Sibaltan Mangroves | Things to do in El Nido-Palawan
|Open:||Open everyday; 24 hours|
|Address:||Sibaltan, El Nido, Palawan|
Learn about how the people of tiny Cuyo Island came to populate the sprawl of mainland Palawan at this museum, where the centerpiece is a life-size replica of the Pangko boat. Pangko was the vessel used by Cuyunons to sail to Paragua (what they called mainland Palawan then) in search of food. Apart from food, what many of them found too was home, and that’s what the guides at the Pangko Museum will tell you more about as they tour you through the boat’s interiors. It’s a history lesson and a mini-adventure in one.
After learning how the Cuyunons reached the mainland, you can then find out how they lived (and, in some cases, continue to live). The Balay Cuyunon Museum along Sibaltan's beachfront is a place where you can do exactly that. The museum features a replica of a traditional Cuyunon house, fully-furnished with tools and décor, some of them authentic. From the living room to the bedroom, to the kitchen which is separated by a bridge, you can not only see how the Cuyunons lived, but also experience it – the museum is interactive, after all. If you’re up for it, this place lets you bang on the drum that Cuyunon mothers used to call their children home, or try on a one-of-a-kind raincoat made from thick plant leaves woven together.
Launched in 2012, the museum was put up not only for travelers who want to immerse themselves in a new culture, but also for the younger generations of Cuyunons who need to know where they came from. According to Enrico Cabiguen, the man who spearheaded the project, it’s important for young Cuyunons to know about their own cultural heritage and be proud of it. True enough, the guides who will take you around the museum are young Cuyunons themselves. There is something quietly wonderful about learning of the tribe’s traditions from the very people who inherited it.
The sight of Ille Cave alone, even from afar, already makes it a place of interest. The jagged limestone towers over the bright green fields that surround it, sticking out like a sore thumb. What makes it even more interesting is the thousands of years’ worth of history that it contains. Many artifacts have been found on the site, from shells and stone tools to human remains that indicate that the cave could have been a burial site. Perhaps the coolest find so far are the tiger foot bones, the only evidence of the presence of tigers in the entire Philippines. The finds in Ille Cave truly tell a lot of stories, though many of them are still being written as archaeologists continue their excavations. At any rate, Ille Cave is an easy site for even the most inexperienced cavers who are bound to enjoy walking and climbing through the cave’s cool chambers.
Things to do nearby
Where to stay
From simple beachfront huts to casitas nestled on a lush hillside, there’s a cozy corner to suit your preferences on this beach resort. Located on the quieter end of Sibaltan’s shore, it’s secluded enough to feel special, but not too isolated that you feel alone. As if that’s not enough to make this place worth a visit, Tapik also gives you a front-row seat to the amazing Sibaltan sunrise.
Getting there and around
Sibaltan, El Nido, PalawanGet directions