The Walks of Kulot


I WOK’d in PALAWAN.
September 21, 2009, 11:04 am
Filed under: WOK in LUZON | Tags: , , , , ,

I’ve always thought that Palawan is a part of Mindanao, not until I’ve stepped foot in Puerto Princesa (the capital city of Palawan) that I knew it is actually an island in Luzon. Wow! I passed Philippine Geography without even knowing that, or maybe I was just inattentive in class then. Another thing I know about Palawan (which is according to my Sibika teacher in grade school) is that it looks like a leg of a dead dog. Because according to him when you look at the map of the Philippines it resembles a dead dog lying sideways and one of the dog’s leg (lower left of the map) is Palawan. I just realized now, what a weird visualization it was. Anyway, enough of the dead dog. Palawan is one of the most sought after tourist destinations in the Philippines because of its untapped natural attractions and virgin biodiversity. So together with my ever adventurous HTG-mates, we went and conquered what is known to be the “Last Frontier” in central Philippines.

Puerto Princesa City: A Clean City

Puerto Princesa City: A Clean City

Our jump-off point is the city of Puerto Princesa. But we weren’t able to discover much of the place because we arrived around 6 pm and we we’re off to another destination the next day. But one thing I observed about the place is that it is litter-free – green plastic waste bins etched with PP’s peacock emblem are strategically placed on side streets one after the another, maybe a subtle way of constantly reminding city dwellers to dispose their trash properly.

Pit stop@Roxas City, Palawan

Pit stop@Roxas City, Palawan

So, the next day we woke-up early to catch the first trip going to the Taytay Port. It was grueling 5-hour shuttle ride from cemented to rough and rocky zigzag roads. It surely made our butts hurt. If there’s one thing I look forward in roadtrips like this, is the stop-over. I enjoy pit stops in towns in an unfamiliar place because I get the chance to observe the place, the people and how simple their lives are. During our trip, we passed by a small town near Roxas City in Palawan and they we’re celebrating the Kasoy (cashew) Festival. I learned that Kasoy is one of Palawan’s main harvests.

Taytay at Dusk (Dapithapon sa Taytay)

Taytay at Dusk (Dapithapon sa Taytay)

Fuerza de Santa Isabel (Taytay Fort)

Fuerza de Santa Isabel (Taytay Fort)

After almost 5 hours inside the van, we finally reached Taytay Port. Taytay is the third town from Puerto Princesa city and is known to be the capital of the Province of Calamianes (entire Palawan) during the Spanish colonization. Small ferry boats and other marine vessels dock here to transport goods from nearby islets. One remarkable landmark I saw is the Taytay Fort, similar to Manila’s Fort Santiago. The Taytay Fort, otherwise known as the Fuerza de Santa Isabel was built during the Spanish era in honor of Queen Isabela II. The fort served as defense fortress and military station during that time.

@ Debangan

@ Debangan

Jump Shot. Photo taken c/o Kuya Jason.

Jump Shot. Photo taken c/o Kuya Jason.

The adventure continues as we haven’t reached our destination yet. We are about to go to Debangan, a 2-hour boat ride from Taytay Port. We were lucky because one of our HTG-mate, Alex offered their humble abode in the island – free accommodation and food for poor travelers like us. Our stay in Debangan was really unforgettable. We would usually ride the bangka (small boat) to go to a Nipa Hut in the middle of the ocean and spend the rest of the morning swimming, paddling and just enjoying the sea. Here are some of the shots I’ve taken at Debangan – kids, sea and sunset.

Following the Leader

Following the Leader

Sun Dance

Sun Dance

Batang Lato (Lato=Seaweed)

Batang Lato (Lato=Seaweed)

Afternoon Playtime

Afternoon Playtime

Sa Dating Tagpuan

Sa Dating Tagpuan

As the Sun Melts

As the Sun Melts

Indigo Sunset

Indigo Sunset

During our last night at Debangan we had a Bonfire Night over graham crackers and melted marshmallows. We were like campers as we also opted to stay inside our trusty Coleman tent c/o one of my HTG-mate Chey.

Bonfire Night

Bonfire Night

Our next destination is El Nido. From Taytay Port, we rented a van going to El Nido town. It was approximately a 2-hour ride going there. El Nido does ring a bell because it has always been synonymous to Palawan. A place known for its majestic rock formations, soaring high cliffs, white sand beaches, and clear pool-like lagoons. It’s no wonder why El Nido was hailed as UNESCO’s Protected Heritage Site. Everything is just perfect, it’s like everything has been properly placed – the clear blue waters amidst towering rock formations – a perfect backdrop for a magical sunset. Fishing is not allowed in El Nido, reason why it’s the best place for diving and snorkeling because you’ll have a face-to-face encounter with the fishes, just don’t forget to bring a bunch of bread with you.

El Nido town

El Nido town: This photo was taken outside our resort which is just across the beach.

Nemo! Fish feeding is allowed in El Nido

Nemo! Fish feeding is allowed in El Nido

• FOOTPRINTS (EL NIDO)

Small Lagoon@El Nido

Small Lagoon@El Nido

Small Lagoon

A pool-like lagoon of crystal clear and cold water. The lagoon is enclosed by towering rocks and cliffs. Swim your way going to the cave but beware of floating jellyfish!

Matinloc Island

Matinloc Island

Matinloc Island

I hope the photo is correct, but as far as I can remember this is the Matinloc Island according to our guide. The sand here is the finest white sand I have ever seen.

Snake Island

Snake Island

My HTG-mates @ Snake Island

My HTG-mates @ Snake Island

Vigan Island also known as the Snake Island

Characterized by its S-shaped sandbar.

• FAVORITES

Palawan Masks

Palawan Masks

These tribal masks are all over the place in Palawan. Price ranges from P300 (big) to P50 (small). Though these masks are also available in Souvenir shops in Manila, the prices of these masks are way cheaper if you buy it there. The masks which comes in different designs are intricately hand crafted by Indigenous tribes in Palawan.  I think this is a good idea for a pasalubong or simply a remembrance from your trip.

WOK

From Puerto Princesa to El Nido and from El Nido back to Puerto Princesa. I realized that we almost travelled the whole stretch of Palawan. I didn’t mind if my butt hurts because seeing the magnificence of the islands and being there as everything happens suffices. For sure there is more to see than these places we’ve been too. But for now, I would say that Palawan ranks the first in my list. Next time, I hope to visit Coron and if I will be back in Puerto Princesa; I want to visit the Subterranean River. Till then Palawan.

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8 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Im so impressed. galing mo. Your mommy lola and lolo rey would have been so proud of you. Keep up the good work.

Comment by Raul Pangiinan

I am so proud, Martin! You are so my idol talaga.=]

Comment by Louie Gotinga

Hi Louie! Thank you for the kind words..:)

Comment by walksofkulot

wow!!! napublish na to?? galing!!! 🙂
tara coron next year?!

Comment by terrie

Terrie, hindi pa. Sa Jan 2010 pa daw, sa DESTINATION PALAWAN. Tara! Coron naman. 🙂

Comment by walksofkulot

oo! gusto ko mag coron!! sabihan mo kami pag na-publish na!

Comment by terrie

Hi WOK! These are great photos (and article) on Palawan! Really liked the Roxas pitstop pic.
Anyway, we are interested to publish this blog entry in a monthly travel magazine that promotes Palawan. Please send me your email address so I can send you a more detailed letter. Thanks!

Comment by Marge

Hi Ms. Marge! Thank you very much that you liked this post. And I am really overwhelmed that you are also planning to publish this article. Wow! that would be a great milestone for WOK.
Again, thank you very much.

Comment by walksofkulot




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