Philippines is an archipelago therefore it has a myriad of beautiful islands to visit but none can compare to the island province of Palawan. You can skip other beaches on your list but not this one. Skip Palawan and you miss half of your life, and that is not hyperbolic. Palawan is known all over the world as the “Philippines’ Last Frontier” and the island definitely earned the name. Centuries ago, Chinese sea voyagers called the island land of beautiful harborsor in their native tongue was Pa-Lao-Yu and overtime as language did evolve became Palawan.
Both the flora and fauna in the island are vast, giving safe refuge for over a hundred endangered species. The biodiversity of Palawan could also be considered as a global phenomenon. Palawan was once more declared as the best island in the world in 2015 by the Conde Nast Traveler’s annual list for the Reader’s Choice Awards where Palawan achieved an overall rating of 85.937. Imagine the African Safari in one province but greener, and wetter. You can take a 360 degree turn and you would see the crystal and turquoise water all around you.
What to do?
Meet some locals.
Palawan is not just a safe haven for plants and animals but also for the indigenous people that continued to live and thrive there. The Palaw’an tribe in Puerto Princesa is one and they are residing by the Palawan Butterfly Ecological Garden and Tribal Village. They are the legitimate caretakers of the wonderful refuge and the ones who know the island from the back of their hand. These people are the epitome of simplicity and innocence, following the implemented laws of the local government and being the productive and helpful citizens the way everybody should. The Palaw’ans do not mind sharing their homes to tourists and travelers as well, they treat any other people like blood. Many tourists feel right at home with the tribe that never fail to give everyone who would visit the island a sense of belonging. When tourist come back to visit Palawan and they always try to come back to the family that welcomed and accepted them to their own homes.
Snorkeling and Island Hopping at El Nido
Marveling at the sceneries are not enough without shedding some sweat doing fun activities in Palawan. One thrilling activity aside from the usual swimming and diving would be the island hopping not by boats or yachts but by air. Zip-lines connect a small few islands in Palawan and it is open for all adrenaline junkie tourists.
There is more to Palawan when you wander under the its waters. The marine life of the island stuns even foreign professional divers. It only justifies why there are certain laws that were made to protect the reef but nevertheless tourists and friends to fishes can enjoy the exotic marine view.
Party and entertain yourself
Where there is a beach, there is fun. Go visit Pukka Bar in El Nido. This is called the place to make walwal if you are ever in El Nido. One of the oldest place to chill and drink in the island, due to new competition Pukka has responded by expanding its glorious gift and now has two entrances, one on Hama St. and one on the beach. Enjoy the live reggae music and buckets of beers and spirits of your own taste.
If you are less of a party and rave person, you can definitely unwind with a bottle of drink in your hand at the Snake Island Bar or also known as the floating bar located in Bacuit Bay. However this beachy bistro can only be visited by boat and during the low tide which is only about 4am to 4pm every day.
Try the local exotic cuisines
The tamilok or woodworms or in some parts of the island are called shipworms and the famous crocodile meat. Both have been featured in the Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho television show. For tourists the cuisine are unbearable also for some Manilenos but truth be told it is rich in protein and vitamins. Only those who has the guts can actually try these two out.
“I had actively participated in every moment of he creation of this life–so why did I feel like none of it resembled me?” Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love or as you have watched it, Julia Roberts dropped everything to do three things that she wanted to do the most alone
You can certainly do the same in the other Quezon of the country, not Quezon City but in Quezon province. Down south, passed Batangas and just before you reach Bicol. Quezon is another underrated location in the country, it is not highlighted because it does not have white sand beaches but the province has the fair amount of beautiful getaways from beaches down low and breathtaking peaks up above.
Bubbles Crispy Pata for meat especially pork lovers that just love crispy pata and Mang Tomas, the restaurant is in Ocean Place Mall, Lucena City, Quezon Province, just by the tip of the South Luzon Expressway or SLEX or you can go to their main branch in Candelaria, Quezon Province that has been in business for almost over 30 years.
The place can accommodate numbers of customers aside from pork delicacies Bubbles also over some seafood such as crispy pusit (fried calamari), shrimp camaron, sinigang na sugpo (prawns), and sinigang na tanigue. All of which are served in a native fashion, banana leaves over wooden plates to enjoy the local food better.
Ana Belai Restaurant if you are after for Instagrammable photos, Ana Belai will provide you lots of foodporn options. Not only is their menu so satisfyingly wide that would give you many options as to what to eat but also the ambiance and vibe of the place is also Instagram worthy. The restaurant is open every day from Mondays to Sunday, 10am to 9pm. Ana Belai throws an annual buffet every November 11th to celebrate their anniversary. Also do not forget to try out their pastries and the coffee wonders that they serve, they are just the best.
Silangang Nayon Park and Restaurant is a restaurant by the bay, literally by the seawater of Tayabas Bay. This is a popular stop spot in Pagbilao, Quezon. The menu varies from local cuisines such as chickens, oysters (fresh from the sea), and scallops. The price for their dishes are very affordable and atop of everything Silangang Nayon offers rooms to stay at and as for the kids there is a mini zoo inside the place. The view would be enough for everyone to be longing to come back here.
Villa EscuderoWaterfalls Restaurant famously known for its dining hall by the foot of a falls. Its name would not disappoint. This place is perfect especially in summer, eating after swimming would not be any problem because in Villa Escudero, the two can go hand in hand. The villa promotes the Filipino culture at its finest, located in Tiaong Quezon this wonder is run by the generations of the same family since 1900s.
Quezon is low-key good for people who want to go to retreat, or just disconnect from the advent of technology in the Metro Manila and find inner peace. Also in Pagbilao, Quezon, the Kamay Ni Hesus Church that was established in 2002 is widely claimed as a healing church. All folks of life who endures any kind of pain visit the church hoping to make the pain go away. There are other establishments with the church as well, there is the Noah’s Ark (a tiney-tiny version of the ark compare to the real one), a family park (good for strolling), and there is the grotto steps leading to the famous mark of the place the Kamay ni Hesus statue overlooking the whole hill. It is basically Rio de Janeiro in the country.
If Zambales has mountain ridges, Quezon is at the southern tip of the longest mountain range in the country–the Sierra Madre. The difference Quezon could offer for climbers would be the Sierra Madre’s ungraceful end. The rocks and cliffs to climb are more challenging, Quezon is more for the rock climbers than mountain climbers.
Follow Julia Roberts’ example in that 2009 movie and eat, pray, climb in Quezon today! You can always check for the availability of rooms and hotels with us in