Welcome to Palawan Philippines!
Enjoy this beautiful island paradise from the comfort of your home or fly over for a visit.
Palawan Philippines offers Kitesurfing as one of the many favorite things to engage in while in the province! You can also enjoy mountain biking, fresh coconut shakes, exotic fruit discoveries, kite flying, windsurfing, caving and a bunch of other cool things for you to enjoy site seeing and doing!
Grace enjoys discussing her many years living here in Palawan and the Philippines! She likes to show off her garden, community organizing, kite flying and mountain biking to name just a few! Ecotourism and vacation are some of the key things to do here! Being the country’s last Ecological Frontier, Environmental consciousness is stronger here in the province. That is why most beach areas are preserved as is.
We also share people’s unique experiences around the island. You’ll be amazed at how friendly and innovative our local people are. Now back to you! What do you enjoy or would like to do in one of the world’s most incredible, awesome paradise? Not sure? Read on for many ideas to choose from! The possibilities seem endless!
The picture below was an accidental mangrove river cruising in Port Barton, San Vicente while conducting community meetings.
Palawan Philippines Back in the 1980’s
Palawan wasn’t that popular in the eighties, and mostly the times before that, as it is now. What people know about Palawan before was that it hosted a lot of bad news; the Leper Colony in Culion, the Iwahig Penal Colony, and Malaria. It was like either lose your body parts slowly, go to prison or get chilled up with Malaria. Sounds like eew!
Well, my decision to come to Palawan in 1988 was mostly about work and of curiosity about the province. It did not occur to me that I was in for a very long island vacation. Here’s why. For one, I know before that Palawan also have the African Safari.
Just to update you, the Leper Colony had been closed a long time ago since the cure of the malady was discovered. The Penal Colony still exists. And Malaria incidents had been mostly minimized. Since my work before requires me to stay in the remote areas, I used to carry with me anti-malaria medicines. I got infected once with Plasmodium falciparum, a malaria parasite that rapidly multiplies in the blood which can result to cerebral malaria if not instantaneously treated. Availability of medicines got me out of it quickly.
Cultural Heritage and Biodiversity
Talk about long hikes through forested mountains and saying Hi to Mr. Armadillo and Mrs. Porcupine along the way. Birds are not to missed. Many of the province’s forested areas are declared Important Bird Area and or Critical Habitat of countless endemic species of flora and fauna.
I used to visit the rural areas to talk to the farmers, fishermen, the women and the Tribal communities about issues and of finding solutions. Palawan is home to three major Indigenous People; the Tagbanua, Batak and Pala’wan. Palawan is a melting pot of indigenous tribes and people coming from other provinces of the country. The rural communities manifest the profile.
The early migrants are the fishermen coming from the islands of Cebu and Panay. The proceeding ones are relatives of those who came first. They said they were lured to come over with the promise of bounty in terms of natural resource. Pioneers told them that rice in Palawan grows taller than people. Which was true.
It is a wonder to witness Palawan’s rich cultural heritage and biodiversity. It is what defines Palawan Philippines eco-tourism activities today.
To actually live with the people, I have to join them in their daily chores. Like planting or harvesting rice, depending on the season. Hook and line fishing is my favorite. Sometimes, we go out hunting wild chicken and gathering of sea shells for food. I also join them in their recreational activities, like swimming and/or picnicking in the beach . Although most of their chores are like play time for me.
Picnics and swimming breaks in a pristine white sandy beaches were pretty awesome. I would imagine owning the beaches and opening it to tourists. But, my idealism towards community proprietary prevailed. So, I did not. I think you already have an idea of what it is today.
Community immersion is one way to get to know the people well and for them to be comfortable to open up about their lives. It is also an effective tool in identifying community leaders. Once we reached those points, we capacitate the leader/s to call a community meeting to identify potential solutions to challenges that people commonly share.
Palawan Philippines Community Organizing
My job as Community Organizer brought me to the remote places of Palawan. So I was a CO, and still is by heart. I was single then, working with a Non-Government Organization facilitating the implementation of community-based development projects.
When people gather themselves and talk about resolving issues it becomes a natural progression to put everything into a structure. This is the time we transition the gathering into an organization. They come up with a name, elect their leaders and formulate an action plan.
When I was first deployed for work in the rural areas of the municipality of Roxas and Dumaran, rattan gathering and slash and burn farming were rampant. Slash and burn or kaingin produces very delicious traditional rice varieties. But we have to discourage people from doing it due to its damaging effect to the environment.
The people that financed the rattan gathering and trading did not stop till the province was almost stripped off of the resource. Community folks considered rattan gathering as their main source income at that time. It was a struggle to make them settle down in the lowlands to establish their permanent agriculture.
Benefits of Community-Based Development Projects
One of the community projects that I believe really made an impact, was the provision of farm implements. The NGO I worked with extended farm-implement support, Carabao, Plow, and Seeds, through a Soft Loan Program. Along with it, production technologies were also introduced through trainings. The main purpose of the project was to minimize pressure in the upland, like slash and burn method of farming. The same concept was done to coastal communities. People were encouraged to establish permanent agricultural areas to increase income and reduce over extraction of marine resource through destructive methods.
Once the people in the communities gained stability with their income from their farms, they started to engage in resource conservation activities. Like establishing marine sanctuaries, which today became community managed eco-tourism spots in Palawan.
Not only that people are preserving their immediate environment they also gained economic benefits from their efforts and have strengthened their political stance and management capabilities over the resources that affect them.
Today, Community-Based Sustainable Tourism (CBST) schemes abound in Palawan.
Well, ecotourism in Palawan Philippines is an on-going process. It is an invitation to everybody to come over, enjoy the process while you’re on your vacation. Your preferred accommodations and tour packages are here.
Palawan Philippines Vacation and Ecotourism!
Charting Your Own Vacation Experiences.
Try this. While inside the stunning Underground River (Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park – the new 7 Wonders of Nature) ask your tour guide to turn the lights off, remove your audio tour gadget and stay silent for a moment. There you will experience what a cave should be, peach black and absolute eerie silence. Be with nature the way one should be with nature and find your own invisible yet enduring connection with Palawan Philippines.
You can make it happen! As a travel site, Palawan-Philippines can serve you in two different ways. One of which is mainstream travel and tourism, where you can go site seeing, swimming, kite boarding, snorkeling, diving, caving or experience a peaceful and quiet retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy the tranquility of the white sandy beaches. Bask in the warmth of the sun, take pleasure in pampering the physical body, be in awe with the wonders of nature, or arrange a community immersion type of vacation experience, and many more.
Ecotourism and/or eco-travel will provide you with heart-warming meaningful moments that will make you swell with pride. Or just enjoy reading our pages as we tag you along and discover Palawan Philippines
- Funny and Intense Stories About Palawan Philippines
- Caving or Spelunking
- The Best Palawan Beaches and its Features
- How to go about the desired amenities (dining, shopping, hotels and accommodations
- Ours, and soon about your contribution to Ecotourism or Sustainable Tourism in the Province
- Ecotourism Routes
- Ecotourism and Vacation Packages
- Lives of Expats and other Nature Lovers Living in Palawan (interviews)
- Palawan Island Vacations
- Businesses (to your interests)
- The Interesting Tribal Communities, their Products and the Stories attached to each one of it
- Flora and Fauna or the Natural Resources
- Palawan Products
- Palawan Philippines Government and Laws (hate it or love it)
We will also feature some, if not all, of the municipalities. By the way, Palawan Philippines was voted as one of the top island destination 3 years in a row since 2015.
And lastly, be aware of the kambak-kambak syndrome. (That means come back! come back! for more GREAT and FUN times!)