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This Week in Palawan (February 15 to 21, 2020)

Expect sunny weather with a few rain showers in Palawan this week.

By: Keith Anthony S. Fabro | February 15, 2020
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Palawan, travel, things to do, weather

Tourism in Palawan remains abuzz with life despite the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that sows fear among travelers. Tourist attractions are still open to both foreign and domestic tourists; however, those with recent travel history in China are temporarily banned from entering the province to prevent the transmission of the disease. If you find yourself visiting Palawan this week, travel up north to San Vicente town where surfing is becoming the next big thing. Schedule your trip especially this weekend when the weather is favorable for outdoor activities. Read on for the details on these updates to see how they'd affect your list of things to do this week!

Weather: Sunny with a few rain showers

This week is the best time to visit the beach. And if you’re feeling adventurous, why not try out surfing in San Vicente? Have your beach trip especially on Saturday (February 15) when the sun isn’t that harsh due to increasing clouds hovering over Palawan [1]. On weekdays, you may want to hang out and feel sentimental while sipping hot coffee at a nearby café, particularly on drizzly Monday, Thursday and Friday (Feb. 17, 20 and 21). When going out during these days which are predicted to have a couple morning showers, bring your umbrella to keep you dry. It’s going to be warm to hot this week as day temperature ranges from 27 °C to 30 °C, while at night it ranges from 24 °C to 26 °C [1].

Travel Updates

Amid COVID-19, ship docks in Puerto

Despite the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) scare, luxury cruise ship AIDAvita was allowed to dock in Puerto Princesa's port on February 9. The tourist ship with an estimated 1,200 crew and passengers passed the quarantine inspection in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, its last port of call before sailing to the Philippines, the City Tourism Office (CTO) assured in a Palawan News report. The CTO also said that the majority of its passengers are German and with no recent travel history to mainland China and other disease-stricken places identified by the Philippine government. Earlier, the CTO announced the cancellation of the port call of Silver Spirit after port authorities learned that some of its 650 passengers had recently been to China and Hong Kong [2].

El Nido remains free from COVID-19

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) had taken a toll on El Nido’s tourism industry, as 40 tourist accommodation owners received a total of 167 cancellations that translated to P1.4 million tourism industry loss in January 2020 alone. This developed after two persons under investigation, later found free from COVID-19, were reported to have visited the town. “Based on the trend we have, we are anticipating heavier impact as the issue [on COVID-19] develops,” El Nido tourism officer Arvin Acosta was quoted in a Palawan News report as saying. Relatedly, international flights going to and from Hong Kong, Macau, and mainland China were canceled from February 5 to March 29 at the Puerto Princesa International Airport. Despite this setback, Acosta still urges tourists to visit this globally renowned tourism destination as it remains free from COVID-19 [3].

San Vicente to hold surfing tilt

Known for its 14.7-kilometer Long Beach, San Vicente is now offering surfing as its new tourist attraction. “The waves we have in San Vicente are actually quite good for surfing. This is in addition to other attractions there such as Long Beach, island hopping, and others,” said Tonino Habana, one of the founders of the SanVicSurf and president of the United Tourism Enterprise Association of San Vicente, in a Palawan News report. This emerging tourist town is set to hold its SanVicSurf competition and festival in Barangay Alimanguan on February 20 to 23. Around 20 surfers have already registered to compete in four categories — men’s longboard, men’s shortboard, women’s longboard, and juniors shortboard. Several beach activities, including the “Palarong Lahi” and Barangay Cultural Night, will also be held to keep visitors entertained during the festival [4].

Passed Ordinance: Palawan imposes temporary ban vs persons from China

The provincial government has implemented an ordinance temporarily banning the entry of people with travel history in China, Hong Kong, and Macau to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19 in Palawan. “Local chief executives are enjoined to enforce this prohibition effective immediately and until lifted by law,” stated the Provincial Ordinance No. 2219-20 passed by the Provincial Board on Feb. 6, and signed by the provincial governor on Feb. 7. The ordinance also mandates tourism offices to “account and monitor all tourists presently staying or sojourning in their territorial jurisdictions.” Tourism establishment owners are likewise enjoined to report to health authorities when they notice foreign guests showing flu-like symptoms [5].

Visit Yoorekka for more updates on Palawan.

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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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