Ulugan Bay, Palawan

Palawan is the fifth-largest island in the Philippines. The Philippines is an archipelago. It is a nation state comprised exclusively of islands. Big, medium, and small, some 7,100 islands collectively form the country that is the Philippines. Palawan, the province, is also an archipelago. Its 1,800 islands account for a quarter of the total Philippine islands.

Palawan’s best-known natural attraction is its Underground River. In a country that boasts several unique or truly outstanding attractions, the Underground River, officially known as the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, is the country’s entry into the annual competition that uses the Internet to vote on the new
Seven Wonders of the World.

Twenty minutes south (over land) of the park is Ulugan Bay. Where the park is exposed to the force of the South China Sea, the towns around Ulugan Bay are sheltered. There is a smattering of barangays (barrios or pockets of human settlement too small to be considered towns) around the bay. The photos below were taken in several barangays that line the route from Puerto Princesa (Palawan’s capital city) to Sabang (the jump-off point where visitors switch from overland to marine transportation, i.e., from car to boat).

To zoom in on any photo, click on it. (Sometimes, you may receive an error message. Sorry, but that’s usually a WordPress error.)

Sabang takes you to the jump-off point.

Limestone Cliffs define the Landscape

Ugong Rock is a local attraction.

A typical Karst hill

Rich vegetation lines the route to the Subterranean River.

Ulugan Bay in the distance

Sabang takes you to the Subterranean River.

Shown at low tide, this clump of Mangroves will form its own island at high tide.

Behind the Mangrove cluster, in the background, is Nasiduan. Too sparsely populated to be a barangay, it is a "sitio" in Philippine officialdom. Sitio, like "lugar" are Spanish words that refer to a site or a place. Nasiduan is a strategic detour for visitors bound for or coming from the Subterranean Park. First, the medical clinic nearest to the park is in Nasiduan. Second, there are several nice white sand beaches in Nasiduan -- nothing extraordinary, just nice white sand beaches. And third, the forests around Nasiduan have a large and varied bird population. I saw several flocks of Great White Egrets but each time they flew before I could take their photos. Birders (birdwatchers) will be attracted to Nasiduan.

A Meeting Hut. Constructed of indigenous materials (i.e., materials available in the area), this hut is used for formal and informal gatherings. This is a typical meeting hut.

The Water Buffalo (Carabao) is the primary beast of burden in the countryside.

Puerto Princesa to Subterranean National Park


2 responses to “Ulugan Bay, Palawan

  1. Thanks for this post. Love seeing the map. When we make the drive to Sabang, we pass views of Ulugan Bay, which is so big and beautiful. I’ve oftened wondered what the are looks like on a map.


  2. Pingback: Understanding the trip to Underground River | Retired? No way!

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