Saturday, April 23, 2011

Hermit Crabs, Woodworms and Bat Poop (Puerto Princesa Part 2)

Second day story everyone, gather round!

On the second day at Puerto Princesa, we had to wake up extra early. A shuttle bus picked us up from the hotel and drove us to our next destination. It was a 2 hour drive with a very welcome rest stop in between. On the second day, we were scheduled to visit the famous Underground River. There have been campaigns to list it as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Pretty cool, huh? You can actually vote here. You will need to register, though.

However, since it is quite famous, a lot of people line up everyday to go and see it so we had to wait a while. In the meantime, we decided to take the Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour. My brother and I chased a couple of mudskippers along the shore before my family and I, along with another family boarded a boat fit to seat eight people. We were taken on a tour down this river as our guide told us a couple of random facts about the river and the rich number of mangrove trees residing around it. Once in a while, we'd see a monkey or a snake in the trees.

The river we traveled on. 
I was paranoid that there were a ton of crocodiles or piranhas in there and the guide just didn't tell us so we wouldn't freak out. I still sort of believe this is true. *shivers*

During the tour, the guide talked about the woodworms that inhabit the trees. She said that these worms are considered a delicacy around those parts. Everyone in our boat all gagged. After the river tour, as we got off the boat, this woman came up to us and shoved a plateful of these woodworms in front of us. I swear I saw some movement. Being the adventurous (and at times stupid) person that I am, I thought oh what the hell, and decided to sample one. *cue Fear Factor theme music here* I picked one up and it was slimy and slippery and everyone was staring at me with a what-the-heck-are-you-doing-you-crazy-person look on their faces.

Nom nom nom. Surprisingly, these worms deviated from the usual chicken taste and tasted like oysters instead. How interesting.

Aaaaanyyyway, on to the underground river. The place was beautiful. It was like a hidden gem carefully tucked away. The water was clear, the the sand was clean, and there were fish swimming around our feet as we waded in the water. See for yourselves:

I wanted to set up camp here and live off the beautiful scenery.

To actually get to the underground river, though, we had to ride a canoe. So into the canoe we went. There was this spotlight thingy at the head of the canoe that someone had to use to illuminate the area and the rather interesting rock formations. One was shaped like a butt-naked woman, another was shaped like Jesus, etc. I know, it was pretty crazy. 

The mouth of the cave. It was pitch black inside. Also, I feared there were a ton of blind mutated river monsters swimming under our tiny canoe. Oh gawd.

We didn't really get to encounter my supposed blind mutated river monsters, though, and that was a good thing, a very very good thing considering the only "protection" we had on was a helmet and a life jacket. That's like protecting a steak from a hungry lion by sticking marshmallows on it. Heck, throw in some sprinkles on there, why don't ya?! On the other hand, we did encounter: 

. . .bats. Lots and lots of them.

We were also graciously introduced to their poop which came dropping down from above every once in a while. It was nice, especially if you had your mouth open as you stared upward. I am not implying anything here. *cough*

As a parting thing, here's another rock formation sample from inside the cave. My camera's flash was super weak and I couldn't really get some decent shots. Oh well.

Oh, I also collected shells at the beach later that day and as I laid them all out in the sand, I noticed they began to move. Turns out, there were these hermit crabs inside these tiny shells. They were so cute and so tiny. I watched as they disappeared into the sea, probably forever.

Next (and last) story comin' up next,


  1. you ate the worm? OMG. very fear factor. I will never do such thing. I envy people like you who are game to everything.

    Snakes on the trees? that sounds scary to me. But still the place is breathtaking so I'll probably ignore the snake if I'm there.

    Looks like you really had such a great time. I'm happy for you!

  2. Oh cool, bats! Still want to see them in their natural habitat..

  3. YOU ATE A WORM?! >:O Awesome! XD Looks like you had fun :D

  4. I absolutely must commend you on your adventurousness with the word eating! And, of course, I also love the fact that the little bastards taste like oysters. I never would have thought...

    Your ramblings make me laugh.
    I must say, however, that while I wouldn't fear the many unseen crocs & river monsters, I would totally freak out if I saw hermit crabs starting to run off inside their sea shells!

  5. Gosh iWish iWas there. : " O
    It looks b r e a t h t a k i n g.
    But iWould cry or freeze up with those bats ~

  6. PALAWAN!!!!!!! gusto kong makapunta rin dyan... Hay, sana nga lang merong manglibre sa akin. hehe..
    You ate a worm! Gawd!! Ay jusmio.. ako hindi ko talaga makakaya. Hindi nga ako kumakain ng talaba.. kahit na anong slimy. Kahit okra, hindi rin. eeeeeeeee.....

    Nice pictures of the cave.. and the bats.. and don't tell me you also kinda.. "tasted"... bat poop. eeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!! hehe.. joke.

  7. aaahh...palawan...i hope it doesn't turn into another boracay. ;)

  8. @mayen: yes, i ate the worm. it wasn't really that bad. haha. and thanks! :D

    @Fang: you need to go scout for some caves! haha.

    @Jodie-Ann: yes, i did. haha. it was fun!

    @Martin Alexander: why thankyou, kind sir. haha and yes, i was really expecting them to taste like chicken (like almost everything else) and i'd rather choose the tiny hermit crabs over the river monster any day! :O

    @iZaynab: they didn't really do much except hang upside down or fly up top and poop. :|

    @Leah: punta ka rin! haha. :D yes, i ate the worm but i don't like okra either. it's like spit in your mouth. :/ as for the bat poop tasting, hmmm. *winks suggestively* haha. xD

    @Jay: sigh. sadly, my friend, palawan is slowly being developed to cater to more tourists everyday. i fear that it may turn into another boracay someday. although, i really hope not.


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