Puerto Princesa is a True Royal

IN terms of nature and culture, Puerto Princesa City, the capital of the largest island province of the Philippines, is a true royal.

Because among its equally famous sister towns Coron and El Nido, Puerto Princesa remains to be the most diverse in terms of tourism in the whole of Palawan. 

Let's see why through these the wonderful destinations I rediscovered on my second visit last September 2016. 

Nature at its finest

Perhaps the most fascinating place on Puerto Princesa is the Subterranean River National Park (or more commonly known as the Underground River), which is a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Rock formations inside the subterranean river mimics different forms
The underground river runs for over 21 km under the Saint Paul Mountain Range. But only a mere part of it is accessible by a boat tour that allows tourists to see its stalactite formations, which took thousands of years to form. Using imagination, they mimic different things from fried chicken to an angel, among many others.

Also inhabiting the cave are thousands of bats and birds whose guano, or excrement, may drip on you. You’ll know if it feels warm.

Preserved bones and skin of one of the largest freshwater crocodiles caught captive at the Palawan Wildlife center
For a closer encounter with creatures of the wild, a quick stopover at the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conversation Center is a must. It houses caught freshwater crocodiles, as well as breeds the powerful reptile.

History and heritage

To know Puerto Princesa even better, start at the Palawan Heritage Center, which is part of the provincial capitol complex. Inside, see fossils of pre-historic men who roamed the island’s earliest civilizations. These archaeological artifacts come from the Tabon Cave where the oldest human fossil in the Philippines ever was excavated. The tibia dates back to 47,000 years ago!

Tribal armory like these showcase the ways of life of the indigenous people of Palawan
Also exhibited are the ways of life of the indigenous peoples of Palawan like the use of tribal armory, as well as weaving. Things get exciting through the interactive hologram.

A laidback ambiance embraces Plaza Cuartel by daytime, but by nighttime?  
For blast from the past, visit Plaza Cuartel that reminds of Puerto Princesa’s role during the World War II. The cuartel is actually a military base where some 150 American prisoners of war were burned, alive.

Only a few survived and most remains are still underground. Located at the town center just beside the Immaculate Cathedral, never visit Plaza Cuartel at night.

Standing at the hotel’s facade is Millie Po-Artillaga, director of operations 

Palaweño hospitality

The locals are the first to welcome tourists whenever setting foot in a foreign land. At Puerto Princesa, first-timers and returnees will both feel the warmth of the Palaweños.

This is especially true at Hotel Fleuris, one of the most established hotels in Puerto Princesa, which is 17 years old this month. The key to its longevity? The high-quality service offered by the people who run it.

A warm welcome care of the hotel's friendly staff always awaits guests 
Friendly staff greets its guests with the warmest smiles. They are always on call for all needs of guests. Over at the We Be restaurant, the chef prepares the tastiest Japanese cuisine and more. All-in-all, they make one’s stay at Hotel Fleuris truly comfortable, thus memorable.

The pool is inviting you for a dip (Hotel Fleuris photos by Klara Fernandez)
The boutique hotel also features charming interiors and modern facilities like the swimming pool, piano bar, gym and function room.

Contact Hotel Fleuris via its Manila Sales Office at 846-6488, 812-0384, or 845-4364. Or visit www.hotelfleuris-palawan.com.


The original version of this story is originally published for www.JetsetterAsia.com.


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