I must say, I am so reluctant to admit that at my 25 years of being here in the Philippines, I haven’t been to one of the most beautiful places in my home country – Palawan. I have heard the many good things people say about this place but sadly, some sad events happened too that I shared with you here. Apart from that, cyanide and dynamite fishing were very rampant, killing our coral beds leaving a small percentage alive.
“The World Atlas of Coral Reefs, compiled by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), reported that 97 percent of reefs in the Philippines are under threat from destructive fishing techniques, including cyanide poisoning, over-fishing, or from deforestation and urbanization that result in harmful sediment spilling into the sea.” (source)
I was amazed by the beauty of Palawan and saddened at the same time that the Palawan seas are very vulnerable to many things. Our beaches here are absolutely amazing and I am very proud to be living in a country where there’s bounty of my favorite things – beach, sand, sea. I am just starting to discover its beauty, but then, it might be taken away from me? At the same time, I am touched at the people of Palawan who are now making a big effort to protect the Palawan seas through Save Palawan Seas Foundation.
On a lighter note, I really enjoyed my trip to Palawan. We went to the Flower Isand and we hiked a little, swam a little, sailed through rough seas with 3 meter waves (I’m exaggerating) but learned a lot.
We spent our first day traveling from Manila to Flower Island. We departed Manila via plane at 8am and reached Puerto Princessa airport an hour after.
We traveled 3.5 hrs from Puerto Princessa to Taytay.
We rode this overflowing jeepney on this long, winding, zig-zag road 😛
I KEED! haha 😛 I took this photo from our van and this is pretty common here in the Philippines especially in the provinces. It amazes me how the people above the jeepney’s roof could stay alive while passing through zig-zaggidy roads @_@ As for us, were in a comfortable van and I slept the entire time because I didn’t want to get car sick! Bonamin helped too!
The look of relief on my face when the 3.5 hour ride was over… thinking that I can now stretch my sexy legs that are about to get a tan! 😀 😛
From there, we rode a boat. What a 1 hour ride from Taytay Pier to Flower Island became a 2 hour sail because of the rough seas. Waves where at 2-3 meters high and it was quite a ride.
serious waves ahead @_@
On a normal day though, the seas are usually calm and it would only take an hour or less to go to Flower Island from Taytay pier.Â I kept on thinking the Tsunami in Japan somehow made the seas rougher everywhere.
At first I got really scared that the big waves would engulf us because I kept seeing huge waves ahead of us that made us tilt up and abruptly throw is down. But after feeling like I am riding a free roller-coaster ride, deep inside I was like “OMG that was so much FUN, let’s do it AGAIN!“
After that 2-hour boat ride, we finally arrived at our relaxing destination – Flower Island 🙂
This is where we stayed. The house was mostly made of bamboo. Of course, they plant more bamboos to replace the ones they used.
These are photos around the Flower Island.
The peak is a tower / lighthouse that is situated literally at the Peak of Flower Island.
After hiking for 20 minutes, you will see this <3 The Peak.
We went up the top-most portion of the tower and the sight was just beautiful
The scenery at the top actually reminded me of Greece, only better! Yes. And see that island.. it might be for sale. I want my own island too!
I CAN HAZ LONG LEGS!
If you’re afraid of heights, don’t worry about it, just go up the tower, you won’t regret it!
Catching the Sunset in Flower Island Palawan
I brought some of my gadgets with us and we were surprised that we didn’t feel the itch to open them. We just did nothing while waiting for the sun to go down.
When was the last time you did nothing at all?
Capturing the sunset with a self-portrait. An evidence that I’ve been here.Thanks by the way to the host of flower island for giving us the seashell necklace as a welcoming gift. 🙂
Meditation, Yoga and Qigong
I’m sure you might have heard of meditation and yoga, but you might not know what Qigong is. Â Qigong is where you combine simple body movements, breathing and mental imagery that you can direct the flow of your body’s energy to prevent disease, build strength and advance spiritually.
I was so into the exercise that I didn’t bother taking photos like a good blogger should be. I have an excuse though, I think I really needed that session because I have been sick with cough for almost 2 months. After the exercise, I felt lighter on my chest and lungs. And when we went back in Manila, the cough is almost gone. I don’t know if it’s just mind over matter, or I just got hypnotized by the host’s directing voice… I don’t care. It worked for me 😛
The one who guided us throughout the exercise was the host of the island who was taught by an 83 year-old meditation / yoga guru. We weren’t able to meet her, but we are blessed to feel the extension of her teachings to the people in the island, who shared this with us. I feel graced to be able to calm my mind, be in the moment with nature, hearing the waves and the birds chirping… it brought peace in my mind. I also shared in our environmental debate after dinner that maybe, if all people meditate, we would have a more peaceful place. No one will get angry easily, people won’t get agitated by any irritants, and people might solve their problems better when they do this. It can even heal you mentally, emotionally and physically.
This shot was taken right before we did our meditation.
Since Palawan is very photogenic, me and Vince did a mini photoshoot. 😀
On Flower Island.
A Whirl of Clouds
Shadow and Sunset
Clouds, Sunset, Sky and Sea
No matter how hard I try to capture its beauty through my digital cameras, nothing beats seeing Palawan in person. If you think my photos are good (really? *blush*) you haven’t seen anything yet. Palawan is lovely. I am proud that it is a part of our country.
But you know what’s lovelier? – the story of the Golden Pearl. It’s like a fairy tale. And hearing this story moved me a lot. That will be on my next post on Palawan.
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P.S. I wrote this with my toes 😛
P.P.S Thank you to Jewelmer and Yehey for inviting me to this beautiful island. 🙂
More photos on my Flickr.