I write to seek your help.
Last year, a search for the 7 New Wonders of Nature was launched. As expected, hundreds of nominations from all over the world were submitted including the world famous Tubbataha reef of the province of Palawan. It has now occupied the # 9 position out of the top 77
entries . Pls visit www.new7wonders.com
Last month, one of our avid supporters nominated Puerto Princesa City’s Underground River to the contest. The nomination was accepted only yesterday. Although others think it is too late to join the search, I personally believe we can still make it since the deadline for nomination will still be in december this year. Besides, I really feel that this Underground River, which by the way has been declared by UNESCO as a world heritage site, is truly a wonder of nature. And to fully appreciate it, please visit the special website dedicated solely for the Underground River at www.puerto-undergroundriver
I know I can count on you my friends. Thank you in advance!
Traveling is one of the greatest pleasures in life. Apart from breath-taking sights, the company of good friends, and a great host, traveling will not be complete without a traipse through the culinary landscape of the place one goes to. A recent trip to Puerto Princesa gave us more than adequate sampling of the food in this princess of the ports, and left us salivating for more.
Ka Lui’s is one such place.
We first heard of Ka Lui in 1993. We were told it was THE place to be, the hang out of the city’s literati. Frequented by artists and their visiting friends, it was basically a native hut made completely almost of bamboo. Certainly one that goes with the woven cloth, batik and other indigenous handicrafts that decorated the then smallish place.
New acquaintances who had sampled the cuisine said, no, there was no set menu. One went there and waited for the food to arrive. Ka Lui, we were told went to the market every morning and prepared from whatever he thought would be best for dinner.
Well, 13 years later, we were back at Ka Lui’s. it was our last day in Puerto, and were determined not to miss the fables culinary mecca. So to dinner at Ka Lui we went, this time with Mayor Hagedorn as host. Good thing we went there with the good mayor and his staff, for I, for one, would not have easily identified the place, so changed it was. It was far from the original place that practically had two tables and a lounging area.
Although it had retained its charm and all-bamboo structure, Ka Lui had grown along with its reputation, proof of which was a packed place on an ordinary Monday evening.
Locals as well as tourists, balikbayans and families, filled the place so that it was hard, even with a VIP (the mayor) with us, to carve out a niche somewhere. Luckily, a small group just vacated a corner table – which seated just five of us, cramped, but which suited the mayor who, he sighed, may be spared from the constant requests to “please may we have a picture taken with you”. In our years of covering political figures, there was only one – just ONE – person who was as magnetic as Hagedorn: his good friend ERAP.
Ka Lui now had a menu – and a plethora of new dishes which consisted of basic Filipino dishes cooked with a twist. Like crabs in coconut milk peppered with sliced Baguio beans, squash, and other unlikely vegetables whch however came together very well.
The mayor ordered, among other things, eel stewed also in ‘gata’ with vegetables. It seemed to be a favorite of the mayor and one of Ka Lui’s specialties.
For dessert, we had halved buko, with fruit salad on top and ice cream if one so desired to put on a few more pounds. (Well, with all the eating we did, we al went home with tight belts and bulging buttons.)
Another must in the gastronomic wonder that is Puerto Princesa is the Vietnamese restaurant, the only thing left standing, so to speak, in the still-intact yet uninhabited Vietnamese refugee camp that sheltered hundred of Vietnamese refugees in the era of war torn Vietnam. They have long been gone to the
We ordered siningang fish, soup with boodles, shrimps that looked like camaron rebosado but with slightly tangy taste, steamed fish, crabs I think, and I don’t remember what else. What I do remember is everything tasted different. The sinigang was mildly hot and nothing like our sinigang, but with its own yummy goodness. And so with the other dishes. Best of all, for the dishes that groaned on our table, and fed a hungry group of five (with left over for the men who were to escort us around the island on a speedboat), our bill was only P1200. That’s with drinks, green mango and a jar of bagoong.
Since you are at the Vietnamese camp, take a look at the little souvenir shop where good quality pearl rosaries, with their crucifix imported from
Another must-try place, if only for the experience, is Baker’s Hill. Obviously a family place on weekends with life-like pirates climbing out of the house ( a nice really, lived-in house) and larger-than-life Disney animals. The bakery at the entrance boasts of the city’s specialties – ultra-rich ensaymada, chocolatey cakes that smells like a thousand calories each, and hopia. (You still can’t beat Quiapo’s Eng Bee Tin though.)
Its coffee shop is no Starbucks, but it does serve sandwiches and other merienda fare for allowance-challenged students. You can’t argue with P30 for a ham and cheese sandwich!
The local hang out foe those who want to let their hair down, their shot of beer or their caffeine fix after a hearty meal, Kinabuchs is the place.
An expansive space with separate-but integrated structures – the bar cum restaurant, the billiards place, the private room for hush-hush meetings, and a giant screen on top of the parking lot, you wont miss Kinabuchs. As the name suggests, this happy-hour joint (opened one to sawa) is owned by Butch Chase, a transplanted Manilan who’s one of Mayor Hagedorn’s ardent supporter. “When Edward left (on protest from his gubernatorial bid) for
I loved Kinabutchs’ tinola soup, their ‘killer’ crispy pata and laing. A delightful sur[rise for this coffee lover is that Kinabuchs serves java that will give
One name that kept cropping up when we were trying to get our caffeine fix is Itoy’s, reputedly the local Starbucks. We didn’t get to Itoy’s, but on our next hop over, we’ll surely give it a try.
I am not an iced tea lover, but when I tasted the divine concoction at Kamarikutan Kape at Galeri, I became an instant convert. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to sample its dishes, so that leaves another for the next trip.
Visit Kamarikutan with your appetite and a filled wallet, you’ll want to buy up their truly artsy products designed by owner Dingo Conde Prieto and handcrafted by local artisans. I went home happy with their unique flip-flops with upturned toes, a mini bongo drum, and a carved bookmarker. Prices are reasonable.
Our twinge of disappointment at having missed Kamarikutan’s fare was more than salved by lunch at Badjao Seafront restaurant, where it is said, the like of Prince Philip and
This is where we went overboard, almost single-handedly finishing a serving of their crispy nilasing shrimps, every part of which can be eaten. Their crispy pata was also a favorite, as was their kare-kare. But what wowed us was their to-die-for breaded relyenong talong, a twist on an old staple. By lunchend, we overheard the women discussing how this dish was done.
Puerto Princesa, the capital of Palawan province, is the only major urban sprawl in Palawan, with 200,000 residents and an area that makes it to the biggest city in the
Integral to the concept is cleanliness. Residents and visitors alike are for fined spitting and littering.
Puerto Princesa remains an unspoiled, off-the-beaten path tourism destination, making it such a huge bargain. Consider its beaches. At Sabang, you can rent an air-conditioned hut for just P400, a steal considering the scenery and the exotic food, flora and fauna.
The visitor to Puerto Princesa will not run out of things to do and see.
The best attraction is the
The UNESCO has declared it a World Heritage Site. Located on the west coast of Palawan, about 81 kms from the city center, the UR features cathedral-like caverns and domes, with stalactites and stalagmites formation that resemble (depending on how imaginative you are) religious images (like the Madonna and Holy Trinity). There are plenty of bats and droppings.
Two-thirds of the park is covered by tropical rainforest, from the shoreline to the highest
While the concrete road is under construction, be prepared for a rough ride half of the way. But the partially bone-jarring ride is worth it. Aside from the rise, you can reach the
At sleepy Sabang, have lunch at the nearby Taraw Beach Resort. The food is excellent but the service can be slow. Or you can try other resorts that are just now sprouting.
Puerto Princesa also has a zoo and botanical park, hot spring at Santa Lourdes, the Salakot Falls Forest Mountain Resort, the Salvacion Viewdeck that gives a panoramic view of the Honda Bay, the private Talaudyong Beach Resort, the Canigaran Sandbar, and the 100-ha.Government Center and
At the Crocodile Farming Institute (Mon-Sat 10am-5pm) in Barangay Irawan, 12km from the city center, scientists conduct research into crocodile ecology, biology, nutrition and biochemistry, pathology and physiology.
To get to the farm take a jeepney (P15) from the terminal in
A farm of a rather different kind, a Butterfly Farm, owned and operated by Rowell Rodriguez, is at
Don’t miss the Iwahig Penal Colony, also known as the Prison Without Bars. Prisoners live here as if in a normal village, fishing and cultivating rice and root crops.
Tourists are also welcome at the Iwahig souvenir shop which sells handicrafts made by the prisoners. Prison officials say the rate of recidivism by offenders at Iwahig is significantly lower than among those incarcerated in the country’s traditional jails. Iwahig is 23km north of Puerto Princesa; jeepneys leave
Just ten minutes by tricycle from Puerto is
In the city, buy exquisite and delicate scarves and baring fabrics (reflecting the vibrancy and delicacy of nature’s colors) at the
Here is what a recent Visitor, Norma Lao, from
“There are no white beaches, not even in Honda Bay or the
“From the exterior it looks like an expensive restaurant; travel agents plenty in town for those snorkeling trips.”
“Ladies, if you want pearls, this is the place. Tell the tricycle boy you want to go to the ‘market’ (5 mins walk from Chow King, actually); a good, flawless pearl should cost you $7 (negotiable).
“Overall, according to Mayor Hagedorn, Puerto Princesa,
“How to get there? From the airport, take a tricycle to town (5 mins away, actually), and ask to be dropped off at Chow King, and from there walk around or along the road to find accommodation. There are also leaflets of nice and cheap hotels at the airport. Enjoy.”
At almost every hotel and corner, you will find boys and girls peddling pearls of all shapes, color and design. Try to haggle. Offer to buy at half the asking price. Whatever you buy, you will be happy with it. “
Edward and I eloped in August 1966, moving to
What Edward doesn’t know is that even while I was pregnant, Mama would send me money.
The day of reconciliation came when Petikay was four months old. As soon as I landed in the airport, Aling Juaning (Mother of Mrs. Lanzanas) and Uant Pining Palancetook Petikay and brought her to my mother.
In the meantime, I came across Nyde Dacuan, who told me that my father was still very mad at me. I was scared, but I remembered what Mama had told me: my father was no longer angry. When I arrived in the house, Mama was carrying Petikay under the coconut tree. Mama told me that she was surprised to see Aunt Pening with a baby. She even told her that the baby looked like my daughter. That was when Aunt Pening cried and told her that the baby was indeed my daughter. She told me that that was the “Call of the Blood”
Papa didn’t know that we were coming then. He was in church when I arrived. When the word reached him that I was home, he suddenly went to Tagburos. Manong Peping
Edward as a husband
Co-existence is the simple explanation to the strength of our relationship. He never minded doing household chores. He did laundry, ironing, cooking, and used to pull the hair on my head whenever I had a migraine, because this relieved me. He also said it was the only time he could get back at me. He also sang to me at night until I fall asleep.
Like most couples, we had our share of problems. We almost separated because of women. He rarely drank and hardly gambled, but he was really a magnet for women. The good thing about him was that once I caught him, he said goodbye to the women, even if it was just a rumor, he wouldn’t so much as look at the other women anymore. That’s why we’re still together – because I’ve proven his loyalty to me. I know his style when he has other women, so I catch him easily.
Another problem that we have, though, is he is very loyal to his friends. He would die for them. His friends would sleep over and eat in our house and practically live there. We don’t have maids, so it’s hard for me to clean up. It’s a good thing he’s the one who cooks.
We have opposite tastes in a lot of things, but that’s never really an issue. I guess it helped that we were friends first before becoming a couple.
He’s a very good provider, even if sometimes, we’ve had to pawn some of our things so that he could help others. He’s able to get the things back, anyway. One time I cried when I saw our refrigerator being carried away to the pawnshop because someone needed help with the operation of his mother.
Edward as mayor
Our relationship didn’t change much when he became mayor. He was still the same husband who hugged me and kissed me. We just had more issues to debate about because he was already in politics, but the sweetness was still there, such as the way he would massage my back so I could fall asleep, although he couldn’t do it as often anymore because of his work.
He still didn’t like it when I was mad at him because it made him lose his concentration. One time when I got sick, he said he lost his direction and was only able to sleep for two hours out of 24 hours that day.
Edward as a father
He acts as a Santa Claus very Christmas. He really wears the costume, which fits him very well. He sings and carries all the kids. He tried not to speak so that the kids won’t recognize him. We have to dim the lights so they won’t see him leave, and when the lights open, he would be out of his costume. We do that every December.
When we got a house in San Pedro, he handpicked all the things Petikay needed for her room. He knew Petikay’s taste, even if she was a girl. It was the same for Klink. Every detail of Klink’s room was Edward’s idea.
Edward also became the architect, engineer and carpenter of the whole house until it was finally finished. He loves the kids very much! But he doesn’t spoil the. He doesn’t scold them. When they do something wrong, he talks to them with a really soft voice. He treats the kids as if they were his friends.
When the kids are sick, he takes care of them because I get migraines when I stay up too late. He reads books while watching over them so that he wouldn’t fall asleep.
Am I his inspiration?
I think he wouldn’t reach his position now if I didn’t support him as much as I did. I can certainly say that even though we went through a difficult time when he had so many cases, it never crossed my mind to leave him no matter what people said. My family were the only ones on his side then.
I had my temptations then as well, but I never gave in because Edward was the only one for me.
This is my chance to thank my officemates in PEDC and Governor Socrates because even of I couldn’t concentrate on my work; they were very patient with me. Even if I was never absent, there were times I really couldn’t on what I had to do at work because I was thinking about Edward’s cases.
I call him Jams because that was the code we used before. My parents didn’t like him so when he would write, he would say that it was from Jamal, the code for mahal or love. It was then shortened to Jams. A lot of people imitated us, but I wonder if they really know what it means.
We were married thrice. The first time was before we eloped. We went to Narra and were we by Mayor Ricardo Baldeviso. He hid our papers then because he was scared of papa. Then we were married again in September 29, 1974 by Fr. Garnica. Fr. Cosmilla was our sponsor. This is the official date that we celebrate as our wedding anniversary.
The third time was then when I went to the
Poor Edward, he really can’t get away from me.
Bishop Francisco San Diego claims credit for having convinced then gambling lord Edward S. Hagedorn to run for mayor of Puerto Princesa in 1992. In exchange for his support, the good prelate demanded only one condition – that Hagedorn enter into a covenant with him that win or lose, he would stop jueteng totally in the
Hagedorn agreed to stop jueteng, but only if he won. Otherwise, he mused, I wouldn’t have any other business if I lost the election.
Why did the good bishop want Hagedorn to be Puerto Princesa’s mayor? “I wanted change,” he recalls now. “The city was moving at a snail’s pace. Nothing was happening for 27 years. I thought Hagedorn could bring about change, quickly.”
“Hagedorn is a dynamic leader,” says the current Puerto Princesa bishop, Pedro Arigo, “he gets things done.” “He is a man of his word. He doesn’t make a promise he doenst fulfill.”
Licking jueteng meant the displacement of up to 5,00 workers, the cubradores engaged in the illegal numbers game in 1992. Feeling responsible for the layoffs, Hagedorn recruited the jueteng workers to do something else – watch the sea for illegal fishers and poachers, and the forests for the illegal loggers and kaingeros. Thus was born hagedron’s ‘Bantay Dagat’ and ‘Bantay Gubat’. The dislocated kaingeros, actually small farmers, along with the former jueteng workers, were commissioned by the mayor for his cleanliness drive.
The results have been dramatic. And the Catholic Church of Puerto Princesa is happy.
THE GAWAD GALING POOK
The Gantimpalang Panglingkod Pook or Gawad Galing Pook was launched in October 21, 1993 as the pioneering awards program on innovation and excellence in local governance.
It was a joint initiative of the Department of Interior and Local Government (through its Local Government Academy), the Ford Foundation, and other individual local governance advocates from the academe, civil society, and government. The Asian Institute of Management anchored the program until the Galing Pook Foundation was established in 1998 and a new Foundation Secretariat took over in 2001.
A total of 215 local governance programs were awarded in the annual search for outstanding and trailblazing local governance programs from 1994 to 2005.
The winners of the Gawad Galing Pook are chosen every year from a national search of local governance programs sifted though a multi-level rigorous screening process based on the criteria of positive socio-economic and environmental impact, promotion of people’s empowerment, transferability and sustainability, efficiency of program service delivery, and creative use of powers provided by the Local Government Code and other decentralization and local autonomy policies.
Outstanding Local Governance Programs and Trailblazing Programs:
The Outstanding Local Governance Program Award is given to each of the top ten (10) program winners while the Trailblazing Program Award is given to each of the next ten (10) programs finalists.
Award for Continuing Excellence (ACE):
The ACE is awarded to past winners of the Top Ten Outstanding Local Governance Program Award. The Award for Continuing Excellence also requires that an awarded program has been sustained and improved on key impact areas of the Gawad Galing Pook selection criteria to the extent that it has developed a culture of excellence in their respective localities.
Oplan Linis Puerto Princesa City
Puerto Princesa City
|1996 – Outstanding
Satellite Hospitals Puerto Princesa City
Puerto Princesa City
|1996 – Trailblazing
Health Programs and Services
Satellite Libraries Puerto Princesa City
Puerto Princesa City
|1996 – Trailblazing
Providing Low-cost Housing Puerto Princesa City
Bantay Puerto Puerto Princesa City, Palawan
Puerto Princesa City, Palawan
|1994 – Outstanding
Marine Resources Conservation and Management
Philippines, The best, Palawan, Mayor Hagedorn, Puerto Princesa City, City of Puerto Princesa, Puerto Princesa Palawan, Sabang Beach Puerto rincesa, Sabang Beach Puerto Princesa, Edward S. Hagedorn, Clean & Green.