Iwahig Firefly Watching | Things to do in Puerto Princesa City-Palawan
|Open:||Open daily, 6:00pm onwards|
|Address:||Iwahig, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan|
|Fee:||600php/boat, maximum of 3 persons|
There are only seven penal colonies in the Philippines, and the largest in the world is the Iwahig Penal Colony and Farm in Puerto Princesa City. The colony represents a more decent approach to "paying one's time" without being incarcerated behind bars. Established in 1904, the open complex consists of several American heritage buildings in various states of repair. Fortunately, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines is scheduled to rehabilitate them before the year ends. Open from 8am to 5pm, visit is free, but it is encouraged to extend a donation. On the way in, security prisoners in brown uniforms can be seen working on the adjacent farms. Inside the Recreation Hall, which was built in 1924, several crafts and souvenirs made by the inmates are also on display and are being sold.
The iconic brick gate facing the cathedral square is what remains of the structure that used to be a former military base. Plaza Cuartel is notorious for being the site where 143 American prisoners of war (POWs) were burned underground in December 1944. Transformed into a public park, the trees offer a quick and easy refuge from the tropical heat, while the rear end provides a good view of the city bay. Several information panels inside explain the bigger role that Puerto Princesa played during the World War II. An artwork is also featured in the park that was made by one of the 11 American soldiers who made it out alive from the cuartel.
This cathedral is a historical landmark where Puerto Princesa's first mass was held in 1872. At that time, the Spanish expedition also proclaimed that the Immaculate Conception of Mary is the patroness of Puerto Princesa. Painted light blue, the cathedral has pointed symmetrical arches redolent of Gothic architecture. A parish was initially erected here, followed by the current structure built in 1961, almost a century later. The cathedral houses some of the finest examples of wood carvings found on the island, which were made by the craftsmen in the Iwahig Penal Colony.
Things to do nearby
Midsummer Night’s Dream is Palawan’s biggest outdoor dance music festival, taking place during Puerto Princesa’s annual Pangalipay sa Baybay Celebration. it is the highlight event in Palawan every summer and comes built in with travel packages to further promote tourism.
WILD Expeditions in Palawan is a local tour operator that specializes in nature-themed activities from simple trekking tour to more complex expeditions trips and wildlife documentaries including birdwatching, marine mammals search, herpwatch, wildlife photography (macro, birds, mammals, etc.), remote wildlife expedition trips and more.
Make the most of your trip to wonderful Puerto Princesa, and go on an adventure before heading to one of the 7 New Wonders of the World. Explore its rich city with an airdonditioned service and a trusty tour gruide. Eat delicious homey food from local restaurants. Go island-hopping at Honda Bay and enjoy the colors of the ocean at sunset. Then, go kayaking to the wondrous Underground River. Here in Explora, our partner travel and tours are screened to deliver the top services we can find in the Philippines. Secure your slots in advance for these can soon become fully-booked!
Where to stay
Quietly nestled at the heart of Palawan's Tropical Paradise, Puerto Princesa City. D' Lucky Garden Inn and Suites will delight you with it's unique charm, tranquil gardens and friendly atmosphere. Accredited by the Philippine Department of Tourism. We are committed to providing our guests with the highest standard of hospitality service possible; affordable accommodations, superior cleanliness and a quiet, traditional guest house atmosphere.
Believing that everyone is a familiar face, the staff at D'Lucky Garden Inn & Suites welcomes all guests with superior level of courteous service and personalized attention to details. The house features wireless internet access, comfortable guest rooms, beautifully decorated with character and color. Superior housekeeping, soap and fresh towels are provided.
At the center of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan is one of the Philippines' famous landmarks. Located 10 minutes from Puerto Princesa International Airport, and a stone's throw away from the city's financial district and best attractions, Skylight Hotel Palawan is the place to go and stay. The hotel is surrounded by Palawan's culturally rich and well preserved historical points of interest, such as Iwahig Penal Colony, Baker's Hill, Mitra Ranch and many more! Skylight Hotel Palawan has forty-one (41) elegantly furnished guestrooms. All guestrooms are equipped with air-conditioning system, cable television, hot and cold shower, NDD telephone and Wi-Fi connection for free. Skylight Hotel Palawan's restaurant and Veranda serves Orientel and International cuisines. Its natural ambiance makes guests comfortable and enjoyable during parties with different occasions (weddings, debuts, birthdays and conventions).
Getting there and around
Iwahig, Puerto Princesa City, PalawanGet directions