to the Philippines’ “Final Frontier... because the Philippines’ 7,107... from the Philippines. The video from 3...
for “indigenous peoples” + Philippines... to them sing the Philippine National... through the Philippines and exploring our art...
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It was an uneventful flight to Manila.I was no stranger to the Philippines. I lived here for 4 years. And even after I moved my base from the Philippines to the urbanscape that people called Singapore, I had visited Manila a couple of times. So, nothing exciting awaited me in Manila, save a couple of planned meetups with old friends.Owing to some confusion in my seat booking, Jetstar gave me a free upgrade to an exit seat, which is a big deal when you consider that these seats were 30SGD extra. On a budget flight, that was a lot of savings by itself. Arriving at 9pm, the immigration was smooth, and I spent the first 2 hours of my 12-hour transit wading through the Manila traffic as my taxi inched its way to Makati. And the remaining time was spent catching up with some old friends in one of my favorite restaurants anywhere in the world: that food-temple called Ziggurat, hidden away in the shady neon-lit streets of P.Burgos.
Though the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP) has a lot to offer visitors, most people make the trip from Puerto Princesa only to see the underground river, which is heavily celebrated as one of the new seven wonders of the natural world. Also part of UNESCO history, the river is now a huge source of pride to the Philippines. The subterranean river system is 8.2km long and has several large chambers, up to 120m wide and 60m high. It flows underground almost the entire length, and empties into the ocean, so the lower part of the river is brackish (a mix of fresh and salt water) and subject to tidal influence, which makes it a natural phenomenon. When the sun is shining, the brackish water is known to turn an eye-popping bright blue-green (more green than blue). The river isn’t the only attraction of the PPSRNP though, as the beach by the mouth of the cave features an impressive karst landscape, and the old-growth forest that fills the park is full of exotic flora and fauna. I nearly jumped out of my skin when I saw a handful of large monitor lizards crawling around, forked tongues darting about! Since the river was given the honor of being one of the new seven wonders of nature, there was a huge jump in the amount of daily visitors, so much that a cap has been put into law for preservation reasons, which allows only 900 tourists a day into the subterranean river… but that seems to be largely flexible depending on the clout and amount of pesos you hold.