Visit one of the most scenic mountains in Palawan and the 2nd highest @ 1,726meters-above-sea-level. It is home to a unique array of biodiversity including the recently discovered Attenborough’s pitcher-plant (Nephentis attenboroughii) that can be found only on the highest…explore
Palawan is known for its scenic views and rich biodiversity. The municipality of Narra is no exception from the riches that Palawan has.
Dubbed as the “Tiger Municipality of Palawan” due to its vast natural resources, and “The Rice Granary of Palawan” because it is the main producer of rice in the entire province; the municipality of Narra has become one of the most important municipalities in Palawan. It is located in the southern part of Palawan, 96 kilometers away from the city of Puerto Princesa. It belongs to the “Agri-Business and Eco-Adventure Tourism Investment Zone of Palawan” and serves as the zone’s center for agricultural, trading, commercial, and tourism activities.
In June 1969, Narra became a municipality through a bill sponsored by then Congressman, Ramon V. Mitra Jr. Besides spelling out the local name for the Pterocarpus indicus commonly known as the Narra tree – the national tree of the Philippines – the name of the municipality is an acronym for “National Resettlement Rehabilitation Administration”, a program that was established on June 1954 which resettled landless people from Luzon to Palawan.
Narra has a unique geological configuration that is suited for diverse economic activities. Its mountain ranges have rivers and streams that provide the needed irrigation to the plains where agricultural products are grown. Its mangroves ad seas serve as home to abundant marine resources, while its ground is rich with mineral deposits waiting to unearth. Its mountains, rivers and falls, islands and beaches, have piqued investors’ interest to engage to the tourism industry which made Narra more popular.
Rasa Island is an island covered by the jurisdiction of the municipality of Narra, it is home to the Katala which is also known as the Philippine Red–Vented Cockatoo. In the year 2006, Rasa Island has declared a Wildlife Sanctuary through Philippine Presidential Proclamation 1000 which brought fame to the municipality of Narra to be known as the “Philippine Cockatoo Capital of the World”. Rasa Island was also included as “One of the Top 13 Bird Watching Sites in the Philippines” by the Philippine Department of Tourism.
The world population of the Katala was estimated to range between 1,000 to 4,000 in 1994, however, in 2001, it was re-estimated and was found out that the population of the Katalas has dropped to about 870 to 2,300 due to poaching. About 70 to 75% of this population is believed to be found in Palawan which makes Rasa Island a high priority area for protection of this species.
Katalas are white in color with red under-tail coverts tipped white, yellowish under-tail and pail yellow underwings. It is 12 inches long and has 8.6 inches wingspan. It makes a bleating call and a screeching, whistling noise which is common to all cockatoos. However, it is less noisy as most cockatoos such as the umbrella cockatoo or Moluccan cockatoo.
Aside from the Katala, Rasa Island is also home to a variety of other species which are also considered globally as endangered. There are about 104 species of birds in Rasa which includes the Grey Imperial Pigeon and the Mantanani Scops Owl. The marine life in the surrounding sea around Rasa is also diverse, having at least three marine turtle species and dugong (sea cow) as recorded by the Katala Foundation.
Rasa Island serves as an ideal place for nature lovers, birdwatchers, and wildlife enthusiasts.
Arena Island is a paradise on a thriving coral reef which is home to a diverse marine life and to abundant resources. Tourists may opt to enjoy its pristine waters while snorkeling and diving. Its white sand beach entices guests and visitors to explore, swim and ‘hangout’ with the locals of the area – the pawikans (sea turtles). Various trees also grow on the island which makes it home to endemic birds.
The Arena Island has a conservation program that has already released 12, 000 turtle hatchlings of the green turtle and hawk’s bill turtle species since 2003 up to present. The purpose of the program is to promote conservation of the turtles and to protect the hatchlings from predators such as birds, reptiles, and human traders. The program is funded from the proceeds of the Arena Island Turtle Sanctuary Resort which are also situated on the island.
The Arena Island Resort is a resort in the secluded island pf Arena where one may indulge in the luxury of having their own private ‘casita’. Designed with ecotourism in mind, Arena Island contributes a green print through its commitment to preserving the Pawikans, the Philippines’ native sea turtles.
Visitors to the island may get the chance to release turtle hatchlings when there are any newborn turtles during their stay on the island.
Estrella Falls has become a favorite destination not only for tourists but to the locals as well. It has fresh cool waters cascading rapidly from Victoria Peak to its twin perennial falls at the mountain’s edge. The clear water flows down to three natural pools of varying depths. One has a depth that is just right for good swimmers, another has a medium depth that is safe for those who are average swimmers while the third one is an ideal pool for children.
Estrella falls won as the “Cleanest Inland Body of Water” in a national competition in the river category. Through the initiative of the Municipal Government of Narra, resort facilities such as cottages, huts, shades, restrooms, and provisions for grilling have been provided for the guests to use during their visit in the jaw-dropping waterfalls. From the South National Highway, it would take 6 kilometers from Barangay Malatgao to reach Estrella Falls, for commuters, Estrella Falls may be accessible by hiring a tricycle or a jeepney at the municipality’s Poblacion.
Rare species of flora such as orchids and ferns may be found in around the waterfalls which enhances the charm that the waterfalls already has. The cool climate in the area makes it conducive to wildlife habitat. The Estrella Falls is an ideal spot for ecotourism where one can enjoy and appreciate the wonder and beauty of nature.
Mt Victoria amazed biologists and scientists with the discovery of rare species of flora and fauna; its several peaks challenge even the most experienced mountain trekkers; the discovery of a rare specie of rat-eating pitcher plant, Nepenthes Attenboroughii, in 2007 made headlines around the world.
Narra’s Palay Festival
The municipality of Narra conducts an annual celebration called “Palay Festival”, formerly known as “Anihan (Reaping) Festival”, during either the middle or end week of the month of October.
Being “The Rice Granary of Palawan”, Narra conducts a celebration for their harvest of rice that is being utilized by the whole province. During this celebration, the local government of Narra conducts activities in the municipality where people from all over the area gather and enjoys the festivity.
Classic Narra Tour Options:
- Day Trip Estrella Falls: the most popular excursion in Narra. The fresh crystal clear water from the mountains and the surrounding green sceneries will make you feel close to nature.
- Mount Victoria: Go an adventure, and climb Mount Victoria. It’s home to rare species of pitcher plants recently discovered and known to grow only at the top of the peak. For explorers, this is the place for you.