So how does Puerto Prinsesa City looks like? My first impression was it’s a laid-back city. Well, it’s not really different from my hometown (Iloilo City), it’s just that when I stepped out of the plane, I felt a differently fresh breeze tapped onto my skin. Laid-back in a sense that, I don’t see rushing people, smog nor skyscrapers; just the perfect place to be when you want to get away from fast-paced cities. Imagine your house with birds chirping and coming in, squirrels running and gliding from tree to tree seen outside the windows, and smooth wind in every side of the house; it’s just the ultimate vacation a person like me could ever dream of.
Now in our tour around the city and Iwahig River, we learned many facts about the place. It could be history, people, ways, food, biology, astronomy, etc. All of those are just simply amazing. So, here’s a list of facts that I have grasped from our tour guides:
- Puerto Prinsesa is known as City in a Forest.
- Roughly 70% of the land is still forest.
- Primary mode of transportation is Tricycle.
- Leading source of income is Tourism.
- The city don’t have its own power supply, hence a rotational black-out is being implemented.
- Pollution is relatively less because there are no factories, only vehicles emit carbon.
- The city is also known as Princess of Ports, because of the versatility of its port.
- At least 7 world cruises dock in its port every year.
- In Plaza Cuartel, around 150 American soldiers were burned by Japanese soldiers during World War II.
- The largest crocodile in Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center is named Mac-Mac.
- A crocodile named Valentino was captured Valentine’s Day of 2012.
- Official color of the city is blue.
- There are lots of red squirrels in the city.
- You can find a delicious “Hopia” in Baker’s Hill.
- Fireflies stay on one tree until they die.
- When you see a mangrove with fireflies, meaning its flowers are blooming.
- They react to red light.
- They are disturbed by bright lights like flashlights, camera flash and the likes.
- Fireflies can live up to 40 days.
- There are bioluminescent planktons in Iwahig River.
- The light produced by fireflies and planktons comes from the reaction of some chemicals against oxygen.
- Existence of fireflies and planktons in a community means air and water is still clean.
- Fireflies light up when they breathe in oxygen, while for bioluminescent planktons, it is due to the pressure exerted in the water.
- During younger stage of fireflies (eggs, larva, pupa), they also illuminate. That makes their mortality rate even less because they are easy preys.
- Boat mans in Iwahig River use three different flashlights during a tour. White flashlight for simply lighting mangroves to see what they look like; red ones are for fireflies so that they will illuminate more; and the most amazing one is the laser light used to pinpoint stars or constellations (as if the night sky was like a blackboard!)
- When you swim in Iwahig River (which is prohibited nowadays), your body will lighten up because of the planktons.
There is a lot more that I learned along the way and I know that there are still more to discover in Puerto Prinsesa. That’s why I still want to come back for a longer stay and see more of the place.
It was a long day for us all. Most places we’ve visited were jam-packed of tourists that we have to wait in queue to see every spot lined up in our itinerary. We just didn’t mind. After all, my family and I have perfectly get along with each other, thus, ended the day with love and smiles on our faces. And of course, looking forward for next day’s tour which is the Honda Bay Island Hopping!