PHOTOGRAPHY AT THE MARKET
I love taking photos at the market as there are some great opportunities to take colorful photos of the goods for sale and even the locals busy at their stalls. In Narra the big market day is Saturday when locals come from the surrounding countryside to see vegetables, fruit, flowers etc, and are usually too busy to take notice of a tourist with his camera.
BAMBOO FURNITURE FOR SALE
At Narra Market, especially on Saturdays you can see many bamboo furniture for sale. The furniture is only made from a certain type of bamboo that will grow up to 20 meters high and the ideal diameter should be around 4-5 inches.
PALM OIL PLANTATIONS and RICE FIELDS
Going south from Narra you will see many palm oil plantations on each side of the road. The palm tree needs 7-10 years before it starts producing the fruit, then it is harvested, and processed for cooking use or bio-diesel fuel. More and more of these plantations are sprouting up all over southern Palawan as the forests are being cut down and the land is purchased cheaply from the indigenous people. The rest of the area is taken up by rice fields.
STA CELIA PARISH CHURCH and PRICELIST
Sta Celia Prarish Church is located at Calategas, around 25 kms south of Narra on the National Highway, just turn off the road when you see the Calategas sign and bear left and you will find this small church about 1 km down the road. Every small community has a church and outside is the list of ceremonies they perform and a list of certificates they provide with the appropriate fees.
These small churches are crowded with the villagers on Sundays. This church was the scene of a mass wedding which we attended on Valentine's Day.
COLORFUL ORCHIDS at NARDA'S GARDEN
If you have time stop at Narda's Garden, a few kms after Narra on the right hand side of the National Highway. She has quite a good orchid collection as well as a few other ornamental plants. You will be welcome to wander around and look at the orchids even if you don't purchase anything.
Not exactly a "thing to do" but i thought i would draw attention to the quarrying in Southern Palawan. There are many rivers as you go south from Aborlan to Narra and there is a great need for building materials so different companies are collecting sand and stones from the river and hauling the to Puerto Princesa as the city is booming with many hotels, shops and offices being built. There were over 200 quarries on the island and the whole sides of hills started disappearing, but many have been closed down recently to protect the environment. Every now and again you will see screen sand, gravel and stones piled up by the side of the road which is for sale. Prices of these products have doubled in the last few years.
A SIMPLE CHURCH
Two blocks from Panacan Pier there is a simple place of worship, San Isidro Labrador, Panacan Chapel. The chapel has a tiled floor, a roof but no walls except for where the alter is. A few pews can accommodate the worshipers, but even so it is quite a beautiful chapel.
PANACAN PIER--GATEWAY TO THE RARE CUCKATOO
Panacan Pier is quite new and this is where the boats leave for Arena Island and Rasa Island, the first being an upmarket resort island, the second being a bird sanctuary where the rare Philippine Cockatoo can be found. There are around 300 birds on the island and the remaining 700 that are existing are only found in other parts of the Philippines, nowhere else on the planet!!! The only way to get to Rasa is to find a local fisherman to take you. There is no accommodation on the island so you will have to stay in the town.
To the left and right of the pier you will see many small fishing boats and the houses where the fishermen live.
Arena Island got its name from the Spanish word "arena" which means sand, and nearly the whole island consists of sand, where turtles come to lay their eggs, and has become a turtle sanctuary. Arena Island used to be a private island but since 2011 it has been opened to the public, but unfortunately only for the rich. Rooms cost from 25,000 pesos a night, and even though my wife's relatives own the island we have never had the invitation or opportunity to visit this island paradise.
IGLESIA NG CHRISTO---100th ANNIVERSARY
Igelsia Ng Christo is located near the park and this is the only religion/church that originated in the Philippines by Felix Manalo exactly 100 years ago and now you can see these churches in some other countries where there are a large number of Filipino immigrants. I have written about this religion in other reviews so if you want to more please refer to the website below.
NARRA SPORTS ARENA
Next to the park is a rather large sports arena, considering the size of the town. There is a small grandstand at one side where spectators may shelter from the sun. The arena is open for everyone who may want to jog around the track early morning or late evening. The arena is normally used for school track meets and football matches as well as some functions held in the town.
In Narra Park you will find a lagoon with a function hall situated in the middle, which can be hired for weddings and other occasions. It is in a really nice setting and is cool with the shade from the trees in the park. A bridge connects the small island to the paths around the park.
In the compound of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary Parish Church there is also a chapel with a lovely painting of Jesus on the back wall, and underneath it there is the words of the 3 o'clock prayer. Quite often in some supermarkets or on ferries in the Philippines the 3 o'clock prayer is read out over loudspeakers and the faithful eagerly listen to it or join in the prayer.
- Arts and Culture
VISIT THE MARKET
Narra market is in the center of the town and cannot be missed. Although the market operates every day the main market day is on a Saturday when farmers come in from the surrounding countryside to sell their vegetables. There are also other stalls that sell tools, clothes, cellphones etc where the traders travel to a different market in the region each dayeach day.
I HAVE NEVER SEEN SO MANY DRIED FISH BEFORE
At Narra Market, especially on Saturdays you will see many stalls selling dried fish st very economic prices, much cheaper than at Puerto Princesa.