Seven reasons why I miss Coron Palawan:
1. Calauit Island is a 3,700 hectare island in the Calamian island chain that lies off the coast of Palawan in the Mimaropa region in the Philippines. It is known for its wildlife sanctuary with a substantial population of African animals, including giraffes, zebras, and antelopes, as well as local fauna that all roam freely in a game reserve created by former president Ferdinand Marcos in the 1970s.
2. The Zebra’s Stripes
If you wear a zebra-print outfit in a crowd, it nearly guarantees that someone will easily spot you. In the jungle, however, a zebra’s stripes actually work as a camouflage to deter its main predators: lions and hyenas. Since the animals herd together, experts believe that the mass of stripes can confuse the predators by acting as an optical illusion that blends their figures together. Consequently, a group of 10 zebras may look like a giant striped blob that a lion wouldn’t want to take on solo.
3. The Long Neck of Giraffe
It is difficult to believe that an animal like the Giraffe, with its long, spindly legs and a gigantic neck, would be able to stand, let alone run. But you have to see them to realise that they are amongst the most graceful in the animal kingdom.
Found only in Africa, they were fairly common throughout the dry Savannah regions of the Sahara Desert until recently, but now are no longer seen in most of the Western parts of Africa as well as in the Kalahari Desert.
4. Palawan Bear Cat
The Binturong (Arctictis binturong), also known as the Asian Bearcat, the Palawan Bearcat, or simply the Bearcat, is a species of the family Viverridae, which includes the civets and genets. It is the only member of its genus. The binturong is not a bear, and the real meaning of the original name has been lost, as the local language that gave it that name is now extinct. Its natural habitat is in trees of forest canopy in rainforest of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam
South of Palawan, lies the Balabac Island, home of the world’s smallest hoofed mammal – the Philippine mouse deer. Locally known as Pilandok (Tragalus nigricans), this ruminant stands only about 40 centimeters at the shoulder level.In other countries, it is called chevrotain, or simply mouse deer. It is among the endemic, yet threatened species in Palawan, which also serves as a sanctuary to the Palawan eagle, the scaly anteater, giant turtles, Palawan peacock pheasant, Palawan bearcat, and the Tabon bird.Pilandok belongs to the family Tragulidae in the mammalian order Artiodactyla. Contrary to its name, pilandok is not a member of the deer family.
The male species has no antlers like those of a real deer. Instead, it uses its large tusk-like canine teeth on its upper jaw for self-defense; in the same way a deer uses its antlers.It has rabbit-like body and an arched back that is covered by brown fur, with a white base. A dark line runs from each ear past the eye toward the nose. Its slender legs, about the size of a pencil, end in small feet. Its most distinct feature is its tapered pig-like snout.
Pilandok is a solitary nocturnal animal that hunts for food at night, feeding mainly on leaves, fruits, flowers, twigs, shrubs and other vegetation in the dense forest or near mangrove swamps. During the day, it stays in the forest and avoids movement, sometimes resting in the branches of low trees. Extremely territorial by nature, both sexes of larger Malay mouse deer regularly mark their territories with urine, feces, and secretions from an intermandibular gland under the chin.Aside from the Pilandok, other mouse deer species include the smaller Malay mouse deer, or napu, the larger Malay mouse deer, and the African water chevrotain.
They are found in Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka, and India. While the mouse deer are widely distributed across Asia, their dwindling population has alarmed the World Conservation Union, which declared them as endangered in 1996.In the Philippines, efforts are being made to protect the remaining population of Pilandok. Several pairs of these ruminants were in fact shipped to the nearby Calauit Island, so that they could start propagating. We can only hope for the continued existence of this exotic animal.
6. Kilyawan or Black-naped Oriole
Black-naped Oriole is a medium-sized yellow and black bird. The male is bright yellow except for a broad black stripe through the eye, widening into a broader black band around the nape and hind crown, and black-and-yellow wings and tail. The female and subadult male are similar but the mantle is yellow-olive; the immature is yellowish-green above and cream with black streaks below. The oriole inhabits lowland open forests and plantations, living in pairs or family parties. It usually stays high in large trees, but will descend lower in search of insects and berries for food.
The diffusus subspecies of Black-naped Oriole is locally common in lowlands up to 1600 m in South-East Asia, India, the Philippines, Indonesia, and eastern China. In the 19th Century, it was also common in Taiwan, but has become rare and endangered due to habitat loss, and capture for the cage bird trade.
7. Stunning Beach
Coron, a town in the BusuangaIsland in Northern Palawan, can charm many people. The entire island and associated offshore waters have been designated as Ancestral Domain. Its natural beauty can only be described as seductive, giving first-time visitor.