When the Spaniards came in the country, Puerto Princesa was one of the settlement they obtained. History says that the place was named after Princess Asuncion, born in 1864 to Queen Isabela II and her consort, Francisco de Cadiz. When the princess suffered an untimely death, the Queen changed the name to Puerto de la Princesa. Eventually, the name was reduced to Puerto Princesa as it is known today.
Spanish Colonizers founded the settlement on 4 March 1872 in the course of their exploration of the province. As they scanned the Palawan shoreline for a capital site, they came upon a hill with steep declivity. Rowing to shore, they surveyed the hill and discovered an extensive plateau which they decided as ideal for settlement.
Soon after, Fr. Antonio Muro levelled a portion of the hill to make way for a chapel. (That section is now occupied by the Catholic Cathedral, the P.C. Barracks and the Rizal Park. The Old Municipal Building used to be there, as well as an Elementary School). The first mass celebrated in Puerto Princesa took place at a site where a marker now stands.
In May 1872, the Port of Puerto Princesa became the center of Spanish Naval Operations in the area because the Bay met all the Navy’s requirements. Royal Decrees later provided incentives to settlers, and by 1883 the settlement had flourished into a town of twelve roads, a hospital and well-built port.
Population/ Language/ Area
As of 2010, Puerto Princesa recorded a total population of 222,673.
Land area of the city is 2,381.02 km2 (919.32 sq mi).
The language use in this area is predominantly Tagalog, they sometimes use Visaya and English.
Products and Services
Primary industries are trading, tourism, farming and fishing. Rice and coconut are the primary agricultural products.
Puerto Princesa is well-known as the site of the world-famous 8-kilometer long undergound river which is located in the northwestern part of the city. Its forests are teeming with rare flora and fauna. Its bodies of water such as Puerto Princesa Bay, Honda Bay, Ulugan Bay and Turtle Bay are very rich in marine life. Its eastern and western coastal areas have many beaches and diving sites which are too numerous to mention. Over all, the city is by itself a tourism haven. Aside from being beautiful, it is also peaceful. In fact, it has received several awards for its clean and green as well as orderly atmosphere.
For all its beauty and natural attractions, Puerto Princesa has enormous potential as a world-class destination of choice. It needs investment in hotels, resorts, restaurants, convention center, golf courses, and amusement parks. A world-class zoological park, botanical garden, and an ocean park can be viable projects to put up.
To complement its tourism industry, entrepreneurs can make the city a center of non-polluting establishments such as:
- Cut flower and ornamental plants growing especially orchids
- Exotic fruit and vegetable plantations
- Production of furniture and fixtures
- Textile and clothing
- Jewelry and other fashion accessories
- Technology-related industries such as business process outsourcing, software development, graphic design, and animation
- Organic fertilizer
- Puerto Princesa Subterranean River – this is the most famous landmark in Puerto Princesa. This subterranean river is the longest navigable river in the world. It features a limestone karst mountain landscape and many stalactites and stalagmites formations.
- Tubbataha Reef – is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located 181 km southeast of the city in the Sulu Sea near the island municipality of Cagayancillo. Over 1000 species inhabit the reef; many are already considered as endangered. Animal species found include manta rays, lion fish, sea turtles, clown fish and sharks.
- Honda Bay – contains several islands, including Arrecife Island where the high-end Dos Palmas Resort is located. Several local guides and boatmen offer island hopping tours in the area where snorkeling is also a popular activity in Pambato Reef.
- Sabang Beach – located just outside the Underground River Park, Sabang Beach is a quiet white sand beach lined by several resorts facing the vast South China Sea.
- Ugong Rock – a 75-foot limestone formation in the middle of farmlands and karst forests located near the Underground River. main activities in the site include spelunking and zip line.