I’ve always wondered how it’s like to live in a small island. Of course I imagined there would be palm trees, a nice beach, hammocks, refreshing drinks, native huts and endless view of the ocean. But when I took a project for one of the private islands in Taytay Palawan named Noa Noa Island, I never expected to be staying about 11-days in this luxurious island where I was the only guest while working on a project. It was one of my memorable escapes to a not-so-known island surrounded by one of the most astounding marine sanctuary I’ve ever swam on.
Day 2 of our Puerto Princesa tour found us visiting the areas where a lot of the sponsored children and families live. We were also graced by the presence of Miss Universe runner-up Ms Miriam Quimbao, who is a fellow sponsor. She flew in that morning from Manila and would leave later that day as well just to attend the event and lend her support.
It was a tense moment mixed with anticipation while I wait behind closed doors when I knew my sponsored child would be the next one coming in. How would I react? How should I feel? Aside from the annual reports of his progress, he’s a complete stranger to me. I came to Puerto Princesa, Palawan to volunteer my photographic services to World Vision, a non-government organization known to help educate less-fortunate children around the globe. It was 5 years ago when I started to sponsor a child and little did I know I’ll come face to face with this child 5 years later.
They call it the Green City and I can’t agree with it more. While I find Puerto Princesa as the most modern city in Palawan, it’s also the most livable for me in terms of setting up a business or staying for good. The city itself is not as scenic as Coron, sleepy as El Nido or rugged as Taytay but it is developed in a good way modern industry can function well. Here is a three day itinerary which is merged from my recent 2 trips to Puerto Princesa. It’s not a backpacker’s budget since I was with family on my last trip there but I hope the itinerary would give you an idea what to expect in Puerto Princesa.
I kept hearing “UR” over and over on a conversation one night on my first trip to Puerto Princesa with other bloggers. I kept nodding my head to agree and then have to ask “What’s UR again?” I was thinking “Usual Route” but it turns out to be the popular term for the “Underground River” there. Oh hell with the names whether it’s St Paul’s Cave or St Paul’s Subterranean River, we’re going there now and it sure isn’t hell from the views I’ve seen on a boat from Sabang to the entrance of this famed UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Our third and final day at Puerto Princesa found us waking up real early to prepare for a visit to the famous UNESCO Heritage site, Puerto Princesa’s St Paul Subterranean National park. It’s around 2 hours away from the city and since we have a flight in the afternoon, I asked PASYAR Tours to book us the earliest tour to the site. They got to our hotel in time around 7am just when we were about to finish our breakfast.
Our 2nd day in Puerto Princesa started when a Van from Pasyar Palawan fetched us about 8am at Microtel Hotel. The only seats available in the van are for the four of us, I guess the P1100 per pax fee for the Honda Bay Island Hopping isn’t exclusive to us this time. Anyways, the fee covers a day of island hopping including our lunch so I guess I don’t mind sharing.