stood still in Palawan. Branded as the country's last
frontier, Palawan has managed to preserve its fascinatingly natural
habitat over the years.
southwest of Mindoro and north of Malaysia's Sabah Island, Palawan
is the country's largest province with its 1.5 million-hectacre land
area. More than a thousand islands and islets compose
Palawan's territory making the province an ideal breeding ground for
tropical flora and fauna. Indeed, it is in Palawan where
endemic Philippine animals like the bearcat, mousedeer and Palaway
peacock pheasant co-exist with some of Africa's wildlife species
such as the giraffes, elands, zebras and gazelles.
population follows the same pattern. Through the years, the
province has attracted people of all backgrounds. It is said
that today's Palawenos are the result of 81 different cultural
visitors have come to love this hauntingly beautiful province where
the dramatic landscape is also amazingly diverse - from coral reefs
to mountain ranges, stark cliffs of sheer limestone, rainforests
abundant with rare wildlife, and unmatched underwater views
acclaimed by leading divers.
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Attractions / Things to Do
THoghseemingly untouched, Palawan has its fair share of
history. Go down Cuyo Island and visit the Cuyo Spanish Church
Fort with its massive walls ten meters high and two meters
wide. Archeologists have also unearthed stone-age tools,
Chinese burial jars and ancient ornaments in Palawan's numerous
If the sun is your master, then Palawan is your refuge.
Visit the Balsahan or Tagbarungis Swimming Resort, Kalis Point,
orbetter yet, get a taste of El Nido. An almost utopian island
resort, El Nido features black marble caves, tabletop corals,
fantastic marine life and the requisite while sand beach. Name
after the swallow's nests which abound in its mountain caves, El
Nido also feature one of the most delicious samplings of the
freshest seafood in the land.
Located on the northwest coast of Palawan, Calauit Island is a
3,700 hectacre game preserve and wildlife sanctuary. Apart
from indigenous species, the island also features African wildlife
like giraffes, zebras and gazelles. Sea turtles, seacows and a
variety of marine life nestle at its shores.
With its numerous islands, Palawan easily lends itself to diving and
snorkeling. Some ofthe more popular dive sites are Rita Island
of Tres Marias, Pandan Island, Panglima reefs and Tubbataha
Reefs. A startlingly beautiful site, Tubbataha's charm is
accented by the giant turtles and flock of birds which come to visit
Palawan consists of about 1,768 islands; the Calamian Island group
to the north, the Cuyo Islands group to the northwest, and the
Balabac-Bugsuk group to the southwest. For the less
adventurous, hie off to Honda Bay. From there, you can take
your pick of your own little hideaway from Cowrie Island and Pandon
to La Isla Bonita and Isla de Nagusuan. Amidst these islands
lie lovely white sand beaches, exciting dive sites or just a quiet
refuge to get away from it all.
Paul's Subterranean National Park
Beneath St. Paul Mountain lies a quiet underground river which
snakes for about eight kilometers before opening up into a clear
lagoon, then flowing into the South China Sea. The Park also
features the exciting Monkey Trail with its series of wooden paths
to the forest. The forest itself is a hotspot for tropical
flora and fauna. Monkeys, lizards and squirrels can be seen
scampering away at the sound of human footsteps.
Called the "Cradle of the Philippine Civilization," the
Tabon Caves are the oldest known habitation site in Southeast
Asia. In it was unearthed a skill that dates back to 22,000
There are twice-daily flights from Manila to the privince's
capital, Puerto Princesa City, via Philippine Airlines and Air
Philippines. The flights take about one hour. Puerto
Princesa is only about one and a-half kilometers from the
airport. Daily chartered flights are also available to El Nido,
Taytay and Busuanga in Northern Palawan. Flying time is about
one hour and forty-five minutes.
Tricycles and motorcycles with two-seater sidecars are the most
accessible form of transportation. There are also buses and
jeepneys, but they are more often than not, cramped and
crowded. Rental cars are available in Puerto Princesa.
Go island hopping via pumpboat.
The main hotel in the province is the Asiaworld Hotel located in
Puerto Princesa City. There are smaller but equally
comfortable accommodations like those at Hilside Resort and Puerto
Pension. Lokewise, there are numerous island resorts scattered
all over the province: El Nido Resort - Miniloc and Lagen Island
Resort in El Nido; Club Noah Isabelle in Apulit Island; Taytay and
Amanpulo Resort in Pamalican Island, Cuyo, Palawan.
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