A visit to Palawan Island in the Philippines is a dream come true for a Filipino like me who is aching to live up to the challenge not to become a stranger in one’s home land. Hence, while I was on board the Cebu to Puerto Princesa flight of Cebu Pacific Air, I kept on jotting down on my notes on what possible destinations can I visit for my 4-day, 3-night trip inclusive of flights and 1-day business meeting in the island.
It is customary on my part to take a picture at the point of my entry in a place like this . . .
A 5-minute ride in finely-paved thoroughfares made green by tall and robust trees on each side brought me to Rizal Avenue where a popular backpackers hostel is located . . .
It was only upon checking-in at the hotel that I learned that I was booked for a 1-day tour to selected Palawan attractions the following day yet. Since it was still 1:00 PM in my watch, I felt that spending the rest of the day sleeping in my room while in the island so popular both in the local and international tourism arena would be one of the biggest time squandering act that I would ever commit.
Hence, I squeezed information from the front desk teller on what possible attraction not included in the next day tour itinerary that I can visit in just a half-day. Honda Bay is the best possible option according to the lady staff. However, when I flagged down a tricycle bound to the port for boats leading to Honda Bay, the kind driver told me that my travel there would be just a waste of time and money as I could no longer catch up the last trip for the Honda Bay tour. Candidly, the information I got had sent extreme weakness down my spine as I sit on the chair in frustration.
Fortunately, a male hotel staff arrived and, sensing my extraordinary want for a sightseeing trip at that very moment, he told me that I still have the chance to visit a worthy attraction in Palawan if only I have the guts and resources to do it. Such words were enough to spring myself up from the seat as I was told that Estrella Falls is the best possible option but I have to take a fast-moving motorcycle as it is located more than 80 kilometers from the city proper. Without batting an eyelash, I agreed on the XLR Honda motorcycle plus driver hire though it was a bit pricey.
To be gutsy is indeed a requirement for such a trip as we traveled at an average speed of 50 kph, thanks for the extremely nice pavement constructed by the Hanjin Group spanning 69 kilometers south of Puerto Princesa to the town of Aborlan. Though the road from Aborlan was not that good, but we managed to drive our way until we stopped at this junction in Barangay Malatgao in the town of Narra exactly 83.5 kilometers and 2.0 hours travel away from Puerto Princesa City . . .
A few more minutes of travel and we reached the Estrella Falls visitors receiving area. Being a lover of poetry, this lovely poem written in the local dialect praising the Estrella Falls had really captured my attention . . .
These words of welcome written in poetic lines as well as the park rules had boosted up some more my interest to see the Estrella Falls . . .
The Estrella Falls is just a few steps walk passing through this tiny attractive structure . . .
Into this concrete walkway amidst towering trees. . .
Passing by the resort facilities, among them cottages, rest rooms and grilling area, provided by the Muncipal Government of Narra . . .
My heart had started beating faster as I heard the mild thundering waterfalls sound until I saw the Estrella Falls from afar . . .
My feet were really planted firm on the ground while my eyes were feasting on the beauty of the Estrella Falls as it cascades into the not-so-wide plunge pool . . .
It was at that very moment that I realized the veracity of the words of the One Rover’s Place staff that Estrella Falls is really nature at its best . . .
Estrella Falls – Final Thought
The waters cascading from Victoria Peak that had been split into two upon reaching a rock resembling a human face right at the base of the plunge pool makes Estrella Falls so unique among the waterfalls that I have had visited in the Philippines. The waters flowing into 3 sets of natural pools of varying depths, with the first suitable for professional swimmers, the second fit for non-swimmer adults and the third ideal for children, makes the spot a perfect venue for family gatherings. Most importantly, the exceptionally clean and refreshingly cool waters, which gives credence to its championship award in the search for the cleanest and greenest inland bodies of water in the Philippines, qualifies Estrella Falls as a must visit for waterfalls and nature lovers like you.