At the start of this month, June 2007, Google updated their satellite imagery data for Google Earth. In my main blog, I talked about this update and found that the only spot in the Philippines that used to not have high-resolution imagery but now has, is Puerto Princesa City’s Honda Bay in Palawan. Last week, the same imagery was added to Google Maps.
This means that we can now see Dos Palmas Resort, Puerto Princesa’s crown jewel resort occupying the northern portion of Arreceffi Island in Honda Bay. Dos Palmas is famous for their Bay Cottages that stand on stilts on the blue water. You can see the cottages in the photo below and they are quite easily seen in Google Maps as a cluster of white houses just off the northern tip of the island. If you’re not particularly keen on sleeping practically over the sea, there are normal land-based cottages scattered elsewhere. See their official website to learn more.
Promotional photo from Dos Palmas.
Dos Palmas is only about a 3-hour travel away from Manila (1 1/4 hour flight to Puerto Princesa, 30-minute van drive to the wharf, then about an hour boat ride to the island). Like other island and beach resorts, there’s plenty of water activities to be done here, like windsurfing, jetskiing, and scuba diving. An interesting staple activity in Dos Palmas is to go kayaking around the island.
Dos Palmas is also notoriously known for being the site where Abu Sayyaf kidnapped 20 people a little more than 6 years ago on May 28, 2001. Among the hostages were the American missionary couple Martin and Gracia Burnham. The couple were held captive in Basilan, hundreds of kilometers to the southeast in Mindano, for a little more than a year. A rescue mission by government troops on June 7, 2002 led to the freedom if Gracia, but Martin was killed in the process along with Deborah Yap, a Filipina nurse.
Other interesting events in Dos Palmas? This is where popular young actor Rico Yan died of “pancreatitis” on March 29, 2002. Dos Palmas is also a usual location of the swimsuit competition of the Miss Earth pageant.