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Exploring Palawan

Palawan Travel Guide

As nature lovers, we were excited to visit Palawan. This island is the sanctuary of many unique animals. While all other provinces rush towards having high-rise buildings, Palawan established “Bantay Gubat” and “Bantay Dagat” programs that aimed to preserve forest and marine resources. Palawan is also where the pristine beaches of El Nido are located.

To visit as many places as possible, we left our lodge in a hurry. We were excited to see exotic African animals and endemic Palawan animals at the Calauit Game Preserve and Wildlife Sanctuary. Aside from Calauit Island, we wanted to visit other nearby islands and the famous Coron Reef. Ready cameras in hand, we were hoping that we could catch glimpses of the seacow, locally known as “dugong”. It is a mammal endemic to the Philippines with a torpedo-shaped body. At the Coron Reef, we were tempted to snorkel and dive to find the Japanese shipwrecks that were sunk during the Second World War. Well, why not? Well, maybe the next day, since we’ve already spent more than half of the day exploring and taking pictures.

And so, we went back to the lodge, planning a more adventurous tomorrow. That is, after a trip to the subterranean river, we would go snorkeling. The lodge appears to be at the threshold of a forest and it was a novel delight to listen to the background music of birds and other animals that we could never identify. As we walked inside, we were astounded. There were small monkeys all over the place. They also froze at our arrival. But the monkeys recovered faster. They grabbed the plastic bags that contained our food and, like lightning, jumped over the windows and disappeared into the forest. Some paused and perched on tree branches, looked backed at us and chattered wildly. We will never know if they were thanking us or teasing us. Later, the person in-charge of the lodge explained that the monkeys have already studied how humans behave and that they know exactly where we keep our food. We dined on canned goods that night and many of us never missed the food that was stolen. We were too busy inventing dialogues for the monkeys.

The next day, we visited the St. Paul Subterranean River. We were wearing bright orange vests as we tried to stay still as possible, fearing that the boat would capsize if we so much as rock it a little. We also expected everything to be murky dark since we were entering a cave. But we were amazed and surprised at the glittering waters of the underground river. The stalactites and stalagmites formation illuminated the river. We got off the boat and trekked and climbed and slid.

And then we arrived on our last day of the Palawan trip, with still so much to do. There are still so many places to visit, such as the Tabon Caves, known to be the country’s “Cradle of Civilization”. Well, these are also reasons to come back, right?

Next trip will for sure include Tubbataha Reef, which is one of the best diving places in the Philippines.

Palawan has also got some super high standard resorts like the Amanpulo Resort

Related Articles: Palawan Nature

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