth, I can say it’s really fresh. The plating of every dishes is clean, its like a piece of art on its own.
Kinabuchs Grill and Bar. This restaurant is also in my 2nd top pick. I love the food they served and had the chance to taste the Crocodile Sisig, it’s good though but could have been better without the egg to truly appreciate the flavors of the dish.
Ka Inato. One of the well known restaurant in Puerto Princesa that serve sweet style Chicken Inasal. The ambiance of the place is good also, very inviting.
5. Iwahig Firefly Watching. One of my favorite attractions in Puerto Princesa is the firefly watching, not everyday or should I say in my entire life I get to see a group of fireflies. It’s amazing how these tiny creatures tickle the kids in us as you see their lights on and off. It’s hard to explain the feelings during the tour, you should try it. Sad to say you cannot take decent photos for its too dark and all you can see are the tiny fireflies, you need to experience it for yourself to appreciate it, photos cannot do justice to this amazing nature’s show.
6. Mangrove Paddle Boat. Aside from the intagrammable place, this is a good tour to be educated about the importance of mangroves in the ecosystem. Mangroves protect shorelines from damaging storms, winds, waves, and floods. They prevent erosion, maintain the quality of water and valuable nursery areas for marine life. While they are discussing those things I tried to paddle but its kinda hard so I let them do the job. ehe
7. Puerto Princesa City Tour. The Forest City is not only blessed with natural resources but also rich in history and culture. The following attractions are must visit if you want to know more about the past of the city.
Plaza Cuartel. This park is previously a military fort of World War II in which the burning of more or less 150 American POW was done by Japanese soldiers on December 14, 1944. The Plaza Cuartel was a garrison of Spaniards, overtook by Americans and then by Japanese. Given that tragic event, this park is now part of the colorful history of Palawan.
Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral. Located along Rizal Avenue in Barangay Liwanag, just across Plaza Cuartel used to be a small chapel during the Spanish occupation in 1872. This church was developed to be the cathedral in 1961.
Palawan Heritage Center. This interactive museum showcases the rich history and culture of Palawan. Opened in the year 2012 which houses 300 year old artifacts, photos, life-sized dioramas, paintings, art pieces and important displays which arepart of the Palawan’s history.
Palawan Provincial Capitol. This dome shaped building symbolizes the unity of Muslims and Christians in the region. The structure is pretty impressive, its like a big shell.
Palawan Museum. This museum was created in 1991 as a center and repository of relics and artifacts of Palawan. It’s a genuine source of the rich natural and historical legacy through collection and reference on Palawan’s cultural heritage.
Palawan Baywalk. A good place to relax and watch the sunset. This public attraction is well maintained as you cannot see any trash in the area.
8. Binuatan Creation. Binuatan is from the Filipino word “pagawaan”. This place is a souvenir and handicraft store that creates hand-woven products using Palawan’s indigenous fibers and grass. You can see them weaving and try to it for yourself. I did! 🙂
9. Special Battalion World War II Memorial Museum. This museum was inaugurated by the family of local hero Dr. Higinio Mendoza Sr. Historical memorabilia are on display such as typewriter and stenography machine, old vehicles used during WWII, guns and ammunition, uniforms of American soldiers and old paper denominations. You can also wear the soldier’s uniform and strike a pose in a military jeepney.
10. Pasalubong Shops. Your trip in Puerto Princesa City is not complete if you will not buy some local products and souvenirs. You can go to LRC 908 Market Mall located at Puerto Princesa North Road, San Jose New Market for quality dried fish and local delicacies and Baker’s Hill for freshly baked breads and pastries.
Souvenirs at LRC 908 Market Mall
San Jose New Market
Other attractions that are worth visiting are: Crocodile Farm, Mitra Ranch, Mt. Calvary, Balsahan River, Buenavista Viewdeck, Dos Palmas Resort, Estrella Falls and others.
Bay Vista Road, Puerto Princesa City, Puerto Princesa, Philippines
www.panjaresortpalawan.com /(048) 725 1202 to +63 917 376 4835
This hotel is situated in the hills above the Island’s main city overlooking the Honda Bay. It’s just 9 kilometers from the city proper which is ideal for leisure and business travelers.
Panja Resort has 35 well appointed rooms with breathtaking views, air conditioning, LCD TV, mini bar, safe and complimentary toiletries.
Facilities includes infinity swimming pool surrounded by sun loungers, Horizon Restaurant serving Asian and western cuisine and 360 Rooftop Bar.
Puerto Princesa City is truly blessed with the many nature’s wonders, 5 days is not enough to explore all the wonderful attractions it can offer to the world. I enjoyed the entire tour in the island paradise, the beauty of the place is complemented with hospitable people and good company.
And what I love about their new tourist spots is that they are monitored and guided by the local Government through Community Based Sustainable Tourism(CBST) program in which these attractions are managed by the community providing livelihood for the people within the area yet protecting the environment.
Thank you to Philippine Airlines, City Government of Puerto Princesa and CRK media who made the tour more enjoyable and an experience of a lifetime that I will cherish forever. Until our next trip! See you! 🙂