This Week News

This Week in Palawan (February 1 to 7, 2020)

Now that there's a confirmed case of coronavirus in the Philippines, be vigilant!

By: Keith Anthony S. Fabro | February 01, 2020
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Palawan, travel, things to do, weather, coronavirus

Sunny weather welcomes you this February in Palawan. And if you’re looking for reasons to explore this island as a soloist, you’ll end up overwhelmed. With welcoming communities and innumerable beautiful beaches, islands, waterfalls and other nature-based attractions, it’s no wonder Palawan was recently named by two international travel websites as an Instagrammable destination perfect for solo travelers. Scared of the novel coronavirus news? Worry not because there had been no confirmed cases in Palawan, and authorities assure the public it won’t enter the province despite being a popular tourist destination . Meanwhile, as the bigger cruise ship port in Puerto Princesa City opens this 2020, tourism industry in the entire province is expected to get another boost. Read on for details and more!

Weather Update: Mostly sunny, perfect for pre-summer trips

It’s still a few months before summer, but you can already feel the scorching heat in Palawan. With sunny weather, especially on Monday to Wednesday (February 3 to 5), it’s hard to resist the temptation of going for quick beach trips either early in the morning or late in the afternoon. While the rest of the week could be cloudy, bringing brief showers, daytime temperature is hot, ranging from 27°C to 28 °C. During the day, drink plenty of water to counter the heat, and also don’t forget to slather on sunscreen and bring an umbrella whenever you go outdoors to protect your skin from harmful ultraviolet rays. At night, the temperature is a few degrees cooler with temperatures ranging from 23 °C to 27 °C, but it's still recommended to wear thin, comfy fabrics to sleep better [1].

Traffic News: No more tricycles on Puerto’s nat’l roads starting Feb 1

Puerto Princesa’s tricycles dominating the city’s transport sector will only be allowed to ply national highways within the city until January 31. This develops as the city government is finally set to impose the national government’s tricycle ban on national highways starting February 1, following the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) rejection of the former’s exemption appeal.

While the DOTr recognized it will adversely affect the livelihood of over 1,000 tricycle drivers in Puerto Princesa, it argued that such a request would only encourage similar petitions from other local government units in the country. The city government, meanwhile, assured the tricycle operators that it is looking for “alternative routes” within city roads where they can transport. Commuters, however, can opt for jeepneys and multicabs as primary modes of transportation in the city [2].

Travel Update

Palawan listed as an Instagrammable spot for solo travelers in 2020

Palawan’s international popularity shows no signs of waning. Recently, the tourist-favorite island landed on Big 7 Travel’s “50 Most Instagrammable Places in the World 2020.” The travel site considers the picture-perfect Palawan as a “piece of paradise that’s miles away from the hectic bustles of Manila.” “Instagrammers have been flocking to it in droves in recent months and the buzz around Palawan is only getting bigger,” the site added [3].

Earlier this year, Huffpost lured its globetrotter readers to visit Palawan’s El Nido, which it tagged as one of the “50 Awesome Solo Travel Destinations to Visit in 2020.” The American news, opinion and blog website said this northern Palawan town is “as a place full of beaches with endless water sports, boutique hotels, and design-led hostels — perfect for meeting other solo travelers. The island’s famous boat tours are a great place for solo travelers to experience the culture with the comfort of a group [4].”

Puerto cruise port nears completion; bids to attract bigger luxury ships

The 1.5-billion Puerto Princesa port project is set to be completed this 2020, according to the regional Department of Public Works and Highways. Seen to make the city one of the world’s famed international cruise destinations, the port can accommodate more, bigger luxury ships with up to 10,000 passengers [5]. While in Puerto Princesa, the cruise tourists are expected to check out the Subterranean River National Park, known internationally as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and New 7 Wonders of Nature.

Meanwhile, the city is anticipating the arrival of AIDAvita and MV Seabourn Sojourn cruise ships, respectively at 7 AM and 10 AM on February 9. The two cruise ships have carrying capacities of 1,260 and 450 passengers, respectively. Their port call comes after the visit of MV Europa with 333 passengers on January 11, the first cruise ship to arrive to the province this year. Other cruise ships likely to make port calls in Puerto Princesa are MV Seaborne, MV Explorer Dream, Star Breeze, MS Noordam, and Celebrity Millenium [6].

Health, airport authorities assure Palawan is safe from nCoV entry

Health and airport officials in Palawan have assured the public that they are doing everything to prevent the entry of novel coronavirus or the 2019-nCoV, a new strain of deadly virus from Wuhan, China. City health officer Dr. Ric Panganiban said all passengers from international flights arriving in Puerto Princesa airport are now required by the Bureau of Quarantine to fill up a health checklist to ensure they had not been to Wuhan and other nearby Chinese cities before the breakout earlier this year.

Also part of the airport safety protocols against coronavirus is requiring passengers to get checked by a thermal scanner, and setting up a holding area for passengers exhibiting the 2019-nCoV symptoms. The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, meanwhile, said health safety measures in other regional airports in Palawan, including Coron, San Vicente, and El Nido, had been finalized for immediate implementation. Owners of hotels and other accommodations have also been advised to report guests manifesting flu-like symptoms. So far, no case has been confirmed yet in the province [7].

Go to Yoorekka to find more news and updates about Iloilo.

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About Keith Anthony S. Fabro
Keith Anthony Fabro is a freelancer based in Narra, Palawan. He explores the great outdoors, talks to strangers, and designs promotional materials for a living. In his free time, he practices mindful meditation or reads anything about personality psychology and the natural environment, all while listening to mellow music. When inspiration strikes, he writes spoken poetry. He can live with just water and chocolates.
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Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.
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