A chance to visit the famous Underground River....... Check!
Underground River or Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is an 8.2 kilometer navigable river located in the mountains of St. Paul. It was included in the final shortlist of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Wow!!!
It's quite a long trip getting there. From the city we traveled for almost 2 hours to the municipality of Sabang. While most part of the trip was convenient since 99% of the roads are paved except for that rocky road that lasted for about 5 minutes which I called "abortion road". It was so rough and bumpy that you would most definitely have a miscarriage had you were pregnant. There was also a rollercoaster road where we shouted at the top of our lungs coz it felt like riding a rollercoaster. You see? We're not even on the underground river yet, but the trip going there was super exhilarating!
Puerto Princesa is also called as "A City In The Forest" because of the lush trees and mountains. Passing through the countryside, Abbet our tour guide who is so funny and bubbly, introduced us to their famous mountains. Check this out : their mountains got names. I mean like almost every one of them. I took a quick picture of them and here's what I got :
Mc Donald's mountain. because its peak has somewhat letter M on them.
tres marias. notice the three slopes. that's how it got its name.
cleopatra's needle. the one in the center. i don't know why it's called like that. it doesn't look like a needle to me hehe...
We also passed by elephant mountain which really looked like... a bird! No. Seriously, an elephant of course. I wasn't able to take a pic because I didn't get a clearer view.
It was almost 9AM when we finally reached Sabang. We took a 10-minute boat ride cruising St. Paul's bay on our way to my dream destination. I was awed by the majestic sight along the way. The water was so calm and inviting. With mountains as backdrop, it was a totally refreshing sight!
Then we took a short walk along the monkey trail. We were advised by our tour guide not to carry cellophanes coz the monkey might snatch them thinking there's food inside.
the monkey trail
When we got to the registration area, we quickly signed in our names and took the hardhat and lifevest. We're ready to go inside the cave! Yaaayyy!!!!
It's totally dark inside with lots of bats and balinsasayao birds. Our only source of light is the spotlight on the front of the boat. Most of my companions were afraid coz it's their first time to go inside a cave. I on the other hand, was so amazed with the different rock formations. I marveled at how delicately and perfectly were they sculpted by nature. The boatman told us not to put our hands on the water because they are preserving its cleanliness. But I joked there might be crocodiles as Abbet told us 60% of their rivers were inhabited by crocodiles. We don't wanna leave Palawan with an amputated hand so we're totally hands off water haha!
this one resembles a face of a man, right?
a giant candle-like
the nativity scene. again, i wasn't able to capture it perfectly.
There were rock formations like giant mushroom, jellyfish, corn, dinosaur, zebra, etc., but because of poor lighting conditions plus I'm using a point-and-shoot camera and I don't have an external flash with me, the results weren't very good.
It took us 45 minutes to cover the 1.8 kilometers. In case we want to explore more, we need to secure a special permit for that. I would really love to. But my friends? They're itching to go back.
on our way out
I've visited many caves before and have seen lots of crystals that glow in the dark, fantastic stalagmites and stalactites, but I truly enjoyed my experience in Underground River. Communing with nature has never been this good. It made me appreciate them more and I felt blessed to have experienced up close (and personal haha!) the wonderful creations of God.