(Circa 2008) Our first ever major family out-of-town trip happened where else but in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. This is a memorable trip for me because it’s my first time to treat my family for a vacation and it also happened to be in my father’s hometown, so all of us were really excited to go there.
I was in charge of everything – from booking tickets, accommodation and planning the itinerary. We stayed at Liberty Park Pension, a small guesthouse in the city. Some friends recommended the place to me. The place is nice and clean, there’s even a restaurant/bar at the rooftop in case you want to have a videoke session with your friends or family.
We had a city tour on the first day. We’re lucky because we’re the only ones in the van when the tour guide picked us up at the guesthouse. Our first stop is Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center. The farm has hundreds of crocodiles in captivity. Other than the crocodiles, there are also other animals such as bear cats, birds and monkeys.
Next stop is the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm. The inmates and their families lived in the thousand-hectare land to do farming work and other livelihood activities. There’s a store near the entrance area where they sell various souvenirs, most of it made by the inmates themselves.
Next stop is the Palawan Butterfly Garden Farm. You would see many butterflies in various shapes and sizes.
After that, we went to Mitra’s Ranch, a house owned by the former senator Ramon Mitra. The house sits on top of a hill and the place is cool, breezy and relaxing. I saw families having their picnic at the vast grounds, kids chasing and playing with one another and dating couples, enjoying the overlooking view of Palawan.
We then went to Baker’s Hill, a few kilometers away from the ranch. I saw this place featured once in a local television. The place doesn’t look like a bakery on a first glance as you will mistaken it for a house in a posh subdivision. We enjoyed taking pictures beside the colorful statues.
Next stop is Plaza Cuartel, which is across Immaculate Conception Cathedral church. Some American soldiers were killed there during the Japanese occupation. The place was then transformed to a leisure park.
There are so many beautiful things to see in Palawan. At first day pa lang ito ha. I like the province because of its simplicity. They really make sure to preserved the beauty of Palawan. In fact, there are no major malls such as SM as my father told me. My father is so proud of his hometown. I could see his eyes sparkle every time he mentions about Palawan, or when there’s some good news about Palawan. I hope to bring my family back here again someday.