“I have always loved the beach. The smell of the salty water, the wind in my face, the gentle roar of the waves all combine to create a sense of peace and calm.” –Anonymous

mobile office in palawan

Working by the beach makes me happy. There is just something magical at the beach. Time doesn’t move hour to hour but mood to moment. It is as if I live by the currents, plan by the tides and follow the sun. The beach is probably the only place children actually entertain themselves without parents having to think of million ways to distract them.

on my way to underground river

I am glad my mobile office can take me anywhere so I was so overjoyed upon receiving an invitation to   cover the annual Baragatan Festival in Palawan.  Though I’ve visited  El Nido and Flower Island in Palawan, I’ve never been to Puerto Princessa.  Three days in Puerto Princessa was just too short yet I had the time of my life. Let me show you the ways I enjoyed my short visit:

1. Hotel Hopping

Puerto Pension, Dalayon Beach Resort and Azizan Paradise Hotel in three days.

Enjoying the view of the bay from Puerto Pension

Enjoying the fantastic view of the bay from Puerto Pension

hammock at puerto pension

I feel very comfortable and relaxed in each of the hotel I stayed in.

Daluyon Resort

Daluyon Resort- The perfect resort for a quiet getaway

Sabang Beach is so peaceful and I found myself relaxing at the lounge chair by the beachfront. This resort is the perfect jump-off point if you plan to tour the underground river.

Aziza Paradise Hotel

Relaxation and recreation at theAziza Paradise Hotel

2. Enjoying the food

Ka Lui struck me most because my son’s nickname is “Lui”. From the outside, Ka Lui looks like a small bahay-kubo. Inside the kubo unfolds —rustic ambiance; beautiful art works and great food. I felt like eating inside an art gallery.

Ka Lui

I love fish cooked in coconut milk.

fish with coconut

There is  Palawan Beer , branded as Ayahay Craft beer.  “Ayahay” means relaxed and it is so aptly named .  Enjoy Palawan, enjoy a bottle and relax… “Ayahay”!

Palawan beer

Palawan beer

3. Baragatan Festival

As part of the World’s Best Island campaign, Palawan celebrated a grander festivity this year for its annual Baragatan Festival.

Baragatan sa Palawan 2015

Baragatan sa Palawan 2015

From the Cuyuno word “bagat,” (which means convergence of people), it is the most festive time in the province with various municipalities bringing their songs, dances and music and present all these aspects of life through cultural presentation, trade shows, exhibitions, float parade and street dancing.

baragatan festival

There were many things to do at the trade fair, sampling the local delicacies, and admiring the native handicrafts. Baragatan sa Palawan is celebrated every third week of June. “Colorful floats, dynamic dance troupes, and angelic voices usher guests and locals to a festive week ahead. After the grand opening, numerous activities are also lined up to ensure that everyone is going to have a good time. Concerts at the park, photo contests, sports tournaments, quiz bees, beauty pageants, and other fun activities are set to fill the air with a pleasant mood all around.”

Baragatan festival

Baragatan festival

4. Underground river tour

Touring Palawan is never complete without an Underground River adventure. The boatman who acted as our tour guide were very entertaining and provided detailed information on the stalactites and stalagmites.

underground river in palawan

Since it was so dark inside the cave, I could barely take photos but trust me, it felt like being inside a museum of natural art.

Underground river

Underground river is a must see experience!

5. The glorious beach

Each one of us looks at the sea differently. For me, the sea represents my roots. Appreciating its beauty, breadth and power is appreciating my existence, who I am and why I am here. Like the ocean, all of us are connected and interdependent yet each person is significant in its existence.

daluyon beach resort 1

Even John F. Kennedy felt tied to the ocean. “And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came… ”

daluyon beach resort 1

6. The culture and heritage

Did you know that in this present day and age, a small group of prehistoric people still exist in a remote valley in Palawan? They are referred to as “Taong Bato.” . No, I was not able to meet a “Taong Bato” but the stories by the Palawan Tourism Office were so mesmerizing. The roots of this particular tribe , as shown on the photo below, came from the Dutch who got caught in a shipwreck in the 1800 and lived and intermarried with the taong bato. One needs to be invited by the Chief of the tribe . I was told that their Chief owns a cellphone , provided by the Local Government Unit (LGU) for easy communication.

taong bato

The three day visit to Palawan is just a preview of a longer vacation with my husband and my other family members. I hope you will join me, too.

“Our memories of the ocean will linger on, long after our footprints in the sand are gone.” –Anonymous

About Noemi Lardizabal-Dado

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

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