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Friday, April 1, 2011

A Vacation in "The Last Frontier"

Palawan is an island province located in the Western Philippines and part of Region IV-B, also  known as MIMAROPA (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan). It is also called as "The Last Frontier" because most of the places in this province are unsettled. It is also one of the islands in the Philippines where we can found the most diverse flora and fauna in our country and the wonderful sceneries such as verdant mountains and forests, limestone rock formations and clear seas and rivers. Palawan is composed of 24 municipalities including Puerto Princesa City, the provincial capital which is known as "The Cleanest and Greenest City in the Philippines."

The view of Puerto Princesa City from the hills of Rancho Sta. Monica.
Last October 2010, we had a vacation in Puerto Princesa. You can get there for almost one and a half hour from Manila via plane. When I first arrived in this city, I thought to myself that "it was such a breath of fresh air" because I feel the clean breeze coming from the plants and trees and the ambiance was different which makes you feel refreshing from the hectic urban lifestyle.

During our vacation, we went to different tourist spots and places in Puerto Princesa like Rancho Santa Monica, a farm owned by the Mitra Family (where Former Senator Ramon Mitra Jr. comes from). In this ranch, I feel the rural but sophisticated farm life where you can see farm animals around the ranch and the beautiful house within the ranch. In this ranch we can also found the verdant green hills and the view of the Puerto Princesa City from the ranch itself. We also visited the Baker’s Hill where we buy delicious pastries and it serves as a place for weekend bonding of family or friends. We dropped by at the Crocodile Farm where we found young and adult crocodiles and other species of animals. Lastly, we visit the Iwahig Penal Colony where we met some of the prisoners who spend their time in productive activities such as farming and making tourist souvenirs.

In the evening, we experienced the Firefly Watching during the night where we watch the fireflies on the trees in the riverbanks, which resembles to the Christmas lights sparkling on a Christmas tree. While sailing on the Iwahig River, I also learned something new about firefiles and planktons on their importance in nature. When a person touch the water in a river and the planktons shows a sparkling light, it means that the river is clean. If there are many fireflies in a particular area, it means that the air we breathe is clean.

The exile island which is similar in Survivor as we passed the Honda Bay.
Fish friends during the fish feeding.
The circle of starfish in Starfish Island.
The clear waters of Honda Bay from the Starfish Island.
Therefore, the most unforgettable experience in our vacation is the island trekking in Honda Bay. We visited three islands out of sixteen namely Pambato Reef, Starfish Island, and Snake Island. In Pambato Reef, it is a place where we can found several coral reefs. While in Snake Island, I make friends with fish through fish feeding and we took our lunch in this island. In addition, you can enjoy your stay in this island through snorkelling Last is the Starfish Island where I experienced to see many starfish in the seashore.

The Underground River in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. (Google Photos)
But we never visited the Underground River (Puerto Princesa Subterranean River Park) due to climate conditions. I know that the Underground River is such a beautiful place because of distinct formation of stalagmites and stalactites and a unique journey while crossing the underground river. That is why; it is nominated as one of the candidates in New Seven Wonders of Nature.

If I were given a second chance to come back again in Palawan, definitely I will visit the Underground River, complete the island trekking adventure in Honda Bay, and travel other places in Palawan such as El Nido, Coron, Busuanga and Brooke’s Point.

When we drive along the city, no wonder that there are many buildings which shows its urbanization and progress. Besides, it maintains the cleanliness of the city, the abundance of trees and plants, the implementation of Clean Air Act and Waste Management and the simplicity of life among the residents which makes our vacation exciting and interesting. I really appreciate the people of Palawan because they know how to value nature through preserving their natural resources, segregating the biodegradable and non-biodegradable materials in waste management scheme, and maintaining the cleanliness in the streets, river, and sea. Hopefully in the coming years, Palawan will maintain its flora and fauna and preserving the amazing natural wonders of the place including the verdant and high mountains, crystal-clear blue waters of the ocean, and other places such as caves and the Underground River.

This travel blog is written for the advocacy of Stopping Mining Application in Palawan and we believed that the abundance of natural resources of Palawan reflects the richness of our resources and biodiversity in our country. Recently, the Puerto Princesa Underground River made it to the New Seven Wonders of Nature.


Grace said...

You're right, I am one of those who will support this advocacy.. Actually, I have this thought that the government should preserve the agricultural land and eventually develop them. Unfortunately, as I observe, there are so many agricultural land nowadays that are being invaded by industrial investors either local or international, then suddenly they give too little attention to our agricultural lands and neglect it's beneficial growth. Hopefully, in the near future, there will be more beautiful places like Palawan.

TheJonDiesta said...

THanks there are many agricultural lands in different parts of the country became industrial areas and subdivisions. The bottom line there is we need to preserve the beauty of nature in Palawan and hopefully there will be other places in the Philippines should be discovered as new tourist spots.

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