Palawan Chronicles I: Baywalk Christmas Tree Madness
Heavy traffic of people, tricycles, jeepneys! All are headed in one direction. This is the very first time I experienced this madness. It is as if all of the city’s population went outside and went to baybay or baywalk to witness the lighting of the tallest Christmas Tree in the Philippines.
It took me more than 30 minutes to finally board a tricycle going to the same direction. All modes of transportations are packed with people, literally. I really don’t know why I’m headed to the same direction, ohhh, yes, I was invited by Palawan CouchSurfing group to just hang around (Renwick, Paulo & Mickey, nice to meet you guys). But it never came to mind that the place we are headed to will be filled with throngs and throngs of people. I said to myself, “is this over-population in Philippines’ cleanest city, Puerto Princesa?” I hope not.
The experience was surely Filipino – traffic was like that of Manila (just replace the people with jeepneys), the hunger for a Guinness-book-of-world-records type of feats and a thirst for the superlative. I think we Filipinos are eager to show the world longest longganisa, the biggest empanada, the greatest boxer, the sweetest mango, the smallest primate, and so on and so forth. Now we are facing another superlative- the most corrupt country in Asia, what’s next? the world? So much for that, I just remembered one of the events shared in the book “Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom, when everyone cheers “We are number one! We are number one!” to the basketball team, Morrie rises up and yells, “What’s wrong with being number two?”
But then again, this is the tallest Christmas tree in the Philippines standing 150 feet tall and every Palaweños are excited to see the lighting of it for the first time. The madness continues as we find our way to the site. Would you believe that it took us another 30 minutes to walk less than a hundred meter of road? Unbelievable but true! Only in the Philippines! And yes we also have the longest celebration of Christmas! The season starts in the first day of September until the last day of December.
Here’s the video I recorded during the madness:
Please forgive if there are some wrong grammars used, its my first time on Youtube! hahaha
Want to experience unbelievable heavy traffic? And the longest Christmas celebration? Come over to the Philippines! We have all the superlatives you can think of (take a peek)!
Next on the list is a simple walking tour of the city. Its kinda different because Puerto Princesa is a green city. You don’t see trash on the streets.
My Tweets: Walking with the mob towards baybay to witness the lighting of the biggest xmas tree. Wow Palawan!
Throngs and throngs of people are gathered here in Baybay for a mini-xmas concert. fireworks just ended and the atmosphere is celebration, fiesta!
Money spent: Php 17.00 – Tricycle fare back and forth. Price of seeing the Biggest Christmas tree? Free! ( I have to put it here for your reference. I guarantee you, reading JourneyingJames.com would help you “spend less while you travel more” or your cup of coffee on me.)
The Palawan Chronicles is a 6-part series of unforgettable moments I experienced during my 7-day escapade (December 2010) in Palawan. Some sights have become familiar and common because I stayed in Puerto Princesa City for almost a year but most are seen with fresh insight- rediscovering the beauty of simple life.
Join the adventure and let’s walk among throngs and throngs of Palawenos in Baybay (Baywalk), tour some city spots, survive a 2-day island challenge; visit a vanishing Batac tribe and taste French and Vietnamese influence in this beautiful island paradise. I will also add how much I spent to guide you should you plan to do a Palawan escapade.
Baywalk Christmas Tree Madness / Puerto Princesa City Tour / Solo Beach Camping in El Nido (Part 1) /Solo Beach Camping in El Nido (Part 2) / A Visit to the Vanishing Tribe of Batak / Perfect Match- French Bread & Vietnamese Noodles