|PALAWAN ISLAND, PHILIPPINES
Calauit Game Preserve & Wildlife Sanctuary.
It is a unique game reserve and wildlife sanctuary of exotic African animals and endangered endemic animals of Palawan.
Established on August 31,1976 by virtue of Presidential Decree No.1578, this was initiated in response to the appeal of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature to help save African wildlife when former President Ferdinand Marcos attended the 3rd world Conference in Kenya. By virtue of RA 7611 (SEP), administrative jurisdiction of DENR was given to the local government of Palawan, effective December 31,1993. Management of the area is the responsibility of the PCSDO (Palawan Council of Sustainable Development Office). It is located in Calauit Island, Busuanga, Palawan.
Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center (formerly Crocodile Farming Institute).
It aims to preserve and conduct further research studies on endangered species of crocodiles. One of the structures is a ""hospital"" for sick and disabled crocodiles. It also intends to make good use of the raw materials derived from crocodile skin. The place also maintains a mini-zoo featuring some of Palawan's endemic animals, under the supervision and management of DENR-PAWB. Visiting hours are from 1 :30 to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday and 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 nn, and 1 :00 to 5:00 p.m. Saturdays. Feeding time is every Monday and Thursday afternoon.
It is located in National Road, Barangay Irawan, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, 30-40 minutes’ travel from the city proper. One can take a tricycle and get off at Barangay Irawan where the crocodile farm is located. A jeepney could be hired to get to the place.
It is a marine sanctuary located in the Middle Central Sulu Sea, 98 nautical miles southeast of Puerto Princesa City. Declared a World Natural Heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on December 1993, it is under protective management by the Department of National Defense (DND). It is under technical supervision by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) & the Department of Environment & Natural Resources (DENR).
It is located in Cagayancillo town, Palawan. Trips to Tubbattaha from mid-March to mid-June are all vessel-based and require planning for a minimum of six weeks prior to departure. To reach the place, take a 70-minute flight from Manila to Puerto Princesa City. From the airport, a shuttle bus takes you to the dive boat. Boat ride from Puerto Princesa City takes approximately 12 hours.
Coron Reefs, Coron Bay, Busuanga.
Seven enchanting lakes surrounded by craggy limestone cliffs attract hundreds of nature lovers to Coron Reefs in Northern Palawan, near the town of Coron.
Busuanga Island, whose main town is Coron, is the jump-off point for numerous dive operators. The principal dive sites are 12 WWII Japanese shipwrecks sunk on September 24, 1944 by US Navy action. They range in depth from the surface to 40M. This large variety offers exciting wreck exploration for enthusiasts, from novice divers and snorkelers and recreational divers to experienced TEC divers. Dive operators offer PADI dive courses ranging from Discover Scuba to Assistant Instructor, Technical and Enriched Air Diving, as well as other specialty courses. Dive operators offer day diving, snorkeling trips, and overnight dive safaris. Live-aboard and charter boats also offer diving in the area.
El Nido Marine Reserve.
Occupying an area of 96,000 hectares, this popular nature spot boasts of diverse ecosystems such as rainforest, mangroves, white sand beaches, coral reefs, and limestone cliffs. It is now one of the country's premier tourist destinations. Blessed with extraordinary natural scenery, El Nido is, the sanctuary of various forms of wildlife. Countless varieties of fish are also found here. Manta rays are a common sight; when in season, divers may see one of the world's rarest marine mammal, the sea cow, known locally as ""dugong.""
Accommodations are available at El Nido Resorts on the Miniloc and Pangulasian Islands. El Nido Resorts are noted for their hidden lagoons, palm forests, orchids, and offshore cruise points. Apart from the cozy accommodations, recreational facilities and aqua sports equipment are also available for tourists. Tours to the resort are possible through Ten Knots Corporation.
The reserve is located in Miniloc Island, El Nido. From the Manila Domestic Airport, a charter plane flies to mainland El Nido, from where a pumpboat is taken for a trip to Miniloc Island where the resort is situated. Travel time is two hours by plane from Manila, 45 minutes by pumpboat to the resort area.
Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park.
A world heritage site, this natural wonder features an 8.2 kilometer navigable underground river, reputed to be the world's longest, that winds through a spectacular cave before emptying out in to the South China Sea. This river flows within a deep cavern under rugged limestone and marble cliffs, special features of the park. Known as one of the world's wonders, this river stretches eight kilometers deep into an underground lagoon with crystalline waters. Within the hallowed recesses, one winds through the tunnel aboard a paddle boat with outriggers to be enthralled at every turn which reveals stalactite pillars, rock formations, and domed amphitheaters.
The park is located in Bahile, Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Located 81 kilometers from the city proper, the place can be reached through Barangay Cabayugan to Sabang, from where one could take a pumpboat ride to the Underground River, or hike through a monkey trail. An alternative way to reach the river is through a hired pumpboat ride from Bahile wharf. Travel time through Barangay Cabayugan is 1 1/2 hours' jeepney ride and 10 to 15 minutes’ pumpboat ride or 1 1/2 hours’ hike.
The bay consists of several islets with shallow reefs bordering fabulous beaches which have become the favorite swimming, snorkelling, and diving destinations of local residents and tourists. These islets are the Cannon (Cowrie) Island, Bat Island, Lu-Ii Island (derived from the word ""lulubog-lilitaw"", meaning floating and sinking island, is visible only during low tide), Meara Marina, Starfish Island (known for its fine white sand and clear water that teems with starfish), Snake Island (an island with a long stretch of fine white sand shaped like a snake), Pandan Island, and Senorita Island (the breeding site of lapu-lapu fish). Lodging facilities are available for overnight stays in the islands of Meara Marina and Starfish (Sandbar Resort).
The bay is located in Sta. Lourdes Tagbanua, Puerto Princesa City. About 12 kilometers east of Puerto Princesa City is Sta. Lourdes wharf where pumpboats could be hired to take tourists to the island of their choice. Some islands require an entrance fee; others are privately owned, thus, permits from the owners are necessary. Sta. Lourdes wharf is 25 minutes away by hired tricycle or jeepney. A pumpboat ride from the wharf to the different islands is from 15 to 50 minutes.
Known as the ""Cradle of Philippine Civilization,"" Tabon Caves consists of a series of chambers where anthropologists discovered the remains of crude man and his tools. Anthropological significance came to the fore with the discovery of the remains of the 22,000 year old Tabon Man in one of its interiors, along with other artifacts decades ago.
The caves are located in Lipuua Point, Quezon, Palawan. About 155 kilometers south of Puerto Princesa City, the place can be reached by taking a bus or jeepney ride from the provincial capital to Quezon. It is followed by a pumpboat ride from Quezon wharf to the caves. Travel time is 3-4 hours by bus or jeepney to Quezon and 20-30 minutes’ boat ride from Quezon pier to the caves.
The activity can be fun and endlessly appealing to both new and perennial visitors to Palawan. Visit the Tabon Caves and be enthralled by the chambers which yield knowledge about life 50,000 years ago.
Baragatan sa Palawan.
A grand celebration of the founding of the civil government of Palawan is celebrated every third week of June in Puerto Princesa City. Highlights of the Baragatan are the LGU Trade and Food Fair, and colorful parade with participation from the different municipalities and private sectors, featuring the ethnic groups and the coronation of Ms. Palawan.
On nine islands found within the Sulu-Celebes region, rare species of turtles have found a haven to nest and breed. The Turtle Islands, territories shared by the Philippines and Malaysia, are South East Asia's only remaining major green turtle rookery. It is also a vital nesting ground for the hawksbill turtle. Because it is in the sea turtles' nature to have fixed nesting sites, they can not interbreed with other populations of even the same species.
Palawan is home to the seacow, known locally as dugong, a unique animal, being the only herbivorous mammal in existence today. We probably owe our childhood fantasies of the mythical mermaid to the dugong, which, because of its fish-like tail, smooth brownish skin, mammary glands, and woman-like genitalia, was often mistaken by sailors, weary from long voyages, as a mermaid. The dugong can grow to more than three meters in length and can weigh more than 400 kg. Its body is torpedo-shaped with small short flippers and whale-like flukes. Its lip is shaped like a disk with thick hair.
Palawan Sea Kayaking
The islands scattered north of Palawan offer one of the world’s most spectacular marine environments. Towering limestone cliffs rear straight up from seas teeming with marine life, and hidden bays offer deserted beaches for camping. The coral reefs here are amongst the most extensive in the country, so be sure to bring your snorkeling gear. Many islands are also covered in jungle, the habitat of rare bird species. If you are willing to carry your boat, you can explore some of the lakes on Coron Island, home of the reclusive Tagbanua Tribe. Internationally known tour operators run regular sea kayaking tours among the islands around northern Palawan.