Puerto Princesa Underground River (Part II)

Puerto Princesa Underground River (Part II)

From the wide entrance hall called “Daylight Hole”, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River winds around limestone caverns gliding past countless and beautiful speleothems of stalactites (hanging from the cave ceilings) and stalagmites (inverted stalactites rising from the cave floors formed from the drippings of minerals above) in all shapes and sizes and other limestone rock formations.

The cave, pitch-black and only lighted by the searchlight provided to each boat, opens up to an impressively huge cave chamber known as the “Italian Chamber”, so named by Italian speleologists, towering some 80 meters high making it look like a grand cathedral capped by a big dome. Inside the cathedral is a phallic structure that rises in the middle resembling a giant melting candle called by the boatman as “The Great Candle” with lines and contours formed by nature.

Also on the right side is a rock formation known as “The Holy Family” similar to the Nativity. You could clearly identify the characters as Jesus, Virgin Mary and Joseph.

After passing through the cathedral comes the vegetable and fruit market section as described by our hilarious but informative guide with rock formations similar to large cabbage, corn, carrots, cacao fruit, banana blossom, and “sayote”.

There is also a giant “mushroom-like” limestone figure that also resembles a huge “jellyfish”.

With a little imagination one formation looks like a nude girl with butt exposed and bears a similarity to Hollywood actress Sharon Stone as coined by our boatman.

And then the cold water that emerges directly into the sea with its lower portion subject to low and high tidal influences flows through a straight portion quite similar to a tunnel of a highway coined as the “EDSA”, a reference to a major highway in Manila, Philippines. The inner section of the Edsa is the turning point of the boats. After an amazing boat ride we headed back to Sabang port.

Palawan is also home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park, a major sanctuary with most unique and beautiful coral reefs with a great diversity of marine life like whales, dolphins, sharks, turtles, and wrasses. Divers and snorkelers from around the world come here to see and explore the twelve sunken World War II Japanese shipwrecks. United States Navy liberation of the Philippines sea battles between Japan and U.S. occurred here in the island of Palawan particularly at the Coron Reefs located in Busuanga also famous today for its seven enchanting lakes surrounded by limestone cliffs.

Before flying back to Manila Ninoy Aiport for one hour and fifteen minutes by Cebu Pacific we have a memorable gastronomic experience at the most popular native wooden house restaurant in the province capital city, the Ka Lui, famous for menus of seafood and vegetables, where you have to remove your footwear before entering the eating area.

However, for exoting dining try the sizzling crocodile “sisig” or “natamilok” (mangrove worm) at the Kinabuchs Grill & Bar.

Unlike the pork sisig, the crocodile sisig has health benefits – good for asthma and heart, low fat/cholesterol and it’s also an aphrodisiac!

Best time to visit PPUR new wonder of nature is from January to May when the sea is more calm and the weather more sunny.