Puerto de Sta. Isabel in Palawan - Philippines
Puerto de Sta. Isabel is found in Taytay, Palawan, the former capital of this island. When the Americans arrived, the seat of government was transferred from Taytay to Puerto Princesa but because it was at one point the center of commerce in this island, it became the 1st class municipality that we know today. Taytay is in northernmost Palawan and to get there from Puerto Princesa City, one can travel by land via the public transportation and the ride should take about 6 hours.
What to See There
Puerto de Sta. Isabel is a fort that was built on top of a rock right next to the sea. The shape of Puerto de Sta. Isabel itself is a wonder because it looks like a misshaped quadrilateral with some ground structures that nobody is really sure what exactly theyre meant to be. There used to be right in the middle of Puerto de Sta. Isabel a chapel but what one will see now is what is left of it. Amazingly, the Puerto de Sta. Isabel can accommodate up to 700 people and a walk around inside the premises would already give one a whole new experience in terms of architecture and history.
Aside from Puerto de Sta. Isabel, there are also many things to see in Taytay. The beaches are a given but there are also many lagoons and falls with limestone caves in the background that one can take a dip in. Trekking and hiking are also some of the activities that can be done while in Taytay because of the lush forests in the area.
The very beginnings of Puerto de Sta. Isabel can be traced back to 1626 when the Augustinian friars built this fort. However, the manner in which it was built proved that the fort was not resilient enough to withstand time and the Governor General had to rebuild it on account of Taytays proximity to Borneo and the constant arrival of merchant ships at the port. Puerto de Sta. Isabel was fortified in 1725 as per request of the mayor to serve as protection from the merchant ships that arrive all the time.
To enter Puerto de Sta. Isabel, the visitor needs to pay an entrance fee of about Php 500 per adult. Children between 4 years of age and 12 are admitted for half the price. Most hotels include a visit to Puerto de Sta. Isabel in their tours so its a good idea to double check the itinerary of ones hotel prior to making the adventure on ones own.