Palawan is one of famous tourism destinations in Philippines. This place is well-known for its beautiful nature which means amazing white beach, crystal clear water, spectacular rock islands and remarkable underwater world.
I was blessed to be there for freaking 10 days with my classmates to do school assignment for helping the community by building websites for the local governments and entrepreneurs.
To accomplish this project, what we mainly did in Palawan were island hopping, snorkeling, hiking, trekking, caving, relaxing in the natural hotspring, camping out….
Wait a minute.. Did I say helping the community? Seemed we were having fun instead of helping the community. Haha! Yeah, we could not resist for not having fun in one of the most beautiful islands in Philippines.
So, we were trying to combine both. Work hard, play harder! LoL!
We departed from Silang, Cavite and took a bus to Manila. Excitedly, we jumped in to Superferry (http://www.superferry.com.ph/) that would bring us to Palawan. The ferry has many bunk beds which allowed us to sleep during the trip since it took the whole night to get there. It was early morning when we arrived in Coron, Palawan. As soon as we jumped out of the ferry, we took tricycle to go to the resort which will cater us for 10 days.
As soon as we finished unpacking and cleaning up, we hit the ocean because we were so eager to start doing our work (well, that’s not true..haha!) That day we went island hopping to the small different beaches nearby. On the way to these beaches, we could see the line of hills which form a GIANT SLEEPING BEAUTY.
On the way back to our resort, we stopped by at MARQUINIT HOT SPRING. Back then the entrance fee was only 20 pesos. There was a big pool in the middle and a small pool attached to it. People say the small pool is hotter, but they are actually the same temperature. What is the approximate temperature? I don’t know but its H-O-T! We normally dipped in our body here and relaxing or make a massage line :) It was always hard to leave this place because it was just too good to soak our bodies there. Best time to visit this place is in the evenings because if you come in the morning, you may burn your skin there. Haha..
The next day we went trekking to the indigenous TAGBANUA VILLAGE. It took hours for us to go from one end to another end. However, it was such an expedition. We got to see and experience loads of things. Passing by the native houses, the native people and felt their hospitality. Saw a pig that look like and acted like a dog or a dog that look like and acted like a pig? Amazed to find in this remote area they have a nice cemented basketball court!!! Jeez, it really shows how Filipino love basketball to the max! Passing through thick mangrove jungle and crossing the river which has a crocodile but no one got bitten :) Lucky us.
KAYANGAN LAKE and BARRACUDA LAKE were our next destinations. Great rock island views and crystal clear water will entertain your eyes in these lakes. The quite surrounding will definitely help you relaxing your mind. The water is fresh and cold which is good for swimming. Those lakes look similar. However, I love the challenge in Barracuda Lake because to get there, you had to climb steep and rocky mountains.
We experienced camping out in different islands surround Palawan on the way to Culion Island for couple of days. We had camp fire to warm our bodies and everyone got turned. We slept on the bumpy sand that cause muscle sore for days. We didn’t take shower with fresh water for couple of days. We always use emergency toilet which is big ocean water to pee and hole in the sand to poo (Hahaha!!) But all the troubles were worth it to enjoy great sunrise every morning, great sunset every evening, beautiful thousand stars in the sky every night, white sandy beach, crystal clear water and most of it was enjoying the friendship we have.
The most memorable one for me was when we camped out in DIBUTUNAI ISLAND.
It was because we were able to spend Sabbath in this island. It was great to spend time with God in the middle of his beautiful creation. After we finished our Sabbath service, we headed to BLACK ISLAND. There is a hidden cave inside this island where you could explore.
After long journey we finally made our way to CULION ISLAND. Long time ago this place was known as the ISLAND OF LIVING DEATH because this island is one of the oldest leper colonies in the world.
People were still afraid to visit this place which is ironic because this island is very beautiful. We visited the Culion Fort and Church. The church itself is very beautiful and well constructed. The fort has old canons and overlooks remarkable ocean view. We walked around the city and visited Culion Sanitarium and Museum. It was sad to visit this place because we got to see the general idea of the “colony” from pictures, news clippings, coins and human rattan to transport the patients. It was just so sad.
That was the end of our journey in Palawan because the next day we headed back to Manila. You must be wondering what happened to our community project, right? Well, we worked our asses off after the trip and built 4 websites for 2 local entrepreneurs and 2 local governments in Coron and Culion.