Guide to Puerto Princesa: Puerto Princesa, officially the City of Puerto Princesa, is a first-class highly urbanized city in the Philippines. A dream destination to many, the city has been lauded several times as the cleanest and greenest in the entire nation. Puerto Princesa is located west of the Province of Palawan and included in the 38 independent cities within the country.
Puerto Princesa is undeniably a unique name. Its etymology is rooted in one of the princesses born to Isabella II of Spain and consort, Francis, Duke of Cadiz. In the untimely death of the princess, the Queen renamed the place Puerto de la Princesa and later on was shortened to Puerto Princesa. Here I entail the places I have been to in the ‘puerto’.
Honda Bay. One of the highly recommended activities in the ‘Puerto’ is to go island hopping at ‘Honda Bay’. From the Spanish word ‘bahia honda’ meaning ‘deep bay’, Honda Bay boasts a number of islands to explore. At the wharf, tourists are given options to the following islands: Luli Island with Php 70 entrance fee per person, Starfish Island with Php 50 entrance fee, Pambato Reef with Php 50 entrance fee, Cowrie Island with Php 75 entrance fee, and Pandan Island with Php 1,000 entrance fee per person. Guests can explore three islands at a time and pump boats are available for rent at varying prices depending on the size of the boat. Good for six pump boat rental costs Php 1,300. Guests can also have buffet lunches at Luli Island for Php 200 and Cowrie Island for Php 300.
Islands of Honda Bay. The three islands that we went to were Starfish Island, Luli Island, and Cowrie Island. Aside from the activities, we were also acquainted with some of the islands’ ‘backstories’. Luli Island, for example, is short for ‘lulubog, lilitaw’ – the sole island in the bay that sinks and rises with the tide. Luli Island is owned by Mr and Mrs Jun and Cely Marcelo.
Cowrie Island Palawan
Butterfly Eco Garden and Tribal Village. Nestled in Santa Monica, the Palawan Butterfly Garden, and Tribal Village is called as the ‘last frontier of the Philippines’. It showcases a variety of butterflies as well as phasmid, mantises, and scorpions. Within the establishment houses a ‘tribal village’, the ‘Palaw-an Tribe’. Proceeds from the garden go to these people and merchandise made by tribe members are displayed in a corner for purchase. During the tour, tribe members showcase some of their routines in a ‘culture sharing’ of a sort – musical instrument skills and hunting skills to mention a few. Entrance fee to the garden and village is Php 50 for adult, Php 35 for children, Php 40 for senior citizens and persons with a disability, and free for teachers of Palawan and Puerto Schools Division Office.
Guide to Puerto Princesa: Within the establishment houses a ‘tribal village’, the ‘Palaw-an Tribe’. Proceeds from the garden go to these people and merchandise made by tribe members is displayed in a corner for purchase. During the tour, tribe members showcase some of their routines in a ‘culture sharing’ of a sort – musical instrument skills and hunting skills to mention a few.
Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center, Crocodile Farm. With the mission to mobilize citizenry in protecting, conserving, and managing the environment and natural resources, the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center showcases a number of wildlife including freshwater and saltwater crocodiles as well as a variety of snakes. One of the surprising crocodilians is ‘Surigao’, a male saltwater crocodile from Surigao measuring 16.8 feet. It is advised that guests must attend a short briefing prior to seeing the animals. Although nocturnal, crocodiles are sensitive to stress. It advised that guests should not make any loud noises and to not use flash in taking photos to avoid stressing the animals. Entrance fee to the center is Php 20.
One of the surprising crocodilians is ‘Surigao’, a male saltwater crocodile from Surigao measuring 16.8 feet. It is advised that guests must attend a short briefing prior to seeing the animals. Although nocturnal, crocodiles are sensitive to stress. It advised that guests should not make any loud noises and to not use flash in taking photos to avoid stressing the animals.
An advisory from the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center. The center urges everyone to not buy any species caught from the wild. This is in accordance with Republic Act 9147 also known as the Wildlife Resource Conservation and Protection Act. Hunting, collecting, or possessing wildlife, its products, and derivatives without a proper permit is against the law and may lead to penalties.
Yamang Bukid Farm. Located in Barangay Bacungan, Yamang Bukid is Palawan’s first ‘agro-tourism’ destination according to the Department of Tourism. Yamang Bukid boasts a wide variety of flora, food products, arts and crafts, and its ambiance making it the perfect R&R dream destination. It also houses a restaurant serving its ‘Taga Bukid Ako’ boodle fight, merienda, panghimagas, and inumin sa bukid. Also, at Yamang Bukid, there is no entrance fee.
Ublo, Product from Yamang Bukid
Puerto Princesa is indeed a dream destination.
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