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PALAWAN

By James Bailey,2014-08-11 19:03
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PALAWAN

PALAWAN

General Description

    Palawan, a narrow archipelago of more than 1,780 islands and islets on the western border of the Philippines, is a vast reserve of natural beauty and zoological wonders, a stunning haven of flora and fauna. As far back as the 9th century, Chinese traders already had a fitting name for it Pa-lao-yu, meaning "land of beautiful, safe harbor."

    A mountainous ridge, covered with incredibly lush forests and marked with astounding limestone mounds and peaks, largely forms this kris-shaped island province bounded by the South China Sea on the west and the Sulu Sea on the east. The largest island in the Philippine archipelago, it has a total land area of nearly 1.5 million hectares with an irregular 2,000 kilometer-long coastline notched by numerous bays and coves fringed by many spectacular, almost mystifying rock and limestone formations.

    The Palawan archipelago is divided into three groups: the Calamian Group of Islands of Busuanga, Culion, Calauit, and Coron in the north; the main island Palawan with Puerto Princesa, the provincial capital, in the center; and the islands of Balabac and Bugsuk in the south. These islands have something in common: majestic mountains with their lush vegetation; high limestone cliffs covered by rock-clinging plants and trees; storied lagoons, lakes and bays with transparent, emerald waters hiding ancient shipwrecks; small islands and, deserted islets ringed by coral reefs; and spectacular sea gardens teeming with marine life, mangroves swamps and forests; pristine white sand beaches; and, thickly forested and mountainous landscapes that are still unexplored and less visited with sceneries that are stunningly beautiful and almost mystical and mysterious.

    More than just a vast reserve of natural beauty and zoological wonders, Palawan is also the home of various ethnic groups whose codes, quaint customs, morals and beliefs date back to a thousand years. They live in remote villages in the mountain and coastal areas but they are part of the melting pot that the island province has become with the growing influx of migrant settlers from various parts of the Philippines and other countries.

    Apart from Pa-lao-yu that the ancient Chinese traders called Palawan, the island province is called by other names, too. Anthropologists and archaeologists call Palawan "The Cradle of Philippine Civilization" and modern-day naturalists and ecologists call the province "The Last Ecological Frontier of the Philippines" because of its unique ecological balance preserved amidst rapid changes and economic growth. The province boasts of two World Heritage Sites that are also listed by The ASEAN Heritage Parks Programme as among ASEAN's Greatest Parks.

    Today, sustainable development of Palawan's terrestrial and marine resources serves as the framework and main strategy of the province's developmental efforts.

    With the discovery of huge deposits of natural gas in western Palawan, the province has now become a pivotal force in the national economy. As the single biggest investment in the history of the country's economy, the CamagoMalampaya Deep Water Gas-to-Power Projects brings Palawan to the forefront as the first economic frontier of the Philippines.

    With its vast natural beauty, amazing zoological wonders, Palawan is, indeed, a tourism destination with distinction.

How to get there

By Air

    Palawan is accessible within an hour's flight from Manila to Puerto Princesa City or through a 20-hour trip by sea voyage.

    Philippine Airlines (PAL), Cebu Pacific, Sea Air, Asian Spirit and Air Philippines service the province of Palawan. Chartered flights are also available to Puerto Princesa City, where connecting trips to nearby tourist sites can be arranged. Regular and charter flights to other points in Northern Palawan are available through Island Trans-Voyager, Pacific Air, Asian Spirit, and Seair.

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    PHILIPPINE TRAVEL SALES MANUAL 165

For the latest flight schedules, visit the website or contact the telephone numbers of the airlines listed below.

AIR PHILIPPINES

    420 Rizal Avenue, Puerto Princesa City

    Tel. No. (63-48) 433-8045/434-4191

    Email reservations@airphilippines.com.ph

    Website www.airphils.com

    Routes from/to Palawan: Manila; Cebu

CEBU PACIFIC

    East Asia Ticketing Service Inc., Puerto Princesa Airport, Rizal Ave. Ext. Tel. No. (63-48) 434-5872

    Email reservations@cebupacificair.com

    Website www.cebupacificair.com

    Routes from/to Palawan: Cebu

PHILIPPINE AIRLINES

    Puerto Princesa Airport, Bangkaw, Puerto Princesa

    Tel. No. (63-48) 433-4565/2561

    Email webmgr@pal.com.ph

    Website www.phiIippineairlines.com

    Routes from/to Palawan: Manila

SOUTH EAST ASIAN AIRLINES (SEAIR)

    Ticketing Office, Floral Travel, 399 Rizal Ave. Ext., Puerto Princesa City Tel. No. (63-48) 433-2540

    Email reservations@flyseair.com

    Website www.flyseaircom

    Routes from/to Palawan: El Nido; Busuanga

By Sea

    WG&A Shipping Company plies the Manila-Palawan route on weekends.

For the latest schedules, visit the website or contact the telephone numbers of the shipping line listed below.

WG&A SUPERFERRY

    #42 Rizal Ave. cor. Sandoval St., Puerto Princesa City

    Tel. No. (63-48) 434-5736

    Fax No. (63-48) 433-2511

    Website www.superferry.com

    Routes from/to Palawan: Manila; Coron

Tourist Attractions

AGUTAYA FORT / CHURCH OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST

    Agutaya, Palawan

Completed in 1784, the church and fortress named after St. John the Baptist was built by the Augustinian Recollects as

    a defense against invasion. Named as Baluarte de San Juan Bautista, it was constructed with the help of the Agutaynons

    and the Encomiendero Don Antonio de Rojas, who laid out the building's plan. The church was fortified with cannons and

    mortar weapons. During World War 11, the church fortress became an evacuation and refuge center for the people of

    Agutaya.

    CAGAYANCILLO PORT

    Cagayancillo

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    PHILIPPINE TRAVEL SALES MANUAL 166

    It was built on the coast atop the small mountain and is made of sea rocks mixed with lime. Within this old fort is the old church, ground force and safety place of the residents during pirate attacks.

CALAUIT GAME PRESERVE & WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

    Busuanga

    3,700 hectares was designated as a unique game reserve and wildlife sanctuary of exotic African animals and the endangered endemic fauna of Palawan. The sanctuary was established on August 31, 1976 by Presidential Decree No. 1578 in response to the appeal of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature to help save African wildlife, after former President Ferdinand Marcos attended a conference in Kenya.

Entrance fee Adult Children

    Local Tourist P 250.00 P 100.00

    Foreign Tourist P 350.00 P 250.00

    Government P 150.00

    Official/Employee

    Senior Citizen Free

    Filming - Local P 5,000.00

    - Foreign P 10,000.00

    Accommodations P 200.00/head

    Camping Site P 350.00 per group

    (max of 7 pax)

    Truck Service P1,000.00

    (Pick-up) (maximum of 20 pax)

CUYO PORT

    Cuyo, Palawan

    Built during the early Spanish period to protect the people from their enemies, it is considered as one of the most ancient and unique forts in the Philippines. Within its walls are the church, the convent and the Adoration chapel. Finished in 1680, the fort is a historical naval structure that was built during the early part of the Spanish colonial period. Three forts

    were constructed as protection against the attacks of Moros which were very prevalent during the 15th 18th century.

    Cuyo became the second capital of Palawan from 1873 to 1903.

EL NIDO MARINE RESERVE

    Miniloc Island, El Nido

    Occupying an area of 98,000 hectares, this popular nature spot boasts of diverse ecosystems such as rainforest mangroves, white sand beaches, coral reefs and limestone cliffs. Blessed with extraordinary natural scenery, El Nido is the sanctuary of various forms of wildlife. Countless varieties of fish are also found here. Manta rays are a common sight; when in season, divers may spot the sea cow, known locally as dugong, one of the world's rarest marine mammals.

    Accommodation facilities are available at El Nido Resorts in Miniloc and Lagen Island. El Nido is noted for its hidden lagoons, palm forests, orchids and offshore cruise points. Apart from the high-end accommodations, there are a number of budget accommodations in the town proper.

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    PHILIPPINE TRAVEL SALES MANUAL 167

HONDABAY

    Sta. Lourdes Tagbanua, Puerto Princesa City

    The bay consists of several islets with shallow reefs bordering its beaches which have become favorite sites for swimming, snorkeling and diving. These islets, namely Cannon (Cowrie) Island, Bat Island, Lu-li Island (derived from the word lulubog-lilitaw, meaning floating and sinking) are visible only during low tide. Meara Marina, which is known for its fine white sand and clear water, teems with starfish and many varieties of marine life.

    Snake Island, Pandan Island and Senorita Island are some of the smaller islands in the area.

Tour Cost : P900.00 per person

    Boat Fare : P800.00 max of 6 pax

    Snake Island

    Entrance Fee : free

    Cottage Rentals : free

    Pandan Island

    Entrance Fee : P 30.00

    Cottage Rentals : P 100.00

    Starfish Island

    Entrance Fee : P 45.00

    Cottage Rentals : P 60.00

IWAHIG PRISON AND PENAL FARM

    Puerto Princesa City

    The colony was established by the Americans in 1904 to supply food to other prisons all over the country. It encompasses a 37-hectare farm planted with coconut trees, rice and other crops cultivated by the prisoners and their families. lwahig is operated like a farm, rather than a prison, where prisoners toil their farms unguarded. They are allowed to earn an income by working in the many shops that produce various handicrafts derived from discarded wood.

MELVILLE LIGHTHOUSE

    Balabac

    More than 100 years old, the lighthouse is still functional and serves as guide for international vessels passing through the Balabac Strait.

PALAWAN WILDLIFE RESCUE AND CONSERVATION CENTER

    (formerly Crocodile Farm Institute)

    Brgy. lrawan, Puerto Princesa City

    Mobile No. (0921) 739-9147

    The center aims to preserve and undertake research studies on endangered species of crocodiles. One of the structures is a hospital for sick and disabled crocodiles. The facility also formulates the various uses of raw materials derived from the crocodile species. It also maintains a Mini Zoo featuring some of Palawan's endemic animals. It is a joint project of the Japanese and Philippine Governments under the supervision and management of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau. Entrance Fee: P 40.00

PLAZA CUARTEL

    Puerto Princesa City