Showing posts with label PHILIPPENES. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PHILIPPENES. Show all posts

Friday, June 3, 2011



Once used as a camp by Japanese Occupational Forces during World War II, these astonishing Callao caves are located about 20 to 30 minutes ride from Tuguegarao City. One of the most popular tourist attraction in Cagayan Valley, it is situated within the Peñablanca Protected Landscape in Cagayan. These caves have seven chambers which offer visitors a good view of the massive limestone and other rock formations that run through a great length of the Pinacanauan River.


The stalactites and stalagmites in the deeper chambers will also leave every tourist in awe. Lighting won’t be a big deal when visiting the caves as the supposed dark areas are illuminated by the light passing through the natural crevices found in every chamber. A very significant accentuation among the seven chambers is the presence of a stone altar illuminated by natural skylight, producing an eerie catacomb-like atmosphere. Also a treat is the spectacle of red-billed kalaw birds and daily charge of bats at dusk when millions pour out of the Bat’s Cave.



Then take a tour inside this pristine cave called the Jackpot Cave. Situated at Sitio Tumallo, Barangay Quibal, Peñablanca, this cave is the second deepest cave in the Philippines, next to the trio of Sumaging-Latipan-Lumiang crystal caves. With an impressive depth of 115 meters, you can encounter walking size passages, shafts and drops of varying depths that can provide wide varieties of rope work. Meandering streams and pools of different sizes can be found inside the cave that you can play in.

The trio of Sumaging-Latipan-Lumiang crystal caves is 163 meters deep. Before you reach this wonderful piece of nature, you can first quench your thirst for hiking adventures with a 560-meter trek to the base of the mountain before challenging a climb with an elevation of 100 meters. There are two cave openings leading you to both the eastern part and west side of the cave. But most visitors take the west entrance because they can culminate their caving experience with a view of Pagbilao town proper.



Binatakan Cave

Bintakan Cave

About two kilometers from the provincial capitol rests a rocky slope of Ibunao in which the popular Binatakan Cave is situated. The Bintakan cave is located in Lagawe, Ifugao and its mouth overlooks the Ibunao River.
Experience the dripping water in this three-room cave as you savor the goodness and coolness of this natural haven. But as you enjoy the best of nature, you should not forget to bring your camera as wonderfully formed stalactites and stalagmites resembling different beautiful shapes abound here.


After enjoying the Bintakan Cave in Ibunao, the nearby Nah-Toban Cave is a place to look forward to. A four-kilometer hike from the Poblacion leads you to this nature’s wonderful gift. NAH-TOBAN CAVE Located at Boliwong, Lagawe, large quantities of guano can be found in this cave. Descend through the cave and explore its four mystical rooms.

Management Provincial Government of Ifugao
Address Provincial Capitol, Lagawe, Ifugao
Site Address Boliwong, Lagawe, Ifugao


CRYSTAL CAVES Mountain Province

Looking for real Crystal cave adventure Mountain Province Philippines If the prospect of going down to as deep as 163 meters sounds thrilling to you then the trio of Sumaging-Latipan-Lomyang crystal caves is the perfect destination for you. Crystal cave located in Mountain Province, the crystal caves across Sumaging, Lapitan, and Lomyang hold the distinction of being the deepest cave in the country. Historically, the cave also served as hiding place of Filipino soldiers and Guerillas during World War II.

Crystal cave

Prior to the War, this was also a dwelling of and eventually became burial grounds for the Indigenous People of the Cordillera. You can access this splendid nature’s gift by coming through one of the six entrances that lead to an intricate mix of active and fossil cave, prominent for its large passages and extraordinary gourds.
You can feast your eyes on the mystical scenery and rocky terrain accentuated by the temperate and cool climate of the Philippine tropics. The trio Sumaging-Latipan-Lomyang crystal caves are also prominent for being the fifth longest in the country.


If there is one positive thing that results from water erosion, then it should be the creation of Sumaging Cave.
Commonly known as the Big Cave, its sheer size and enormous chambers never fail to surprise visitors.
So huge is the “Big Cave” that it has earned a lot of monikers from local folks, whose forefathers used the cave as hiding places during the World War II.

Sumaging Cave

 An array of fascinating rock formations surround the cave, including the “King’s Curtain”, “Rice Granny”, “Cauliflower”, and “Dancing Hall”. There is also magnificent and unorthodox display of stalactites and stalagmites making the trip inside worthwhile and satisfying.

Sumaging Cave

Passing through a particular part of Sumaging Cave known as “The Tunnel” is the highlight of every visit. For one, the explorer needs to exert extra effort to pass through this minute passage. The opening is so small that a visitor is required to make limbo-like movements to ease through the tight tunnel-like passage.
Visitors reaching this point will be greeted by a marker that reads “c-r-a-w-l-i-n-g.”

Crystal Cave Baguio City PHILIPPINESE

Crystal Cave
The Crystal Cave got its name from the crystals that once peppered its insides. But gone are the days when you could see them gleaming and sparkling from the huge walls. It was said that the crystals were dug up and sold by the locals as they try to survive the economic crisis that struck the nation in the 1980s.

Crystal Cave
Crystal Cave

Despite the loss of these precious crystals, Crystal Cave found in the Summer Capital of the Philippines, Baguio City, remains as one of the most visited spots in the city. The walls of the cave are massive and the ceiling is high, thus allowing a large number of people to roam around all at the same time. Marvelous rock formations fill the inside of the cave and you could also see the small crevices from where the crystals were taken out.

Tabon Cave Archaeologically Palawan Philippinese

Tabon Cave

Tabon Cave located on Lipuun Point, Quezon, Palawan Island. Tabon Cave is bordered on the south by the town proper of Quezon, Bgy. Panitian on the west, and the South China Sea on the north and east. The complex has 29 explored caves (only seven of which are open for public viewing), but 215 caves are known to exist on Lipuun Point. They are maintained by the National Museum The archaeologically significant Tabon Cave Complex in Lipuun Point, Quezon, Palawan) in March 1964 by Victor Decalan, Hans Kasten and several volunteer workers from the United States Peace Corps.2 The Manunggul burial jar is unique in all respects. Dating back to the late Neolithic Period at around 710 B.C.,3 Robert Fox described the jar in his landmark work on the Tabon Caves:

The burial jar with a cover featuring a ship-of-the-dead is perhaps unrivalled in Southeast Asia; the work of an artist and master potter. This vessel provides a clear example of a cultural link between the archaeological past and the ethnographic present. The boatman is steering rather than padding the “ship.” The mast of the boat was not recovered. Both figures appear to be wearing a band tied over the crown of the head and under the jaw; a pattern still encountered in burial practices among the indigenous peoples in Southern Philippines. The manner in which the hands of the front figure are folded across the chest is also a widespread practice in the Islands when arranging the corpse.

Tabon Cave

Known as “The Cradle of Philippine Civilization”, the caves have yielded the fossil remains of the 22,000-year-old Tabon man. Of the 200 caves found, only 29 caves were fully explored, and seven open to visitors, including Tabon Cave, which was used for habitation and / or burial sites by ancient peoples. 155 kilometers from Puerto Princesa to Quezon, followed by a 30-minute boat ride to the caves.


PORT BARTON One of the most popular tourist destinations in Palawan, the village of Port Barton traces its roots to Tagbanua settlements established before the turn of the century. Historical records show that in 1890, the place was called “Itaytay” (meaning unknown) by the 10 tribal families living there. In 1933, loggers arrived and set up camp in town. Afraid of the newcomers, the Tagbanuas fled to the mountains of Bunuangin. Later, a blood pact was forged between the new settlers and the indigenous people to improve relations among residents in the area. Sometime in the 1940s, an Englishman named Col. Burton surveyed the islands. The place was named after him, although the spelling was slightly changed, probably resulting from local pronunciation. In 1961, Port Barton became a barangay of Puerto Princesa. It was one of the barangays transferred to San Vicente when the latter became a municipality in 1972.

An array of tourist resorts lines the white sand beach on the main cove of the barangay proper, its postcard-pretty scenery luring visitors from all over the world. Aside from the coral reefs and unpolluted beaches in the
outlying islands, two waterfalls and a verdant forest also attract jungle trekking enthusiasts. Although logging has diminished much of its forest reserves, Port Barton remains heavily wooded. It is interesting to note that
tourism and commercial logging co-existed in the barangay for many years, making it a rival of San Vicente Poblacion as a hub of commercial activity in the municipality. Scuba diving is popular among tourists. The results of a survey of 32 visitors in Port Barton in 1998 are summarized in Box 4.1. It is noted that the visitors see problems in Port Barton but still want to return.

Port Barton has 13 islands: Albaguen, Cagnipa, Exotic, Capsalay, Inaladuan, Malindog, Bongot, Koyayo, Moraday, Paradise, Cagnipa, Endeavor and Ranged. Passenger jeeps travel from Port Barton to Roxas or Puerto Princesa daily during summer, but the road is often impassable when the rains come in the second half of the year. Logging roads traverse the mountain region of the barangay although many have fallen into disrepair since the concession was closed in 1993. Fishing and tourist boats serve as alternative means of transportation when the road is closed, but are used mostly for island hopping.

Port Barton Beach Palawan

Fishing is the main source of income for 65% of the local population. Almost 400 bancas are found in the area, more than half of them motorized. There are six fish landing areas with buying stations. Most of the fish catch is delivered to Puerto Princesa. Sitios Darapiton and Tugdunen, Dapi, Coroan (TDC) are the main farming areas where rice, coconut, cashew, and other crops are grown. Poultry production and livestock raising augment the income of most families. Mat weaving is a popular cottage industry among women.

SITIOS : Albaguen, Capsalay, Pamoayan, Baybay Daraga, Bunuangin, Darapiton, Naonao, Cata, Villapeña (Queen’s Bay), Matalangao, TDC, Pagdanan, Pagasa, Pagkakaisa, Barongbong, Bigaho, Capisan, Cagnipa, Cata, Puyong

LAND AREA: 22,779.47 hectares

POPULATION: 4,362 individuals in 981 households

LANGUAGES SPOKEN: Waray, Cuyunon, Cebuano, Tagalog, Ilonggo, Ilokano, Agutaynon

MAJOR RELIGIONS: Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, Iglesia ni Cristo

MOST COMMON ILLNESSES: Malaria, URTI, diarrhea, pneumonia

SCHOOLS: 3 elementary schools, 1 high school

ORGANIZATIONS: 16 purok and sitio associations, Kapisanan ng Maliliit na Mangingisda sa Purok Pagkakaisa, Samahan ng Maliliit na Mangingisda sa Sitio Pag-asa, Pamuayan Fishermen’s Association, Nagkahiusang mga Gagmayng Mananagat sa Capsalay, Albaguen Small Fishermen’s Association, Samahan
ng mga Maliliit na Mangingisda sa Baybay Daraga, Nagpakabana nga mga Gagmayng Mananagat sa Barongbong, Kapisanan ng mga Mandaragat sa Bunuangin, Pagdanan Fishermen’s Association, Kapunungan sa Lig-ong Kaliwat nga Nagdumala sa Kinaiyahan
HEALTH SERVICES: 4 Health Centers with 1 nurse and 2 midwives

ELECTRICITY: Privately-owned generators serve 60% of all households, most tourist resorts have their own generating sets, while 25% of the population use kerosene lamps.
WATER SUPPLY: Open dug wells, deep wells, hand pumps, rivers and springs, Level III

COMMUNICATION: The barangay has radio contact with the municipal government. El Busero beach resort has VHF facilities connected to the barangay, municipal government, and Puerto Princesa City. Swissipini Resort maintains radio contact with its Puerto Princesa office.

San Isidro Beach and Poblacion Most Destination San Vicente Philippinese

Before it became a barangay, San Isidro was called “Emeg”, which means moist. Migrants from Agutaya in northeastern Palawan were among the earliest pioneers here. A former sitio of New Agutaya, its southern neighbor, San Isidro became a barangay in 1989. It is named after its patron saint. San Isidro Brach Located some 3 km north of the San Vicente town proper, San Isidro is easily accessible by land. Its shoreline is part of the municipality’s famed Long Beach, a potential tourist attraction, but the barangay needs assistance in developing the area. Farming is the main source of income; coconut, rice, and cashew are the principal cash crops. Post-harvest facilities are available including 8 corn and rice mills and 1 warehouse. Two tractors are also used in the area. Most of the fishermen are found in sitio Bokbok, a sparsely populated coastal settlement beside Long Beach.

San Isidro Beach

SITIOS : Bokbok, sitio Proper, LTC (Lanas, Tago-tago, and Capitol), Emeg,
sitio Salvador (contested by Roxas)
San Isidro Beach LAND AREA: 4,216.94 hectares
POPULATION: 796 individuals in 161 households (1995 census); excludes Salvador
LANGUAGES SPOKEN: Agutaynon, Cuyunon, Ilocano, Visayan
RELIGION: Roman Catholic

San Isidro Beach


As the main trading center, Barangay Poblacion has a public market where goods are bought and sold.

When the former barrio of San Vicente became a municipality in 1972, this area became Barangay Poblacion, the seat of the municipal government. The barangay can be reached by land, air, and sea transport. Buses from the capital city of Puerto Princesa and neighboring Roxas town ply this route daily. A small gravel airstrip can accommodate light planes. At the pier, motorized bancas accept passengers going to outlying islands and barangays.

As the main trading center, the barangay has a public market where goods are bought and sold. Tourism has yet to be fully developed, although the Capari Dive Camp resort has operated here for many years. Fishers
outnumber farmers four to one, mainly because of Boayan Island where residents depend on the sea for their livelihood. Other barangay residents are gainfully employed in the municipal government and a few establishments in town, while some run their own businesses.

SITIOS : Casoyan, Pulang Bato, Daplac, Village, Panindigan, Pinagmalucan, Poblacion Proper, Macatumbalen, Maringitringit, Bakawan, Quintangan, Maningning 

KALIBO Poblacion LAND AREA: 4,066.76 hectares
POPULATION: 4,914 individuals in 819 households (1995 census)
LANGUAGES SPOKEN: Cebuano, Agutaynon, Cuyunon, Bicolano, Tagalog
MAJOR RELIGIONS: Roman Catholic, Iglesia ni Kristo, Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal
MOST COMMON ILLNESSES: Pulmonary diseases, malaria, diarrhea
SCHOOLS: 4 elementary schools and 1 national high school
ORGANIZATIONS: San Vicente Multi-purpose Cooperative, Pastoral Council of Barangay Poblacion, Mothers’ Club, Farmers’ Association, Pinagmalucan Fishermen’s Association, Macatumbalen Fishermen’s Association, Panindigan Women’s Association
HEALTH SERVICES: 1 mini-hospital with 1 municipal health officer and 9 personnel
ELECTRICITY: Most residents of Panindigan and the barangay proper rely on the Palawan Electric Cooperative, which supplies power from 6 p.m. to 12 midnight every day (the hours are extended during special occasions, such as fiestas or basketball tournaments); the rest use kerosene lamps.
WATER SUPPLY: Level III water system, open dug wells, rain catchment, hand pumps
COMMUNICATION: Post office and municipal telecommunication service. Telephone service is also available but is dependent on current capacity of a solar power generator.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Alimanguan beach is named after "alimango" (crab) because of the abundance of the crustacean in the mangroves.


The Tagbanua settlers who first inhabited this place named it after the local term for crab (“alimango”) because of the abundance of the crustacean in the mangroves. Formerly a sitio of Taytay, it became a barangay after World War II. Alimanguan was one of the barangays ceded to San Vicente when the latter became a municipality in 1972. Fishing and farming are the main sources of livelihood. Rice is planted both in paddies and the uplands. Other sources of income are small-scale trading of marine and agricultural products, wage labor, and sari-sari stores. Many families also raise poultry and livestock. Since the provincial road passes through the barangay, Alimanguan is easily accessible both by land and sea.

SITIOS: Purok 1 to 6 (Tagpis, Ipanganan, Canadgan, Boong, Tagpao, Baracion) further subdivided into 12 sitios 
POPULATION: 2,529 individuals in 468 households (1995 census)
LANGUAGES SPOKEN: Tagalog, Cebuano/Waray, Cuyonon
MAJOR RELIGIONS: Roman Catholic, Baptist, Iglesia ni Kristo, Seventh Day Adventist
SCHOOLS: 1 barangay elementary school and 1 high school
HEALTH SERVICES: 1 barangay health center complemented by a medical outreach team with 1 doctor, 1 nurse, 2 midwives, and 1 attendant
ELECTRICITY: barangay power generating set and privately owned generators


Sto. Niño Roman Catholic Philippines

Some people still call Barangay Sto. Niño by its old name "Irawan" which means a long dry season.

Some people still call this barangay by its old name “Irawan”, which means a long dry season. Formerly a sitio of neighboring Alimanguan, barangay Sto. Niño gained its present status in 1989 after nine years of lobbying with municipal and provincial officials. It is named after its patron saint, the child Jesus. Migrants from Samar form the largest ethnic group, followed by those from Masbate and Mindanao. Fishing is the main source of livelihood, but most residents turn to farming during the monsoon season in the second half of the year. Compressor-aided fishing was practiced in the barangay until the municipality outlawed the method in 1995. Rice is grown mostly for local use. Some people practice slash-and-burn farming in the forests, which also provide the main source of firewood and building materials.

Sto. Niño
 Its steep beach makes Sto. Niño inaccessible during bad weather. A 3-km dirt road connects the barangay to Alimanguan, its main trading partner. Some people still call Barangay Sto. Niño by its old name "Irawan" which means a long dry season.

SITIOS : Maymanok, sitio Proper, Ombo

LAND AREA: 2,997.442 hectares

POPULATION: 1,033 individuals in 181 households (1995 census)

LANGUAGES SPOKEN: Visayan, Tagalog, Ilonggo, Cuyunon, Masbateño

RELIGIONS: Roman Catholic, Iglesia ni Kristo, Pentecostal, Endtime Message

MOST COMMON ILLNESSES: Malaria, pulmonary diseases, measles

SCHOOLS: 1 barangay elementary school (Grades 1 - 6)

ORGANIZATIONS: 7 purok associations, Sto. Niño Mothers’ Club, Barangay Water & Sanitation
Association, Sto. Niño Compressor Fishermen’s Association, Samahan ng Magbubukid at Mandaragat ng Sto. Niño
HEALTH SERVICES: 1 day-care worker
WATER SOURCES: 13 handpumps, 3 Jetmatic pumps, 4 natural springs

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Binga Island Palawan Philippine Fishing and Farming

After a powerful storm hit this coastal village several decades ago, residents scouring the beach found thousands of shells known as “binga” in the Calamianes Islands in northern Palawan. Because of this, the indigenous Tagbanua people who first inhabited this place decided to name their community “Binga”, after the shell. In 1920, Binga became a barrio of Taytay municipality. It was among the barangays that formed San Vicente when the latter became a municipality in 1972.

Binga Island

Binga island is located in the northernmost part of San Vicente. Six kilometers of barangay roads constructed by a former logging company traverse the settlement but most roads are in poor condition so boats are the main mode of transportation. It takes about 2 hours by boat to reach the Poblacion. Because of this, residents find it easier and more practical to trade with the nearby barangays of Taytay, such as Liminangcong and San Jose, than with the Poblacion. Fishing and farming are the principal sources of livelihood. Other means of employment are retail services and wage labor. Major crops produced are rice, coconut, cashew, and banana. Out of 120 boats used by fishermen, 94 are motorized, indicating a certain level of affluence.

Binga, in the northernmost part of San Vicente, was named aftera shell.

Binga Island

SITIOS : Boding, Binga Proper, Gue, Malarim, Lincuan, Lumambong, Mamagang, Cauban, Newtio, Ipidal, Imuruan

POPULATION: 1,363 individuals in 336 households (1995 census)

LAND AREA: 1,387 hectares

LANGUAGES SPOKEN: Tagalog, Cebuano, Cuyunon, Ilonggo, Tagbanua, Agutaynon

MAJOR RELIGIONS: Roman Catholic, Protestant, Iglesia ni Cristo, Tagbanua

MOST COMMON ILLNESSES: Malaria, pulmonary diseases, diarrhea

SCHOOLS: 1 elementary school in Binga proper, 1 primary school in sitio Cauban

ORGANIZATIONS: Masigasig na Katutubong Samahan ng Binga, Boding Resource
Management Center, Boding Women’s Organization

HEALTH SERVICES: 1 barangay health center with nurse and health worker

WATER SOURCE: Level II communal faucet, dug wells, Jetmatic pumps, creeks

ELECTRICITY: In Binga proper, 20 households are serviced by a barangay-owned generating set, and some sitios are powered by privately-owned generating sets. All told, only 10% of barangay residents have
electricity, and 90% use kerosene lamps for light.

COMMUNICATION: More than 70% of households have portable radios. The barangay captain has one hand-held radio connected to the municipal frequency for monitoring purposes.


NEW AGUTAYA IN SAN VICENTE PALAWAN ISLAND PHILIPPINES Most of the early settlers of this barangay came from the island municipality of Agutaya in northeastern Palawan, hence the name "New Agutaya". The barangay used to be part of Taytay, but it was turned over to San Vicente in 1972. New Agutaya is easily accessible by land as it is located right next to the Poblacion, and the provincial road passes through the barangay.

Almost all residents are engaged in farming, with most farmers (90%) owning their land. Rice and coconut are the major crops; livestock production provides additional income to many residents. Most fishermen have settled along a sandy strip called Bukana, which lies between a river lined with mangroves and the picturesque expanse of Long Beach.


New Agutaya holds the distinction of being the longest in the country. Enjoy the sun, sand and sea as you pick your spot along its resort dotted 14-km stretch. Ideal for youth and adventure travelers, it is located in San Vicente. New Agutaya got its name from the island municipality of Agutaya in northeastern Palawan, where most of the early settlers came from.

SITIOS : Bagong Silang, Matagumpay, Makabayan, Damayan, Kasipagan, Magsasaka, Katarungan, Bukana, Inarayan, Lanas, Little Baguio, Capitol, Itabiyak.

LAND AREA: 4,216.94 hectares
POPULATION: 1,713 individuals in 330 households (1995 census)
LANGUAGES SPOKEN: Agutaynon, Tagalog, Ilonggo, Cuyunon, Visayan
MAJOR RELIGIONS: Roman Catholic, Iglesia ni Kristo, Seventh Day Adventist
MOST COMMON ILLNESSES: URTI, malaria, diarrhea
SCHOOLS: 1 barangay elementary school
ORGANIZATIONS: Bucana Fishermen’s Association, Maringit-ringit Communal Irrigators’ Association, Landing Farmers Association, Inarayan Women’s Association.
ELECTRICITY: Only 20 households benefit from the power plant of the Palawan Electric Cooperative, which is located in the barangay; the rest use kerosene lamps.
WATER SUPPLY: 200 privately owned pumps, 3 communal pumps, dug wells, springs. An irrigation dam serves 325 households and covers 650 hectares.

Ursula Island Game Refuge and Bird Sanctuary Palawan Phillipines

Ursula Island Game Refuge and Bird Sanctuary is approximately 20 kms. Ursula Island located in Rio, Tuba Village, Bataraza, Palawan. About 236 kilometers from Puerto Princesa City, the town of Bataraza can be reached by bus or jeepney which departs daily from the city. From Bataraza, proceed to Rio Tuba and then take a pumpboat ride to Ursula Island. Bataraza is 5-6 hours’ drive from Puerto Princesa City. We are seriously thinking of sailing straight to Kota Kinabalu for an overnight run from Balabac. It would mean saying 'au revoir' to the others as they are going to Kudat. Peerliane will be there for a while having her bottom painted. We'll see how we feel this afternoon. Off Brooke's Point in southern Palawan, about one hour by boat from Rio Tuba, Bataraza.

The vegetation is made up of old growth lowland forest with moderate undergrowth, consisting mostly of tree saplings and seedlings. Fishermen frequent the island and there are numerous trails to wells dug in the interior and some small nipa huts. Ursula Island is notable for the large concentrations of imperial pigeons that roast there, including numbers of the threatened grey Imperial-pigeons. Birds at flight in Ursula Island however, it has been reported that the numbers of pigeons roosting there have declined substantially in recent years. Mantanani Scops-owl, a restricted-range small-island specialist, has also been recorded on the island.

Ursula Island Game Refuge and Bird Sanctuary Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) which takes charge of the whole management of the island has ordered a temporary closure of the sanctuary from visitors so as to give time for the birds to recuperate and for the PAMB to adopt necessary measures in order to fully protect the whole island while various exposure activities is on going. But the PAMB is still a big problem today due to the presence of fishermen in the island. It is clear that there has been a significant decline in the numbers of roosting pigeons using Ursula. From an estimated 150,000 to a few thousand over the last 60 years. Natural predators such as the line Slender Arboreal Snake Dendrelaphis caudolinatus may have had significant impact on populations of nesting birds. This is the only snake recorded at Ursula and it is possible that it is only a recent colonizer of the island, perhaps brought there by man.

Ursula island is a tiny white sand island with natural vegetation including many pandanus trees. As we rowed ashore we could see a crowd of children waiting under a tree. Our attempts at 'hello', 'Good afternoon', 'Kumasta' seemed to not be understood and the children just looked back at us. We walked towards the fishing boats and lean-tos on the beach and repeated out greetings to some of the adults there. He received a couple of hellos and they indicated it was ok for us to walk around the island. I don't think much English is spoken here. It didn't take long to walk around the island. It is very beautiful - clear water and white coral pieces on the beach. We had a wonderful swim when we got back. Sunset drinks and nibbles were enjoyed by all 3 crews on board Peerliane. Franck played the accordion and Mary sang Scottish songs. I played with Peerliane's cat 'Acra' .He seems very happy on board.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Honda Bay Most Popular Snake Island and Pandan Island In Palawan

Honda Bay

Honday Bay, Snake Island, Pandan island

Welcone to Puerto Princessa In Palawan Island an Honda Bay is an all day event and this is usually an island hopping tour. You are going to visit three islands along Honda Bay. These are Pandan Island, Snake Island, and Starfish Island. One can do swimming, snorkeling, and fish feeding on these islands. Do not forget to bring a change of clothes, snorkeling gear, and underwater camera. I liked Pandan Beach the best because of the clear green color of the beach. The sand was a smooth, powdery light brown in color. There were also cottages nearby and it was very relaxing because it is not overcrowded. There were also a lot of fish and I like best the moonrose.

Honda Bay

Honda Bay is located just a few minutes from the Puerto Princessa proper or From the mainila city to the east, we traveled approximately 12 kilometers. Wearing a cluster of islands as its crown, Honda bay boasts white sand, absolutely untouched beach fringes shore featuring unbelievably clear water fading into a royal blue sea. We first headed off to Pandan Island. Aside from the obligatory white beach, the place is named because of Pandan, an endemic plant and apparently is copious in that particular island. You can take your own food or buy the freshest catch from the local fishermen. There are some Handa Bay, Snake island that require entrance fees, since some islands are protected and are privately owned that would require you have a permit to visit.

Honda Bay

We already ate our lunch there courtesy of our tour guide, which is already part of the 1,100 that we paid. More snorkeling and beach bumming for us. After lunch we went to Pandan Island, our last island for the trip. Pandan Island have this more cozy feeling than snake island because of shades the trees gives the island. The cottages are better and they have a massage service for 200 pesos an hour. There is no ample supply of food in the island so better if you bring some chips and snacks when you go on this trip. We head back around 4:30 PM and it was a tiring but wonderful day! It's called Snake Island because it resembles a shape of a snake. Please Visit to Honday Bay, Snake Island, Pandan island Your Holiday and Enjoyed Photograph, Diving, Snorkeling and Fisherman.

Kayangan Lake And Coron Island The Blue Lagoon Trip Palawan Philippines

Kayangan Lake in area Coron Island is wonder island and Natural Lendscape trip Palawan Philippines Tourism and Most Destination tour in Palawan. Awarded as the cleanest lake in the Philippines it is set among limestone cliffs from the Jurassic era, it is also known as the Blue Lagoon for its breathtaking beauty. Lose yourself in the magnificence of nature, trek along its trails and lake in the splendor of a big picture view when you reach peak. This site is it has a beautiful background of limestone rock formations, sandy coves for picnics and sunbathing between dives. It has a shallow coral garden and is ideal for photography because the sunken boat has become a home for a variety of tropical fishes such as nudibranchs, sea stars, angel fish, butterfly fish, and shoals of barracuda, damselfish and more.

 Kayangan Lake-Coron Island

 Kayangan Lake it's about a 20minute trek up and down the hill as the lake is in the interior of the island.. if you're not used to hiking.. pace yourself.. lots of photo ops all throughout anyway. you can really say that it is indeed a amazing view up there. when you swim on the lake its like a refreshing treat! well, nothing really to see under only rock formation but the view around the lake is really worth it. The lake has a small jetty which you can use to put belongings on, or use as your entry platform. The water is crystal clear and your allowed in for a refreshing dip and/or snorkel. There isn't a lot to see in the way of wildlife but there are a few species of small freshwater fish and shrimp.

Kayangan Lake-Coron Island

Before reaching Kayangan Lake you will do a little trekking which is quite challenging, rocks are sharp be sure to use reliable footwear and walk on the trail painstakingly. Going up the hill you will pass by a cave where visitors often take a rest for photo ops. You should never miss the opportunity to capture perfect photos from this spot. We have waited patiently for our turn just for one great picture and it was all worth it! The Kayangan lake is definitely a beauty and I hope it would remain unspoiled beauty. Water is crystal clear and cold while rocks underneath can be seen with the naked eyes.

Kayangan Lake

The Coron Island-Kayangan Lake around the wrecks have pleasant rock formations which provide for excellent snorkeling opportunities, with underwater visibility extending up to 80 feet. The water is usually calm, with almost no current. Coron is one of the most visited destinations for wreck diving in the Philippines. Wreck dive sites are found in a depth as shallow as 10–30 feet and as deep as 120–140 feet. Most are in the range of about 60–80 feet, perfect for sports divers. Divesites around Coron include also many different reef divesites and the famous "Günter´s Cave". Also known as Cathedral Cave as, during the right time of the day, the sun throws a beam of light through a hole in the cave-ceiling, illuminating the inside. It is possible to surface in the cave, as the hole in the cave-ceiling allows fresh air to enter. Our visit to Coron Island in Palawan last year was one of the most memorable trips I’ve ever had, and one of the most beautiful spots there is Kayangan Lake.

Rasa Island Palawan Philippine Cockatoo Conservation

Rasa Island Most Popular Atraction and Destination In Palawan Philipines Tourism

The conservation efforts on Rasa Island paid off as the island sanctuary was recently named as one of the top 13 birdwatching sites in the Philippines. Rasa Island Wildlife Sanctuary holds probably the densest population of the critically endangered Philippine cockatoo Cacatua haematuropygia in the wild! In July 2008, the cockatoo population for the first time since project implementation in 1998 passed the 200 individual mark. Rasa Island was declared Wildlife Sanctuary through Presidential Proclamation 1000 in 2006. The small coral island is not only the core habitat of the Philippine cockatoo, but also of other globally threatened or near-threatened bird species. Rasa is located in Narra, Palawan. The municipality is now called the “World Capital of the Philippine Cockatoo”. Rasa Island is the pilot site of the Philippine Cockatoo Conservation Programme (PCCP) under the Katala Foundation.

Rasa Island

The DOT is promoting birdwatching as an alternative activity that could promote the Philippines both locally and abroad under its Adventure Philippines Campaign. DOT Secretary Joseph “Ace” Durano recently launched the first volume of a guidebook called “Birdwatching in the Philippines” which featured Rasa Island. This is also part of the worldwide promotion that the DOT is undertaking to show to both Filipino and foreign wildlife enthusiasts the various birdwatching destinations in the Philippines. Other top birdwatching spots covered in the DOT’s “Birdwatching in the Philippines” project are Mt. Makiling in Los Baños, Laguna; Subic Bay in Zambales; Candaba Marsh in Pampanga; Northern Sierra Madre Nature Park in Cagayan; St. Paul’s National Park in Puerto Princesa, Palawan; Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary in Cebu; Rajah Sikatuna National Park in Bohol; Mt. Kitanglad in Bukidnon and Mt. Apo National Park in Davao. The record shows that more than 600 bird species are identified throughout the Philippines in which 200 of them are endemic to the country.

Rasa Island Wildlife Sanctuary Habitat Philippine Cockatoo

Rasa Island a spectacular island haven, the sanctuary is home to 87 unique bird species, including the Palawan hornbill. Tours also include visits to waterfalls and mangrove forests. Overnight in clean but simple dwellings in the town of Narra possible. Three hours from Puerto Princesa to Narra, followed by a 30-minute boatride to Rasa Island.

Palawan Butterfly Garden of Exotic Philippine Flowering Plants

Palawan Butterfly Garden in Philippines tourists are surrounded by butterflies in this garden of exotic Philippine flowering plants. Occasionally, one can witness the emergence of a young butterfly and other unusual insects such as the praying mantis, stick and leaf insects, giant scorpions, atlas beetles and other jungle insects. Palawan Butterfly Garden is a conservation project that can be successfully done on nearly any site from an urban rooftop to a suburban schoolyard, from a landscaped island at a business, to an expansive golf course garden. Imagine if we all did it? Our landscapes would not only be more beautiful, but they would provide corridors of habitat to sustain native butterfly populations across the Philippine.

Palawan Butterfly Garden
Palawan Butterfly Garden is a conservation project that can be successfully done on nearly any site from an urban rooftop to a suburban schoolyard, from a landscaped island at a business, to an expansive golf course garden. Imagine if we all did it? Our landscapes would not only be more beautiful, but they would provide corridors of habitat to sustain native butterfly populations across the country.

All butterflies go through dramatic changes before becoming the beautiful winged creatures we recognize. Butterflies start out as eggs, most often laid on the underside of a leaf or branch. Caterpillars are born with a hearty appetite and often eat their shells as their first meal. As caterpillars grow, they molt that is, they shed their outer layer of skin, at least five times before they become suspended in a cocoon or chrysalis. They may remain within this waxy pupal case for weeks or months, until they finally emerge as adult butterflies. The average life of a butterfly ranges from a couple of days to around six months. During this time they are looking for mates and places to lay their eggs. Some butterflies don’t eat at all as adults, but those who do are looking
to dine on the sweet nectar that comes from flowers.

Palawan Butterfly Garden

Like other insects, butterflies are cold blooded. They rely on the sun to raise their body temperature and metabolism so they can fly. Hence, butterflies can often be found in sunny meadows or basking on rocks or roads with their wings perpendicular to the sun for optimal solar absorption. Butterflies probe flowers for nectar using a proboscis a long, tongue-like projection on the top of their head. Caterpillars, on the other hand, simply chew their way through the world and often have strong food preferences.

Palawan Butterfly Garden

Indeed, while adult butterflies will feed on almost any nectar- producing plant, caterpillars usually feed on only one or a few specific plants. Food sources for caterpillars are called host plants since they welcome distinct species of butterfly caterpillars. Adult butterflies lay their eggs on the host plant preferred by their young so that a convenient meal is waiting when they hatch from the egg.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Calauit Island Wildlife Sanctuary Endangered Wildlife Species in the Philippines

The Calauit Island Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the tourist spots in Palawan worth visiting. Its 3,700 hectare land area is home to different varieties of wildlife animals. Here one will be awed by the site of African animals such as giraffes, zebras, elands, and gazelles mingling with local Philippine animals such as the Palawan bearcat, peacock pheasant, and mouse deer. There is modest accommodation for guests intending to wile their night away. The Philippine is high on the list of priority countries in the world for wildlife conservation because of its remarkable biological diversity, large number of endemic animal and plant species, inadequate wildlife protection measures, and high rate of deforestation. 

Of the 180 species of mammals in the Philippines, 115 (67%) are endemic. To date, 9 mammals have already been categorized as "endangered" by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). These are the Golden- Crowned Flying Fox, Negros Naked-Backed Fruit Bat, Philippine Tube-Nosed Fruit Bat, Panay Bushy Tailed Cloud Rat, Ilin-Tailed Cloud Rat, Visayan Warty Pig, Calamian Hog-Deer, Visayan Spotted Deer and Tamaraw.

 Calauit Island Wildlife Sanctuary

The tamaraw is a small buffalo found only in the island of Mindoro, south of Manila. It closely
resembles the Philippine water buffalo (carabao) except for its massive horns, which grow upward and caudally forming a V. Its population is down to 300 now due to wanton destruction of its habitat and poaching. The Tamaraw Conservation Program (TCP) was established to restore the tamaraw habitat, conduct information and education campaigns, and population and habitat studies. The Philippine eagle is the largest bird of prey in the Philippines and, perhaps, one of the largest in the world. They used to be seen in large number in dipterocarp forests but because of illegal logging, agricultural practices and collection for illegal trade, only around 300 Philippine eagles are left in the country today. The Philippine Raptors Conservation Program (PRCP), Center for Philippine Raptors (CPR) and the Philippine Eagle Conservation Foundation, Inc. (PECFI) were established to protect the Philippine eagle and other endangered birds of prey and their habitats.

The Philippines, composed of 7,101 islands, lies in the heart of Southeast Asia with the vast Pacific
Ocean on the west and South China Sea on the east. It is blessed with rich natural resources such as rare plants and animals found nowhere else in the world. However, it disheartening to note also that no country in the world has its plants and animals being destroyed at an alarming rate than the Philippines. For instance, the Philippines has already lost about 97% of its original vegetation and has even more critically endangered avian and mammalian species than any other country (Tacio, 2000).

For this, the Philippines has been tagged one of the "hot spots" in the world for conservation concern. Other reasons are the remarkable biodiversity of animal and plant species in the country, extraordinarily high percentage of endemicity among the species wherein some 67% of these species are present only in the Philippines and, high rate of deforestation and other forms of habitat destruction (Oliver and Heany,1997). To these a fourth reason can be added and that is the apparent lack of political will to enforce existing laws to safeguard wildlife species and their habitat.

 Calauit Island Wildlife Sanctuary

Countless national and local legislation have been passed to protect  Calauit Island Wildlife Sanctuary and their habitat but unfortunately they seemed to be ignored rather than followed. As a result deforestation and hunting continue at an alarming rate. The biodiversity of the Philippine islands is exceptionally rich as shown by its 556 avian species, 172 (44%) of which are endemic, 180 mammalian species, 115 (67%) of which are endemic, and 293 reptilian and amphibian species, 214 (73%) of which are endemic (Oliver and Heany, 1997).

The Philippines ranks fourth in the world with the highest number of threatened species totaling 384. Malaysia is first with 804, Indonesia second with 763, and India third with 459 species. It is interesting to note that these are all Asian countries. In the 1994 Review of the Distribution and Conservation Status of the Birds of the World by the Birdlife International, the Philippines topped the list of countries in terms of the number of critically endangered endemic bird species, and second after Brazil for the number of most threatened bird species under endangered and critically endangered categories. Its national bird, the Philippine eagle and national animal, the tamaraw are likewise seriously threatened with extinction. The rainforests homes to most of the wildlife species are also fast disappearing giving way to agricultural expansion and urbanization.

Endangered Wildlife Species in the Philippines

What are endangered species? According to the definition given by the International Union for the
Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), endangered species are plants or animals that
are being threatened with extinction due to excessive hunting and large scale destruction of their habitat. Conservationists all over the world are alarmed by the 1996 Report of the International Union for IUCN stating that the number of critically endangered mammals in the world has increased significantly from 169-180, primates from 13-19, fresh water turtles from 10-24, and birds from 168-182. Of the list for endangered mammalian species, nine are endemic to the Philippine islands.

These are the Goldencrowned flying fox, Negros naked-backed fruit bat, Philippine tube-nosed fruit bat, Panay bushy-tailed cloud rat, Ilin hairy-tailed cloud rat, Visayan warty pig, Calamian hog deer, Visayan spotted deer, and tamaraw. Among the critically endangered avian species in the report is the Philippine eagle. Although no endangered marine mammals were mentioned in the report, whale sharks are fast disappearing from Philippine waters (Esplanada, 2000). For example, the Rhicodon typus (also known as pating patola in Zambales, toko in Mindoro, balilan in Cebu and Bohol and butanding in Bicol and Palawan), which regularly visits the waters of Donsol, Sorsogon (located at the tip of Bicol Peninsula) from November to May are rarely sighted in Philippine waters now.

These gentle, polka dotted whale sharks are widely hunted by local fishermen for its meat and fins, which are reported to command a high price abroad. To prevent the Richodon typus from completely disappearing from the Philippine waters, the Philippine government in 1998 declared the whale shark endangered; thus, banning poaching and exporting of its meat, which is a delicacy in some Asian countries. Other non-governmental conservation groups such as the World Wildlife Fund Philippines (Kabang Kalikasan ng Pilipinas) and large business conglomerates like Nokia Philippines, Megaworld Corporation and International Container Terminal Services Incorporated have supported the government's campaign to protect the whale shark.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer a leading Philippine newspaper also supports the save the whale shark campaign. Other endangered Philippine species are the Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), Olive Ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), Leatherback turtle (Dermochyles coriacea), Philippine crocodile also known as Philippine freshwater crocodile and Mindoro crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis), Indo-Pacific crocodile or salt water crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), Mindoro bleeding heart (Gallicolumba platenae), Mindoro bleeding heart (Ducula mindorensis), lesser eagle owl (Mimizuki gurneyi), Philippine eagle owl (Bubo philippensis), silvery kingfisher (Alcedo argentata), Mindoro hornbill (Penelopides mindorensis), celestial monarch (Hypothymis coelestis) and Isabela oriole (Oriolus isabellae).

The Philippines - Japan Crocodile Farming Institute (CFI) based in Palawan Island has successfully bred the Crocodylus mindorensis in captivity. Only the endangered terrestial mammals (cloud rats, fruit bats, deers, wild pig and tamaraw) and the Philippine eagle will be described in this paper.

El Nido Marine Reserve Bacuit Bay Amazing Most Favourite Philippinese Tourism

Situated in spectacular Bacuit Bay, many travelers have identified this corner of Palawan as the most beautiful place on earth. It is a popular nature spot blessed with extraordinary natural sceneries and ecosystems such as rainforests, mangroves, white sand beaches, coral reefs, and limestone cliffs. You can dive with exotic marine animals, including the rare aquatic mammal, the Dugong. It is accessible by air from Puerto Princesa or Manila. Looking at the small fishing village nested at the foothill of black limestone cliffs, the visitor understands why El Nido Marine Reserve, the nest, was given such name. In 1991, the Government of the Philippines proclaimed Bacuit Bay as a marine reserve. Due to its marvelous landscape, its crystal-clear waters and the establishment of tourist and air transport facilities, El Nido became a prime tourist destination.

El Nido Marine Reserve

In 1998, the protected area was expanded to include terrestrial ecosystems and portions of the municipality of Taytay. It is now known as El Nido Marine Reserve Managed Resource Protected Area. Located in the northwestern part of Palawan, it covers over 36,000 hectares of land and 54,000 hectares of marine waters. It boasts towering limestone cliffs, beautiful beaches, mangroves, clear waters, unique forests over limestone and neat farmlands.

It is home to five (5) species of mammals, including the Malayan Pangolin and 16 bird species endemic to Palawan including the threatened Palawan Peacock Pheasant, the Palawan Hornbill and Palawan Scops Owl. Bacuit bay is also home to the dugong, dolphins and marine turtles, many of which are threatened species. Colorful coral reef fishes are found here. Some of these are the: butterflyfishes, parrotfishes, wrasses, triggerfishes, angelfishes, surgeonfishes, damselfishes, emperors, snappers, groupers and rabbitfishes.

El Nido Marine Reserve

The population within the Protected Area is close to 17,000. Most of the residents are engaged in farming and fishing. Some derive their income from tourism. Major cash crops are rice, cashew, mango, coconut and banana. Marine products include grouper, sweetlip, lobster, mud crab and squid. A seasonal activity is the gathering of edible swift’s nests commanding high market prices.

The Ten Knots Development Corporation has been the first commercial entity to tap El Nido’s potential as a tourist paradise. It established exclusive resorts on Miniloc, Pangulasian and Langen Islands. Other developers, either residents in the area or tourism entrepreneurs, have followed suit.

Protected Area and Tourism Offices

The Protected Area Office [0919-4226974] located in El Nido Poblacion takes charge of administration, law enforcement, training of community rangers, information campaigns and resource management of the protected area. The local tourism office shares the same premises. Visitors are advised to register at the Office upon arrival and have a comprehensive view of the Protected Area as exhibited by the three-dimensional relief model displayed in the Office.

Best time to Visit
The best time to visit the protected area is during the summer months of March to May, when the sea is calm and underwater visibility is good. This is also the favorable time to reach the area by ship plying the Manila- Coron-Liminangcong route. June to November is rainy season, while December to February, although cooler, is not as rainy.

Puerto Princesa Saint Paul Subterranean River National Park Philippines Tourism

Saint Paul Subterranean River National Park a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring a spectacular limestone karst landscape alongside the longest traversable underground river in the world. Stretching 8 kilometers, this river leads into an underground cavern/lagoon commonly known as the “Cathedral”, because its huge dimensions. This Park covers the complete ecosystem of an underground river which runs beneath of limestone karst mountains directly into the sea, its lower reach being tidal. The area has one of the richest forest floras in Asia and is highly biodiverse, much of its flora and fauna being endemic or related to those of Borneo.

The site is on the north coast of Palawan Island in the far southwest of the Philippine archipelago, in the Saint Paul Mountain Range, 81 km northwest of the city of Puerto Princesa. The Park is bounded on the north by St Paul Bay and by the Babuyan River to the east. It is centred on 10°10'N by 118° 55'E.

Saint Paul Subterranean River National Park
Ownership and management of the core zone was transferred in 1992 from the National Department of Environment & Natural Resources (DENR) to the National Park Management Board (PAMB) of the City of Puerto Princesa. Ownership of the buffer zone is mixed, and includes considerable private ownership. Puerto Princesa Saint Paul Subterranean River National Park Large area 5,753 ha. This is the core land area of the National Park. There are a marine zone of 292 ha and a buffer zone of 16,157 ha.

The Subterranean River National Park centres around the Cabayugan river which runs underground for 8.2 kilometers through a massive cave, flowing directly into the sea at St. Paul’s Bay. It is tidal in its lower reaches. The Park comprises various landforms from flat plains and rolling hinterlands to hills and mountain peaks. The most impressive of these is the geologically young karst limestone mountain landscape of the St Paul Range which is part of a series of rounded limestone peaks aligned north-south along the western coast of Palawan. More than 90% of the Park is comprised of sharp karst limestone ridges around Mount St. Paul.

Saint Paul Subterranean River National Park

The river begins about 2 km southwest of the mountain where the river plunges underground to flow underground for almost its entire length to its mouth. The cathedral-like cave includes major formations of stalactites and stalagmites, and there are several large chambers up to 120m wide and 60m high. A small marine area is included within the Park’s boundary. Another feature is the Babuyan River, which flows along the eastern side of the Park (Nomination, 1998).


The mean annual rainfall averages between 2,000 and 3,000mm. The wet season is from May to October; the dry season from November to April. The average temperature is 27° C.


The rich flora of Palawan is radically different from that of the rest of the Philippines, preserving relics of the period when the island was connected by a land bridge with Borneo. There are 800 recorded plant species, 295 of them trees. Three forest formations are present: lowland rainforest, karst forest and limestone forest. The lowland forest is part of the Palawan Moist Forest, one of the WWF Global 200 Ecoregions, and is noted as having the richest tree flora in Asia. Its canopy trees grow to 35m high. Approximately two-thirds of the reserve’s vegetation is natural, dominated by Dipterocarpus grandiflora (apitong), Instia bijuga (ipil) and other hardwood species. Large specimens of Dracontomelon dao, Swintonia foxworthyi, Atuna racemosa, Pometia pinnata and Diospyros spp. are also found.

Thinly vegetated karst covers a third of the Park but karst forest with epiphytes and lithophytes is restricted to small pockets where soils have developed. Typical species in this kind of forest are of the genera Antidesma, Drypetes, Sterculia, and Pipturus, including the large liana species Stophantus, Marillana and Champersia. The palm Aranga brevipes has been found. The almaciga, Agathis philippensis, is a giant coniferous tree which is the source of a lacquer resin known as Manila copal. Coastal forest covers no more than four hectares. It is dominated by large specimens of Calophyllum inophylum, Pometia pinnata and Palaquium dubardii. Stands of large mangroves are a major feature of Ulugan Bay. Mossy forest and savannahs, sea-grass beds and coral reefs also exist (Nomination form, 1998).

Saint Paul Subterranean River National Park


The fauna is moderately rich, especially in invertebrates. There are 30 mammal, 18 reptile, 10 amphibian, 41 butterfly, 62 reef fish and 91 bird species. Endemic mammals include Palawan tree shrew Tupaia palawanensis (VU), Palawan porcupine Thecurus pumilis and Palawan stink badger Mydaus marchei (VU). Other mammals include crab eating macaque Maccaca fasicularis, Asian bearcat Arctictis binturong (binturong), anteater Manis javanicus, oriental small-clawed otter Amblonyx cinerea, palm civet Paradoxurus hermaphroditus, oriental civet Viverra tangalunga. Dugong Dugong dugon (VU), have been recorded in the marine section of the Park.

Birds include heron Egretta sacra, whitebreasted sea eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster, peacock pheasant Polyplectron emphanum (VU), scrub-hen Megapodius freycinet cumingii, blue-napped parrot Tanygnatus lucionensis, the threatened Palawan cockatoo Cacatua haemoturopygia (CR), Palawan hawk-owl Ninox palawanensis, collared scops owl Otus bakkamoena, stork-billed kingfisher Pelargopsis capensis, Palawan hornbill Asthracoccorus marchei, Palawan flycatcher Ficedula platenae (VU), white bellied swiftlet Collocalia esculenta and pygmy swiftlet C. troglodytes. Saltwater crocodiles Crocodylus porosus , water monitor lizard Varanus salvator and marine turtles are present. The tunnel and chambers of the river house abundant populations of swiftlets and eight species of bats.

St Paul Cave has been known to local people from ancient times, inhabited by a spirit that prevented them from entering the cave. The Park territory and surroundings are the ancestral lands of the negrito Batak people, of whom only 200-250 survive, and the Tagbanua communities who live around the boundaries, including the coast. The Tagbanuas unlike the Bataks are generally acculturated to the Christian culture

Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park Destination Most Popular Tourism

Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park Amazing Sea, Coral And Fish
The Philippines' First inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1993 was the Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park. UNESCO recognized the site primarily for its importance to global biodiversity and as the most outstanding coral reefs in South East Asia. Consisting of two coral atolls covering an area of 33,200 hectares, it contains a very high density of marine species surpassing any reef of the same size anywhere in the world.

Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park in the Philippines has been a prime research site for scientists and conservationists. Seven permanent transect sites were set to be monitored annually from 1997 to 2000 using video and fish visual census techniques, although only three of the sites were considered for change through time analysis for benthic cover. From 1997 to 1999, mean live coral cover decreased by 24.9%; this was attributed to the coral bleaching of 1998. However, a 3.3% increase in live coral cover was found from 1999 to 2000 which could indicate recovery. Algal cover significantly increased from 1998 to 1999.

Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park

Despite the decrease in live coral cover, there was a 530% increase in mean total fish biomass from 1998 to 2000 in the three sites. Although this was not statistically significant when the analysis was extended to include all seven sites, there was a significant increase in mean total fish biomass. The increases in fish biomass and density could be due to the strict enforcement of the Marine Park as a “no take” zone.

The coral reefs of Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park have been surveyed since 1982 (White and Arquiza 1999). Many different organizations and academic agencies have visited and collected data in these two remote atolls in the Sulu Sea. Hypothesized to populate neighboring reefs with fish and coral larvae due to the prevailing currents in the Sulu Sea (Alcala 1993), Tubbataha Reef is a valuable resource to the country. Tubbataha is one of the last few reefs in the Philippines that is relatively intact and harbors an abundant and diverse association of organisms. In one survey alone, more than 300 coral species and at least 379 species of fish were recorded (White and Arquiza 1999).

Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park

A Tubbataha Protected Area Management Board (TPAMB) was established in July 1999 and as a result, the rules of the Park are now fully and strongly enforced by a composite team of Park rangers, using a new radar system and more chase boats. This has led to many improvements in the Park and has kept illegal fishers out. Fish populations were surveyed from 1998 to 2000 using the visual fish census modified from English et al. (2011) in all seven (100 m) permanent transect sites. For
each variety of fish encountered, the numbers and sizes were estimated. Biomass of fish assemblages were calculated based on Kulbicki et al. and ICLARM Fishbase and was standardized to metric tons per square kilometer. Data on fish density were standardized to density per square meter. A one-way ANOVA was used to test for changes between years. Biomass data was log transformed prior to analysis to ensure normality. Data sampling for the fish census was conducted also within
the summer months of March to May.

For the purpose of comparing the relationship of benthic cover and fish biomass, the mean total fish
biomass for three transect sites used in the survey of benthic communities were calculated. The estimated mean total fish biomass was 56.98, 128.92 and 302.09 metric tons per square kilometer (MT/ km2) for 1998, 1999 and 2000, respectively. This increase was not statistically significant (F=4.470, P = 0.065), nevertheless, this still represented a 530% increase in total fish biomass.

Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park

It was noted in 2000 that fish density was not comprised mainly of the smaller reef fishes such
as anthiases and damselfishes compared to the past years. It was observed that there were greater aggregations of larger fish species, such as more encounters with pelagic species. Total fish density in 2000 was still higher than in 1998. In support of this data, according to the Tubbataha report of Sulu Fund and CRMP, average fish density has increased by 26% since 1996 (White et al. 2000).
Compared to the past years, there were more larger commercially valuable fishes in 2000.

The monitoring of Tubbataha’s complex marine ecosystem found increases in fish populations and
decrease in live coral cover due to the bleaching event. This outcome is promising for the ecosystem’s conservation and is rewarding for conservation organizations that have worked to save this natural World Heritage Site. Tubbataha’s remoteness and relative resiliency to stresses compared to other reefs in the country sets its reputation for being the last marine frontier of the Philippines. Other
studies that explore this reef’s importance and connectivity to other reefs should be done to further expand knowledge to implement the appropriate management of the Park.