The last frontier.
Known as the country’s last frontier, Palawan has managed to preserve its fascinatingly natural habitat through the years.
Situated north of Mindoro and north of Malaysia’s Sabah Island, Palawan is the country’s largest province spanning 1.5 million hectares. An ideal breeding ground for tropical flora and fauna, Palawan has more than a thousand islands and islets where monkeys, squirrels, bear cats, and zebras thrive with wild tropical plants and corals.
Palawan’s population follows the same pattern. The province has attracted peoples of all backgrounds and it is said that today’s Palawenos are a fusion of 81 different cultural groups. Foreigners, too, have grown to love this quiet province.
Palawan consists of about 1,769 islands; the Calamian Island group to the north, the Cuyo Islands group to the northwest, and the Balabac-Bugsuk group to the southwest. For the laid-back trip, Honda Bay is an ideal destination. From there, you can take your pick of your own little hideaway from Cowrie Island and Pandan, to La Isla Bonita and Isla de Nagusuan. Calauit Island is a 3,700 hectare game preserve and wildlife sanctuary alive with indigenous species and African wildlife including giraffes, zebras, and gazelles. Sea turtles, sea cows, and a variety of marine life nestle on its shores.
Beneath the St. Paul Mountain lies a quiet underground river which snakes for about 8-kilometers before opening up into a clear lagoon flowing into the South China Sea. The Park also features the exciting Monkey Trail with its series of wooden paths to the forest.
The oldest known habitation site in Southeast Asia, the tabon Caves, unearthed a skull that dates back to 22,000 years ago. Visit the Balsahan or Tagbarung Swimming Resort, Kalis Point, or better yet, get a taste of El Nido.
El Nido features black marble caves, tabletop corals, fantastic marine life, and the requisite white sand beach. Named after the swallow’s nest which proliferates in its mountain caves, El Nido also features one of the most delicious samplings of the freshest seafood in the land.
Go down Cuyo Island and visit the Cuyo Spanish Church Fort with its massive ten-meter high and wide walls. Archeologists have also unearthed stone-age tools, Chinese burial jars, and ancient ornaments in Palawan’s numerous caves.