I recently spent five blissful days in Puerto Princesa, a city located in the western provincial island of Palawan. Everything went on smoothly – no delayed flights (thank heavens, Cebu Pac!) and no heavy rains when we landed in Puerto Princesa unlike in Manila on the day we left.
It was my first time there and although they say El Nido and Coron are much better cities in Palawan, I have to say Puerto Princesa has its own fair share of adventures as well. Comparing it to Boracay, I find Puerto Princesa much peaceful and for nature-lovers.
Anyway, if you are also a first timer seeking for a different kind of experience, here are my top 5 things to do in Puerto Princesa!
Top 5 Things To Do in Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Eat exotic food!!!
Ohmyeffinduck!!! I actually ate wood worms, or as locals call it Tamilok! It is everything a worm would feel and look like – soft, slimy and transparent. But it is actually a mollusk found inside rotting mangroves or dead woods. The taste? Well it is just like oyster! The key in eating this Palawan delicacy is to just let it slide on your throat and NOT to chew it. That, and a good ‘ol beer to drown it out. I also tried their famous crocodile meat. That dish I actually enjoyed cos it was done sisig style. Hmm crispy and yummy! Try both of these exotic foods at Kinabuchs Grill and Bar.
Another first for me was spelunking! Aside from the Underground River, there is also another cave worth exploring in Puerto Princesa, sans the boat. We went caving in Ugong Rock and this time we can actually touch the ground, walk for miles uphill and downhill, and do some aerobics moves to fit ourselves in the tiny openings in some parts of the cave.
HA! Whatta experience! Dito magkakaalaman kung sino ang fit at sexy! HAHA kidding. When you’re already on top you might probably be tired to climb down so try ziplining your way back to the ground. I recommend “superman” instead of the sitting position when you try the zipline cos it is more thrilling that way. A bonus sight when we were there? We saw someone proposed to his girlfriend and surprised her just as she landed via the zipline. Suuhweet!
Explore the Underground River
A trip to Puerto Princesa is not complete without experiencing the famous Underground River, tagged as one of the new Seven Wonders of Nature. Prior to this trip, I honestly was not aware what made it so special to defeat other entries from around the world. Not that I do not support our very own, but I just want a justification of some sort.
Well good thing kuya tour guide came prepared and showed us a video clip and “educated” us before arriving at the destination. After watching that, I was more excited to see it for myself. Truly, it was a different world inside!
And I could just imagine the number of years – it took millions – before it was formed the way it is now. There are several interesting stalactites and stalagmites formation found inside. We saw shapes of various vegetables and fruits, the holy family, woman’s curve, etc. Ahhh, nature could really amaze us at times!
It goes without saying that island-hopping and snorkeling are a MUST at Puerto Princesa! We went to two islands – Starfish Island and Pandan Island. Both have white sands and clear water but the fish and corals are more diverse and colorful at Pandan Island. In the video we shot, you can see that we found NEMO! Do not forget to bring your own snorkeling gears and underwater camera or case. But fret not if you forgot those things cos they are available for rent near the port.
Commune with nature and its inhabitants
We visited the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center aka “Crocodile Farm” and in there we were able to see all sizes of crocodiles! My first impression with crocs? I find them lazy cos they were not moving that much the whole time we were there. Haha! I guess I want to see more action, but then again we were told that they were only fed twice a week. I got the chance to carry a real crocodile with my bare hands!
Of course the mouth was taped but still, I had all these wild imaginations running through my head, like what if the tape breaks and so on! We also saw a bearcat which at first I thought was super cute but then I touched its hair, and all I can say is “kulang sa conditioner si koya!”
Yeah, I am really particular with the softness of animal hair, hahaha! Ohh and monkeys are left wandering around the island, so be careful not to flash any shiny plastics cos they are attracted to them and they will really grab it from you!