People say that if you can only visit one place in the Philippines it should be Palawan, as it offers a little bit of everything there is to see in the country. We arrived in Puerto Princesa (the capital of the island) after a short flight from Manila and, although the rain continued to join us, our moods lightened. The city itself has a more relaxed atmosphere and the billion motorized tricycles make it easier to move around. In Puerto, as the locals referred to the city, we enjoyed the best and most authentic Filipino food. We feasted on Crispy Pata (roasted pork leg), Kare-Kare (oxtail in peanut sauce), Sisig (pork bits in a creamy sauce), sweet and sour Lapu-Lapu (grouper), and even tried Tamilok or ‘Mangrove Worms’—a mollusk that is eaten raw with lemon and chili peppers, looks like worms, and tastes like squid…
Tamilok, one of the weirdest things we’ve tried
Crispy pata, it doesn’t look that good in the photo but it was AMAZING!
Puerto is also a good place to visit the Underground River, according to some, the longest underground river in the world and one of the new natural wonders of the world! We booked a tour but due to the inclement weather it got canceled. Annoyed by this, we decided to leave the next day and to visit Sabang, an even smaller town two hours by van and the actual location of the underground river.Sabang is a chill little town without electricity by the beach that offers nothing more than pure relaxation. We organized a trip to the Underground River and it was amazing. The river is 8.2 km long, although you are only allowed to visit 1.5 km. You embark in a small wooden canoe and submerge yourself in complete darkness into the mountain. The only light provided is by a flashlight connected to a car battery, which Tracy maneuvered masterfully. Within the cave there are countless of stalactites and stalagmites, which the guide points at while yelling their name and shape: the dinosaur head, the inverted garlic, the Virgin Mary! There are also some impressive domes, some reaching over 60 meters high! The cave also houses more than 400,000 bats and birds, which you can see and hear through the whole trip. The river was amazing and made our rainy visit to the beach way more enjoyable.
Thousands of bats perched on the rock
The dinosaur head!
Not letting ourselves be defeated by the overcast sky and the rain, we headed over to El Nido, a place where the Philippines was finally able to shine.
Great weather for the last few hours in Sabang, could this be a good omen?