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Puerto Princesa City
Highly Urbanized City
Island Group Luzon
Province Palawan
Area 2,381.02 km²
Barangays 66
PSGC 175316000
ZIP 5300
- Total 210,508
- Density/km² 88.41
Income class 1
Urbanisation partly urban
Location in the Philippines:

Puerto Princesa City

Puerto Princesa City is a philippine highly urbanized city in the province Palawan in Region IV-B MIMAROPA which be­longs to the Luzon group of islands. The highly urbanized city Puerto Princesa City is seated about 595 km south-south-west of Philippine main capital Manila.

Puerto Princesa City, located at the heart of the island of Palawan at the Southwest of the Philippines, boasts not only a highly urbanized environment but also lush green sceneries and beautiful beach resorts. Its western and eastern sides face two large bodies of water, namely the South China Sea (locally known as the West Philippine Sea) and the Sulu Sea, respectively.

Puerto Princesa City has a total land area of 253,982 hectares, thus making it one of the country’s largest cities. Although being geographically large, Puerto Princesa City has also been declared one of the least densely populated city in the Philippines, having a population of 222,673 people according to the 2010 census.

Although relatively young, the government establishing the city of Puerto Princesa in 1970, the city takes its pride on its rich history and culture. Folks often attribute the origin of the city’s name to a princess-like maiden who supposedly roamed around the place at a certain time of a year.

Historically, the city was named after Queen Isabella II’s daughter, Princess Asuncion, who suffered an untimely death. The settlement then was known as “Puerto de la Princesa,” but then it was redacted to the name people know today. The first settlers arrived in Puerto Princesa at March 4, 1872, and up to this day the locals celebrate this day as the city’s foundation day.

The city’s people speak Filipino, the country’s national language, Visayan, and English. But the city’s major dialect is Cuyonon, which had been the lingua franca or the spoken tongue of many Palawan natives. Its major economic activities include agriculture, fisheries and commerce due to a balance of bountiful natural resources and an urbanized environment in the city’s center.

Puerto Princesa City is widely known for its tourist attractions, and has been able to find its way to foreigners’ must-visit destinations in Palawan. One of its major destinations is the world-renowned Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, which was declared by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and is one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, alongside the Amazon Rainforest and the Komodo Island. Formerly known as St. Paul’s Underground River, the park features an 8.2 kilometer underground river, said to be the world’s longest, with a spectacular showcase of limestone and stalactite and stalagmite formations.

It also highlights several flora and fauna, with a total of over 800 plant species and 165 bird species, which tourists can see after exploring the cave. Tourists may try the park’s Monkey Trail, where they hike across a series of rails, bridges and stairs, and all the while marveling at the lush green scenery.

Meanwhile, tourists can also view coral reefs and diverse species of fish through diving or snorkeling at Honda Bay, or even try island hopping. Among the islands that tourists can visit are Starfish Island, where, as the name suggests, various kinds of starfishes can be found; Lu-li Islet, which disappears underwater during a high tide (the name short for “lulubog-lilitaw”); and Cowrie Island, where tourists can simply kick their feet and relax. If exploring seems exhausting, the exhilarating view at Puerto Princesa City’s several beaches is relaxing enough.

Divers and diving enthusiasts, or even nature enthusiasts, can even see the Tubbataha Reef, another UNESCO Heritage Site. Hailed one of the best diving sites in the world, the reef serves as the home for over a thousand species of marine life, some of which are considered endangered.

After all the sightseeing and exploring, tourists can also feast in several restaurants overlooking the sea, like the Badjao Seafront Restaurant, where customers are served with hearty servings of seafood, including crabs, clams and grilled fish.

The best time to visit Puerto Princesa City is during the summer season, where aside from visiting the underground river, tourists can take part in the Balayong Festival, held during March 4, the city’s foundation day. This festival highlights the “balayong,” or the Palawan cherries, which are reminiscent of the Japanese cherry blossoms. The balayong, for the locals, symbolizes feminine dominance, the beauty of women and love. Not only does the city celebrate its founding anniversary during the festival, but the locals also honor the flower that only blooms at the city.

The city is also known for its love of nature, and has been lauded several times for its initiatives for sustainable development, including a Hall of Fame Award for the Clean and Green Program.

Administratively the Highly Urbanized City of Puerto Princesa City is subdivided into 66 barangays. 26 compose the center of the city wheras the other 40 are in the outlying areas. Some of them are even several kilometers away from the center of the Highly Urbanized City. The most populous are Santa Lucia (Pob.), Maligaya (Pob.), Magkakaibigan (Pob.), Model (Pob.), Seaside (Pob.), Tanabag, Marufinas, Montible (Pob.), New Panggangan, Masigla (Pob.), Santa Cruz, Matiyaga (Pob.), Kalipay (Pob.), Maningning (Pob.), Bagong Pag-Asa (Pob.).

Among the bigger cities and muni­ci­pa­li­ties in the neigh­bor­hood of Puerto Princesa City there are Narra 60 km south-west, Quezon 94 km south-west, Roxas 94 km north-east, Rizal (Marcos) 49 km south-west as well as 38 km south-south-west of Puerto Princesa City the highly urbanized city Aborlan.

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