Go, celebrate the gift of life!

You are currently browsing the Palawan category.

Duyan (Hammock)

(This is part of a series of my favorite posts I am re-posting so I could also share my blog’s journey with the new visitors here. On the photo is one of my dear friends.)

Oh, to be a child again playing in a duyan!
I’ve always loved being in a duyan. My siblings and I had a duyan when we were young. We would take turns climbing into it and swaying back and forth in the breeze. It was a special duyan because it was made by Nanay from two empty sacks of rice she sewed together by hand. On lazy days, I would climb into it, nestle my small body within, and let my thoughts get lost among my daydreams.

As I got older, I continued loving being in a duyan. I love to lie quietly, lost in thought, within a duyan hung between the trees. It meant sweet leisure, quality time with myself, and a promise of peace. I would watch the trees sheltering me and wonder if they will continue sheltering weary souls long after I had faded from memory.

I would stare blankly at their robust branches that make intricate patterns against the bright, wide, blue sky as the sun rays dapple through the leaves of the trees kissing my skin. It always makes me realize that I am sheltered in the canopy of ever changing skies and it never fails to remind me that I may be just a speck in the universe but I am part of something greater, something that’s good.

Ahhh, to lie quietly in a duyan…to think of moments gone by and moments yet to come, to contemplate about Time, Life, and Being. It makes my soul at peace, it awakens my heart to life and opens my eyes to the simple but lasting pleasures that Nature blesses humanity with. Life is sweet with a duyan. If only I could only hang one right now…..

Posted 6 years, 11 months ago at 2:16 pm.


Coron: Kayangan Lake

Continuing on our Coron adventure, after Siete Pecados we geared for our next destination: the Kayangan Lake. The trip was very relaxing. The calm deep-blue waters surrounding us was refreshing. I enjoyed the view as we passed by several islets made up of limestones (see picture above). Very scenic talaga.

After a few minutes, we arrived in what looked like a hidden cove surrounded by beautiful massive limestone formations.

After our guide paid the entrance fee, we were given orientation by a young member of the Tagbanua tribe, one of the oldest tribes in the country. He showed us on a big map the different islands in the area. The Tagbanua people use the fees collected from tourist for the upkeep of the islands. I think it is good that the government of Palawan got the tribe actively involved in the tourism industry of the area. After all, it is considered as the tribe’s ancestral domain.

After the brief orientation, we had to climb a steep path. I did not bother to count the steps but I think more than a hundred sila. The steps are not concrete, the railings are either branches of trees or small wooden planks. Kailangan ng konting ingat.

Finally, we reached the “peak.” This small cave greeted us.

From the peak, you could see what I fondly call my favorite hidden cove 🙂

Ain’t it a picture-perfect view? Kulay pa lang ng tubig, superb na! No wonder why this part of Coron is perhaps one of the most photograph parts of the Philippines. We often see this in calendars, postcards, tourism websites, and TV commercials.

But wait, we haven’t reached Kayangan Lake yet. Patikim pa lang yan 🙂

From the “peak,” we descended on a steep trail.

The trail ends at the very scenic Kayangan Lake, a freshwater blue lagoon amidst big limestone cliffs.

Sarap lumangoy! Okay, that’s an exaggeration 😀 I really didn’t swim….because di naman talaga ako marunong lumangoy hehehe. Thankfully, we brought with us the lifevests provided by the boatmen. Then there was a long bamboo pole floating on the lake. Kinuha ito ng mga kasama ko then they made me hold on to it at itinulak nila ang bamboo pole kasabay ng paglangoy nila. Kaya hayun, nakarating ako sa gitna at na-enjoy ko yung lake. Salamat sa mga nagtulak ng bamboo hehehe.

Next stop: Barracuda Lake. I want to also include the trip tp Barracuda Lake in this post. But this already seems a long one. So sa susunod na lang.

Posted 7 years, 5 months ago at 7:32 pm.


Coron: The Maquinit Hot Spring

Sa lahat po ng nag-greet sa akin nung birthday ko, ipinaaabot ko ang aking taus-pusong pasasalamat. Thank you for your prayers and wishes.

Now, on to our next vacation destination: the Maquinit Hot Spring, still in the town of Coron in Palawan.

The Maquinit Hot Spring is just about 5 km east of the Coron town proper. You can reach the hot spring by tricycle. Fare is 35Php per person. You can arrange for the driver to wait for you if you won’t be staying long. Or you can ask him to fetch you on a particular time.

The Maquinit Hot Spring has two small and one wide pools with hot saltwater that sooths your tired muscles. After enjoying sunset in Mt. Tapyas, pamper your tired feet here 🙂 It is the only saltwater hot spring in the country, sabi ng caretaker, hehehe. It is said that during World War II, some Japanese soldiers set up a camp in this part of Coron to rest for a few days and mend their wounds. The temperature of the saltwater in Maquinit Hot Spring can reach 40 degrees Celsius.

Since the hot spring is located on the shorefront, at the entrance of mangrove-filled Coron harbor, it offers a great view of what’s in store for you as you explore more of Coron.

Next post, we’ll go island hopping in Coron!

Posted 7 years, 6 months ago at 11:31 am.


Conquering Mt. Tapyas

I am continuing my posts on some great vacation spots I have recently been to, in the hope that you will be inspired to fill your piggy banks, pack your things, explore the Philippines, and commune with nature. Last month, I featured my trip to Boracay via the roll-on roll-off system. Today, I will be taking you to Mt. Tapyas, one of the most visited spots in the town of Coron in Palawan.

Mt. Tapyas is one of the mountains in Busuanga. It is easy to get to the start of its trail. When you are in Coron, all you have to do is ride a tricycle and ask the driver to take you to Mt. Tapyas. It will cost you only 8 pesos. The jump-off point to the mountain is a flight of steps beside a basketball court.

Now, the hard part hehehe. You have to climb 700 plus concrete stairs to get to the summit. Kaya mag-stretching muna bago umakyat, okay? 🙂 It is actually a good cardio exercise hehehe. But don’t you worry, there are shaded stops where you can rest.

Pagdating sa itaas, sulit lahat ng pagod ninyo. On Mt. Tapyas’ summit sits a very spacious view deck which offers a stunning view of Coron as well as other nearby islands.

The summit of Mt. Tapyas is also home to a big cross which stands more than 2,000 feet above sea level.

On the other side of the mountain is a sprawling grassy and hilly area. Masarap maglakad-lakad at magpa-picture 🙂

Mt. Tapyas offers a spectacular view of sunrise and sunset in Coron. So the best time to go there is before sunrise or before sunset. We went there in the morning. Pero medyo na-late konti ang akyat namin so when we got to its peak, hindi na masyadong kita ang kagandahan ng sunrise. Remember to bring water and wear something light and comfortable.

(On my next posts, I will explore more of Coron.)

Posted 7 years, 6 months ago at 11:05 am.


The City in a Forest

I love visiting the province of Palawan and its capital, Puerto Princesa City. Perhaps it is the simple and easy pace of life. Perhaps it is the richness of nature that I see in and around its city limits. Perhaps it is the people. Whatever it is, a visit to Palawan always makes me realize how pleasant it is to be in the Philippines. I always leave Palawan refreshed and enriched beyond words from my stay.

I was in Puerto Princesa again last weekend and enjoyed my short stay even though it was raining. I noticed that the city government has a new campaign to show its love and concern for the environment. It now dubs itself “The City in a Forest.”

True to its claim, the city of Puerto Princesa is teeming with verdant trees. The streets are lined with big trees.
puertoprincesa1puertoprincesa2puertoprincesa3puertoprincesa4Looking at these pictures, it is hard to believe that Puerto Princesa once suffered from heavy commercial and illegal loggings. But the Palaweños were able to revive the forest that they have once lost. While other cities in the country were building structures, Puerto Princesa was planting trees.

Today, Palaweños keep a heightened passion for the environment, participating in many activities aimed at promoting a healthy environment and saving Mother Nature. One such activity is the “Feast of the Forest,” a planting program which annually registers no less than 30,000 participants.

I admire the Palaweños for their sense of commitment to saving the environment and caring for their future. How I wish people from other provinces will follow their example.

So long, Puerto Princesa….till we meet again.

Posted 8 years, 11 months ago at 1:57 pm.