Photo by: crazyacey
Everything that you dream for an exotic hideaway, with deserted islands, limestone cliffs, coral reefs, misty mountains and swarming wildlife – all of these are packed up into the Philippines’ Last Frontier and the home of the country’s most protected areas in the country, the island province of Palawan.
The paradise province is also “The Cradle of Philippine Civilization”, where remnants of the first Filipino were found in the Tabon Caves complex, Quezon, Palawan. The remnants include a Tibia bone and a skull cap of a woman found on 1962. The bones were found to be 47,000 and 16,000 years old respectively. The name of Palawan was derived from the Chinese word “Pa-Lao-Yu which means “the Land of Beautiful Safe Harbor” and from the Spanish word “Paragua” because of the shape of the island that resembles like a closed umbrella.
The Province of Palawan is part of MIMAROPA Region. It has a total land area of 14,649.7 km2 with 1 independent city, 23 municipalities and 367 barangays. The province’s capital is Puerto Princesa City. It is the country’s largest province in terms of land area. Palawan islands extends northeast of Mindoro to southwest of Borneo. Chains of mountain ranges pass through the entire length of the main island.
Palawan is the melting pot of 81 cultural groups and races who lived together in peace and harmony. Most of the settlers are of Malay origin with a strong mix up influence from Borneo, China and Middle East. Spoken languages in the province include Tagalog, Cuyonon, Hiligaynon, Tausug, Batak, Tagbanwa, Palawano, Kagayen, Bikol and English.
The climate in the province is of two types: the first type occurs in the northern and southern part including the entire west coast which has two distinct seasons (half of the year dry and the rest wet). The other type has a short dry season about 1 to 3 months and no pronounced rainy period for the rest of the year.
Palawan is accessible by Air and Sea from Manila, Iloilo, Cebu and Davao. Air travel from Manila to Puerto Princesa is approximately 55 minutes and 1 hour and 15 minutes from Cebu. Flights are serviced by Philippine Airlines, PAL Express, Cebu Pacific and Zest Air. Ferries from Manila to Palawan are approximately 24 hours navigation and 36 hours from Iloilo. The ferries that navigate through the waters include MV Milagrosa, Montenegro Shipping Lines, Atienza Shipping Lines and MV Sea Journey.
Buses, Jeepneys and motorcycles ply the routes within the province. There are also sea transports available to take you on tour to the different islands of the province.
Where to Stay:
El Rio Y Mar Resort
Address: San Jose, Palawan, Philippines
Microtel Hotels & Resorts Puerto Princesa
Address: San Manuel, Emerald Playa, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Busuanga Island Paradise Hotel
Address: Km. 12 Coron-Busuanga Highway, Barangay Guadalupe, Palawan
Sunz En Coron Resort
Address: Brgy. Poblacion 6, Palawan
Crystal Paradise Resort
Address: 1 Sea Road, Antipuluan, Palawan, Philippines
El Nido Miniloc Island Resort
Address: Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan
El Nido Lagen Island Resort
Address: Lagen Island, El Nido, Palawan
Address: Dimakya Island, Coron, Palawan
Coral Bay Resort
Address: Potototan Island, Busuanga, Northern Palawan
Rio Playa Beach Resort
Address: Old Busuanga, Busuanga, Palawan
What to See:
Calauit Island Wildlife Sanctuary (Busuanga)
This 3,700 hectare sanctuary is dedicated to preserve wildlife. Within this island sanctuary are African animals from Kenya such as Giraffes and Elands, Zebras and Gazelles along with Palawan Bearcat, Mousedeer and Peacock Pheasant. Should you wish to visit here, you must secure a permit at the Office of Palwan Council for Sustainable Development in Coron.
Photo by: incrediblethots
Coron Reefs (Busuanga)
The reefs have seven enchanting lakes surrounded by limestone cliffs located in the northern Palawan, near the town of Coron. From Puerto Princesa City, you may take a jeepney or bus en route to Taytay, then from Taytay take a sea route to Coron then from Coron to Busuanga.
El Nido Marine Reserve (Miniloc Island, El Nido)
The marine reserve measures 96,000 hectares and a popular spot visited by many tourists. It homes to many diverse ecosystems such as rainforest, mangroves, white sand beaches, coral reefs, and limestone cliffs. The marine reserve has various forms of wildlife including Manta rays, and sea cows.
Honda Bay (Sta. Lourdes Tagbanua, Puerto Princesa City)
Frequented by many visitors because the several islets with shallow reefs bordering majestic beaches. Each islet is unique on its own. Activities in here include swimming, snorkelling and diving.
St. Paul Subterranean River National Park (Bahile, Puerto Princesa City)
A river flowing underneath rugged limestone and marble cliffs, the St. Paul Subterranean River National Park, is known as one of the world’s wonders. The river stretches eight kilometres deep into an underground lagoon with crystalline waters.
Tubataha Reefs National Marine Park (Cagayancillo town)
The country’s best dive spot because of its abundant marine life, Tubataha Reef was coined to be a World Heritage. The reef is a gradual in slope with a good variety of invertebrates and reef fishes. It consists of two islets with lots of corals and small caves. The northern islet, called “Bird Island” is abundant with schools of fish, reef rays, leopards and many more. Neophyte divers can get up close with a Tubataha shark.
Tabon Cave (Quezon)
The site to which the anthropologists found the remains of crude man and his tools, Tabon Cave has series of chambers. It is also known as the “Cradle of the Philippine Civilization”.
Pagdiwata Ritual Festival