||PUERTO PRINCESA PHILIPPINES|
Getting Closer to Paradise
Origin of the name of "Puerto Princesa"
Legend attributes the name Puerto Princesa to the appearance of a princess-like maiden of rare beauty who would roam around the bay at night during certain times of the year. Other authorities contend that name was derived from geographical location of the place as a port-being naturally protected from inclemencies of the weather all year round with sufficient depth to allow ships of all sizes to anchor. It is truly a "Princess if Ports" or in Spanish Puerto Princesa.
Historical records, however, show that the name was given in honor of Princess Eulalia of Spain. She was born in 1864 to the reigning monarch, Queen Isabela II and her consort Dr. Francisco de Asis. But when the princess met an untimely death, the Queen changed the name to Puerto de la Princesa. Eventually, it was reduced to Puerto Princesa as it is known today.
Spanish colonizers founded the settlement on march 4, 1872. It was converted to a city on January 1, 1970 under Republic Act 5906 as amended by Presidential Decree 437 through the effort of then Congressman Ramon V. Mitra. The first city mayor was Feliberto Oliveros, Jr.
Puerto Princesa City, aside from being the seat of public administration is the center of trade, commerce and education of the province.
The city has gained the distinction of being a model city in cleanliness, environmental protection and conservation and local governance in general.
Flora and Fauna
Palawan Island is known as a GAME REFUGE AND HAVEN OF PHILIPPINE WILDLIFE. Of the thousand species of the Philippine wildlife and birds, 232 species of wildlife and 206 species of birds are found in the island.
Puerto Princesa City, one of the largest cities in the country has a land area of 253,982 hectares stretching over 106 kilometers long with its narrowest breadth of 8.5 kilometers at Barangay Bahile.
Puerto Princesa lies in the heart of the long and narrow island province of Palawan. It is approximately 306 nautical miles from Manila, 206 to Panay Island and 250 to Zamboanga. It is 55 minutes by air from Manila via Philippine Airlines or Air Philippines. It takes 18 to 20 hours by the sea from Manila on board WG&A Superferry and Negros Navigation Ships and 18 hours away from Negros Island.
It is bounded on the North by the Municipalities of San Vicente and Roxas. and on the South by the Municipality of Aborlan. Its western side is a coastline of the South China Sea.
The City has a total of 66 barangays of which 35 are urban while 31 rural.
A chain of tall mountains ranges through the entire length of the city, dividing it into two distinct areas, the east cost and the west coast. the eastern side is characterized by thin strandlines bordered by swamplands, following a series of wide flat plains to hilly terrain. The west coast has less to offer, being pinched by craggy foothills and rugged mountains close to the sea. Generally, the terrain ranges from 10 to 10,000 meters above sea level with rugged mountain areas in the interior. Its highest peak is Cleopatra's Needle at 1,605 meters
The city of seldom hit by typhoon. However the best time to travel to any point in the city is during the months of March to May.
The City has two prevailing types of climate. The type that prevails in the west coast has two distinct seasons: six months dry (November to April) and six months wet (May - October) with the heaviest record rainfall in September. The lowest or driest months occur in February. Western barangays (New Panggangan, Marufinas, Cabayugan, Tagabinet, Buenavista, Bahile, Macarascas, Simpocan, Bagong Bayan and Napsan) fall within this type. The type prevailing in the east has a short dry season with varying heavy rainfall months. Dry months have been recorded during months of January to April.
Puerto Princesa has two prevailing winds. The Northeast (NE) monsoon and southwest (SW) monsoon. NE generally sets in October and continues until April. It blows between north and northeast with a tendency toward an easterly direction at the end of the season. It has a velocity ranging from 15 to 25 kilometers per hour at its height and an average of six kilometers per hour. Rain clouds during the NE monsoon practically lose all the moisture before reaching the southwest part of the archipelago. Thus the city and the province as a whole receive no rainfall towards the end of the NE (January to April).
SW or the summer monsoon follows the NE after a transition period of variable winds and calms. It prevails from June to October. It blows most steadily during July to August reaching a maximum velocity of about 35 kilometers per hour. In October or during the close of the of SW monsoon, strong winds occur in the southern part of the city. The southwest winds bring torrential rains but with uneven distribution.
The NE and SW monsoons affect the eastern and western part of the city. When this winds blow, the seas are very rough. The calm months of the year are from April through June on both the eastern and western side of the city.
Puerto Princesa is a melting pot of people with different cultures. This is attributed to the influx of migrants from other Philippine provinces. One of the reasons for the city's high annual growth rate at 6.6 percent. The predominant local tongue is Cuyuno. However, other languages like English and Tagalog, and dialects such as Bicolano, Cebuano, Hilgaynon, Ilocano are widely spoken.
One of the most fascinating hill tribes in the Philippines found in the mountains north of Puerto Princesa City. They are literally a vanishing tribe spread out in eight settlements between the Babuyan and Langogan Rivers. Among their rituals is sagda which the Babailan perform in thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest or to drive away or appease the evil spirits. It is also performed to cure the sick. The rhythm of the tarek, the ritual dance depends on the mood of the dancers. Some are imitative of their occupation such as hunting wild boar. They use strips of unique palm leaves called palaspas. The most colorful among the hill-tribes their womenfolk are fond of wearing flowers on their hair, beads for necklace and bracelets and squirrels tail on their back.
Considered the original race of the people inhabiting the province. They are most cultured of the hill tribes because they have an alphabet of their own. A ceremonial dance of the Tgbanuas is the Pagdiwata, religious rite perform either for thanksgiving or for healing the sick. This is adopted by the Bayanihan Dance troupe of the Philippine Women University, Manila. For stage performances and had been popularized not only here in the Philippines but also abroad.
Among the original inhabitants of Palawan Island, the Cuyonons are the most developed group. They possess a rich legacy of folklores and traditions. Their music, songs and dances are refined and show influence of their western conquistadores.
How to Get There
Philippine Airlines flies from Manila to Puerto Princesa daily in 1 hour and 10 minutes. From here you can take a boat to Tubbataha Reefs.