VISIT THE MIRACLE WORKER, THE BABAYLAN
Each indigenous village has a Babaylan who plays a very important part in the community. A Babaylan is normally a woman who functions as a healer, shaman, seer or miracle worker. Actually you could say a religious leader of the tribe. In Palawan there are the Tau't Batu, Tagbanua, Batak, and Palawano peoples that occasionally have festivals in which the Babaylan plays an important roll. Two of these festivals take place in Aborlan. Unfortunately some of their practices have been suppressed due to the colonisation of the country.
This photo was taken in the Heritage Center in the Legislative Building.
- Historical Travel
DROP BY THE PALAWAN HERITAGE CENTER
This museum is located in the Palawan Legislative Building, at the rear, and costs 30-50 pesos for entrance fee, but is well worth visiting to catch some history of the island. There is a visual sound room where you can see a 10 minute documentary about the island and its native people, many old photographs adorn the walls and there are artifacts from various indigenous tribes (some of them replicas as the originals are in Manila). The attendant will show you around if she is not busy.
Tabon Man was a skull discovered in a cave at Quezon, 160 kms south of Puerto Princesa, and is believed to be around 22,000 years old, and his descendants, the Tau't Batu (people of the rock) still love in caves.
It is rather a small museum but very informative with 6 video displays.
- Museum Visits
PALAWAN LEGISLATIVE BUILDING
This was constructed 5 or 7 years ago and is located in Fernandez Street, just behind the Capitol Building. As well as the legislative offices it houses the museum and in the grounds there is a small park, a stage for festivals and other events. During the town fiesta there are stalls all along the road selling all kinds of things and snacks too.
VISIT THE WEAVERS
Binuatan Creations is a weaving center where you can see the weavers at work on their handlooms where they use the island's native grass etc. They produce bags, blinds, table mats, and a variety of other useful products.
You can see the weavers at work and they will be happy to explain the process to you. Firstly the grass is dyed to the desired colour, then dried before weaving.
NEW CITY HALL WITH GREAT VIEW
The New City Hall was inaugurated on 18th December 2013 and is a very impressive and spacious building, and is located next to the old City Hall in Tiniguiban, 4 klms from the city center.
As a tourist you may not have much of a reason to visit the City Hall except for finding details of the procedure to marry a local girl, or pay a fine that you may have incurred while riding the rented motorbike, but if you are in the area pop in and walk towards the rear where there is a magnificent view of Puerto Princesa Bay.
GREAT VIEW OF PUERTO PRINCESA BAY
I could have included this in my hotel or restaurant tips but i am including it here as the view over the bay is outstanding. Pop into Sunlight Guest house, (which in fact is more like a hotel) and take the elevator to the 4th floor and pass through the function/dining room to the roof top terrace where there are a few tables for customers. Order a beer or a shake and sit and admire the view of the bay, the mountains, the boats coming and going, and watch the locals on Baywalk below.
No trip to Puertp Princesa would be complete without coming here, especially at sunset.
The Sunlight GH is located next to Unitop Supermarket near where Burgos Street ends at Malvar Street.
NOTE---We have not tried it yet but on Sunday Lunchtime and evening there is an all you can eat seafood buffet at 350 pesos.
Also there is a daily breakfast buffet at 299 pesos.
Palawan Special Battalion WW2 Memorial Museum
This museum just opened in Dec 2011 and is privately owned by a local resident who is a keen historian. Many exhibits were donated from locals in the city, and there are several exhibit rooms, each on a different theme, such as the USA, the Japanese, the British and Russian etc. There is a good collection of relics, uniforms, weapons. This Museum is about 1 km after the airport and is open daily from 8-5 except Wednesdays. Admission is free but there is a donation box. Drinks can be purchased, and you can relax while browsing through various war books. Also there is internet access and a good collection of old photographs on the wall.
Update---The owner of the museum has got his old Buick 1957 up and running and is now on display. He can be seen driving it around town now and again
- Budget Travel
- Museum Visits
THE PRINCESS OF THE BAY
This is actually a fiber glass sculpture by Ronel F. Roxes of the Princess and can be found at the Baywalk. The sculpture was paid for by donations from donors all over the country and a list of the names can be seen on two plaques in front of the statue on a gate.
The Plaque on the statue has been affected by the weather and very difficult to read but in Tagalog it says--
"Ang Prinsesa ng Baybay "Simbolo ng Ating Kultura at Buhay" Baywalk Puerto Princesa City Palawan". which means "A princess of the bay, symbol of our culture in life"
Puerto Princesa was supposed to have been named after a Spanish Princess, Eululia, daughter of Isabela II
VISIT THE PORT
The days have gone since you could enter the port and wander around as it is restricted to workers and passengers who are departing. However you can take a look through the gate and catch a glimpse of the inter island ferries, naval ships and cargo ships, as well as the many containers stored at the port.
There are two gates to the port, one from Rizal Avenue that is mainly for service trucks and one at Malvar Street which is mainly for passengers so if you are meeting a friend who is arriving by sea wait at the Malvar Street gate. The port can also be seen from the Baywalk.
THE FOUNDERS OF THE CITY 1872
Spanish Captain Don Jose Sostao arrived on his boat on 4th March 1872 and discovered the hill and bay and founded the city which was to become Puerto Princesa and a memorial can be found in Eulalia Park . It is a little hard to read the inscription but it list around 25 Spanish, 350 Filipinos and 80 Chinese as the original citizens who arrived here. The figures are from my memory but you can see the exact figures if you see the memorial near the port. On top of the memorial stands a statue of Princes Eulalia who the city was named after. Although there are different accounts, Queen Isabela II had a daughter named Eulalia so the city was called Puerto dela Princesa, later shortened to its present day name.
- Historical Travel
THE PRINCESS of the CITY??? at EULALIA PARK
Princess Eulalia Park is a small triangular park (if you can call it a park) about 100 meters from the port, just next to Rizal Avenue and opposite the cathedral. Unfortunately it has seen better days, but nowadays it is an untidy piece of real estate where trucks park and a few vendors selling food.
Princess Eulalia was supposed to roam around the area on certain nights of the year and that is why the city was called Princesa, but another reason may be that the Spanish discovered this protected bay and it was the Princess of all ports.
I think the authorities should clean up the area as it is an important part of the town's history.
ANOTHER AREA TO RENT A BICYCLE
While at Baywalk this morning i noticed that there were three different places to rent bicycles, but i think it is more for children to cycle around Baywalk itself, and i doubt if many of these bikes would make it to such place as Iwahig, 17kms from town! Did not see the prices as there was nobody in attendance
THE POST OFFICE
Want to send your postcards, then visit the Post Office which is located just off of Rizal Avenue off of Rizal , perhaps 200m after Mendoza Park towards the pier. The P.O. is open from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday. There is also a post restante service here. Aerogrammes can be purchased in the office upstairs, Quite often they will not be able to supply you with the correct value stamps so you will have to attach extra stamps at an extra charge or your postcard will just be franked without a stamp
TIRED OF SWEET BREAD, VISIT THE BAKERY
Most of the bread in Asia is sweet, but we were lucky enough to have a Vietnamese refugee camp here for many years who introduced us to the French Baguette, so if you want some hot, tasty bread pop along to the bakery around 10 am in the morning when the first bread will be coming out of the oven. The bakery is open 7 days a week and many foreign residents buy their bread directly from the bakery, who make around 1500 breads a day.
The place is a little hard to find but you take the road opposite the airport and turn left at the intersection, then a few hundred meters take a left by a small shelter and after 100m you will come to a small store called Samantha's. and you will find the little building just behind it. At the time of my review the baguettes cost 8 pesos each.
CITY OF THE LIVING GOD
Puerto Princesa was known as THE CITY IN THE FOREST but a newly erected sign stands over Rizal Avenue near the Capital Building proclaiming that it is now the CITY OF THE LIVING GOD!!!
At the moment i am not quite sure of why this sign was erected but a trike driver informed me that there are many Christian Groups living here. I myself doubt this explanation and have sent emails to a few officials for an explanation, so watch this space!!!
At last i found out why we have the arch with 'CITY OF LIVING GOD'
It was actually erected during the former Mayor Hagedorn's last term at the behest of Pastor Nida, a Born Again Christian!!!!!
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