Palawan -A Journey To The Last Philippine Frontier
The Philippines has many ecologically unique and diverse locations, but none has ever come close to the beauty and bounty of Palawan. This small sliver of a province is set apart from the rest of the Luzon and Visayas islands. It is actually made up of 1,700 islands, an archipelago in its own right and the country’s largest province.
Some of the islands seem so far away from the rest of the Philippines—and this is not just a trick of geography, as some parts of Palawan are actually closer to Malaysia than the Philippine capital.
This unassuming, quiet province has been home to so many endemic varieties of flora and fauna that it has become a truly prized ecological haven. Palawan is probably home to more protected areas than any other place in the entire Philippines.
So beautiful and stunning is this province that one of its prime tourist attractions, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean Park, has become a finalist for the ongoing New Seven Wonders of Nature campaign.
Exploring the underwater caves and river systems of Puerto Princesa takes quite a bit of courage, especially for claustrophobic individuals. Once inside, however, your fears will be swept aside by the breathtaking stalagmite and stalactite formations that jut from the ceilings and the cave floor.
This limestone landscape is found along an 8.2km long river, the longest navigable underground in the world.
Dive Into Paradise In Palawan
Along the southeastern coast of Palawan, you will find the famous Tubbataha Reef Natural Park, one of the most sought-after dive sites in the whole world.
The perfect time to visit Tubbataha is from March to June, when the seas are flat and the skies are clear, giving you almost 45 meters of underwater visibility.
The Tubbataha Reef has been recognized as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO as early as 1993 for its amazing marine life diversity. The 10,000-hectare reef is home to approximately 600 species of fish, 12 species of sharks, more than 100 species of birds and about 360 species of corals (nearly half of all known coral species in the world).
What Sets Palawan Apart from Other Travel Destinations?
If you’re a first time visitor to Palawan, you might think that the whole place is just overrated. Sure, you’ve seen clear azure waters, expansive blue skies and great green forests. What is there to see in Palawan that you haven’t yet encountered in any other beach location?
One of the things you’ll immediately notice about the place is its sublime, almost paradise-like atmosphere. You will immediately feel relaxed and at ease when your plane touches down in Puerto Princesa, the province’s capital.
Not every travel destination can give you that feeling of peace and oneness with nature.
Some places have become too crowded, too commercialized or both for people to actually kick off their shoes and just relax. In Palawan, nature soothes your soul and keeps you amazed at every turn.
If there’s anything that Palawan can promise you on your holiday to the Philippines, it’s that you will feel a brand-new respect for nature’s awesome beauty. Both the national government and Palawan’s provincial administration are taking radical steps to ensure that the island’s virgin forests and fine sand beaches are preserved for future generations.
Tourists are encouraged to partake in the ongoing efforts for environmental preservation in this last frontier by adhering to diving rules and not littering along the beaches.
Stay tuned for the next article in this series! Up next: Swimming with the endangered sea turtles in Palawan.