We boarded our flight to Puerto Princesa City, Palawan early morning of a Friday. We landed at Puerto Princesa Airport at exactly 9:55 AM, after an hour flight from Manila. A pick-up service from A&A Hotel Plaza waited for our arrival and transferred us from the airport to the hotel for our 4-day-3-night stay.
Since we were starving from the trip, we decided to have lunch at the hotel’s restaurant Chow Na ordering a platter meal with rice, grilled chicken, pork spareribs, tuna belly, grilled pork chop, chopsuey, iced tea, and mais con yelo.
At exactly 1 in the afternoon, the van for our city tour picked us at the hotel. The van went straight to their own version of the Roxas Boulevard where large peacock artworks revamp the whole stretch of the bay walk. Puerto Princesa City’s symbol is the peacock. Next destination was the Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral, a more than century-old Catholic church in Rizal St, Barangay Liwanag.
Along the way, the tour guide also shared trivia about the city. Cuyonon is their dialect, a mixed of Spanish and Bisaya. There is no “H” in their dialect so ‘hindi’ is “indi”, ‘hayop’ is “ayop” and so on. She also added that the letter “L” is converted to “R”, like ulan becomes “uran”. I Love You in Cuyonon is “Inggueguegma Tacao”. The mode of transportation in the city is tricycle where she joked that there were no taxis in Puerto Princesa but rather “taxicles”. Color coding is also implemented in the city; their tricycle system with colors blue and white as the valid colors with an alternating schedule from Mondays to Saturdays and a color-free day on Sundays.
Our next destination was the souvenir center along Puerto Princesa North Road where you can buy souvenirs such as keychains, woodcrafts, dried fish, magnets, shirts, woven products like bags among others.
Next was the Binuatan Creations located in Pajara, Brgy Sta. Monica where export-quality products are weaved. One of the workers allowed us to experience the process of weaving by using the raw material “buri”.
They also have their showroom where quality products are being displayed.
Mitra’s Ranch, also known as the Rancho Sta. Monica, is owned by the late Ramon Mitra, situated on the top of the hill overlooking Honda Bay Islands. From Mitra’s Ranch, we proceeded to the famous Baker’s Hill which is known aside from their pastries like Hopiang Ube, Hopiang Baboy, and Pina Hopia, for their mini themed park with human-sized sculptures and a mini zoo.
Last stop on our city tour was the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center known as the Crocodile Farm located at National Road, Barangay Irawan, south of Puerto Princesa. You can see a large croc skeleton upon entering the center with its skin hanging on the wall. A member of the agency started the tour by providing information about the conservation center. He led us to their Hatchling House where 2-6-year-old crocodiles are being taken care of. After the Hatchling area, we proceeded to the area where larger crocodiles were being enclosed. We walked on a bridge with the larger (larger than me) crocodiles below us. We also tried to hold and take a picture with a crocodile and later on tried the “Crocodile sisig”.