Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines



The provincial capital PUERTO PRINCESA is the only major urban sprawl in Palawan, with 120,000 residents. Puerto Princesa has been touted in the media as one of the country’s cleanest and greenest cities, but the reality is different. The main drag, three-kilometre-long Rizal Avenue, is a deafening jumble of tricycles spewing noxious fumes. There are a few sights around Puerto Princesa, but hardly any in the city itself, which is why most visitors treat it as a one-night stop on the way to or from Palawan’s beaches and islands.

Puerto Princesa’s Palawan Museum, in Mendoza Park on Rizal Avenue (Mon, Tues, Thurs & Fri 8:30am– noon & 2–5pm; P20), offers an overview of the history, art and culture of Palawan, but is only worth the effort if you’re really at a loose end. Most of the exhibits are fossils and old tools. The Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral at the west end of Rizal Avenue is a pretty angular structure with sharp turrets and spires, but it’s not historically significant and the interior is ordinary. There are two major fiestas in Puerto Princesa: the Tabuan festival on March 4 and the City Fiesta on December 8.

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