Leprosy has been eradicated in Culion since the 1980s but the stigma still remains. It didn’t help that World Health Organization (WHO) only declared Culion leprosy-free in 2006. So why not embrace this history of healing of this infectious disease? The structures, the research, the tools and the story of the people who lived while it was a leper colony still remains. Culion town is a witness on how a community persevered and healed.
After 9-10 months since our community quarantine started, destinations have started to slowly and carefully ease up restrictions. To jumpstart our travel industry, major destinations like Boracay, Baguio and Bohol served as a model for safety protocols and procedures for travel. Last December 2020, world-class tourist destination, Palawan opened its doors to outsiders, particularly for those coming from Manila. Coron, Palawan, ushered in welcoming tourist. In company with DOT-MIMAROPA, we were able to experience how it is like to travel safely to Coron, Palawan. An exciting invitation to see how travel has changed during the pandemic. Also to check the state of Coron island’s, beaches and other attractions.
I’ve always wondered how it’s like to live in a small island. Of course I imagined there would be palm trees, a nice beach, hammocks, refreshing drinks, native huts and endless view of the ocean. But when I took a project for one of the private islands in Taytay Palawan named Noa Noa Island, I never expected to be staying about 11-days in this luxurious island where I was the only guest while working on a project. It was one of my memorable escapes to a not-so-known island surrounded by one of the most astounding marine sanctuary I’ve ever swam on.
Day 2 of our Puerto Princesa tour found us visiting the areas where a lot of the sponsored children and families live. We were also graced by the presence of Miss Universe runner-up Ms Miriam Quimbao, who is a fellow sponsor. She flew in that morning from Manila and would leave later that day as well just to attend the event and lend her support.
It was a tense moment mixed with anticipation while I wait behind closed doors when I knew my sponsored child would be the next one coming in. How would I react? How should I feel? Aside from the annual reports of his progress, he’s a complete stranger to me. I came to Puerto Princesa, Palawan to volunteer my photographic services to World Vision, a non-government organization known to help educate less-fortunate children around the globe. It was 5 years ago when I started to sponsor a child and little did I know I’ll come face to face with this child 5 years later.
They call it the Green City and I can’t agree with it more. While I find Puerto Princesa as the most modern city in Palawan, it’s also the most livable for me in terms of setting up a business or staying for good. The city itself is not as scenic as Coron, sleepy as El Nido or rugged as Taytay but it is developed in a good way modern industry can function well. Here is a three day itinerary which is merged from my recent 2 trips to Puerto Princesa. It’s not a backpacker’s budget since I was with family on my last trip there but I hope the itinerary would give you an idea what to expect in Puerto Princesa.
I kept hearing “UR” over and over on a conversation one night on my first trip to Puerto Princesa with other bloggers. I kept nodding my head to agree and then have to ask “What’s UR again?” I was thinking “Usual Route” but it turns out to be the popular term for the “Underground River” there. Oh hell with the names whether it’s St Paul’s Cave or St Paul’s Subterranean River, we’re going there now and it sure isn’t hell from the views I’ve seen on a boat from Sabang to the entrance of this famed UNESCO World Heritage Site.