Puerto Princesa, Palawan (Part 2 of 4) – City Tour

On February 23, 2010 by Mrs C

The Puerto Princesa city tour is a half-day affair. You can opt to take it in the morning, or in the afternoon.

Since we wanted to accomplish as much as we can, we took the city tour on Day 1. We were picked up by the tour van shortly after lunchtime.

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First stop: Plaza Cuartel

Plaza Cuartel

The signage reads, in Filipino:

Sa pook na ito na dating tanggulang militar noong ikalawang digmaang pandaigdig naganap ang pagsunog ng mga sundalong Hapon sa humigit kumulang 150 Amerikanong bihag ng digma noong 14 Disyembre 1944. Ilang nakaligtas ay lumangoy sa dagat patungong Iwahig. Ang mga labi ng nasawi ay dinala at inilibing sa St. Louis County sa isang panlahatang libingan sa Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Missouri, Estados Unidos, 1952.

Here’s the English Translation:

In this place of former military defense during World War II occurred the act of Japanese soldiers burning of approximately 150 American prisoners of war on December 14, 1944. Some survivors swam into the sea headed towards Iwahig. The remains of the deceased were brought and buried in St. Louis County in a common grave in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Missouri, United States, 1952.

The tunnel used by American prisoners of war to escape into the sea

It is now converted into a nice little park.

Plaza Cuartel fountain (no water running when we were there, though)

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Second stop: Immaculate Conception Cathedral

Immaculate Conception Cathedral

This church sits right across the road from Plaza Cuartel. Its architecture is not typical for Philippine churches. A prettier picture is on file at Wikipedia.org:

Outside, a grotto prominently pays homage to the church patron (saint?).

The Grotto at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral

Too bad the church was closed, we weren’t able to go inside.

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Third stop: Palawan Butterfly Garden

Palawan Butterfly Garden

Fruits and flowers are displayed to attract butterflies

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Fourth stop: Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center, formerly known as the Crocodile Farm

Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center

The Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center started out as an initiative to save two endangered species of crocodiles which are indigenous to the area.

Bones of the largest wild crocodile ever to hit Puerto Princesa.

On display is one of the largest crocodiles ever seen alive in the vicinity. It was killed in the act of attacking some locals. Its skin hangs on the wall just behind the display.

Skin of the huge crocodile on display

Other than this dead baddie, they also have live crocodiles. In fact, they have an entire warehouse full of crocodiles of different sizes.

Crocodile babies. Oh how they stink.

Adult crocodile. Very sneaky. It doesn’t make a sound.

For a small fee, you can hold a baby crocodile in your hands. Its mouth is tied shut making it safe even for little kiddies to hold.

Don’t be ridiculous! Of course the baby crocodile doesn’t scare me. O.o

Other than crocodiles, they also house other animals including those species indigenous to Palawan, like this sleeping thing whose name I forgot.

I think it’s a type of squirrel or something…. But I don’t really know.

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Fifth stop: Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm

Iwahig Prison & Penal Farm

The signage reads (in Filipino):

Bilangguan man ay paraiso pa rin sa patakarang maka-Diyos at makatao.

In English:

A prison is also paradise in a policy that is godly and humane.

Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm is unique in that it has no walls or fence. Even if they attempt to escape, they’d have a hard time getting out of the island given its small size and remoteness. Inmates are allowed to freely roam within the premises. They are rehabilitated by making them produce handcrafted souvenirs. Our tour guide said majority of Palawan souvenirs are sourced from here. Tourists can alight from vehicles to purchase souvenirs from the village shop, or even just to mingle with the prisoners.

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Last stop: Mitra Farm

Mitra Farm, the patio

The farm is owned by the political Mitra family, the most famous of whom is Ramon Mitra, Jr. The area has been opened to the public, although the mansion is occupied and thus its doors are kept closed.

The view from the Mitra Farm

It offers a lovely view of the landscape and islands far off. In the distance, the private island belonging to the Hagedorn political family can be sighted.

2 Responses to “Puerto Princesa, Palawan (Part 2 of 4) – City Tour”

  • Dear Wandering Feet,

    I am helping to create a website for a non-profit foundation. The site needs more images and I am wondering if I could use one of the images from your site. If you agree I will be be sure to display a link to your site either on or directly next to the image. The image is the first one from the Palawan Butterfly Garden.

    The foundation is called The LOLA Foundation and the website is http://thelolafoundation.org. The foundation’s mission is to help indigent children in the Philippines through short-term humanitarian service trips and long-term sustainable projects. Thank you for your help.

    Sincerely,

    Patick McClay
    LOLA Foundation Volunteer 
    pmcclay@calpoly.edu

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