Author’s Note: Palawan has three capitals: Taytay was founded in 1623 and became the capital of the entire territory of the Calamianes; Cuyo became the second capital of Palawan from 1873 to 1903; and the present Puerto Princesa as the seat of the Palawan Provincial Government in 1911 by the New American Administration. This article is the 1st of three parts about the Palawan capitals.
Puerto Princesa is the present capital city of Palawan, known as the Philippine’s Last Frontier. It is famous for its crocodile farm, Underground River and numerous dive spots. It is also the second largest city in the Philippines (after Davao City) in terms of total land area.
Declared as an UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park features a spectacular limestone karst landscape with its underground river. A distinguishing feature of the river is that it flows directly into the sea, and the lower portion of the river is subject to tidal influences. The area also represents a significant habitat for biodiversity conservation. The site contains a full mountain to the sea ecosystem and protects forests, which are among the most significant in Asia.
I only had a day from our official activity to tour the city, this being my first trip to Puerto Princesa, and suffice to say, it was an adventure worth remembering. Breathtaking Honda Bay and Ulugan Bay at Salvacion and Buenaventura respectively; Sabang Beach, Baywalk and the City Coliseum, and of course, the Underground River ride itself was an experience one should not miss!
But a very interesting side trip between the city and the subterranean park is Ugong Rock. Located in the village of Tagabinet, Ugong Rock, so called for its haunting sound generated by soft tapping in a particular stalactite (Heart of Ugong), offer tourists a different adrenalin induced adventure. A combination of spelunking and wall climbing, one has to negotiate the rugged and sharp outcrop of the interior in order to reach the summit. And as of February this year, a 330-meter plunging zipline was installed, giving visitors another exhilarating experience in this otherwise sleepy town surrounded by rice fields.
Being a community-based tourism project in cooperation with ABC-CBN Foundation, Ugong Rock is poised to being a successful example of an achievable result for a self-sustainable village undertaking.
Note: The Puerto Princesa Underground River is currently a contender in the New 7 Wonder of Nature. To vote, please visit the website: http://www.new7wonders.com
All VRs taken on February 2010. Portions of text from Wikipedia.org. The author can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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