In observance of its 52nd “Araw ng Taraw,” or Day of the Karst, the management of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP) refrained from the customary celebrations.
Park manager Elizabeth Maclang told Palawan News that they have chosen to stick to what truly matters.
“Nagdaan ang pandemya, dumaan ang bagyong Odette, naging learning experience natin ito to stick to what truly matters. Hindi man ganun kalaki o kabongga, ang mahalaga, magkakasama tayo at patuloy na nagpapasalamat sa biyaya ng PPUR,” she said.
Earlier, Maclang received flak due to some of the facilities in the park. She reported that this has been dealt with as originally planned.
“Kagaya ng sinabi ko noon, hindi naman kami nagbibingi-bingihan. Kagaya nyang docking area. Maalon noon kaya hindi nailagay. Ngayong kalmado na ang dagat, andyan na areglado. Lahat ng concerns ay ginagawan naman ng paraan. Konting pasensya at panahon lang,” she said.
The celebration of the Araw ng Taraw started with a thanksgiving mass held at St. Joseph Marello Church. A tradition for the PPSRNP management and its stakeholders.
A mudball run and coast and forest clean-up were held in lieu of the festive community parade.
“Hindi mawawala yung pagpapasalamat sa Diyos unang una. Lagi naman nating ginagawa yan sa lahat ng event ng PPUR. Yung mudball run at clean-up, pagpapasalamat naman natin yan sa kalikasan. Kung wala ang kalikasan, wala tayong hanapbuhay,” Maclang emphasized.
An exhibit was also held to teach tourists and locals about the park’s history and features.
Other tourists liked watching a basketball game between uniformed personnel who were stationed in the area and people who worked in tourism. The community members rekindled their childhoods through the Palarong Pinoy.
Later in the evening, the children were treated to a movie screening and free popcorn as they celebrated Earth Hour.
This Sunday, about 1,000 trees will be planted to help rebuild the forest that Typhoon Odette stripped of its trees. This is in partnership with the Western Command.
The PPSRNP was established as a protected area on March 26, 1971, by virtue of Presidential Proclamation 839, signed by former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr.