GET UP EARLY and WATCH the SUNRISE
If you are staying at Sunset Lodge it is actually a great place to get up early and catch the sunrise and not sunset as the name implies. I was lucky enough to catch the sunrise when there was a full moon and gradually the moon faded away as the sun began to rise. The outlines of the surrounding mountains gradually became clearer as the transformation from night to day ran its course.
THE MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT
You will find this next to the Fire Station in the center of town. I daresay the old wooden building will be demolished in the coming years as Brooke's Point is developed, but it is nice to see a simple wooden building like this. this court only deals with cases in the municipality.
THE BEST FIRE BRIGADE IN PALAWAN
In the center of town you will see the Brooke's Point Fire Station with two fire engines ready for action. Many of the buildings outside the major cities are made from wood and the fire service is called upon regularly to extinguish fires. Most fires are caused by carelessness such as throwing down a cigarette but, leaving the oven unattended, faulty electrical wires, the knocking over of a candle as there are many power cuts and many people don't have electricity.
Palawan's First Fire Olympics in 2011 were held in Puerto Princesa, and consisted of 5 teams from Brooke's Point, Narra, Aborlan, Roxas and Quezon. The competition included hose laying, bucket relay and urban firefighting, and the Brooke's Point firemen were the overall winners and received a cash prize of 20,000 pesos.
SEE IF ANYONE IS LOCKED UP IN THE BARANGAY JAIL
Throughout the Philippines you may see small huts with wooden barred windows and a chain on the door. These are for troublemakers, mainly drunkards to be locked up all night and normally they are released in the morning after they have cooled off. Usually they are very embarrassed should members of their neighbourhood or relatives spot them in the lock-up. The system is a good one because if anyone is seen causing a nuisance the barangay tanod (village patrolmen, similar to neighbourhood watch for lack of a better description) are summoned and the troublemaker is soon caught and locked up for the night.
IGLESIA NI CHRISTO
No town in the Philippines is complete without a Iglesio ni Christo Church, the only religion that originated in the Philippines exactly 100 years ago (2014 is the anniversary year). Usually the church is the best looking building in the area, sometimes located in a small village that consists of only native houses built from bamboo. There are now several of these churches in other countries where there are a large number of Filipino immigrants.
The founder , Felix Manalo is believed to be a messenger of God.
Actually the members of the church are responsible for two Guinness World Records, 175,000 participants in a charity walk at one venue, and the largest charity walk at multiple venues, around 520,000 participants!!!
BORROW A BOOK FROM JOSE RIZAL
Brooke's Point is no exception so you will find in the park the usual statue of the national hero, Jose Rizal perched high up for all to view. He is carrying a book and looking very smart in hos white jacket.
- Historical Travel
BASKETBALL COURT IN THE PARK
Between the market and the National highway there is a rather nice building with the basketball court, which is probably he most important activity in town for the local teenagers who will play from sunrise to sunset. There is also a small stage there for other functions such as the usual beauty Pageants and other activities.
VISIT THE MARKET
The market is bang-smack in the middle of town and normally there is a very good selection of fresh fish but unfortunately we were there during the full moon when not so many fish are available. Fruits such as apples and oranges are a little expensive here as they have to be transported from Puerto Princesa, but the usual selection of vegetables are available, as well as clothes, kitchen implements and all the usual things you expect to find in a local market.
In Brooke's Point i noticed two places to change money but they probably only change the US $. Both were pawn shops, one on the National Highway in town and the other on the east side of the market. They were two branches of the Palawan Pawnshop.
SAINT JOSEPH'S PARISH CHURCH
This church is the biggest in Brooke's Point and has 3 wonderful statues by the entrance. In the garden there is a shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, as is normal all over the country. The whole compound is kept very clean and as usual the church is packed out on Sundays.
THE BIGGEST PEARL IN THE WORLD
Notice the sign when you reach the town---"HOME OF THE LARGEST PEARL IN THE WORLD".
The pearl was found in the waters off of Brooke's Point in May 1934 and is known as the Pearl of Lao Tzu or the Paerl of Allah, weighs over 14 pounds and is kept in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC. In 1984 it was valued at $42 million but recent estimates put the value nearer $60 million.
MASJID AL ABRAR, the BLUE and WHITE MOSQUE
You will see this mosque at a junction on the National Highway around 4 kms north of Brooke's Point. It is a small mosque serving the local community and although it is rather basic it is clean and well painted. On the right is the Ablution Area, a small building where the faithful prepare for prayer by washing different parts of their body before entering the mosque.
THE TOWN HALL
Brooke's Point Pamahalaang Bayan is on one side of the park and is quite a nice building, especially if the fountain in front of it is working.