Day 12: Puerto Princesa – Taytay – El Nido
As I started this entry, the poem of Robert Frost was playing in my mind…
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves, no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
We were excited to go to El Nido as it was only squeezed into our bit tight schedule. We got up at 4:00 a.m. to be ready and get on the road at 5 o’clock. Kuya Art texted that they were on their way to fetch us from the hotel then we will pick up sis Daisy on our way.
I can still remember back in the day when the trip to northern Palawan was a painful experience. The road was rocky, and when it rains, it gets so muddy that it’s almost impossible to get to where you wanted to go. After 8 years of being away, it has changed, and now the road was paved and concreted even just until Taytay. At noon, we arrived in Roxas, and there we took our break and ate lunch at the small eatery just next to the pier. It’s also the pier where boats plying the Araceli–Roxas route dock. After that, we were on the road again and stopped next in Taytay.
During the Spanish colonization of the Philippines, Taytay was founded in 1623. Taytay became the capital of the Province of Calamianes, the entire territory of Palawan, in 1818; and the Province of Castilla, a land area occupying the northern part of Palawan, in 1858. During the American era, Taytay ceased being Palawan’s capital, and its administrative boundary was reduced by approximately 500,000 hectares upon the creation of the Municipality of El Nido in 1916.
The historic Taytay Fort, the Fuerza de Santa Isabel, built in 1667 under the Augustinian Recollect Fathers and named in honor of Spain’s Queen Isabela II in the 19th century, was used as a military station during that period. This famous relic was completed on 1738. It was mainly used to defend against Moro raiders in their colorful war boats while the Spanish soldiers fire at them with their huge cannons. The fort’s small chapel and cannons are still intact. The fort is now under the supervision of the National Museum. In 1957 the Island of Dibangan was constituted into a barrio.
We made a brief stop in Taytay. From Taytay, you can also make some island hopping. While Roxas was pretty simple and laid back, Taytay appears to be more touristy.
While the road from Puerto Princesa to Taytay was already in an excellent condition, the asphalted road ended there. Between Taytay and El Nido, the road was paved on some parts or on just on one side, but mostly it was only the old dirt road from some 15 years ago. There were still some holes and pits.