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Baragatan Festival: A Guide to Puerto Princesa’s Lively Festivity

There is more to Palawan that its scenic islands, blue-green waters, and accommodating people. Every June, the province celebrates one of the most exciting colorful festivals in the country: the Baragatan Festival.

It happens annually, in the two weeks leading up to the province’s Foundation Day held on June 23.

Baragatan is a Cuyunon (dialect in Palawan) word that means to gather.

The festival aims to bring people together and to showcase what the province has to offer, from its delicious food to its charming tourist spots. Expect vibrant festival costumes with hues of bright red and orange.


Baragatan Festival float with dancers
Image Credit: Baragatan sa Palawan Festival 2018 / Facebook

How to Go to Baragatan Festival

If you’re coming from another province, you have to take a flight to Puerto Princesa.

From Manila, travel time takes about an hour and 15 minutes. The average travel time from Cebu and Davao, on the other hand, are 70 and 40 minutes, respectively.


Getting Around the City

Puerto Princesa City

Various modes of transportation are available in Puerto Princesa. One can simply take a jeepney, trike, bus, or taxi ride to get from one point to another. Heavy traffic is unusual unless there’s a heavy rain, which is rare as well.


What to Expect during the Festival

1. A Parade of Striking Floats

Baragatan Festival float
Image Credit: Baragatan sa Palawan Festival 2018 / Facebook

Don’t miss the chance to watch the parade of stunning floats with decor handcrafted by the locals. Each municipality creates a float using native materials their place is best known for.

Get ready to be amazed at the creativity of the locals, as they use natural materials such as tree branches, coconut shells, bamboo stalks, and woven leaves.

2. Street Dance Competition

Like other festivals, Baragatan Festival holds a street dance contest. The participants represent their municipalities through graceful dance moves and fancy chants.

Baragatan Festival dancers
Image Credit: Baragatan sa Palawan Festival 2018 / Facebook

3. Trade Fair

Discover more of what Palawan has to offer by going to the trade fair. Here, you can taste local delicacies and buy handcrafted accessories.

It aims to boost the local economy by offering the unique products of each area. This is also the perfect chance to get that pasalubong for your loved ones back home.

Trade Fair at Baragatan Festival
Image Credit: Baragatan sa Palawan Festival 2018 / Facebook >


Tips While Attending Baragatan Festival

  • Make sure that your camera is ready. Before leaving your hotel, check if your camera’s battery has enough juice for the day.
  • Any type of clothing is acceptable. For maximum comfort, wear shorts and sandals or slippers. Bring sunglasses, hats or caps, and an umbrella, as well.
  • You may get hungry during the festival, so bring some light snacks and a bottle of water to keep you full. There are plenty of food stalls in the city during the festival, anyway.
  • Try talking to the locals to hear interesting tales about the festival or the city.


Where to Eat

Puerto Princesa offers several dining options, but here are some of our top picks:

1. KaLui Restaurant

Address: 369 Rizal Avenue, Puerto Princesa

This dining place is one of the famous restaurants in the city. The Tubbataha Salad, the restaurant’s bestseller features tuna sashimi, mangoes, avocado, pomelo, cashew nuts, and sea grapes. Customers may also order gluten-free meals along with vegetarian options.

2. Kinabuch Grill & Bar

Address:  369 Rizal Avenue, Puerto Princesa

This restaurant is best known for its crocodile meat, sisig, and crispy pata. Meat lovers should dine here to have a taste of their juicy selections of food seasoned with the restaurant’s secret ingredients and specially-made sauces. If you’re into exotic food, this is the place to be.

3. Ka Inato

Address:  National Highway, Brgy. San Jose, Puerto Princesa

Serving local delicacies and favorites, Ka Inato is a must-visit restaurant with a wonderful ambiance that draws guests in. It also serves Asian dishes at really affordable prices.

Must-try specialties include chicken inato and binusog na pusit. The restaurant is easy to locate; hungry guests won’t find it difficult to go here.


Other Things to Do

Make the most out of your Puerto Princesa trip by visiting these nearby attractions.

1. Visit Honda Bay

Honda Bay Palawan

Head over to Honda Bay and check out the colorful coral reefs, hop from one island to another, and go snorkelling.

2. Go to Underground River

Underground River

Definitely a should-not-miss destination in Palawan, the Underground River is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can appreciate its beauty, regardless of the season. However, it’s usually booked during summer.

Get ready to be amazed by various formations of stalactites and stalagmites inside the cave. After visiting the place, you may try a nearby extreme zip line adventure that lasts for 90 seconds.

3. Enjoy a city tour

Puerto Princesa city baywalk

Puerto Princesa is abundant in terms of tourist spots and sites. Make sure to visit the following:

  • Crocodile Farm: It’s like a zoo for crocodiles and other reptiles. Here, you can order tasty croc meat.
  • Butterfly Eco-Garden: Visit the place for its environmental and cultural experience. Butterflies are everywhere, of course.
  • Baker’s Hill: It is a theme park that used to be a, well, bakery. It also has picture-perfect spots great for your Instagram feed.
  • Mitra Ranch: If you’re into exhilarating views of nature, this is for you. It offers a beautiful view of treetops and the sea.

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