Philippine tourism is soaring high this year! After Boracay was hailed as the World’s Best Island and one of the World’s Best Party Beaches, the spotlight takes on Palawan, recently named one of the Top 10 Holiday Destinations in the world, according to an online travel magazine.
Smart Travel Asia, which according to its website is an independent travel publication, has listed Palawan as the No. 4 holiday destination around the world along side Maldives and Siem Reap, in Cambodia. Topping the list is Bali, Indonesia.
Palawan is truly deserving of this recognition. It is a source of national pride that delivers the best that the Philippines has to offer. Palawan does not just boast of azure beaches and towering limestone formations, it is also home to some of the country’s happiest and most hospitable people – that unique ingredient that makes traveling “more fun in the Philippines.”
I understand why people keep on coming back to Palawan sooner than they hope to. I am one of those travelers who have been charmed by the province’s carefree lifestyle and sweeping land and seascape. It is, to put it subtly, hard to resist Palawan’s glory.
Here are five reasons why Palawan should be on your must-experience list in this lifetime:
Coron. Coron Island is found north of mainland Palawan and should not be mistaken for the larger Busuanga Island, where Coron town is located. One needs to get out of this very busy town in order to discover the beauty that Coron Island possesses. If you have been to El Nido (also in Palawan), you might think Coron pales in comparison. However, keeping an open mind while you traverse from one lagoon to another will tell you that Coron has its own exquisite allure that cannot be faulted.
El Nido. This little town’s beauty is sublime and grand at the same time. With 45 islands and islets to choose from, this is possibly Philippines at its finest. Everyone who had been to these fascinating islands will attest that with El Nido’s jaw-dropping beauty, it is love at first sight.
Port Barton. If you want a piece of solitude while you make your way to El Nido from Puerto Princesa, make sure you drop by Port Barton. It is a quaint coastal community that wanderers visit for that much-needed privacy. Its powdery white sand beaches are remarkable but the locals’ hospitality is another thing that deserves your warm approval.
Puerto Princesa. This is Palawan’s rugged capital that serves as your gateway around the province – a very fitting starting point indeed for a one big Palawan journey. While this is home to the Underground River, recognized as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, Puerto Princesa also showcases islets that look too eye-candy when viewed from the airplane.
Cuyo. Cuyo holds sweet surprises for those who brave the rough ride to the island. Nestled between the islands of mainland Palawan and Panay, Cuyo is definitely not your usual destination. The trip to the island alone tests a traveler’s patience and enthusiasm. But one should know that the reward waiting in the island for that brave wanderer is certainly to be remembered forever.
Don’t you think we shall see each other in Palawan soon?
Love and light, everyone. Go, juanderlust! 😀
- All photographs taken with a Canon 550d. Coron, El Nido, and Puerto Princesa pictures taken in March 2012; Port Barton picture taken in May 2011; and Cuyo picture taken in August 2012.