After the Chinese New Year’s celebrations, I went to the airport to book a cheap last-minute flight. My next destination was Palawan Island (which capital is Puerto Princesa City), a long and narrow main island surrounded by smaller ones. It is a well-known spot for diving, snorkeling and tanning on the beach! I was definitely looking forward to spending some time at the seaside.
I landed in Puerto Princesa in the morning, and my first task was to find a cheap hostel for the night… mission accomplished after visiting only 4 hostels! (To give you an idea, I sometimes need to visit more than 10 hostels on my unlucky days!) So, I was pretty happy and ready to visit the city.
Nearby my hostel is the Immaculate Conception Cathedral. The facade’s color is light BLUE, which is a bit strange for a catholic cathedral. I was told that it was inspired by their patroness, Our Lady of Immaculate Conception. Don’t ask me why!?! Once inside, there’s a very solemn, quiet atmosphere (favorable to praying).
There’s really nothing to see inside the plaza (small park), but it’s part of the country’s history because it used to be a military camp back in World War II.
During the Japanese occupation on Palawan Island, about 150 American Prisoners of War (POW) were murdered. These POW were commanded to go under the air raid shelter, were poured gasoline and then set on fire alive!! Those who tried to escape from the fumes were machine-gunned and decapitated!! Almost everybody died except for 11 americans who managed to escape and luckily survived by swimming towards the Iwahig River.
Today, a bronze sculpture & a memorial marker are placed in the center of the plaza. It’s a reminder of the horrible event that occurred on that night of Dec. 14, 1944.
The whole baywalk is dotted with palm trees and green plants. It’s a clean nice place to breathe some fresh air and appreciate the seaside. You also have a great view on the mountains afar. It’s definitely a nice place where you can just sit down and do nothing but still feel somehow empowered…
Later that day, I met with Tony and Bill, expats teaching business courses in a University in China, and with 4 Filipinos. We went for dinner and karaoke!! The funniest part was looking at the karaoke screens showing pics of animals, which had nothing to do with the songs!?! Completely random, out of context pics. So weird (Hahaha funny weird).
Tomorrow I am back on the road again… Bye bye Puerto Princesa, Hello El Nido!