Wednesday, March 30, 2011

48 Hours in Puerto Princesa, Palawan - Day 1

Palawan has steadily grown into a top Asian destination for beach lovers and eco-adventurists. With attractions Like El Nido, Honda Bay, and the Subterranean River National Park, it’s no wonder that this beautiful region is also known as the world’s last natural frontier.

I had a chance to visit Puerto Princesa, Palawan’s capital city one summer but only had two days to explore as many attractions as possible. Upon recommendation of some locals I met at RAQ’s pension, I was able to squeeze in almost every activity for 48 hours to enjoy my stay.


Iwahig Penal Colony

Hired a trycicle and headed to Iwahig Penal Colony. A giant “Welcome to Iwahig Prison & Penal Farm” sign tells you have arrived in a place where prisoners can walk freely – no bars involved. They were free prisoners from murderers, to rapists, to thieves. It was something different to see for yourselves. Visit the colonial style manor and the souvenir store – where you can buy the best and cheapest souvenirs in Palawan. And the best of it all, it was run by…yes only prisoners. Not a guard in sight.

Baker’s Hill

For lunch, it’s Baker’s Hill, beautifully located on a hilltop of Millionaire’s row and offers a jaw-dropping view of Puerto Princesa and Honda Bay. This kid-friendly establishment not only has yummy pastries for sale but also boasts a mini-zoo, playground, a stunning garden, a number of statues of cartoon characters for your amusement.

Crocodile Farm

Going back to Puerto Princesa, we dropped by the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and conservation Center – also known as Palawan Crocodile Park. From the information I gathered, this is where they cultivate and hatch crocodiles and some other wild endangered animals. I didn’t bother going inside the park since it’s no different from Davao Crocodile Park.

Mitra’s Farm

The farm is owned by the political Mitra family, one of whom is Ramon Mitra, Jr. The area is open to the public but the main house is kept closed. One will have a scenic view of outlying islands including Dos Palmas.

Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral

This historic cathedral used to be a small church in the 1800s.

Plaza Cuartel

Dropped by Plaza Cuartel, just opposite the Immaculate Conception Cathedral. This is the site for Palawan Massacre in 1944.

Palawan Provincial Capitol and Puerto Princesa City Hall

Never to be missed in my itinerary is the visit to the Capitol or City Hall for my photo opt. I even saw Mayor Hagedorn in my visit in Puerto Princesa City Hall.


Lastly, the day’s tour was concluded by visiting Puerto Princesa Baywalk - developed seafront strip in the city providing a scenic place to view the sunset just located beside the seaport in downtown Puerto Princesa.


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