Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Piece of Heaven on Earth Part Four

Day three as usual started early. We had to get going because our flight was scheduled at one in the afternoon so we needed to wrap up our day tour for just four hours which by the way is only the allotted time for our rented van. We rented a van for ourselves since our flight details doesn't fit an ordinary city tour, we paid extra, of course. We were picked up by the van around seven in the morning, I was not hyped that time since I'm clearly not a morning person but Jr was the opposite, he was all smiles and full of energy. We had the same driver, Kuya Lito who also served as the tour guide.

First stop. The Baywalk.

The baywalk is I think very similar to the popular Baywalk in Manila Bay. Kuya Lito once said that it was a squatters area before but the government did a lot of rehabilitations and they relocated the squatters to a much nicer place where the houses where 20 years to pay. And the residents was also assigned to maintain the cleanliness and orderliness of the area. I admired Puerto Princesa's government for that.  

Warning! You'll be seeing a lot of photos of me, since Jr had a great time taking snap shots of me and the place.  I found the Baywalk peaceful. When we got there, the weather was gloomy and Mr. Sun didn't do his job that time, but that was okay. I enjoyed the view anyway. :)

More picture of me on the way. lol
Pawalan has a very large fishing industry that's why they're taking good care of the sea. They're very particular with their garbage and you could really tell how clean the city was.

There's really nothing much to do on the Baywalk aside from taking pictures, but maybe if Jr and I got plenty of spare time we could just stay there and watch everything. I could even picture myself reading a good book there or even ride a bike or just sit on a bench and watch the sunset, that would be really romantic. Ayay! :p
After a few pictures taken from at the Baywalk we headed to Plaza Cuartel which is a few minutes drive from the bay. 

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Plaza Cuartel doesn't have an entrance fee. You just have to be polite at the people guarding the place. The place was well kept. Grounds are swept and grasses were trimmed. I again noticed how clean it is. Staying at the plaza will give you that "close to the nature" feeling, it has a lot of trees, a fountain and this bronze marker that according to it contains the eleven names of prisoners of war who managed to survived the massacre that happened to the said place. Upon reading what the marker said the hair on the back of my neck just raised. I can't believe people died and a war happened to the place.

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Just across the plaza was the Immaculate Conception Cathedral , the city's largest catholic church.  When I went inside  to say a little prayer I can't help but admire it's architecture.

Next stop. Palawan Museum.

Palawan Museum is very much typical like other museum that I've been too. It's a few minutes drive from the city proper. Just right in front of the city's covered court. I wish my province could have a museum too.

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The museum reflects the place's rich culture. I saw a lot of interesting stuffs for a very affordable admission fee of 20php.

I saw this and it caught my attention. I'm not sure if this is Alibata  (Filipino's Native Alphabet) or  Cuyuno (Palawan's Native Dialect). I really can't tell. :p

After traveling back in time we're set to the next destination.
It's a 20-30 minutes drive from the city, located at the heart of Baranggay Sta. Monica lays a sanctuary of  cold blooded creatures.

Next. Crocodile Farm.

A candid photo of Jr and I at the Crocodile Farm. The farm is well taken cared of by the government and some volunteers.  It is under the Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center. Upon entering we paid 40php each for admission fees.    

This overwhelming skeleton and skin belongs to the largest crocodile that was captured some time in the 90's. It's about 5 meters or 16 feet in length starting from the nose up to the tip of the tail. When it was captured it was discovered to have an eaten half body of a human inside (Yikes!) but it later died due to stress, according to the tour guide. 

The baby crocs, placed inside fiber glass tanks. They are keep here until they're fully grown. Some of them are juvenile, some of them has defects and most of them are very much alive and always ready to bite. :)
If you find these baby crocs fascinating, click here for more information.

I'm really not scared on how the way they look. But as I think of the things that they could mercilessly do to human being, that's when I get pre-chills of fear. There's this news about a crocodile named Pilo he was captured in one of the Baranggays in Puerto Princesa, he was hunted down because he ate a nine year old girl in the river. Although I didn't caught a glimpse of him because he died few months ago, it still give me the creeps when I think about the story. 

After about 10-15minutes of tour on the crocodile sanctuary, guests are allowed to wander in the mini forest/zoo/nature park. Although some of the trails are quite confusing, you'll still end up on one exit. :)

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We saw a lot of birds and animal, mostly wild. I was tired and my shoes were full of mud. But I liked everything I saw.
I just wish there'll be more animals next time. :)

After the nature park tour, we were allowed to hold a baby crocodile. The photo op cost 30php . As I touched them, they were really cold and their skin was really hard and rough. I haven't touched anything like it before. I was scared at first but I conquered my small fear.  :)

Jr was not scared even a bit. I didn't know if his just showing a bravado or something.  Maybe the taped mouth of the baby cros gave him the assurance. lol :p

There were also souvenir shops and restaurants at the area, although we've so much wanted to try the crocodile meat we didn't have spare time. We just stopped to grab and buy keepsakes for our loved ones. We were running out of time so we immediately went to the next stop.

Mitra Ranch.

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Mitra Ranch was located at the same baranggay.
Mitra Ranch was a private hacienda actually, it was first owned by former senator Ramon Mitra and  is now owned by Baham Mitra whose the 2nd district congressman of the city.
The place was open to the public but the house maintained it's privacy. Our tour guide said that government officials usually conduct meetings at the said place.
The huge house has a wonderful view, overlooking is the amazing Honda Bay.
There's also a zip-line that's readily available for the tourists, as I said Jr and I are running for time so we weren't able to try it. At least we still got something to look forward to and that's another reason for us to go back.
Here's some blog about Mitra Ranch since they don't have an official website.

There were lots of benches that you can sit on, the place was relaxing. It has fresh air and an amazing view.
I also loved the flowers. lol :p

Few blocks from Mitra Ranch was Baker's Hill. This one's my favorite actually. Although I haven't been there before I've heard a lot of good things about the place and indeed it was awesome.

Baker's Hill.

Upon entrance you'll be captivated by the place, it's like the things that you see on fairy tales.
They have these statues and figures that can really caught anyone's attention.

I want something like this in the future.
I got intrigued by this house inside Baker's Hill, maybe it's the owner's house or something. I didn't got the chance to ask   because, as I said we're running out of time.

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Jr and I had a wonderful time taking photos of everything that we saw. I really loved the place and I really wanted to stay longer. But we can always go back right?

Aside from selling breads and pastries, there's also a restaurant that offers fine dinning. Again, I was dying to try the food but Kuya Lito was rushing us. :(

I super love this photo. I was so happy when I saw it that's why I can't resist putting it here so forgive me.
Taken at Baker's Hill on the way out.

The famous Hopia. I can't give the exact translation of Hopia in english so better yet click here.
It has three flavors, Hopiang Monggo, Ube and Baboy. Jr and I bought all flavors and they were all so good. Nothing like I've ever tasted. I want one right this very minute. :p

After exploring the place we went to...

The Butterfly Garden.

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Butterfly Garden serves as a shelter for butterflies and different insects. For a 50php entrance fee you'll got a chance to explore the garden by your own. I have a soft spot for butterflies since I find them very pretty. I almost ran all over the place because I was chasing them. I felt a kid again. Jr was busy taking snap shots of the place but when he hand me over the camera, I saw him chasing the butterflies too. :)

Can't help grinning. I was able to catch a few of them. Yes, I caught them. Touching them and seeing them fly from me is priceless. :)

(Click photo for a larger view)
There were also other insects and animals that can be found inside the garden. 

The scorpions.
We were allowed to touch it. Only with assistance of course, they don't normally sting, unless they feel threatened. So we're really careful on touching them.

After getting close to nature. We hurried back to our van for our last top.

Last stop. Binuatan Creations.

As being the final stop I was not disappointed. Located at Pajara, Sta. Monica a few minutes ride from the city Binuatan Creations is the home of the world class quality woven bags, mats, saucers, table runners, slippers, window curtains, blinds and etc. They use indigenous materials such as grasses and buri.  It was nice seeing the workers weaving intricate designs patiently, one of them was kind enough to teach me how to do the traditional weaving. It was hard, and it will really take a lot of patience and inspiration to finish a product and for that, kudos to the people at Binuatan Creations! Thumbs up to you guys! :)

Here's some other blogs about Binuatan Creations.

After our memorable city tour we were dropped off to the airport by Kuya Lito. We just waited for  few minutes before boarding. Jr and I were so tired, we also got a lot of things on hand, most of them are keepsakes. But I was really happy and content. Although we haven't explored the whole city and we weren't able to try everything, I was still contented.We just hope and pray that we'll be able to go back to the city and gain precious memories again. I can't tell you how happy I was, but my photos are enough to show how I feel right? So let's see each other again. On my next trip I think. It'll be this October. I won't get into details because I wan't you to keep on guessing. I'll give one clue though. It's in Asia. lol. :p

I hope you did have a good time too. :)

See yah!

Love lots, KarenHeartilly


My favorite shot of the day. Taken at Baker's Hill. And take note, we got this with just one try. :)
Another P.S.

Please don't forget to support the Puerto Princesa Underground River. It really deserves a place of the New Seven Wonders of Nature. To vote on line, click here. And to vote via mobile click here.

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