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Not my destination of choice

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Fishermen at Puerta Princessa

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Honda Bay at its best

PUERTA PRINCESSA, PALAWAN   ... Puerto Princessa had been awarded as the cleanest city in the Philippines.  Everything was swept.  The city was underpopulated and the traffic was normal to less than normal.  However they did it, I liked the place from the start.

I planned to go south to see a tribal group that lived in tree houses.  Rainy season set those plans aside but the next best plan was to hike through the mountains from Brooke's Point to a village area where handicrafts were made.  Then, I'd continue to Quezon on to see the Tubon Caves.  Next, I planned to go to the underground river.  Those were the plans . . . but none of them happened.

I had major allergy problems before arriving and they only got worse.  Worse didn't adequately describe it.  I developed a deep cough, runny nose, and bad cold.  I went to see a doctor, suffered a few more days, and finally was hospitalized.  (The Seventh Day Adventist Hospital -- clean room, good care, horrible food.)  It ended up being a viral infection, sinusitis, but I was the sickest I'd been since malaria.

HONDA BAY      I was able to take one trip outside of Puerta Princessa.  I headed to Honda Bay.  It was truly one of the most beautiful places I'd ever seen.  But, it was way overpriced -- especially for what you got at Starfish Island.  The island was a grubby sandbar with nipa huts on stilts.  At high tide, most of the island disappeared.  I wanted to leave immediately and go to another place with at least a few palm trees.  The bangka driver said it was the best place around.  I couldn't believe that and asked if he had stock in the place.

Copyright 1998 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.