The Philippines is a tropical archipelago of 7,100+ islands endowed with numerous opportunities for water sports, making it a haven for local and international water sports enthusiasts. It is also endowed with ocean breeze and winds perfect for sailing. While it can be done in many parts of the country, one place is fast gaining international attention: Palawan.
Picture-perfect Palawan is the World’s Best Island
Palawan sure rings a bell! It is, after all, voted as the No. 1 Island in the world after garnering the highest number of votes from Condé Nast to become the Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards (2014). The story is told in pictures by Condé Nast.
It seems The Huffington couldn’t get enough of Palawan’ perfect natural appeal – there are posts about it. One is by Natasha Hinde – Palawan Has Been Voted As The Best Island In The World And We Can Totally Understand Why and one by Carly Ledbetter – Palawan, The Most Beautiful Island In The World, Is Sheer Perfection. In all these posts, too little words were written as the pictures were enough to tell their readers why this Philippine island deserves all the accolades it is getting from the travel sites, the media and the tourists.
More pictures await eager readers in the Daily Mail Online’s post by Chris Kitching – The Best Island in the World.
The post Palawan, top island destination in the world! sums it up with these:
“Palawan gained international fame when its Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, said to be the longest navigable underground river in the world, was recognized as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature in 2012.
The UNESCO declared the subterranean river a World Heritage Site in 1999.Sailing Palawan”
Palawan is a Perfect Sailing Destination Too!
Being the best island of the world, there is every excuse to come and experience all its glorious offerings – Subterranean River, undersea adventures at Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park, and its numerous breathtaking beaches. Sailing aficionados have another reason to come to Palawan is they are looking for a topnotch sailing experience.
According to Euan McKirdy of CNN News, sailing aficionados should raise their mast towards one of the world’s most fabulous sailing destinations in this blog – Palawan: Sailing’s next great destination?
“The wind, particularly in the winter, blows strong, and reliably. It’s sunny almost all the time, and there are literally thousands of islands — 7,107 at last count.
All of these enviable factors would usually point to the perfect destination for a sailing trip, but the charter industry here lags far behind other sailing destinations, like Thailand, Australia or the Caribbean.
A lack of infrastructure, including mooring — and outdated legislation — has conspired to keep this sailor’s paradise from fully developing its potential.”
McKirdy recalls how their “sailing party” organized for the memorable 5-day sailing experience, which started in Coron, the island’s main town.
Recounting the Highlights
The first day was all about “testing the waters,” which started in an island off Coron on a “banka,” a boat locally used as water transportation. They visited and enjoyed a swim in a tranquil and empty lake (there are 5 in the island), the Kayangan. “Lake. Later, (they) rendezvous with the Esperanza, a 45-foot Jeunneau Sun Odyssey, at a mooring in a quiet bay similarly enclosed by limestone karsts…” Sailing and experiencing Palawan waters, weather and hospitality made sailing more personalized and memorable.
- Visiting a Marcos legacy: One island attraction they visited was the island of Calauit. It is some sort of safari park being home to a variety of African wildlife built by the late Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos, who used it as a hunting reserve in his heyday.
- A dramatic turn.: Gustiness made the third day memorable as it put their sailing skills and valor to good use and test. As they “turn into the wind too strongly and, mainsail unable to spill properly, the boom breaks with a resounding crack. A flurry of activity sees the jib furled and the main stowed, and (they) continue on our way under engine power.” To save the day, the skipper set up two deep sea fishing rods, but even these didn’t give them anything to rejoice about either.
- Fresh ceviche + perfect beach = island time: A visit to the skipper’s home proved to be most memorable as they experienced Filipino hospitality. Food, company and stargazing – they made the excursion sweet and memorable.
- More island hopping: Back on board, it was another day of island hopping, “… taking in a slew of impossibly picturesque islands …heading for Black Island, a piratical-sounding limestone bulk that looms out of the sea…”
Additional highlights for the day included a delicious on-board lunch, a visit to a marina in the mouth of a river, another delicious dinner ashore, drinks aboard and more happy exchanges and banters as “the water calmly (laps) against the hull as the darkness and silence lull us into a calm slumber.”
The final day included a visit “to the picture perfect Pass Island, for a snorkel and swim before returning, slightly sun- and wind-burned and sporting a scruffy five-day maritime beard, to the marina and drive back to Coron, the airport and, regrettably, civilization.”