(This is Part 1 of a three-part narration of my first experience at the Puerto Princesa Underground River in Palawan in November 2010. Having been newly named as one of the New Wonders of Nature, the number of tourists is anticipated to increase. It is my desire that its sacredness and beauty be maintained and not be subjected to abuse as with other famous places of destination.)
I didn’t know much about Palawan, an island province in the Philippines, except its unspoiled white sand beaches, famous diving spots, and the rich marine life. The more I read about it though, the more I fell in love with the place. I realized how rich and magical the island is. It had so much to offer in terms of its natural resources, as well as its cultural heritage, historical roots and mysticism. It had a lot of what I potentially wanted to do and offer as part of my healing work. I felt a strong resonance.
On the evening of October 13, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, I made a special request to Mama Mary. (Our Lady of Fatima is one of the titles given to Mother Mary. It was named after Fatima, Portugal, one of her numerous places of apparitions.) I prayed that if I could only find one place, even just one sacred place in Palawan, where the presence of Mama Mary or other Divine Beings are strongly felt, then Palawan will be the place for me.
Before I went to sleep that night, I asked if I could be given a glimpse of the sacred place that I was looking for. Just before dozing off, I was given a vision of a very long stream of water and a cave. It wasn’t a beach. It was a long stream of water that seemed to stretch endlessly.
I even doubted the vision. It is Palawan after all. So, obviously, there’s got to be water. Then I caught myself and talked myself out of my own doubts. “You ask for something Nadine, and when it is given, you doubt and question it. What little faith you have!” Sorry Mama Mary!
The following morning, I called the owner of a property in San Vicente, Palawan. Her house which was for sale caught my interest as I was searching the web. San Vicente is in the northwestern side of Palawan, 186 kilometers from Puerto Princesa City. It is being promoted as the next Boracay, having the “longest white sandy beach in the Philippines- 50 kilometers of non-contiguous beach including the 14-kilometer Long Beach, the longest white sandy beach in the Philippines by far.”
I was only going to ask her how many bedrooms the house has. We ended up talking for over an hour. She asked me if I’d been to the Underground River. I told her I hadn’t even been to Puerto Princesa City. She said that when she needs a place of peace and quiet, and she goes to the Underground River, she truly feels God’s presence. I shared with her the vision that I was given the previous night.
“Yan nga yung Underground River (That’s the Underground River that you’re describing)!”, she exclaimed with much enthusiasm. “It’s a very long river and in order to go to the water, you have to enter the cave. You should go and visit it!” It was also only then that I learned that it was being nominated as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, which it recently won.
So with that, I planned for my trip and off I left for Palawan.
ABS-CBN.com (2011). Underground River’s entry to wonders of nature list hailed. Retrieved November 15, 2011 from ABS-CBN.com website: http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/regions/11/12/11/underground-rivers-entry-wonders-nature-list-hailed
Paradise in Palawan (n.d). San Vicente, the next big thing in Philippines’ tourism. Retrieved November 29, 2011 from the Paradise in Palawan website http://paradiseinpalawan.com/
Provincial Government of Palawan (n.d.) Historical background of Palawan, Philippines. Retrieved November 28, 2011 from the Provincial Government of Palawan website http://www.palawan.gov.ph/docs/PDF/palawan/PDF_v3/3_Hist_Background_Palawan.pdf
SouthTravels.com (n.d.). Places to see & things to do. Retrieved November 29, 2011 from the SouthTravels.com website: http://www.southtravels.com/asia/philippines/palawantours/placetosee.html#taboncave
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