18 February, 2009

Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour - Palawan

After nearly thirty (30) minutes of walking while sightseeing in Sabang, we finally arrived at our destination: The Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour. We registered ourselves and then headed out to where the boats were. Of course, while waiting for Kuya to prepare the boat, I snapped some pics.

Below are the reminders for this tour.

As the boat glided through murky waters (it just rained so the water was kind of brownish in color but we were told that when the weather is fine, the color is kind of green), our guide, Kuya Untoy Delfin Morillo started explaining why mangroves are important to our ecosystem.

From snippets of his explanation that I heard (as I was too busy taking pictures), mangroves are vital to our ecosystem since they are a natural protection against soil erosion. They also support unique ecosystems as barnacles, oysters, shrimps and some species of fish thrive on mangals (mangrove habitat).

He also said that in this area, there are three (3) kinds of mangroves to be seen. The most common are these ones:

There’s a type too that looks like a tree. He added that mangrove types can be determined through their leaves ( if it is pointed or broad).

I wasn’t able to get a picture of the 3rd type as Kuya Untoy said it could be found deep into the forest and we could not go there without leaving the boat.

Kuya also pointed this area out, saying it was the location of ABS-CBN’s Pinoy Big Brother Teen Edition Season 2 shot for a challenge for housemates where they have to get some talaba (oysters).

Reaching the end of the tour, we requested if we could find a tamilok (wood worm or rather, mollusk found on decaying mangroves). I first heard of tamilok in The Correspondents so I was curious as it was regarded as a delicacy. People who had a taste of it said it tasted like oysters. Kuya Untoy and his companion (the guide for the other boat as we were in two batches) were nice enough to accommodate our request.

looking for the elusive Tamilok

Below is a picture of the tamilok. It’s kind of unclear but Kuya Untoy promised to coax it out of the wood when we arrive in the cottage.

As we were on our way back to the cottage, Kuya Untoy also sang a song for us which they said they do in each of their tour. It was a good presentation. Too bad I wasn’t able to get a video of it. I got pics of him though.

Then it suddenly rained. Good thing we have umbrellas with us. It was nice though hearing the sound of falling rain and seeing its droplets touch the areas around us.

Back at the cottage, Kuya Untoy did coax the tamilok out of its wood. It looked anything but edible that I wondered how people could eat it. I wondered too how it looked blackish-brown when what was featured on TV looked kind of greenish. Kuya explained that it’s because those had been already cleaned.

The culmination of the Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour was supposed to be a mangrove-planting activity but since it rained, Kuya said that we could skip it. Too bad.

All in all, it was an enjoyable trip, made even more enjoyable and educational by Kuya Untoy who was such an excellent guide and was very passionate about his job of taking care of Sabang's mangrove forest.


  1. Wow, you always take the best pictures of your tours. That wrm thing looks disgusting by the way, lol. oh and your tour guide looks like my grandfather! lol. people always confuse me for being filipino, do I look filipino? is that true? lol well anyway, take care.

  2. Hey J,
    I credit my trusty Canon digicam for the quality of my photos.

    And yeah, tamilok looks gross. I actually can't figure out why some can actually eat it.

    Hmm, I guess some of us look Hispanic as we have Spanish ancestors. With your dark hair, I guess I can see why people mistook you of being Filipino.

    Take care too.

  3. hello! May I know how long did it take you to complete the mangrove paddle boat tour? thanks!

  4. It took us about 45 minutes to an hour to cruise the swamp (that's two-way already). However, the trek from Sabang Beach to the Paddle Boat Tour site itself will take one at least twenty to thirty minutes per way.