Saturday, November 26, 2016

Puerto Princesa Underground River


Hailed as one of the “7 Wonders of Nature” around the globe. This gives me more reason why I have to travel and see Puerto Princesa Underground River. After seeing pictures and videos in social media sites, told myself that I should see it with my own eyes. I have to know if what I saw on pictures are far more beautiful than I thought. 

I live in Bulacan and I plan to bring my family with me on this travel. Of course, I also want my kids to see for themselves that what is taught in school is actually true and real. Funny and weird as you would think of me but everyday I read blogs about Puerto Princesa. Their tourism, weather, food and people. First things first, I should book our flight and our accommodation. Since I was able to book in three months before our desired travel date, we got our tickets at much cheaper price. Good thing there’s Traveloka to help me pick the cheapest flight that I can get through browsing and comparing fares at available airline companies. They have available hotel accommodations too. I picked Casa Fuerte Bed & Breakfast for our accommodation. Great value for money, and since I am an online working mom, booking our trip is a breeze. Thanks Traveloka.


The moment we arrived at Puerto Princesa airport, smiles and warm welcome from Palawenyos is what I’ve noticed first. We are picked by the driver from the accommodation that I’ve got. During our first day, we went out to eat our breakfast at the very famous eatery called “Bona’s Chaolong.” Yes, they serve Chaolong which is a Vietnamese noodle dish, and best when partnered with their signature buttered or cheese bread. Since we are tired from our early flight, we head back to our accommodation and took a rest first before we start the day.
Bona's Chaolong
For our first day, I did not get a city tour. I just want to discover Palawan more by taking a jeepney and tricycle ride. It is 11am and we went to Ka Lui’s (one of the famous restaurants in the city). It is the one I booked for our lunch days before our travel. Entering the restaurant, we have to remove our shoes or slippers. It is a place made out of bamboo, and wood furnishings. The floors and walls are clean and very shiny. It is like you are going to dine in a native house. They serve very delicious food, but their house specials are seafood dishes since Palawan is surrounded by waters. 




Next stop is Palawan Wildlife and Rescue Center or better known as the Crocodile Farm, third stop is the Mitra’s Ranch better known as the Baker’s Hill. Everything there is so educational. A must destination too for your kiddos!

The moment that we’ve been waiting for, we’re going to the Underground River! We woke up early, had our breakfast and we were fetched by the tour guide. Riding the van, the tour was very informative, even my kids pay attention at every details the tour guide mentioned about Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Never a dull moment, we enjoyed at the facts, trivia and information about the city. At last we’ve reached Sabang Port where the motorized boats are waiting for us, it would take us to the Subterranean River National Park. Riding a “bangka”, it was exciting, we saw the blue green waters of Palawan, picture perfect view. 

I just love our background here...
Ooops, of course we didn't forget to take a photo here,
Upon reaching the Park, we were greeted by monkeys and monitor lizards freely walking around. Oooops, the tour guide told us not to leave or open are bags and don’t bring anything on plastic bags, because monkey’s ears are sensitive that once they hear hear plastic bag sounds or even candy wrappers, they will get it from you. We enjoyed mingling with those creatures. 

Scary? No, it’s not that scary. Even the monitor lizards. You will be screaming at first but you will get used to it when walking around. After few minutes of walking, we saw the small river leading to the Underground River. Tour guides made sure that we are safe so they gave us life vests and hard hat. Now we are ready to go inside! 


Going inside the Underground River, we have a “bangkero” (boat man) which will take us inside and be our tour guide at the same time. While one of our co-tourist will be the one to hold the flashlight as we have our tour inside. It was dark inside but you can still see the shinning stalactites. Stalactites are the icicle-shaped formation that hangs from the ceiling of a cave, and stalagmites are the upward-growing mound of mineral deposits that have precipitated from water dripping onto the floor of a cave. Together, as they meet, they would form a column. We are amazed how these stalactites and stalagmites form shapes like vegetables, fruits, animals. It was so educational! Bats are hovering inside the cave as well.



There were drippings of water from above. The “bangkero” crack jokes about it by telling us if the water dripping is cold, it is of course from the cave. But, if it is a bit warm…. hahahah you know that it came from the bats! After our tour, we head back to the park then back to Sabang Port where the eat-all-you-can buffet is waiting for us.


The food is delicious but what we are after is trying to each the “Tamilok” or woodworm. Told my family that we have to try that before we leave Palawan. We ordered one small plate and it was fresh, we have to dip it on spiced vinegar. It tastes like oysters but honestly, I did not open my eyes upon eating a whole “Tamilok”. Yes, it was fresh and tasty, my kids tried it as well. It is a one of a kind experience that we wouldn’t forget. 

Heading back to our accommodation, the tour guide let us have our picture take at the Karst Mountain (Elephant Cave). It was a huge mountain shaped like an elephant, and it also has cave inside. And oh, this is also the place where the Amazing race Philippines and Ukraine took place.

Overall, Puerto Princesa, Palawan has been gifted with natural beauty, awesome places and people. It is indeed one of the 7 Wonders of the Nature. Definitely, we will be back to explore more of Palawan. It's more fun in the Philippines!


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