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Puerto Princesa opens dolphin, whale watching to tourists PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 11 October 2007

Photo: / rey espiaPUERTO PRINCESA  - Dolphin and whale watching is now one of the tourist attractions in this cleanest and greenest city in the country.

Mayor Edward Hagedorn and executives of the City Tourism Office (CTO) and City Tourism Council (CTC) led Wednesday morning the launching ceremony of the dolphin and whale watching and opened it to the domestic and foreign tourists.


On board eight tourist boats around 7 a.m., Hagedorn and his wife Ellen, along with some 200 people from different sectors, sailed to the vast Puerto Princesa bay where the dolphins and whales have been sighted.

After more than an hour of sailing, tour participants saw of sea of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) numbering around 30, in the vicinity of Tacduan, Barangay Inagawan, some five nautical miles from the city port.

The group was overwhelmed by its first sighting of the dolphins which were playing in their natural habitat.

Another group of dolphins was also sighted while Hagedorn and his companions were traveling Photo: / rey espiaback to the port.

The sea mammals even got close to the boat where the mayor and some national and foreign mediamen were boarded.

However, whale sharks, locally known as “butanding,” were not sighted during the launching.

In a speech, Hagedorn, a known environmental advocate, said the presence of dolphins and whales in the Palawan waters is an indication of a healthy marine environment.

He said he is promoting agriculture and tourism as Puerto Princesa's two major industries in line with sustainable development without comprising the environment.

He thanked the residents for their all-support support to the efforts to preserve the city's natural resources.

”It is but fitting that we protect what is left of our resources, rehabilitate what has been destroyed, and plan for the intelligent utilization of these resources for the benefit of future generation,” Hagedorn remarked.

For her part, CTC president Felisa Torres assured that dolphins, which have been living at the bay for several years, will greet tourists without fail.

”Our dolphin watching offers 100 percent sightings and this could create a ‘big bang’ to our tourism industry,” she said.

Torres assured that their tour guides are trained on spotting the dolphins and equipped with communication equipment so as not to deprive visitors of sightings.

She urged tourists to enjoy the new attraction in Palawan which, she added, is offered at “very affordable” rates.

Marine expert Mavic Matillano of the group World Wildlife Fund (WWF) noted that dolphins belong to the mamalian order cetacea, which means that every so often, they need to resurface for air.

For his part, Lyle Coruna, president of Palawan Press Club (PPC), said the new tourist activity will enable local banca owners to earn extra income.

Among the city's tourist destinations, the best seller is the UNESCO-declared World Heritage Site, "Underground River," which is reputed be the longest known navigable subterrannean river in the world.

Another favorite tourist activity is island hopping in Honda Bay, which consists of several islets with shallow reefs bordering fabulous beaches that have become favorite swimming, snorkelling and diving destinations. These islets are Cowrie, Bat, Lu-li, Meara Marina, Snake, Pandan and Senorita.

The Crocodile Farm Institute, Butterfly Garden, Mitra Ranch, Tagkawayan Beach Resorts are also worth seeing. (PNA)


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