Balabac, 2nd class municipality in the province of Palawan, Philippines. Balabac is known of Malaysian brands industry and some people are speaking Malay language.
The municipality consists of some 36 islands, the major island Balabac Island (07°57′N 117°01′E), Bugsuk (08°15′N 117°18′E), Bancalan (08°15′N 117°06′E), Mantangule (08°10′N 117°10′E), Pandanan (08°17′N 117°13′E), Ramos (08°06′N 117°02′E). The islands are notable for its uncommon indigenous plant and animal species, such as the nocturnal Philippine mouse-deer (or Pilandok). The islands are also home to dugongs, saltwater crocodiles, sawfishes, and sea turtles. Due to its biodiversity, the terrestrial and marine ecosystems of the Balabac archipelago are currently being pushed by scholars to be included in the tentative list of the Philippines for a possible UNESCO World Heritage Site nomination in the future.
Balabac – the southernmost municipality of Palawan, Its pristine and virgin is naturally protected by its distance from the portal of entry in Palawan, Puerto Princesa City. Tor reach this island you need to endure a long land and sea travel.
How to Get Balabac Palawan Travel Destination
By Air to Balabac has two airstrips, one in Bugsuk Island and one in Candaraman Island. Both can accommodate small aircrafts but no commercial airline. A new airport in the main island of Balabac is planned under Public-Private Partnership program of the government.
By Land and Sea to Balabac Rio Tuba in the town of Bataraza is the gateway to Balabac Islands. A daily boat departs at around noon from Rio Tuba Port to mainland Balabac, travel time is approximately four (4) hours. Take note that there is no fix schedule of boat departure as it depends on sea condition and passenger.
Rio Tuba is accessible by land from Puerto Princesa City. Buses and vans regularly depart from San Jose Terminal of Puerto Princesa to Rio Tuba starting at 4AM up to 9PM daily, travel time is approximately five (5) to six (6) hours.
If from manila to Puerto Princesa City via Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air and Zest Air; from Cebu, Iloilo and Davao via Cebu Pacific Air; from Busuanga (Coron) via Philippine Airlines; and from Kota Kinabalu via MAS Wings. By ferry, 2Go Travel serves Manila to Puerto Princesa via Coron once a week. While, Montenegro Shipping Lines and Milagrosa Shipping Lines have regular trips to Puerto Princesa from Iloilo via Cuyo.
From San Jose Terminal in Puerto Princesa, take a van or bus to the mining village of Rio Tuba in Bataraza, the usual for island-hopping tours.
Where to Stay
There are lodging houses available at the Poblacion, Sebaring, and Bugsuk Island. Onuk Island also offers accommodation on stilt cottages.
Aside from the private resort on Onuk Island (Roughton), the other accommodations on the smaller islands of Balabac are very basic beach camps, particularly on Punta Sebaring, on the southern end of Bugsuk Island, and along the northwest coast of Candaraman Island. At Punta Sebaring, a limited number of pillows, mattresses and mosquito nets may be rented out from the caretaker, while Candaraman has a few rooms in a dilapidated wooden house.
NOTE Travel Warnings Due to Balabac’s proximity to rebel strongholds in the Sulu Archipelago, kidnappings and bombings perpetrated by separatist groups (and/or political opponents) the best way contact local guides beforehand to assess the current situation before embarking on a trip.