I’ve just arrived in Singapore from a 3-week trip to Palawan, one of the larger islands in the southwestern Philippines. You can imagine the sights as something like this: Beautiful, deserted beaches with clear water, rice fields and impenetrable jungle:
You will find unique and expansive eco-systems, e.g. huge mangrove forests or the Underground River, a UNESCO world heritage site in the form of a long river flowing through a dripstone cave, home to approximately 40,000 bats.
While Palawan is definitely a place to approach with a backpacker mentality – expect bumpy, curvy roads, small villages with electricity only in the evening hours, and a hot shower only in the most up-market places – the tourism sector is a big communal employer (despite the rather small number of guests) and tightly controlled by the government, so prices and service are in general good and rip-offs rare. Put differently, it is very easy and rewarding to travel there.
It feels like a small paradise at the end of the world.