Thursday, November 4, 2010

Weekend in Puerto Princesa (The conclusion)

Our main purpose in going to PP is to see and experience the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River and National Park (formerly St. Paul Underground River) which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. This is also the main reason why I look forward on this trip.

However, we were informed during our first day that UR is closed to the public as ordered by the Coast Guard. According to our driver Kuya Archie, a small banca capsized along the shore due to big waves. The passengers were said to be foreigners. The hotel staff, meanwhile, told us a different version of the story. According to them, the banca overturned while in the deep part of the open sea and left its foreign passengers hurt. Whichever version is true we don't really care since our concern is to see it in person. Kuya Archie gave us an option. He told us that if we really want to push through with the trip we need to trek 5 kms ONE WAY for at least 2-3 hours before finally reaching the cave. Whoa! So we opted for a dolphin watching activity instead for our second day.

Try and try until you succeed...and we did!

Until the next day, mommy didn't give up with our "dream." While preparing to leave the hotel for our dolphin watching activity, we were informed that the Coast Guard already permitted tourists to travel by bancas to be able to reach the UR. And so we're set yehey :)

UR is actually in Sabang Island which is a two-hour drive from PP City. It's surprising though that the roads leading to Sabang are not yet fully developed. The local government or community should improve these roads for the tourists' comfort and the locals' gain as well. On our way to the island, we temporarily stopped at the BuenaVista View Deck to have some souvenir photos.
Mi familia @ the Buenaista Viewdeck

Tres Marias island


BuenaVista Viewdeck marker

Road going to Sabang Island

Solar and wind energy powered street lights 

At the port leading to UR

We arrived at the port at around 10. Our guide Kuya Louie told us that our schedule is at 11:30am and so we decided to have our late lunch instead assuming that we're back in the island by 1pm. However, we were able to board a boat that would lead us to UR at 12 already. The boat ride by the way lasted for some 20 minutes. Upon arrival, we registered our names and waited for our turn.
Finally, the UR

Photo op at the UR

Wild monkeys are rampant in the island
I think it was around 1 pm when we're finally called. The tour inside the UR lasted for 45minutes (one-way). According to our boatman, the river is almost 8km long but tourists can only explore more or less its first 1.4 kms. According to the boatman, tourists need to secure a permit beyond the "allowed" place where the more beautiful stalagmites can be found. But not all requests were granted of course since the place is reserved for research and other important purposes.

Anyway, I enjoyed the different rock formations that I saw inside though I admit that I expected more from the place. Well, maybe if I become a researcher or if the local government will permit me to explore beyond 2kms, I'll get to appreciate more the beauty of the UR.
Getting ready to get inside

"The Nativity scene"

Shots inside the UR

We were able to return to Sabang Island at around 3pm for our late lunch then headed back to the hotel for dinner before calling it a night.

Oh by the way, AirPhil again informed us of a flight rescheduled BOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

We decided to stay at the hotel for our last day in PP. Major disappointment with the hotel's "breakfast buffet" which only served hotdogs, daing na bangus, garlic fried rice, hotcake, and egg omelette! Booohoooo. Afterwards, my brother and I opted for a quick dip in their pool. Mommy went to us to inform us that our flight is at 1:55pm again instead of the supposed 5:35 pm. Waaaaah!
Pool side

Quick dip in the pool

Messy room haha

At the airport
Waiting at the departure area

Despite the hassles encountered during the whole trip, I still enjoyed it.Will I go back to Palawan? Definitely! I love it there!It's now my number 1 choice next to Davao and Bohol :)

See you in the near future....

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