Monday, July 30, 2007

4th Day @ Palawan

We're heading to Dos palmas.. I'm not scarred now coz as the tourist guide told us Dos palmas have a strict security now. Unlike before it's really open and nobody imagine it would happened since puerto princesa is a quiet city. For me quiet and Clean city. Would you imagine that you will pay penalty for just a candy wrapper? first offense 200, 2nd offense 500 then next offense JAIL for 2months... and also for smoking they strictly implemented no smoking area. anyway going back to dos palmas regarding their security if there's a boat which is not registered to them they gonna give you warning. In case you did not listen to them and do what they instructed you they gonna shoot you right away... so I'm not scarred now.. :D

Sunday, July 29, 2007

3rd Day @ Palawan

We're late!!! The receptionist told us that 730 is the call time but then around 710 the shuttle is
waiting for us. Well I just grab the necessary things without thinking what's else to bring but of course MY CAMERA!!!

Sta. Lourdes is the baranggay where the honda bay port is. Our tourist guide choose the larger boat in case for any changes in the weather. Which is more safe for us!!! and MORE IN FAVOR!!! our first drop off "pandan island" there you can see a small community. Less fortunate but then better that the families i saw in Mt. pinatubo.

Would you imagine that island was sold by someone then in a month or 2 no tourist are allowed
to stop by here because of the construction. same as the Luli Island. before it's part of the island hopping but then it was sold to a korean who married a filipina then decided to build a resort.

Starfish island is also sold by the owner of Dos palmas. They gonna built a first class hotel there so next month no tourist is allowed to drop by... oh well.. 19 islands is part of honda bay maybe
after how many years all islands are exclusive to the hotel guest...

By the way in snake island i really enjoyed feeding the FISHES!!! There are school of fish like the one we saw in movie Nemo . The one telling nemo the direction going to sydney... It's really exactly the same I've seen in the movie. When one goes left the school of fish goes left.. I can't help it but i just shout ( of course I took of my goggles ) then pointed Pie what I just saw.

I'm holding 3 monays then patiently waited for the hungry fish but then group of fish came in and started to byte the bread bit by bit.. But then I got scarred cost even a big fish like the size
of tilapia what my officemate is eating at our office. It's different experience from the snorkeling I did in Batangas or Boracay. Just so fantastic. and would love to do it again my my kids.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

2nd Day at Palawan

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

We traveled for about 3 hours from downtown Puerto Princesa City. (Sabang is still in Puerto Princesa). The paved road only lasts for about 30 mins and the rest is dirt/bumpy/rough and winding roads: a back-breaking yet immensely enjoyable trip. Package tours range from P1,200 to P1,500/pax depending on which agency you book. This already includes ride to Sabang, lunch, boat and entrance fees. If you wish to arrange for your own tour, the boat is rented for P600 ( maximum of 6 person ), entrance is P150 per head, rented van costs P3000. You provide for your own lunch. Restaurants at Sabang is limited, not much choices. Aside from the boat ride, another way to reach the underground river is by "monkey trail".

When we arrived at the entrance of underground you can smell the "poop" of the bats...then later on we got immune with the smell... We waited for almost 30 mins before our turn. In each boat only 10 passengers are allowed. The one sitting in front of the boat will hold the light. The "bangkero" will instruct you where to point the light. It's a bit creepy inside... What will happen when the battery is gone??? Any accident might happened. What if there's something unusual under your boat like a big whale or something like the character in Ice age 2?

Too childish idea but we'll never know. I haven't heard someone tried to dive inside that river and check what's under it. Before going in the cave we saw a group of fish but what else under the when your inside the cave???

Deep within the limestone and marble peaks of Mt. St. Paul flows the Underground River, one of the Palawan's most famous spots. Outside the river's mouth is a beautiful lagoon with crystal clear waters that teem with fish. Running eight kilometers inland, St. Paul's Underground river is easily navigable for at least four kilometers. Quietly, the banca pushed through the dark caverns. We saw but a single beam of light, heard nothing but the rowing of our boatman, in unison with the calm flow of waters. Occasionally, the boatman would motion the light bearer to highlight a particular mineral formation. Every turn and bend reveal huge stalactites, delicately structured columns, irregular caverns, and huge awesome chambers merging at the water's surface and reflecting colors from yellow to reddish brown. Dripstones glittered with amazing rainbow colors, caused by the impurities that created what seemed like a perfect work of art even in the dark. Esitamated to be 15 to 20 million years old.

Friday, July 27, 2007

6th Anniversary @ Palawan

As usual late ang cebu pacific.. we arrived at puerto princesa around 945am. Then we saw our name written in a bond paper then sakay sa shuttle and the driver dropped us in front of the hotel. The room is nice and big and with “y-py” ( as stated in the email for our hotel reservation ). Then we rested for a while and get ready for our lunch. We ate at ka Lui restaurant. It’s a native restaurant made out of bamboo. We didn’t know that slippers are not allowed…

We ordered “Ka Lui Special” — Blue marlin with coconut cream, sizzling tuna, shrimp, talong ( deep fried coated with flour and with tiny bits of squids ) and with fruits placed sa “bao” ng buko. After our sumptous lunch we get back to our hotel and waiting for our scheduled city

City Tour
Stop #1: Palawan Museum

At around 1pm we got a call from the receptionist telling that the tourist guide is now waiting for us for our City Tour. We went to Palawan Museum.

An institution that showcases the history, culture, music, art and crafts of Palawan. Its exhibits shows the archeological, ethnological, collections, such as jars and porcelains, hunting and trapping tools used by the early ancestors, musical instrumental and brassware, some artifacts from Tabon Caves. We're in a group four from camp crame ( as I can remember they are lieutenant ). Anyway got no time to shoot since we're in a group kakahiyang magpahuli.

Stop #2: Iwahig Penal Prison

The Iwahig penal colony is a low security work farm. Over a thousand prisoners live and work around a central village square. Iwahig is a very different concept in penile confinement from the traditional prison system in most places. This colony has no major walls or barriers to keep prisoners in. The main security precaution was gathering all prisoners together in the village square three times a day for head counts. The small size and remoteness of the island of Palawan is the primary factor which discourages escape. Transportation off the island is almost impossible for a prisoner to arrange on his own and fleeing to the remote mountains of Palawan would mean almost certain death from malaria. For these reasons, escape attempts were rare at Iwahig. A factor which encourages prisoners to stay are the living conditions. They are every bit as nice or nicer than any other remote village we visited in the Philippines. Prisoners are even welcome to bring their wives and children to share their incarceration. If it weren't for the guards with shotguns walking around, we would not have known this was a prison.

The functionality of Iwahig seemed communistic in design. All the labors of the prisoners went to support the institution. Through farming and export of handmade crafts, the colony is financially self-supporting. Prisoners also make craft items on their own time and sell them to purchase items from the colony store.

The store was small with half the stock devoted to living essentials for the inmates and the other half hand-crafted goods for sale to tourists. Everything from woven plastic hats to some of the finest crafted hardwood items were on display. Camagong is the most sought after of the wood crafts. We later learned that deforestation has made the camagong a rarity. Its export and import have been limited by the government in order to ensure its survival. This wood is very dense and a dark brown, almost black in color. Boxes, canes, and pointers were fashioned out of camagong and inlaid with mother of pearl.

Stop #3: Crocodile Farm

Stop #4: Baker's Hill

I thought Baker's Hill would be an old-fashioned hut where the smell of wood-fired, oven-baked Palawan pastries would be wafting through the air the entire day. After all, everything in Palawan that I had seen so far has been "authentic" . To my surprise when we arrived at a modern cake-colored house with figurines of Marilyn Monroe, dinosaurs, Snow White & the Seven Dwarves and countless slides and swings littering the garden.