I lost a portable drive full of photos and memories years ago. I lamented and grieved over it for a while and I learned to finally moved on and just let it go. I reckoned it was not worth crying over spilled milk but, surely, it was painful.
Today, I thought of checking out inactive social media accounts and I stumbled on a few of these photos. Not that good as I didn’t have the necessary skills and camera for macro photography and all, but, I am still happy to chanced upon them. Let me share them with you.
A green lizard.
And another flower.
It feels good to look at old photos as they bring back good, bad, and bittersweet memories of the yester years.
Sand, sun, and the sea! The usual thoughts when we are thinking of summer. In tropical countries like the Philippines, summer is usually from March to May but we can already feel the weather as early as mid-February. We hardly have rains these days and the temperature has started to go up to around 28-30 degrees.
Palawan is one of the tourism attractions in the country. It is known for its white sand beaches, pristine environment, and diverse flora and fauna. Among the common stops are El Nido, Coron, the Underground River, and Honda Bay. Aside from these, there are still a lot of undeveloped destinations worth the while of every tourist who wants to see the best of nature in the province. Springs, falls, century-old trees, and lakes worth the hike are still being developed to be opened to public sooner or later.
Among the common destinations where you can enjoy white sand beaches with minimal to no tourist influx is Port Barton in San Vicente. It is located in the northern part of the province. From the center of development, Puerto Princesa City, it only takes around 3-4 hours travel by shuttle vans and buses to get there. I have here a map of the country showing where this beautiful place is situated. This is my personal go-to place whenever I feel tried of the city life and would like to enjoy listening to the waves in the sea.
As a tourist attraction, Palawan is quite busy during summertime. It is common to see a lot of tourists in the streets, terminals, and at the beaches like El Nido, Coron, and the like. It is exciting but it can be quite exhausting too. Please don’t get me wrong, but isn’t nice to enjoy the beach with lesser people around? Be able to hear the waves, birds, and enjoy sunset with lesser crowd? If you are looking for such place then Port Barton is the place to be. Let’s take a look on what we can do there on during summer.
Island hopping is available if you want to see other islands and beaches such as Starfish & German Islands, and the tortoises at the Marine Sanctuary. I strongly suggest to avail this because each of the islands is worth seeing and you’d get the chance to be amazed by the tortoises at the sanctuary. Aside from these, there is also a falls worth the hike to enjoy nature from a different perspective.
Here is a photo of Port Barton Beach where all the boats available for island hopping are found. Everytime I found myself in this place, I take the time to hang around until sun down. It’s refreshing. If I can only afford to leave my job and settle here for good I’d probably will.
About food, there are a couple of local restaurants available until around 9:00 in the evening, both for meat-lovers and vegans. Yes, there are vegan cuisines in the area too at affordable prices. A few bars are open at night and those by the beach are open until midnight.
Accommodation is one important factor in choosing a tourist attraction. Port Barton offers various accommodations to choose from. There are hostels, bed & breakfast, glamping, and resorts. I stayed at Nellie’s when I was there. It is a family business owned by very hospitable and nice people.
I’ve mentioned in my previous posts that I always make it a point to bring students to the Underground River National Park every year. My main objective is to give the younger generations a sense of pride about the natural resources in Palawan. In addition to that, it serves as a breather for people like me who handle different jobs in a day.
Last school year, I brought a class of environmental students to get the perceptions of tourists on the services being provided in Sitio Sabang, Barangay Cabayugan. It serves as the wharf or portal to the Underground River National Park. I prepared a short questionnaire that the students used in the interview with the tourists.
The questionnaire is divided into three parts: demographic information, features of the park and Sitio Sabang that prompted them to visit the place, and the environmental services that they expect to get from the area. The results showed that most of the tourists have an impression about the quality of the environment in Palawan such as quiet, fresh air, beautiful beaches, and “green”. Most of the tourists were first timers and they were happy about the place.
There are recommendations on the hand that would make their experiences to be more enjoyable and one of these is an automated teller machine (ATM). They said it would be more convenient for them if there is an ATM in Sitio Sabang. Most of the tourists that day bought pearl jewelries and some of them wished to buy more if there was only an ATM they can use.
The short study revealed a lot about the perceptions of the tourists and I would try to publish them one at a time in the next few days.
Have you ever been to Palawan? I hope you did because it is such a nice place to visit. Aside from having top tourist destinations, the proper waste disposal is another thing that is worth noting for. It has been the culture in the province since the implementation of the Oplan Linis Program in 1992. The strict implementation resulted to minimized trash in the streets, thus, a clean and green city.
The successful implementation of the program not only improved the waste disposal of the city, but it also changed the behaviour and attitude of the residents as well. Even the younger generations are disciplined and aware as to where to dispose candy wrappers properly. Trash bins are positioned in every corner of the city to ensure easy access for residents and easier collection by the waste management too.
At young age, it is imperative to educate the children on the importance of the environment in general. This reminds me of our accountability in taking care of our natural resources as mentioned in the seven (7) environmental principles listed below:
1. Nature Knows Best.
2. All forms of life are important
3. Everything is connected to everything else
4. Everything changes
5. Everything must go somewhere
6. Ours is a finite earth
7. Nature is beautiful and we are stewards of God’s creation.
Let me also end this article by quoting one of Mahatma Gandhi’s which says,
THE EARTH IS TO PROVIDE EVERY MAN’S NEED AND NOT EVERY MAN’S GREED.
As an educator, it is one of my goals every semester to inculcate a deeper appreciation of the environment to my students. In addition to the lecture inside the classroom, I usually take my students out in the field. One of the destinations is any tourist attraction in the province. I want them to see the attractions for them to be more proud of Palawan. This will help them to have a sense of responsibility to help in maintaining the beauty of the last ecological frontier.
One of the trips was in Sitio Sabang, Barangay Cabayugan, Puerto Princesa City.
This photo is in Sabang, the portal to the Underground River National Park.
The photo shows the part of the long white sand in Sabang area.
And the college students who had so much fun during the field exposure. If you would like to know more about the Underground River National Park, you may click here.