Category Archives: Photos

Tourist arrivals in Palawan seen to hit 600,000

600.000 tourist to Palawan


“When I first assumed in 1992, there were only four lonely travel and tour operators in the city. Now there are close to 200 hotels. It has increased by 2,950 percent since 20 years ago,” he said.

Tourist arrivals have swelled from 14,249 in 1992 to 515,148 in 2011, a staggering 3,515 percent jump.

Hagedorn stressed that because the tourism infrastructure and attractions are already in place, tourist inflows to Puerto Princesa City stand to grow to 1.3 million by 2016 and by 2025, arrivals will reach an all-time high of 2.5 million.

Puerto Princesa’s gain has been attributed to the phenomenal success of the Puerto Princesa Underground River, which was named one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

“Everything changed when the Puerto Princesa Underground River was declared as one of the new seven wonders of the world,” Hagedorn said.

PPUR won over a number of natural wonders owing to the systematic campaign launched by Hagedorn, with support from President Aquino himself, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Aquino and Hagedorn collaborated in appealing to all Filipinos here and abroad to text or email their votes for PPUR. With more than 30 million text votes registered for PPUR, the site won overwhelmingly.

MANILA, Philippines – Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn said they expect tourist arrivals to hit the 600,000 mark before yearend.

“Last year’s tourist arrivals went to a record breaking 515,148, a 60-percent increase from last year. We are really happy about the news. Half are Filipino balikbayans and half are foreigners. Imagine from a few flights in 1992, we now have 123 flights a week, excluding international airports,” Hagedorn told The STAR during a recent visit.

“In fact, we have to stop our advertisements because the airport can’t handle it (passenger arrivals). We have so many flights but we are already addressing the problem,” Hagedorn said.

He said the Puerto Princesa airport would be modernized and renovated to accommodate the surge of tourists.

“The airport’s privatization will be bid (out) this year and Koreans have already expressed interest,” Hagedorn said.

With regard hotel accommodation, Hagedorn said they now have a total of 146 hotels, a far cry from the few inns dotting the city in 1992.

“Having surged significantly over the past 20 years, tourism dollars are financing progress in the city – from irrigation covering over 2,000 hectares, nursery and propagation farms for high-value seedlings, farm implements benefiting 17,000 farmers, to government housing programs, more roads, more schools, more for public healthcare and more for building blocks for fish and marine sanctuaries,” Hagedorn reported.

By Patricia Esteves (The Philippine Star)

Charmed by Palawan


MANILA, Philippines – Palawan, considered the country’s last frontier, was definitely on a roll this year.

After being hailed by online travel magazine Smart Travel Asia as one of the top 10 holiday destinations in the world, more tourists are expected to troop to the island in 2013.

Popular travel guide Lonely Planet also included Palawan in its highly-anticipated best in travel 2013 list. The island was recognized as one of the 10 best regions to see in 2013, dubbed “the ultimate archipelago for adventurers.”

Palawan is truly deserving of these accolades. It does not only boast of beautiful beaches and towering limestone karsts; it is also home to some of the country’s happiest and most hospitable people — that unique factor that makes traveling “more fun in the Philippines” for foreign and local tourists alike.

I understand why people keep 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 call.

Here are 5 reasons why I think Palawan should be on your must-experience list in the coming holidays or in summer next year:

1) Coron

Coron Island is found north of mainland Palawan.

It should not be mistaken for the larger Busuanga Island, where Coron town is located.

If you have been to El Nido (also in Palawan), you might think that Coron pales in comparison. However, if you keep an open mind as you go from one lagoon to another, you will see that Coron has its own exquisite allure.

Coron’s lagoons are postcard-perfect spots that remain unspoiled to this day, with stunning limestone karsts in the background. If you’re part of a group that’s on a tour, try to find time and ask some locals to take you on their paddle boats, too.

This way, you can visit areas that are not covered by the usual tours. (You will see that the Tagbanuasprobably have the country’s best homes with stunning views.)

2) 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 not your usual destination.

The trip to the island tests a traveler’s patience and enthusiasm, but you’ll see that there is a “reward” waiting at the end of it.

By “reward,” I mean the island’s greatest asset: its people. In Cuyo, everyone seems to understand and hold deep respect for the simple life.

3) El Nido


El Nido, Palawan All photos by Amer Amor

This little town’s beauty is sublime and grand at the same time.

With its dramatic limestone karsts, amazing white sand beaches, impressive lagoons and intriguing caves, anyone who has visited El Nido will attest to its jaw-dropping beauty (and maybe even fall in love with the place at first sight).

Cadlao Island, for example, is a sight to behold. The rest of the 45 islands and islets that comprise the Bacuit Archipelago need to be seen and experienced as well.

The location manager of The Bourne Legacy that filmed in the Philippines this year called El Nido “a paradise on earth” (Check out the movie’s fantastic last scene! #PinoyPride!)

4) Port Barton

Port Barton, Palawan All photos by Amer Amor



Although not totally undiscovered, Port Barton is still relatively unknown to local tourists.

It’s a shame, really, especially when the quaint coastal community easily provides the solitude one hopes for after two hours of bumpy ride from the national highway that cuts through a well-preserved forest. (The forest is actually a destination in itself!)

Port Barton’s powder-white sand will remind you of Boracay; the town’s simplicity and its people’s hospitality will move you, too.

5) Puerto Princesa

Puerto Princesa, Palawan All photos by Amer Amor


This is Palawan’s capital that serves as your gateway around the province — a very fitting starting point for a Palawan adventure.

The city’s character is charming. You can enjoy leisurely walks. Restaurants have a carefree ambiance (visit Ka Lui). They should not be missed.

The “star” of Puerto Princesa is the Underground River. If you want to visit this place that has been named as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, plan your tour ahead. The crowd it attracts gets crazier by the minute.

Good thing the city tries to limit the Underground River visitors at 900 per day. -


BY AMER R. AMOR  Follow the author’s travels as Juanderkid at He is a college instructor, freelance writer, travel blogger and a whale shark conservation advocate.

Tapiutan Island Near El Nido

Tapiutan Island in Palawan


Stunning virtual tour from David gorny

Tapiutan Island Palawan Philippines in Philippines