First Time: Prinsesa Musang in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan

At first I thought I’d title this post ‘PM Devirginized’ but I later decided to go against it because it sounded so scandalous – kids read this blog you know? LOL.

I’m back from Palawan everyone, my first travel via an airplane [would you believe I went to Tugegarao last year and rode a 13-hour straight bus ride?]. Thank you for all the love you’ve sent me even when I was not able to visit your sites, especially on heart’s day! Belated Happy Valentine’s everyone! I will be bloghopping soon, hopefully I would get updates on how you spent your heart’s day.

As for me, well, my Man and I were not together last Saturday because my flight got me back at around 11 PM, too bad it was so late, my Man was hoping he could see me that same night but, it’s okay, maybe we would make this week a week-long valentine celebration. LOL. Palawan was the best, but I still love it here at home of course, with my Jin. LOL.

Speaking of Palawan, OMG it was an amazing place – especially the Puerto Princesa Underground Cave or what is called the Subterranean River that finished first place on the first round of voting for the world’s new7wonders of nature. I am defintely campaigning for it so if you haven’t voted yet, please do! Worth it, worth it, worth it!

Palawan Subterranean Underground Cave Entrance

Palawan Subterranean Underground Cave Entrance

I have not seen all of the candidates yet but if you have been to the Underground Cave I know you will perfectly agree with me that it is definitely a wonder of nature – it was breathtaking! And when I say something is breathtaking, it truly is because I am not the type of person to go all exaggerated about this things.

Stalactites and stalagmites at the entrance!

Stalactites and stalagmites at the entrance!

The cave is about a two-hour bus ride from the city which is kind of long but definitely worth it. It is amazing how the landscape slowly shifts from commercial establishments into forest lands and huge marble mountains on the way to the cave. After the bus ride, you have to take a boat for about half an hour and that will take you to the shore of the underground cave.

Interestingly, while waiting for our boat ride, I decided to walk along the shores and wet my feet on the cold sea because it was freaking hot. As luck would have it, the stones on the shore were slippery so… PM tripped and landed on her hipbone, wetting her capris and getting them all dirty. LOL. It was not crippling though, thank God.

My mentor and her daughter who made the trip with me

My mentor and her daughter who made the trip with me

That is an actual tree branch on the shore near the cave. It was so cool since it looked like a swing! From here you will need to walk, maybe a couple of meters or so and the amazing cave entrance will greet you next.

My friends on our way out of the cave

My friends on our way out of the cave

The tour of the cave is via a boat that can carry about 7-10 people and it will take you on a fascinating journey on one of God’s most wonderful creations. It is awfully dark inside the cave but the boat is accompanied by some sort of spot light so you can very well see the beauty of the cave and all the bats and swallows that call it home. The tour closes at around 6 PM because tons and tons and tons of those same bats fly out of there during that time – certainly not a wonderful treat if you are still inside the cave, maybe a good view outside, but inside? Maybe a nightmare.

The cave is completely navigable and has open ends on both sides about 42 kilometers long, claiming to be the world’s longest navigable underground cave, but the tour will only take you to about 1.2 kilometers inside the cave. I have not gotten our pictures inside the cave yet from my friend but I will make sure that I will be able to post it within the week so you will be able to see.

What is amazing about the underground cave apart from the obvious gigantic stalactites and stalagmites are the interesting rock formations inside. They are many but what I find most amazing is the place they call the ‘cathedral’ inside which houses a group of rock formations that takes statuesque form like that of the Nativity, the three Magi of Jerusalem, the Last Supper, the Virgin Mary, and in the middle of all these is a humongous stalagmite that looks like a melting candle. There was also one that resembled the face of Jesus Christ. OMG it was so amazing!

The trip costs around P1500 per person and you can easily avail of it on your hotels; they usually offer tour packages to their guests, but if there is none there are loads of people who will give you flyers on your way out of the airport and you can choose from there whether it be the Monkey Trail, Honda Bay, Tubattaha Reef or the Subterranean River – your choice.

The main commercial place of Palawan is Puerto Princesa City. It is not a big city, the fact I love most. It is quiet but very accesible, plus they have a very beautiful capitol compound that is made of marble from the outside up to the inside!

My friend Lexy and my mentor's daughter Charisse

My friend Lexy and my mentor's daughter Charisse

I seriously think that Palawan is a very rich province, and I predict theirs will be a mega city way down anytime soon like Cebu and Davao. Foreigners frequent it and that line just to see their cave is unbelievable, so I think it’s all the way up for Palawan.

Tons of shiny marble inside the capitol building!

Tons of shiny marble inside the capitol building!

And oh, I almost forgot to tell you, the most interesting part of this trip to Palawan is that… I almost did not make it! LOL. Of course during that time it was no laughing matter because my friends needed to come to Puerto Princesa on the 11th because they were joining a press congress.

First was the fact that we went to the wrong terminal. LOL. We were at NAIA Centennial Terminal and upon checking-in we realized we were supposed to be at the new Terminal 3!

Next mishap was, our flight was booked on 9:40 AM at Philippine Airlines but it turned out that they overbooked! They told us that they are willing to house us at a hotel then they will give us a plane ride the next day. No way that’s going to happen! So my Mentor arranged for us and ‘aggresively negotiated’ with PAL supervisor that ended up with PAL buying us plane tickets in another airline, Cebu Pacific.

We thought it was going to be okay so we rested and waited at the departure lodge only to find out during boarding time that the plane we were about to ride was not going to Palawan but in Cebu! We all panicked because first of all, our luggages are already on that plane! My Mentor ‘more aggresively negotiated’ with PAL, this time with so much pressure since we wanted to fly so badly because we had a time to catch. It turned out that My Mentor, the people of Cebu Pacific, and PAL had a miscommunication. We really were hopping on that plane to Cebu and from there we will get a connecting flight via Cebu-Palawan. So, PM was also able to go to Cebu. LOL.

In Cebu, it was again another comedy of errors. When we arrived, check-in time for the Palawan trip was over and we were again stranded. So another ‘aggressive negotiations’ transpired and we ended up inside that plane to Palawan.

Whew! That was such a headache! By the time we reached Palawan it was already 5 PM, to think we were supossed to be there at around 11 AM! Oh well, thinking about it just made the trip more itneresting, and a memorable first. But the best part was that my friends won on the press congress the attended! Yey!

OMG. After that Palawan trip I am now convinced tha really, you never forget your first time.

21 thoughts on “First Time: Prinsesa Musang in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan

  1. Pingback: About Bohol Island: Tour, Travel, Destination, Food « Prinsesa's Anatomy

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  3. Palawan din naka-Devirginize sa akin, hehehe! First-ever farthest trip ko yun. And take note, we took Superferry from Manila. So it was an excrutiating 24-hour sea travel. I so love trekking from Central Park to Underground River. At wala akong masabi how clean Puerto Princesa was back then. Is it still clean? Ayan, namiss ko bigla ang Palawan. Hope to be back there… soon!

    Any update on post-V day with your Babe? LOL!

  4. Hi there!

    Guys! we need your help! On June 17-19 2009 we’re going to Puerto Prinsesa Palawan. What are the DO’s or DON’T going to Palawan? What are the different ways to enjoy our stay in Palawan given that we only have 3 days 2 nights. What tips can you give us? BTW, i’m with my 2 friends going there. Total of 3.

    Thank you very much!

  5. bw,
    the road to palawan was awful i swear one inch more and i could’ve thrown up! it is beautiful. i thought before it was just some cave but of course i was wrong.

    it was memorable – annoyingly memorable because of PAL. LOL.

    kris japser,
    i did that too and there are 4 – tubattaha reef, chocolate hills, subterranean river, and mayon.

    maybe on your next vacation here you can go to palawan. it is a wonderful place, definitely worth your money.

  6. Hi PM! Oh I love Palawan!! I’ve been to Coron but not to Puerto Princesa and would love to (someday!) Thanks for sharing this. Looks like you had a blast 🙂

  7. Never been to Palawan yet but Ive heard it’s beautiful.

    I have voted for all of RP’s nominated places, I think there were 3? I hope all 3 will be in Top 7. Tourism is what we need to help alleviate the economy.

  8. And despite the aggravation at the gates, you still made it !

    Cool pics 🙂 The caves are indeed awesome. I watched a lot about this Palawan wonder on the nature channels on TV here !

  9. jem,
    thank you. hope you also learned things apart from plain enjoying the tabloid.

    i endured that bus ride to bicol too! OMG my back hurt so much!

    we did not have time for the monkey trail since we are working on a moving time. maybe when my man and i go back we can do that, yey!

    you should come! sobrang ganda! at sana nga hindi mo maranasan ang nangyari sakin!

    you should come see it!

    gusto mo ng stalagmite? LOL

    dapat pumunta ka na dun! tapat mo pag may promo sa airline.

    wala ng pasalubong na ilalabas si musang. hubad na. LOL

  10. When I went to Palawan with my sister, we took the Monkey trail hike to reach that Underground Cave. It was a 2 hour hike in dense jungle. But at the end of that gruelling hike to experience the cool cave is worth it. I’m glad you got to experience it as well and to think that you almost didn’t make it to your destination hehehe

  11. Boohoo, PAL has overbooked! Yaiks. Btw, I can relate to your 13-hour land travel. It pained my ass when I took a 10-hour bus trip to Bicol (due to non-availability of flight). But it was a good experience all in all, sightseeing, etc.

    My previous office had its most current outing to Palawan. They sent me photos and I’d say it’s really a top destination. Enjoy your post-valentine’s celebration!

  12. waw! so that’s the way PM was “de-V’d”! and mam norms was also there pala..hehe..

    newey, i’ve read your new TD edition…i really enjoyed it! 🙂 keep it up and hapi blogging! 🙂

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