Tag Archives: puerto princesa

Here Comes the Rain…

28 Apr

View from the Puerto Princesa Underground River, Palawan, Philippines: jagged rock and turquoise water.

Not, actually, a waterfall. Just the rain beginning....

Maybe it’s El Nino. Maybe it’s climate change. Maybe we’ve brought the English summer with us. But it feels like the rains have come early this year. And Z is overjoyed.

We walked to the Puerto Princesa underground river yesterday — supposedly the world’s longest navigable river — under heavy skies and dripping leaves. And as we emerged from the darkness of the cathedral cave into the green of the coastal forest where the river meets the sea, the rain fell in great sheets, ruffling the waters and throwing up spray. It felt, for a moment, as if we were paddling out into a waterfall.

There was a thunderstorm last night. There is a thunderstorm now, with bugs sheltering from the raindrops and flooding the lights, the grass a vivid green, the streams swelling already, gouts of water pouring from the nipa thatch, and a blessed coolness in the air. There will be thunderstorms tomorrow, the day after, and the day after that.

Three days ago, this was the view from our beach hut. Continue reading

Calamansi Butter

22 Apr

Cut and uncut calamansi fruit on chopping board

Good things come in small packages

So these little fellas are calamansi, Filipino style, tiny, spherical citrus fruit which experts believe originated as a cross between a mandarin and a lime. They are, along with ube (purple yam), probably one of the defining flavours of the Philippines.

What makes the Filipino calamansi (or kalamansi) so fantastic is the absence of bitterness. They have a tang even more sour than a lime, but without the bitterness, so the hit is like essence of citrus. You can mix them with soy and chilli for a dipping sauce, or sprinkle them on just about anything to cut sweetness, salt or fat.

But today, after a trip to the market in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, we ripped off a recipe from Theo at the Tabon Village Resort down south, and used them for the ultimate “lemon”-butter sauce.

I went a little stir-crazy at the market, in fact. Continue reading

Butterflies and Mimosa

22 Apr

Young tropical butterfly perched in garden

Only a day old, and under a fortnight to live

I’ve always been a fan of provincial museums. Which probably comes from growing up in an era when the Thomas the Tank Engine road show meant one man, a trainset, some photos and some index cards, hammered out on the kind of manual typewriter which takes the circle out of the O, rather than today’s arena-packing multimedia extravaganza at thirty quid plus per head.

And, since he got to see T-Rex footprints being cast and hold real meteorites and dinosaur bones, at the Dinosaur Museum in Savannakhet, Laos, Z’s a convert too. So, naturally, we loved the butterfly garden in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Continue reading