It was the afternoon after our tricycle tour around Brooke’s Point in the province of Palawan. From Brooke’s Point we rode a RORO Bus to Narra (165 Pesos/person). What usually took less than 2 hours became 3 hours on the road due to a technical problem. It was a rather boring wait, but at least we already started our journey to Narra.
We arrived around 5:30 PM at Narra and since it was slowly getting dark we rode a tricycle and asked to be taken to a very very affordable lodging. On the way to the center of town, we asked the tricycle driver on how we could get to Rasa Island where the Katala or Philippine Cockatoo, that is endemic to our country. He said that we need to ask in Panacan Port on how to get there.
Seeing that the light is slowly fading and each passing moment means lesser people to ask in the Panacan Port, we quickly instructed our tricycle driver to bring us to Panacan Port. It was a bit far from where we were and when we reached Panacan Port it was around 5:53 PM.
We quickly searched for a local and asked on how we could get to Rasa Island and he told us that for us to get to the island, we should seek permission with Kuya Fred Diaz. Back to the road to find the house of Kuya Fred. When we found him, he told us to leave immediately to go to a specific place to see the Katalas and go back to him after as time is running out.
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Back to the tricycle and headed straight for Borbon Beach. It was already 6:25 PM when we arrived at Borbon Beach. The sky had an orange lining and coconut trees equidistant to each other formed black pillars. We were looking for a wooden house that has 2 floors, from there we were going to look for a specific coconut tree where the Katalas usually fly to before crossing the sea to Rasa Island. Unfortunately, we didn’t see one.
Going back to Kuya Fred’s house, we talked to him about our plans to go to Rasa Island. We didn’t plan to go that night, but we would like to go early morning yesterday and be back before lunch time, so there would be enough time for us to go back to Puerto Princesa for Dong Ho to catch his flight. Unfortunately, the Katala Foundation will be conducting a meeting the next day and their guides would not be available. But at least we still had a chance to get to see the Katala if we go back to Borbon Beach early in the morning.
We also got the information that the Katala’s love malunggay. So if looking for a Philippine Cockatoo, we must look for a malunggay.
We said our goodbyes to Kuya Fred and we asked for us to be taken to AR Pension, a lodging we passed by on our way to Panacan Port. Then we paid 200 Pesos to the tricycle driver as he was very kind to take us around with how fickle our movements were. It was past 7PM when we arrived in AR Pension.
We ate dinner at a nearby family restaurant and went to a line of tricycles in the intersection of the National Highway and the road going to Panacan Port to request a tricycle driver to fetch us around 5:30 AM the next day.
He was late. The tricycle driver arrived around 5:40 AM. Arguments would only make the lateness worse, so we rode the tricycle and after less than 15 minutes we were back on the same spot in Borbon Beach. A 2 story wooden house and the coconut tree.
We paid the tricycle driver 100 Pesos for his services and he left. We actually didn’t know where we could get a transportation to go back as Borbon Beach seemed to be outside the normal route of tricycles. At least we were confident on our ability to walk a couple of kilometers going back to Panacan Port.
Time flew by and there was still no Katala insight. The more the sky brighten the lesser the chances we would see the Katala.
Unfortunately, again, we never saw one. O well, a good reason to go back to Narra, Palawan.
Next stop and old port in Narra, Palawan.
Visiting Rasa Island Details
- 130 Pesos/person – Conservation Fee
- 500 Pesos/person – Pumpboat for 6 persons
- 250 Pesos/guide – Guide fee. 1 guide for 1 boat.
- I got the number of Kuya Fred, unfortunately it lacked a digit. What you can do to visit Rasa Island is visit the Katala Foundation website at www.philippinecockatoo.org
- I attended a planning seminar conducted by the Katala Foundation in Roxas, Palawan where we dicussed about protecting the Bakoko (Palawan Forest Turtle) and they said that during mating season people are not allowed to visit Rasa Island.
- A visit to Rasa Island may take half a day.
- They said that we should not expect beaches in Rasa Island as it’s a conservation area where a lot of mangroves grow. When we saw Rasa Island from Borbon Beach we never saw a beach on its perimeter.