Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Popototan Landscape Reminisced

Someone asked me to post pictures of Palawan. I have not gone to Palawan proper but I have visited the farthest island in the Calamianes group, Popototan. So I 'll post images of it and the adjacent Busuanga islands. When looking at pictures of the island landscapes it is also inevitable to tackle the native vegetation, mostly dwarfed coastal species.

Popototan island is located at the most western part of Busuanga. We took the Super ferry to Coron town and rode a 4 hour banca ride to the island, passing through the clean waters of other numerous small islands. Each are covered almost fully with greens interrupted with limestone cliffs and sandy beaches. The islands looked almost deserted, only a few had shanty houses but there are a handful of resort developments. Popototan, one of the larger islands, had a barangay settlement and a major resort development. The northwest tip is uninhabited. The pristine white sand beaches are however open to the turmoils of the South China Sea. this is home to a number of species like molave, pandan dagat, kalumpang, dapdap, bani, dangkalan etc.

On the uninhabited beach also grows bantigue (or Pemphis acidula) a favorite of bonsai collectors. Bantigue was already ransacked to almost extinction in the islands off Luzon. But they say that the Luzon bantigues are coveted because they are typhoon scarred, which is attractive to bonsai hunters. The bantigues here are almost straight. I hope they stay that way to assure their existence.

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