Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Arriving on the very long, skinny island of Palawan, we find ourselves on the last leg of our month-long travels here in the Philippines.  At this moment I almost hesitate to post the photos from our days here as if this will confirm the end to what has been, from the very beginning, a journey blessed by our ancestors.  My wish is for everyone to know this feeling. Oh my, when it happens, you will know.

On our first day we were whisked off on a city tour which was squeezed into a tight four hours, including lunch.
Kathy on the bridge along a mangrove forest.
Badjao Restaurant is a feast for the eyes as well as the mouth.  To get to the restaurant we walked along the bridge (top) among the mangrove trees.

These are 2-3 year old baby crocs from the Crocadile Farm.  a) satchels? or b) sisig?
(ans: b )  the best sisig (and we've tried A LOT of sisig, right Nena?)

I hope my two friends, Venus and Frances see this blog for it is they who insisted that I must visit Palawan and experience the Underground River.  They were one of the first people I told of my plans to visit the Philippines for the very first time.  We were working on a project, so I scribbled "Palawan, subterranean caves" in the upper lefthand corner of the project notes.  That was almost six months ago!  As I boarded the first boat to make my way over to the caves, I thought of you Venus and Frances.  Maraming Salamat for feeling my heart on that day.

The road to Sabang cuts in an east to west zig-zag pattern across the narrowest part of Palawan Island.  Palawan is mountainous.  With mountains come canyons rich, green,green, green, vibrant and fertile.  Carabao, cows, chickens, goats, and lots of dogs roam through villages, in and among the modest huts lined along the road.  The trip along this road takes an hour and a half.  And then.....
Look at this wonderful outrigger whose sides are made of strong bamboo poles which keep the vessel level in the open sea.  Up to 8 passengers can ride.  We head out into the West Philippine Sea and sail twenty-five minutes to the caves.

                                                                       Nena and Oscar
until finally.... (although this portion of the journey was my personal favorite.)
I called the zebra fish over to say hello while we waited for our next boat to take us into the caves.

After experiencing the subterranean caves, I appreciated that this is truly an unspoiled, protected and totally natural beauty.  We gently sailed through and enjoyed the formations, animal life (yes..what type of animals do you imagine we saw?)  There's no fake lighting, no cheesy music, and the guide points out special formations with lots of quiet in between so that we can really soak it all in.  a modest battery operated light at the front of the boat is held by one of the passengers who manually shines it on particular spots.  No-oh I'm not gonna show you the treasures inside- what, and spoil the surprise?
On theway home I tried climbing a palm tree.  Look at that; I have two coconuts in my back pocket. 

This is the almost complete photo of the gang.  On the Palawan portion of our travels we were so happy that Michael-Oscar's son- and his uncle, Gary, joined.  Very, very fun!
Treasure of the Day: a carabao at the ocean.  What more can I say? 
Finally - a BEACH !  How to get to Naktabon Beach: take the LEFT fork in the road.  That's all the direction I'm going to give you. heh heh heh

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