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Palawan - The Philippines' Last Frontier

The island province of Palawan has been declared as a nature sanctuary
of the world, and for good reason. It is wrapped in a mantel of
rainforests, outstanding dive sites, majestic mountains, primeval caves,
and pristine beaches. It is surrounded by a coral shelf that abounds with
varied and colorful marine life. It boasts of exotic flora and fauna, like
the mousedeer and the scaly anteater, that are found nowhere else.

Palawan waters are among the best in the world, not only for diving but
also for fishing. A diver's paradise, it has miles of sub-surface coral and
rainbow reef walls which surround the coasts and coves teeming with
rich marine life.

El Nido Marine Reserve in Miniloc, El Nido, occupying an area of
96,000 hectares, is a popular nature spot in the province. It boasts of
diverse ecosystems, such as rainforests, mangroves, white sand beaches,
coral reefs, and limestone reefs as well as a variety of fishes, like manta
ray and the sea cow or ""
dugong,"" known as the world's rarest marine
mammal. It is now one of the country's premier destinations, blessed
with amazing natural scenery, and considered as a sanctuary for various
forms of wildlife.
Long before tourist resorts began setting their sights on Palawan,
adventure travelers known as "backpackers" had discovered and
explored the rugged natural wonders of the province. Palawan earned
the Destination of the Year from the prestigious Kalakbay Awards
in 1995, proving that the province has made it to the mainstream
travel industry in the country.

From a few hundreds, tourist arrivals have steadily increased to
204,834 in the year 2004.
Palawan's tourism statistics started to
pick up in year 2002. Earlier initiatives and innovations were
recognized in the 2001 Kalakbay Awards, the highest national
award- giving body for tourism. The Palawan Tourism Council was
hailed as the Tourism Council of the Year in 2001 and 2003. Miniloc
Resort and Lagen Island Resort in El Nido won the A and AAA
categories respectively while Club Paradise Resort in Busuanga won
the AA category. Palawan chalked up more awards in the Philippine
Travel Mart namely Best in Marketing Effort and Best in
Destination Booth in 2001 and Best in Marketing Effort, 2nd place
in 2002.

Committed to the tenets of environmental conservation and
protection and with eco-tourism as the byword in the travel
industry, Palawan resort operators are going to great lengths to
ensure that the natural wonders of the province are preserved.

Outdoor recreation goes hand in hand with stewardship of our
natural heritage. Pleasure and enjoyment combine environmental
protection so that future generations may still experience the pristine
wilderness of Palawan. Water sports constitute the major attraction
for tourists. The Philippines' premier scuba diving destination is
Palawan, where 35 percent of the country's coral reefs are found.
Popular dive spots include Tubbataha Reefs in the Sulu Seam El
Nido in the north, and the Calamianes islands.
Snorkeling in the clear,
emerald waters around the islands is an option for less adventurous
guests. Kayaking in placid lagoons provides the perfect break from
hours of swimming or basking in the sun. Some resorts offer
motorized sports facilities, but these activities are limited to
minimize disturbance to wildlife, especially in
ecologically sensitive areas.

Gaining popularity among divers are the sunken shipwrecks in the
waters of Coron in northern Palawan where they can explore World
War II vintage Japanese battleships and freighters at depth of 10 and
40 meters. For divers, a close-up view of the imperial Japanese fleet
is like being in an underwater museum.
Palawan (Tagalog pronunciation: [pɐˈlawan]), officially the Province of
Palawan (Filipino: Lalawigan ng Palawan), is an island province of the
Philippines that is located in the MIMAROPA region. It is the largest
province in the country in terms of total area of jurisdiction. Its capital
Puerto Princesa City, but it is governed independently from the

islands of Palawan stretch from Mindoro in the northeast to
Borneo in the southwest. It lies between the South China Sea and the
Sulu Sea. The province is named after its largest island, Palawan Island
(09°30′N 118°30′E), measuring 450 kilometres (280 mi) long, and 50
kilometres (31 mi) wide.[5]


The province has two types of climate. The first, which occurs in the
northern and southern extremities and the entire western coast, has two
distinct seasons – six months dry and six months wet. The other, which
prevails in the eastern coast, has a short dry season of one to three
months and no pronounced rainy period during the rest of the year. The
southern part of the province is virtually free from tropical depressions
but northern Palawan experiences torrential rains during the months of
July and August. Summer months serve as peak season for Palawan. Sea
voyage is most favorable from March to early June when the seas are
calm. The average maximum temperature is 31 degrees C with little
variation all year.[5]