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Getting ready to cross the Skywalk

My hunger for adventure never ends, and Puerto Princesa has another unique taste to offer to those who seek. Puerto Princesa is known for its natural wonders from the deep virgin forest, rich swamps and stunning beaches. The city in the forest which now is also dubbed as the city of the living God indeed lives up to her name.

Last weekend’s half-day adventure at Irawan Eco-park is a prideful summer experience. The Irawan Eco-park adventure is about 15 kilometers away from the city center, and about 3 kms past the famous crocodile farm. The road to Irawan eco-park swerves right from the national highway for about 3 kms to the foot of the mountain range. It quite was a bumpy ride which makes it a real outdoor trip and more fun.

Our first stop was at the restaurant where we registered. We then transferred to a cab which brought us to the main station of the Eco park. We were met by the lead staff who then introduced herself and the upcoming series of perils that we’ve decided to bring upon ourselves. It was explained to us well though and we felt confident and ready.

The Irawan Eco-Park sculpted signage

Our first adventure was at the so-called “skywalk”. It’s a series of wooden bridges that hang and is held and connected by the giant trees. Looking up at it from the ground seems easy and it will be easy to cross. So we climbed the ladder after we were safely geared and supported, then started to cross. The first steps were easy but it gets more edgy and risky as I stepped nearer to the center of the narrow hanging bridge. It was swinging and I got dragged out of balance. There are four bridges to cross which means four times of the intensity.

The Superman (taken on a zoomed lens)

Just below the skywalk is a stream that reminds me of the old river in the town where I grew up. The stream shouldn’t be missed. There’s a school of fish that needs to be fed by our hands. When we came down from the skywalk, we were given a piece of bread and fed it to the fishes. It was amazing to see them as they rush to eat the pieces of bread under our palms. I was also surprised when they get to bit my fingers.

The next adventure included in the package was a heart-stopping air glide at the Asia’s longest zipline. The experience however required us to climb uphill that had us exhausted. The zipline is 1.5 kilometers long and was hanging high above trees, a rocky ground and a stream. We chose to do the superman position to have a more realistic feeling of how it is to fly. It was worth it.

The staff explains the honey bee products

The bee hive woodwork

Coming down from the hill, we were led to the butterfly sanctuary garden. Inside the sanctuary garden, the tour guide showed us the actual metamorphosis from the caterpillar to the butterfly and some interesting facts about butterflies. It is always lovely as usual to see them settle at the flowers petals.

After a quick tour inside the net covered butterfly sanctuary, we rested for a while; removed our protective gears then went to the Honey bee farm. It was a few minutes’ drive in a cab from the zipline station. We were met by the staff when we arrived at the farm and had us wore some bee accessories. We went inside a small bungalow house where the staff gave an interesting lecture about bees and bee honey. She let us taste the different types of honey, showed us the different products that can be made from the bees and also showed us how they’re produced. We also toured outside the house at the yard, where the man-made bee hives are placed. We left after about a half-hour . A bottle of honey is the best souvenir to take out at a hundred pesos only.

The Carosa

We left the bee farm in a carosa – a sheltered 6-seater cart pulled by a big carabao. We then proceeded to the famous mayor Hagedorn’s eco-home rest house. The house appeared to be almost like a typical Filipino wooden house like those ones in the province during the Spanish rule. It was not antique but it was an attempt I guess to make it look like one. We were welcomed by the caretaker and toured us inside the house. We went to the mayor’s room, the kitchen and the sala. There were certain memorabilia of his more than 2 decades reign as a political leader who led the change of Puerto princesa to what it is now. One that caught my interest was the compiled published old articles about the mayor and Puerto Princesa. It gave me a quick glimpse at how this city brought its name to international recognition. It didn’t take us long to see everything inside, besides, our stomach started to silently growl in the mid-noon sun.

Tents for overnight stay at the Eco-Park

We finally headed to the eco-park restaurant for our lunch. The food served was great and was more than enough to restore us to our full strength. The dining area by the way is situated in the middle of a mini-forest around tall trees. Scattered amidst were swings which were fine for an afternoon nap and pitched camping tents where couples and families can stay overnight for 600/pax. It would be a great outdoor adventure to try if time permits.

After resting for a while, we finally headed in back to the city. It was now about a couple of hours after mid-noon and I slept on the way while thoughts about bringing my friends back here sometime linger. I definitely must go back with them.

A real live caterpillar