Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Puerto Princesa city tour, part 1: city center


Mayor Edward Hagedorn, former illegal logger and all-around bad guy, changed his ways and made Puerto Princesa, the "city in the forest", into one of the greenest cities in the country (so it goes in the film about his life). There are no factories, no mines. Littering is a serious offense.

giant christmas tree

Baywalk was still being constructed when we passed here, but the giant Christmas tree was already up. Locals like to promenade here in the evening.

Immaculate Conception Cathedral, built in the 1950s, resembles San Sebastian Church in Manila. We arrived a week before the fiesta (December 8, Immaculate Conception), so Rizal Avenue, their main road, was glittering with gold buntings. The parallel street on the other side of the cathedral had them in blue and white.

The history of Plaza Cuartel is a grisly one. This is where about 150 American POWs were burned alive in their barracks by the Japanese during World War II. There are two underground tunnels that open near the sea. They're closed now.

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