“Philippines’ Last Frontier”
PALAWAN, the country’s last frontier has earned a lot of acclamations for its next-to-paradise grandeur. Numerous write-ups and pictures about the province describe it as the “Eden of the New Age”. With these information at hand, I became enthusiastic discovering the truth myself.
An unplanned travel was realized despite the heavy rains. My interest and desire did not diminish as I form visions of picturesque Palawan while awaiting for my plane to land.
Being new in the place, I started to gather information that would make up my itinerary. Resort leaflets from the airport information center were voluminous. Words from tricycle drivers, front desk officers, waiters, waitresses, and security guards helped me sourced my sought after materials needed for the trek. Then I looked for a cheap place to fill-up my near-empty stomach which folded my wings a little. After consuming a hearty and delectable divine meal, my late dinner in Puerto Princesa gained me new strength.
It was still raining the next morning but I continued to follow my itinerary. I visited the Crocodile Farm which gave me a little learning about them. They are kept in their respective cages according to age.
At Tagabinet, portions of Cleopatra’s Needle are amazingly stately and majestic.The clouds hovering near its peak create a portrait that can be compared to the famous and lovely Swiss Alps. I won’t get tired watching its breathtaking contours for hours, days or even weeks.
We headed off to my real destination, the Sabang Beach, which is a three to four hours drive from the city. It is the jump-off point to the underground River.
The weather must have really played against me. Rain kept on pouring and the sea was very rough for sailing. Small boat operators canceled the day’s tour. It’s a pity that I will not be able to visit the provisional winner of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, The Underground River. So I stayed in the resort and, suffice it to say, that Sabang beach is a galore of pleasure and recreation. The beach itself was a statement of tranquility and modernity. Street lights are powered by solar and wind energies.
I decided to go to Port Barton to further explore Palawan. On our way, we stopped at a roadside restaurant for a late lunch. I managed to fill up my stomach with dried squid, dried danggit and rice. My driver and guide had wild boar adobo, wild chicken tinola, grilled wild lizard and rice. What a wild choice of menu?
After our meals, we went westward passing through the 22 kilometer stretch of unpaved road which at times caught us plunging in deep mud causing delay in our movement. For several times, the whole tricycle was like a loose material that could easily fit in the crater-like size of potholes. And if we’re not lucky enough, we push the tricycle out of the knee-deep mud. After 3 hours of travelling and jostling out the trike from giant road cavities, there was total darkness in the mountain and amid the moonless night, I was able to conceal my trepidation. My fear was momentarily dismissed when fireflies came flying by doing their own circus show. “Wireless Christmas lights” at its best. But in that moment as well, with the help of the trike’s lights, I saw a snake with its teeth deeply dug on a rat. This scene made me more fearsome of the darkness in the wilderness. Finally, we arrived at Deep Gold Resort. Dead tired, I readily succumbed to the sounds of the rolling waves despite the cold evening sea breeze.
On the next day as I prepared myself for the waterfalls trip, I was dismayed by the news that the trek was canceled due to heavy rains. Drooped in my room, I was hooked-up on a foot long lizard chased away by a squirrel. Running up and down the wooden plank, these two animals got lost from my sight. Not far away, a heron was being driven away by a dog under a torrential downpour. These two drama-filled episodes served as “fill-ins” in my quest for adventure in an aborted waterfalls trek.