Another check off my bucket list and my photo escapade continues... with my new body, Fujifilm X-T1 and only 18-55mm kit lens, this time I flew to Palawan and explore Puerto Princesa.
Puerto Princesa City is a tropical paradise with a bustling urban center perfect for business with leisure trips. Lush rainforests and white sand beaches are simply hours away from the city proper, where a banking and commercial boom has made life easier for workaholics who can never run away from the office.
The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP) is a must-see for first time visitors and tourists in Palawan and it is one of the most important protected areas of the Philippines. The longest navigable underground river and reputedly the most beautiful subterranean river in the world features a spectacular limestone or karst landscape with one of the most complex cave systems. It contains an 8.2 km long underground river that flow directly to the sea. The lower half of the river is brackish and is affected by the ocean’s tide. An underground river directly flowing into the sea, and the associated tidal influence, makes it a significant natural phenomenon. The discovery of at least 11 minerals, crystal and egg shape rock formations, and a 20 million year old Miocene age serenia fossil in the cave further add to its scientific value. The Puerto Princesa Underground River is declared as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.
Just a few minutes north of the city proper, hop onto a boat and go island hopping at Honda Bay located in the mid-eastern coast of the city. Take your pick from dozens of white sand beaches. Each island at Honda Bay offers different thrills. Pandan Island or Isla Pandan is a great sailing destination. The water is so calm, and perfect for swimming and sun bathing. Snake Island has a sandbar that slithers on the surface of the sea, much like the critter that bears its name. It is best for snorkeling, swimming or simply basking in the sand. It can be reached in an hour by pumpboat. Luli Island is a short term for Filipino word lulubog - lilitaw, a small island visible at ebb tide and disappears under water during high tide. this island is popular for its fine white sand and clear water teems with star fish.
Nipa Hut outside the Cave
Plaza Cuartel is a good spot to take a rest and just enjoy the beauty of nature by looking out to the clear blue sea of Palawan. Aside from getting close to nature, the place also has a lot of tales to tell. Plaza Cuartel has a colorful history because of the events that happened here during the World War II.
The plaza has a bronze marker that contains the name of eleven prisoners of war (POW) who managed to survive the horrible massacre that happened in this place. The bronze marker is placed above the area where main underground bunkers existed. These bunkers became the cage for the unfortunate prisoners.
"In this place which was a military fort of World War II, the burning of more or less 150 American POW was done by Japanese soldiers on December 14, 1944. Some managed to survive by swimming their way out from the sea to Iwahig. The remains of those who died were brought and buried in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Missouri, United States, 1952."
This tragic event happened when the World War II was about to end. The Plaza Cuartel was a garrison of Spaniards, overtook by Americans and then by Japanese. When the Japanese soldiers realized that they were losing the war, put all its prisoners in the dungeon, poured out drums of petroleum over them and lit them up alive. The eleven survivors who escaped narrated the story.
Colorful Peacock at Baker's Hill