travel & lifestyle blog by ruth dela cruz

Puerto Princesa, Palawan: Things to Do + Baragatan Festival

June 26, 2022

Puerto Princesa, Palawan is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Philippines.
I recently traveled to this tropical paradise with DOT – MIMAROPA and an amazing bunch of content creators from different platforms – and I had the best time experiencing and learning new things.

I had previously been to Puerto Princesa, but only as a central point for our camping in Inaladelan Island.

It is quite fitting that we traveled during the Baragatan Festival (which was last held in 2018). Baragatan Festival derives its name from Cuyunon term that means ‘meeting’, or coming together of the people of Palawan to celebrate its history and rich culture.

Group photo from our first morning and our last night

I felt that our trip as a group is an embodiment of the essence of the festival – as we “meet” and come together and learn from each other as content creators. 😊

Baragatan Festival Experience

I was told by the locals that the last Baragatan Festival was held years ago, and it is such an exciting year for the province is celebrating the festivity again through musical and dance competition. It was my first time to watch Baragatan Festival and I was impressed by the showcase of talent and skills evident through the choreography, costume and props.

I had a great time watching the colorful performances and hearing the locals cheer for their respective cities.

Puerto Princesa is favorite destination among local and foreign visitors.

Things to Do in Puerto Princesa

Sharing with you things to do in Puerto Princesa:

Puerto Princesa Underground River Cruise

A must-do in Palawan, the Puerto Princesa Underground River was temporarily declared as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World in November 2011.

It was really a surreal experience to be inside the cave where you could only hear the flying bats and paddling of the boat. I will be sharing a separate post regarding my experience. For now, make sure that you add this in your Palawan Itinerary.

Dine-in at Cacaoyan and Try Tamilok

After the underground river cruise, make sure that you dine in at Cacaoyan. The place is really nice and airy, and well-decorated with paintings and art collection. You can also try the famous Tamilok – an exotic Palawan delicacy (don’t worry, it is not worm).

Cacaoyan Puerto Princesa Palawan

Don’t forget to check out the beautiful spots at the back of the main dining hall and take beautiful photos for the ‘gram!

Visit Yamang Bukid

A real treasure in Palawan, Yamang Bukid is like a paradise with beautiful, scenic organic farm and fresh produce and products, including their famous Turmeric 10-in-1 drink.

Arshie, Pax and I braved the short hike up the Buffalo Area where we learned more about the cattle industry.

Firefly Watching in Kitu-Kito D’Makarios

Here is another out-of-this-world experience. Imagine drifting through the river with just the beautiful stars and silhouette of the Mangroves – then fireflies lighting up the trees. It is quite peaceful and romantic – depending on your perspective – some find it a bit scary, but I personally think it is dreamy – it was like being in a different world.

Some tips: wear comfortable clothes (pants are advisable), cameras are pointless (even iPhone failed to capture the fireflies), and just what I always say, enjoy the moment.

Go Island Hopping: Nagtabon Beach, Cowrie Island, Starfish Island and Luli Island

A visit to Puerto Princesa, Palawan is not complete without going on island-hopping. What makes it different and relaxing compared to the Coron Island Hopping is that you get to experience the shoreline and beach in the beautiful islands of Cowrie, Starfish and Luli Islands. I will be writing a separate post about this experience.

For those who want to go to the beach without boarding a boat, you can check out Nagtabon Beach and meet the friendly beach doggo.

Hold a Baby Crocodile at the Crocodile Farm

The truth is, I am really scared of Crocodiles. I can’t even look at them on TV, and even if, after our visit to the Crocodile Farm, my feelings and thoughts about the reptile didn’t change. This tita is still scared. Hehe.

But I took advantage of the visit to the Crocodile Farm (officially named as Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center) to get to know them and their habitat (or in this case, their breeding place).

Looking at these photos, I started to appreciate the crocodile’s skin and pattern.

One of the things I loved about the visit is the witty and engaging script by the tour guide. Make sure to include this in your itinerary.

Get Lost in Baker’s Hill

Baker’s Hill is a popular hangout place in Puerto Princesa, Palawan famous for its baked goodies like hopia, crinkles, and munchies. Walking inside the place is like stepping into Charlie’s Chocolate Factory. Colorful houses, human-sized figurines, and installations surround the area. There is even a corner that reminds me of Japan.

Aside from the bakeshop, there is also a small cafe and dining area where guests can enjoy coffee and snacks while kids play at the recreational area.

Try Noki Nocs Savory House’s Special Halo Halo

Everyone is talking about it, so we have to try it. It is insanely delicious with fine ice shavings and simple Halo Halo ingredients. My tip is to enjoy the Ube Ice Cream first, then mix and eat the Halo-Halo as is. Yum!

Noki Nocs Halo Halo Palawan

From Manila, you can visit and fly to Puerto Princesa via Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Asia.

Recommended Accommodations:

  • Astoria Palawan
  • Princess Garden Island Resort
  • Hue Hotel (read my review)

Beach-front room (good for groups, connecting rooms) at the Astoria Palawan

Room with pool access at the Princess Garden Island Resort

Mikyle, Lissa, Denise, Paxie, Chuck, Ruth, Arshie, Melo, Justine, Joe, and Joyce

I can’t wait to share more stories and photos. Follow me @ruthilicious on Instagram!

Thank you DOT – MIMAROPA for having me!

Thank you Ellen’s Travel and Tours.

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