The pink color of the exuberantly beautiful Palawan “Balayong” tree flower, commonly referred to as “Palawan Cherry Blossom”, is now the symbol of Puerto Princesa, a long overdue recognition. That, too, will bloom all-year round, accentuating another city symbol that has graced its seal for many years, the regal Pheasant Peacock, locally known as “Tandikan”.
I remember a line of stalls in the market dealing in covert endangered species trade, which went on unabated for years. I should know because I lived and slept there, right behind our modest wood and ‘sawali’ house.
This will connect the city proper, from Baywalk to Santa Monica National Highway to the southern part of the city.
Under Bayron’s governance, the city will expand and fully integrate the current fish port of Puerto Princesa – to help increase its fish output by 30%. A new and modern processing facility, patterned after Japan’s famous Tsukiji market will arise.
Because it is closer to most Asian cities, Puerto Princesa deservingly earned the “Cruise ship capital of the Philippines”.
Then, we saw a commotion on the water surface, twenty meters ahead
of our boat. A swarm of sea gulls then hovered around the ‘turbulence’. Moving closer, we saw that they were actually schools of Tuna and Anchovies being chased by, the one we were also chasing, the “Butanding”.
Unlike in some parts of the Philippines where the “Butandings” are almost ‘caged’, it is different in Puerto Princesa, they are in the wild, open sea. When a ‘Spotter’ also announces a whale shark presence, not more than one boat swarm or ‘attack’ it.
In Puerto Princesa’s Iwahig and Irawan rivers, the mangrove trees sparkle like Christmas trees. They are here to mesmerize you and make your stay in the city truly unforgettable.
Where before you can count by your fingers the number of places to stay in Puerto Princesa, there are now plenty of places to stay. The city is a virtual tourist haven catering to visitors belonging to different demographics: Backpackers, Bed-and-Breakfast travellers, those who are travelling on a shoestring budget to the most finicky.