Saturday, September 1, 2012

Puerto Princesa Underground River: THE BEAUTY OF THE NEW WONDER OF NATURE

“Welcome to the Puerto Princesa Underground River”. Our river guide stated to us with a smile while entering to the nature-inspired foyer of the underground river.

At first sight, you will surely be impressed with the marvel of this amazing grandeur and be inspired to value and love Mother Nature to the fullest.

Clement with the students preparing for the Underground River Tour.
Things have absolutely changed in Puerto Princesa, Palawan for the better and positive ways especially in its tourism industry after the discovery of the Puerto Princesa Underground River.

On November 11, 2011, it was provisionally chosen as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature and last January 28, 2012, Puerto Princesa Underground River was officially confirmed as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature together with the Amazon Rainforest and River, Halong Bay of Vietnam, Iguazu Falls of Argentina and Brazil, Jeju Island of South Korea, Komodo Island of Indonesia, and Table Mountain of South Africa.

With that proclamation, the tourism industry on Puerto Princesa boomed double and even triple than the previous statistics commending that this astonishing and world-class cave system has something to offer to its visitors. Everyday, countless travelers, tourists, explorers, scientists from different parts of the country and even far-flung places around the world visit this worth-seeing creation of Mother Nature and its splendid forces. The tourism authority even ordered to have a maximum of 780 persons per day who are allowed to visit the cave to protect the tourist and the cave itself.

I am proud enough to say that I myself experienced the excitement and visited, seeing with my own eyes the beauty of the Puerto Princesa Underground River during our Palawan Tour last May 2012. It is indeed an opportunity for me to witness it for the first time and be awed by its wonders that is truly magnificent.

Before arriving to the Puerto Princesa Underground River, you will be traveling of a wide range of curve and bending paths of its road system for almost 3 hours with about 76 kilometers north of the Puerto Princesa City. Upon reaching to the Port of Sabang Island, you will be traveling again for a maximum of 30 minutes boat transfer with about 5.3 kilometers going to the underground river while enjoying the scenic view of the nature. For adventurous travelers, the jungle trail is open for you to trek and walk through for about 2-3 hours.
Upon arrival, we first traverse the jungle-shrouded pathway going to the entry point of the underground river where monkeys, squirrels, and even large monitor lizards can be seen that are naturally existing in the spot.

The Amazing Nativity formation of structure inside
the Puerto Princesa Underground River.
Clement's Unforgettable Experience in Puerto Princesa Underground River:
My experience started with mixed-emotions of excitement, enthusiasm, fascination, inquiries, and elation. I can’t define it as a plain word of happiness because it’s more that. It is somewhat like you’re in the feeling of pure bliss. My thoughts even bombarded me with so much interests of this wonder. Luckily, our river guide that time is filled with information of the area.

TRIVIA:
Did you know that a 20-million year old Serenia fossil is permanently embedded in the walls of the cave? Yes! And it is a fact! LA VENTA actually discovered this fossil during their exploration of this 8.2 km long traversable underground river that directly flows to the sea.


The Sirenia fossil discovery inside PPUR
(source:http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150321089271469.391914.345410776468&type=3)
The unique Pegasus Formation.
"The Sirenia was once enjoying the ocean depths, during what is known as the Eocene Age, the post dinasour period. It is believed to be as old as if not even older than the 1,700 islands that comprise the province where Puerto Princesa may be found. 

It may have died a natural death or may have been killed by other predators, its skeletal remains buried in the sands of time.

With shifts in the earth’s tectonic plates that created today’s continents, with volcanic eruptions that may have spanned millions of years, somehow, the ocean floors were pushed upwards, creating islands with mountains that soon became forests. 

The Sirenia must have been embedded in the earth’s ocean floors that eventually formed the mountain with a hollow cave inside what now deserves to be recognized as one of the Most Fascinating Works of Nature."

We then pass through inside the underground river for about an hour or two which tourists are allowed to navigate around only for the 1.5 kilometer passageway. Inside the cave itself, the feeling of excitement again enveloped me upon seeing the wonders of this underground river. Compared to other caves which I already explored, the Puerto Princesa Underground River is naturally astounding because of the fact that it features unique structures of the Stalactites and Stalagmites that forms images, people, things, religious figures and even a shape of T-rex. Now, that is purely incredible!

Now I can proudly say, “I’ve been here to Puerto Princesa Underground River and will be coming back again”. J

FAST FACTS:
Puerto Princesa Underground River known as the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is the Second Longest Underground River in the World and the Longest Underground River in Asia with a total traversable area of 8.2 kilometers.

Puerto Princesa Underground River has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most important biodiversity conservation areas of the Philippines.

Recently, LA VENTA (The La Venta team organizes and runs various geographical-speleological and environmental exploration projects in remote aread and difficult access) unearth speleothems with unique genetic and aesthetic features such as crystals and egg-shaped formations. A LA VENTA scientist even expects that their recent samplings from the Puerto Princesa Underground River might lead to the discovery of new cave minerals not found elsewhere.


Check the photos souvenir below.
You'll be captivated with such natural beauties while entering to the
Puerto Princesa Underground River.
The entry point of the Underground River.


Clement takes a photo capture inside the Underground River.








Clement with the students of Liceo de Cagayan University.

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