There are many places in Puerto Princesa that we have yet to visit or experience, one of which is the Simpokan Mother Tree, an old giant Ipil tree located in Purok Pagkakaisa, Sitio Bualbualan, in Brgy. Simpokan.
To see this 80-foot-tall tree in Simpokan (also spelled Simpocan), one of the villages in the city that is growing in popularity among locals, it takes about an hour to travel to the west coast, according to City Tourism Department (CTD) senior operations officer and promotions marketing chief Michie Meneses.
“Kinakailangang dumaan ka sa kanilang information center na katabi ng Bual-Bualan Elementary School dahil ia-assist ka patungo sa kanilang parking area na may 15 minuto ang layo,” she said.
“May taas ito na 80 feet, o katumbas ng pitong palapag na building,” she added.
A short, raised walkway is installed above the exotic tree’s enormous roots to provide a safe area for viewing and bring visitors closer to its natural beauty, she explained.
The landscape design also aims to produce a nice location on the surface of the Simpokan Mother Tree for other activities, like photo shoots and simply relaxing to watch birds.
Meneses said it is being managed by the Simpokan Ecological Adventure Community Association (SEACA), a community-based sustainable tourism (CBST) site organization.
The management of the establishment advises guests to bring their own food and to take their trash with them when they leave. The entrance fee to explore the location is P30.
“Kung ikaw ay nature lover, talagang mag-e-enjoy ka dito. Ang mga puno na ganito hindi lamang nagsisilbing proteksyon natin, kundi isa ring atraksyon na maaari pagkunan ng kabuhayan kaya nararapat lamang na sila rin ay ating proteksyonan at alagaan,” she said.