HOW ABOUT A TATTOO OR PIERCING???
Favorite thing: Redskin Tattoo studio is long established in Puerto Princesa and although i have not had a tattoo myself i know quite a few people who have been pleased with the tattooist's work. You don't have to have a permanent tattoo as they can do henna and cosmetic tattoos also. Body piercing is available here too. A tattoo will cost much less here than back in Europe, America or Australia.
The studio is perhaps 500 metres from the airport. Turn right as you exit the airport and walk along Rizal Avenue for 5 minutes (on the left hand side of the road) and the studio is in the same building as the immigration office.
Favorite thing: This is in Rizal avenue on the right, a few 100m before the airport where you can extend your visa. The chief immigration officer, Mr. Avella is very helpful and so are the girls who have worked there for many years. If you arrive on the 21 day tourist visa it only takes a few minutes to extend it into a 59 day visa, but unfortunately the costs keep increasing.
KAWANGIS NG TRIBU---don't miss them!!!
Favorite thing: KAWANGIS NG TRIBU area bunch of fellows who got together because of their common love for ethnic and tribal music using several traditional instruments, earthly rhythms and melodious chants. Believe me, if you have the chance to see them you will not be disappointed. Depending on the venue you may see them perform the FIRE DANCE but of course this depends on the structure of the actual venue as we don't want to see the place burnt down. I have seen this group several times and i never get tired of seeing them.
You may inquire at the Kaingud and Castaway Bar to see where they are performing.
The bar is situated about 3-400m before you reach the airport, on the left hand side of Rizal Avenue.
- Arts and Culture
Favorite thing: IN Puerto Princesa there is the Adventist Hospital and the Co-operative Hospital, both of which tend to be a little expensive. If you have a not too serious problem or break your leg like i did head for the Government run Provincial Hospital, as the same doctors who attend the other hospitals are on call here. I was very satisfied with my treatment.
WHERE TO GO IF YOU NEED MEDICAL ATTENTION
Favorite thing: Palawan Medical City newly opened last year and is located on the National Highway in San Pedro, perhaps 1.5 kms from the Capitol Building . You cannot miss it as it is next to Puregold Supermarket. There are many different doctor's clinics, each specialising in his or her field, as well as a laboratory. Last year i had a medical problem and was very pleased with my treatment which happened to be a small operation involving surgery.
There are 3 hospitals in the city
1) The Provincial Hospital (Government run) which normally deals with the poorer class who cannot afford to visit the private hospitals. Located in Malvar Street
2) The Adventist Hospital which has been here for 30 years or so which is located at 3 kms from the Capitol Building where the National Highway splits to go north or south. They recently opened up a new wing to accommodate more patients. I have been admitted to this hospital on two occasions but around 15 years ago and i was satisfied with my treatment, but unfortunately my wife was admitted twice and was extremely dissatisfied and we will never go back there again.
3) The Co-operative Hospital which is the newest in town, located in Burgos Street, not far from the Post Office. My wife has had several relatives confined here and all were pleased with the treatment except for the one who died!!!
Favorite thing: The Baragatan is held every year to celebrate the founding Anniversary of the Palawan Government and many events are held in and around the Capitol Building. This year it will be held from 17th - 23rd June. All the municipalities of Palawan come together and have a huge parade in the city, with the beauty queens on floats and locals from each area dressed up in different costumes. Each night at the Capitol there will be a different program such as beauty pagent, talent competition, street dancing, ethnic shows. The area around the Capitol is crowded with many stalls selling items from their municipality and other general stalls, but not to be missed are the wonderful selection of food stalls.
Favorite thing: Forget the banks, you will fill in forms and wait for ages. There is a money changer called A.S. Money Changer about 100 m before the Capital Building in Rizal Avenue which normally has a good rate. Also Bonito's on the right hand side heading towards junction 2, but usually the rate is not so good there.
Next door to Bonitos the same family have a wine shop should you be interested.
KAINGUD & CASTAWAY SHACK
Favorite thing: This is probably the best place in town to look for tribal souvenirs and it is located in Rizal Avenue 500m before you reach the airport. There are several sections of the shack and you can sit down and enjoy a beer and if you are lucky there may be a jamming session as the local group Kawangis ng Tribu run the bar. They are quite celebrities as they play tribal music with a variety of old traditional instruments.
CRAFT BEER from PALAWENO BREWERY
Favorite thing: Update--- the premises have been moved to 82 Manalo Street, but i have not visited the new location yet. You will see the same wooden sign on the wall and it is between Valencia St and Mendoza St on Manalo St.
I was extremely surprised that we now have a brewery in Puerto Princesa producing CRAFT BEER, which opened up at the beginning of May. Ayahay Brewery is located at 40 Taft Street, which runs parallel to Rizal Avenue in the vicinity of the cathedral. The owners also run Matutina Pension House behind the small bar. There are 5 types of beer on offer, two of which are available as drafts, and they range from 5.5% to 7.2%, but at 120 to 140 pesos a bottle only tourists and middle class locals can afford to drink it. I tried an Ambog Draft and thoroughly enjoyed it, wish i had more time to sample the others, but it was a real treat and i will not hesitate to drop by again. The owner was extremely friendly and took time to explain the type of beers that were available. More seating is available at the back of the building.
HAVE YOU EVER EATEN A WORM ???
Favorite thing: NO !!! Well, if you are in Puerto Princesa now is a good time to try it. Tamilok is a type of woodworm like creature that is found inside rotting mangroves, but it is actually a mollusk. It is a delicacy here and several restaurants serve it, mainly for tourists to sample. According to some people it tastes like an oyster but i cannot verify this as i have never eaten one, and probably never will We have had a few VT friends meet us in Palawan and so far all have refused this delicacy. The tamilok can be found at Bakers Hill, Kinabuchs, Ugong Rock and probably a few more restaurants should you wish to try it.
Finding these woodworms among the many mangroves is not an easy task and the supply cannot keep up with the demand. The locals will search for dead mangroves then split them open in search for the worm which can grow uo to one foot long. The tamilok is eaten fresh, or perhaps with vinegar or kalamansi, but when you are eating one make sure you have you alcohol beside you, ready to wash it down your gullet.
AND ONE MORE THING !!!
Why was it called tamilok. ?
Two Americans saw some locals eating the delicacy and one shouted to the other "Tommy, Look!"
MITUS TRIBE---try and see them
Favorite thing: Mitus Tribe are a local group who perform every evening at the Katabom Bar. The four guys have local tribal music and mainly use 3 guitars and traditional drums, but do yourself a favour--go watch them, you will not be disappointed.
- Arts and Culture
CATCH A SHOW BY SOUNDOZE
Favorite thing: Amazing voices by the two ladies in the group SOUNDOZE as they sing Roberta Flack, Lyndsay De Paul, and other great songs from years gone by. It is not really my type of music but i certainly admired the way they sang. Normally they will play at the local hotels such as the Legend, Astorius, Dos Palmos, Kinabuchs.
Read more about them
- Arts and Culture
PALAWAN VOTED NUMBER ONE ISLAND IN THE WORLD
Favorite thing: I am proud to say that the island where we live has been voted the best island in the world (by Vone Nast Travel magazine). The last few years Palawan has truly arrived on the map and is picking up awards on a regular basis as the island offers beautiful beaches, wonderful diving, trekking, mountains, rock-climbing, island hopping (there are 1,700 islands in the Palawan Group), jungle, water sports, and first class seafood. You can read about several of the awards in the links below and hopefully you will make your mind up and come for a visit.
CHANGING POUNDS,EUROS, SWISS FRANCS AND MORE
Favorite thing: In Robinsons Shopping Mall a new Money Exchanger recently opened its doors. Until recently it was quite difficult to change any notes accept for US $s but i spoke to the manager and they will change most Western Currencies, but the rate did not appear as good as the rate in Manila.
The office is located upstairs on the second floor towards the rear, overlooking the car park.
TASTE A FEW UNUSUAL TREATS AT BAYWALK
Favorite thing: Baywalk is an area by Puerto Princesa Bay where many of the locals and tourists congregate at night, many coming to enjoy a meal or a few beers at the numerous eateries that line the bay. So maybe it is time to try a few tasty delicacies that you don't find in your own part of the world such as sea urchins, lato or unripe mango with bagoong.
Eating live sea urchin is not for everybody but try cracking it open and you will know it is still alive if the black spines are moving around while you eat it. The sea urchin can actually move for around 30 minutes after you have opened it, BUT what does it taste like? Very difficult to explain to someone who has never eaten one before but how about a briny ocean taste with a creamy texture.
Lato is a type of seaweed that grows among the mangrove trees where the sea temperature remains constant. The seaweed is eaten fresh, usually dipped in vinegar.
Green mango is sliced and eaten with bagoong which is partially fermented fish or shrimp with salt, again an acquired taste.
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