I’m gonna start this new series with a continuation from my previous post. This time, we were scheduled for an afternoon city tour on the very day of our arrival. Sounds hectic, right? 😀 The city tour was part of the Palawan package deal prepared to us by Vacation Deals.
Yeah, it’s pretty fast-paced schedule but the moment me and my sister roamed around the city proper to look for a Western Union branch, I couldn’t help myself to be seeing a city within the forest. Hence, Puerto Princesa, the only city in Palawan, has been aptly called as “The City of Forest” or “The City of Living God” as translated from Ang Siodad i’ ang Dios nga Boi.
We arrived at about 11:30 am at the Acacia Tree Garden Hotel. While we went to the city proper, my parents decided to stay and guard our things while waiting for our room to be fixed. As soon as we had arrived, we grabbed ourselves a lunch at the hotel’s restaurant. Room’s done and we’re about to prepare ourselves for the tour until the telephone rang! Heeps! T’was Mr. Zandro Zabalo ,our professional tour guide, announcing his arrival. 😀 (Thanks LinkedIn for enabling me to retrieve his name 😉 )
The next time I knew, we were inside the tourist van riding along with a couple and enjoying Mr Zandro’s informative, witty and subtle-humorous style of entertaining. Heheh We really felt like VIP’s. 😀
First destination was Palawan’s Baywalk or Boulevard! We actually never dropped by, however Sir Zandro instructed Sir Sherwin, the driver to slow down. I guess that’s pretty legit excuse as to why I haven’t had any pictures taken aside from the one I just grabbed from Google. Hehehe
They said it’s great to see the baywalk at night since the lightnings would make the place more attractive. Aside from picture taking and mountain-seeing, biking is one of the most ideal thing to do there. Obviously, we couldn’t do that considering we had our parents with us and me as twenty-something who didn’t know how to bike. BUT, after all, it was hell kind of a super hot afternoon so all those things would be considered as not-worth-doing. Okay? Hahaha
Our next stop and probably the first destination to be taken pictures was the Plaza Cuartel. This cuartel or barracks located along the Rizal Avenue, Brgy. Liwanag, had its fair share of country’s history. It held significant role for it’s where the Palawan Massacre was held by Japanese soldiers.
The history of this very place was thoroughly discussed using tarpaulins being displayed for tourists to read. We felt nostalgic and my father being “war film” fan enjoyed himself reading the events. I also had to enjoy the privilege, though. Again, I found myself with the same feeling as to what I had experience in my trip to Intramuros and Rizal Shrine last January this year.
Reading their experiences made me want to immortalize their sacrifices. It made me more proud as Filipino and made me love more the country wherein I was born. Surely these soldiers deserved to be honored. ❤
So much for this historical place, adjacent to Plaza Cuartel stands the Immaculate Conception Cathedral. Accordingly, its first mass was celebrated way back 1872 when the Spaniards proclaimed the Immaculate Conception of Mary as the Patroness of Puerto Princesa.
After we knew the historical significant of Plaza Cuartel, we then proceed to the cathedral. The cathedral which had witness all the atrocities brought by the war but was able to bring hope to our forefathers. It served as the home for the homeless and all other things which had now been written in the Philippine history.
That day, there was a funeral mass being held as captured from the outside, so we just say our simple prayers as a sign of respect. I also happened to wear something that’s not advisable inside the church so I only took time to glimpse what’s inside the 1800’s, Gothic-inspired church.
So we’ll proceed not exactly to where we headed next. Instead, I’d like to go directly to the tribal village since this post discussed about “heritage”. 🙂
Aside from the explanation written in the tarpaulin above, Palaw’an tribe was also said to be the descendants Tau’t Bato due to the similarities of their culture. The latter tribe was believed to be living in the Southern part of the Palawan island. According to the guide, the families alternately descended from the mountains to bring their forest products to sell in the lowland.
They showed us their hunting gears and how they would used them hunting wild animals. The guide told us they would put poison so that the target could no longer run the moment it was hit by the spear.
They also showed us their musical instruments and played them right in front of us.
Truth to be told but this tribe signified our culture and showed us how they lived during the pre-colonial era. They were the living evidence of our colorful history.
I was more than happy to meet these people as it showed we do still respect and give them importance. By exposing them to the tourists and locals alike, we’d only not given them the opportunity to live but also for us to be reminded of our roots. May they preserved these traits and trades so that the next generations will be able to see them the way I had seen them on that day.
Until next post then! ❤