PUERTO PRINCESA CITYis the capital city of Palawan, Philippines and a first class city in this province. The place is famous for its crocodile farm, dive spots and underground rivers.
Puerto Princesa was named after Princess Eulalia of Spain in the 18th century. Spanish colonizers came in this place on March 4, 1872 and built a settlement. Soon after a chapel was built in the hill of Palawan, and in May 1872 the bay of Palawan became the center of Spanish Naval Operations thus the settlement eventually flourished into a town with roads, hospital and construction of port.
Puerto Princesa was recognized by the Philippine Government as one of the most beautiful towns in the Philippines in 1894. Upon the arrival of Americans in 1911, the American administration made Puerto Princesa as the seat of Palawan Provincial Government. Later on the town was converted into a city under Republic Act 5906 on January 1, 1970 through Congressman Ramon V. Mitra, Jr. and Feliberto R. Oliveros, Jr. became the first City Mayor of Puerto Princesa.
Currently, Puerto Princesa is a booming trade and commerce in Palawan. The city has gained various accolades due to its cleanliness, environmental protection and conservation and good local governance.
The City of Puerto Princesa has a total land area of 253,982.00 hectares and is approximately 306 nautical miles from Manila, 206 nautical miles to Panay Island and about 250 nautical miles to Zambonga. The place is bounded by the municipality of San Vicente and Roxas in the north side and Aborlan in the south. The western side of the city is a coastline of the South China Sea and in the east side is the Sulu Sea.
Currently, the city has a diverse population coming from various provinces and other countries with 161,912 people in 33,306 households. Original inhabitants of the land were Cuyunons and indigenous groups such as Tagbanuas and the Bataks. The predominant language used is Cuyuno, Tagalog, Visayan, as well as English are widely spoken.
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
In 1994, Palawan Chamber of Commerce was established further flourishing the business sector in the city. The Chamber now has more than 80 members, and the business chamber provides support in terms of enhancing and growing existing business, additional learning of skills, and financial assistance both to big and small scale businesses in Puerto Princesa and other regions in Palawan.
The city has two distinct climate seasons which is dry season from November to April and wet season during the months of May to October. Heavy rainfall is felt during September, while the driest month is in February.
LIST OF “BARANGAYS” (or communities)
The City of Puerto Princesa has 66 barangays, 35 communities in Urban Area and 31 communities in rural area:
Bagong Bayan (Rural)
Bagong Pag-Asa (Urban)
Bagong Sikat (Urban)
Bagong Silang (Urban)
New Panggangan (Rural)
San Jose (Urban)
San Miguel (Urban)
San Pedro (Urban)
San Rafael (Rural)
Santa Cruz (Rural)
Santa Lourdes (Urban)
Santa Lucia (Rural)
Santa Monica (Urban)
Inagawan Sub-Colony (Rural)
San Manuel (Urban)
The village is a home of cultural people resembling the Aetas. In order to reach this village one has to climb a road, five hours walk in the plain, and a one kilometer steep climb.
The cave features breathtaking limestones and overlooks the village of Cabayugan.
The place is 1,600 meters above sea level and is ideal for trekkers and mountaineers. From the peak one can view the city of Puerto Princesa.
DAYLIGHT HOLE CAVE
The ray of light is the only guide for tourists in entering the wide entrance of this cave as one paddle their way along the long, pitch-black river inside the cave.
FLORA AND FAUNA
Palawan is abundant in various plant and animal species. Most of these are already endangered due to illegal logging and habitat destruction.
HONDA BAY’S ISLAND
Honda Bay offers a stretch of islands ideal for diving, snorkeling, and swimming and bask into the white sand beaches. Among these Islands are Pandan Island, Arreceffi Island, and Panglima Reef where coral boulders and gray reef sharks are found. Tourists may also visit Snake Island and Bat Island.
IHAWIG PENAL COLONY
This colony was built by the Americans in 1904 and has since become famous for finely handcrafted bags and other souvenir items.
IMMACULATE CONCEPCION CATHEDRAL
In 1961 the cathedral was built in honor of the city’s patron Immaculate Conception of Mary. The angular structure departs from most churches in other parts of the Philippines, providing visitors with an interesting glimpse of unconventional religious structure.
LIMESTONE AND MARBLE CLIFFS
The cliffs are located in communities of Cabayugan and Tagabinet and ideal for mountaineers, rock climbers, and nature lovers. St. Paul Park rangers can likewise assist adventurous travelers.
The cave has a stalagmite structure similar to a lion guarding the entrance of St. Paul Park.
The museum has various relics and artifacts including those from Tabon Cave, where remains of first Filipino were found.
The cuartel used to be a garrison of Japanese soldiers where 143 American prisoners were burned to death inside a tunnel during World War II.
PUERTO PRINCESA BAY
The bay is ideal for bay and mangrove cruises, and provides a vast array of resorts where tourists can have their accommodation and dine facing the panoramic view of the bay. Puerto Princesa bay is a major port of call for smaller ships and boats going to Sulu Sea destinations such as the Cuyo islands and Tubbataha Reef, a diver’s paradise.
PUERTO PRINCESA SUBTERRANEAN RIVER NATIONAL PARK
The park features spectacular limestone karst landscape with an 8.2 kilometer Underground River. Cathedral chambers, wide hallways, and interesting geologic formations greet the wide eyed visitor to the grotto hidden beneath St. Paul Mountain. At the mouth of the cave, a clear lagoon is framed by ancient trees growing right to the water’s edge. Monkeys, large monitor lizards, and squirrels find their niche on the beach near the cave.
This place is ideal for bathing. One can also find rare species of butterflies. Picnic huts and two sleeping cottages are available for overnight stay.
A cluster of three islets called Tres Marias stand guard at the mouth of this Bay. Inside the bay is Rita Island, another popular dive spot.
The village is a home for the Vietnamese asylum seekers or “Boat People” who first came in the city in 1979. The place is situated in Sta. Lourdes.
Another option is through Air Philippines, Asian Spirit, Cebu Pacific, and Philippine Airlines (PAL) travels to the city daily which is an hour trip from Manila.
The trip takes about 18 to 22 hours from Manila. Superferry and Negros Navigation Superferry travels to Puerto Princesa twice a week.