Saturday, May 31, 2008

Poyt Salazar Palawan Experience Day 2

Photoblogger Faith "Poyt" Salazar took a 4-day PAX (Palawan Experience) tour and we'll be sharing her travel chronicle in this blog.

Our first day in Palawan was a blast – so I was barely able to sleep when I knew that we were going to go caving and swimming on our second day.

Underground River

Traveling from the hotel to the Underground River was quite stressful. The terrain was rocky and zigzagging so I couldn’t sleep – let alone keep my body still. After two hours, we got to Sabang Wharf and board a boat going to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park.

We put on our gear – a helmet and a life vest – got into the boat and started being amazed at the fa├žade of ROCKS. I mean – how many times in a lifetime can you be so much impressed with rocks? At the cave’s entrance, I was expecting a group of bats coming out and scaring the socks out of us, but we just saw a bunch of birds sleeping.

The underground river had different ‘sections’ – they call one part “The Cathedral”, which literally looks like the inside of a huge church. There were rock formations that looked like a lion and the holy family. We also passed “The Highway” with long rocks on the ceiling that looked like giant beams. On the way out, we finally saw – and unfortunately smelled – the bats and their dung.

The park also housed monkeys and large lizards (bayawak). All forms of head aches and tummy aches caused by our two-hour travel were replaced with wonder at how beautiful the Philippines is. You shouldn’t miss the Underground River experience when you’re in Puerto Princesa.

Taraw Beach

Again, we boarded a boat to have our lunch at Taraw beach. The whole place was lined with cottages – there were no big hotels or large structures. We enjoyed the sand and the sea but had a hard time taking pictures because the waves just kept coming at two waves per second.

Viet Vill

Before going back to the hotel, we had a quick stop at Viet Vill (Vietnamese Village). I was expecting a lot of Vietnamese offering us Viet cloth or something but the village was apparently abandoned two years ago. Viet Vill has a restaurant and a souvenir shop for all your authentic Viet needs. They even have a Catholic church – it was pretty eerie knowing that when we rang the church bells, no one would care.


I was really excited to have dinner, not just because we were eating at the place to be at Puerto Princesa, but because we were going to taste a local dish called the Tamilok. I’m very experimental with food tasting, so anything that is weird, wormy or slimy is fine. After eating prawns, shrimps and other sorts of wonderful seafood, we finally got to see what the Tamilok looked like. Yes, it is slimy and it looked like a bunch of worms stuffed on a plate. It doesn’t taste bad actually – it’s like extra slimy oyster. I just had a hard time swallowing the whole thing. If you want to get a taste of this much talked about exotic dish, make sure you order it ahead because the tamilok tends to be elusive depending on the tides.

The part where the tamilok is supposed to be an aphrodisiac – I leave up to you to decide after you try it.

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