Famed for the unrivalled beauty of its sparkling emerald waters, white-sand beaches, mystical lagoons and divine underwater splendor, the island province of Palawan is, without a doubt, heaven on earth not just for Filipino tourists but also for backpackers and jetsetters around the world. Establishing its name in both local and global markets, Palawan can provide a wealth of investment opportunities, so invest in Palawan today!
Best Island in the World 2020
No wonder the unspoiled jewel tucked between the islands of Mindoro and Borneo caught the eye of prestigious international travel publications. After ruling the readers’ votes for the fourth time, Palawan was recognized as the “Best Island in the World” in 2020 by New York-based magazine Travel + Leisure. It bested other world-class tourist destinations like Páros and Mílos (Greece), Koh Lanta (Thailand), Sicily (Italy), Maui (Hawaii) and Bali (Indonesia).
Moreover, this tropical paradise made it to the honor roll of the world’s best islands by Condé Nast Traveler for its 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards, ranking fourth in the Asia category. The renowned luxury and lifestyle magazine also featured El Nido as part of its “25 Best Island Beaches in the World” list for its 33rd annual survey last year.
So aside from being a favorite holiday getaway among local and foreign travelers, this breathtaking archipelago of more than 1,700 islands in the western part of the Philippines can be the site of your next real estate investment or business venture. You can never go wrong with its idyllic location and booming tourism industry, which you can maximize to efficiently increase return on investment and profitability.
For example, you may opt to invest in an affordable condo in Palawan and rent out your property to generate passive income while you work on your full-time job or passion project.
Still having second thoughts? Let’s go through some of the reasons why you should consider to invest in Palawan:
3 Great Reasons to Invest in Palawan
1. Palawan’s Tourist Spots are Out-Of-This-World
It’s impossible not to get enchanted by the heavenly sceneries of Palawan. This island province in Mimaropa region is blessed with natural landscapes and seascapes waiting to be explored.
Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
Puerto Princesa City is the home of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park or the Underground River, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This 8-kilometer long tourist spot that showcases limestone karsts, diverse species and tropical rainforest is one of the world’s longest underground rivers and was also named as one of the “New 7 Wonders of Nature.”
While in the capital, there are other attractions worth-visiting like the Honda Bay where you can sunbathe, swim and snorkel in the azure waters of Starfish Island, Cowrie Island and Luli Island. A cruise to Iwahig River is also recommended for a magical firefly-watching experience. Or you can take a refreshing dip at the Estrella Falls, which was given a regional distinction of being the cleanest inland body of water in 2002. Spelunking and ziplining in Ugong Rock is also a must-do for adrenaline-junkies.
Suggested Read: Palawan Named One of ‘2021 Best Islands in the World’
Puerto Princesa is also the gateway to El Nido and Coron. El Nido is the perfect base location for those who wish to discover the mesmerizing gems of Bacuit Archipelago with its stunning lagoons, limestone cliffs, rock formations, coves and secluded beaches. Island-hopping tours will take you to the turquoise waters of Miniloc Island where you will fall in love with the Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon and Secret Lagoon. Discover the untouched beauty of Secret Beach and Hidden Beach in Matinloc Island. Sip you fresh coconut juice while chilling in the white sand beach dotted by pine trees in Seven Commandos.
Surfers have their own haven 45 minutes away from El Nido’s town proper in a secret spot called Duli Beach, a laid-back place where you can relax and ride the board with friendly locals. Cap the day with El Nido’s dramatically romantic sunsets. Some of the best places where one can enjoy the magical golden hour are Las Cabanas, Lio, Nacpan and Corong-Corong Beach.
Meanwhile, Coron’s allure is found in the unparalleled beauty of its underwater world. Since Coron is a well-known snorkelling and scuba diving site, expect to witness its colorful aquatic life, amazing coral reefs and lovely sea creatures. Don’t dare to miss the vibrant marine biodiversity of places like the Barracuda Lake, Siete Pecados and Lusong Coral Garden.For history buffs and wreck divers, exploring the World War II Japanese shipwrecks like the Okikawa Maru, Irako Maru and Akitsushima Maru in Coron Bay will be an excursion to remember.
Kayangan Lake, Twin Lagoon and Banul Beach are also popular destinations for nature-lovers because of their pristine charm and fantastic backdrop. For tourists who miss hiking, climbing more than 700 steps to the top of Mt. Tapyas is a famous activity in Coron after spending the whole day beach-bumming and satisfying one’s seafood cravings. After the trek, replenish your energy by taking a relaxing dip at the Maquinit Hot Springs.
Suggested Read: Why You Need to Visit the Philippines After Pandemic
Indeed, these magnificent places have the capacity to attract tourists all over the globe to come and visit the “Best Island in the World.” According to a report by the Philippine Information Agency, Department of Tourism-Mimaropa regional director Danilo Intong presented data showing Palawan’s tourist arrivals in 2019 that reached a whopping 1,917,461 to make it the most visited province in the region.
Although the tourism industry across the world took a massive hit since last year because of COVID-19, hope springs eternal for the province, which is slowly opening its doors to visitors once again with the gradual easing of quarantine restrictions.
Philippines: Rising Star in Travel
Last year, the Philippines was named by Forbes as one of the “rising stars in travel” that is expected to become a tourism hotspot in the post-pandemic era, along with Ethiopia, Iran, Myanmar, Georgia, Slovenia and Tunisia. Together with Boracay, Palawan was also cited by writer Jared Ranahan in the article as an island getaway that features white sand beaches and rich flora and fauna species.
2. Business, Commerce and Other Industries are Thriving
According to data from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Palawan exports marine products, pearls, Malampaya condensate, nickel ore and mixed sulfide to countries like Japan, Australia, Thailand, Singapore, China and Taiwan. Some of the island’s major industries include fisheries, nickel mining, pearl culture, seaweeds farming, food processing, furniture making and agriculture. Banana, cassava, coconut, rice, cashew, mango, peanut and palm oil are part of the main agricultural products of Palawan, based on DTI’s records.
Aside from agriculture, which is considered as the backbone of Palawan’s economy, its fast-growing tourism sector plays a big role in the island province’s economic growth. Luxury and budget-friendly hotels, resorts, hostels, inns, pension houses, condominiums and apartelles have surged to accommodate the growing number of travelers, expats and businessmen in Palawan. When you invest in Palawan, you also grow your money’s worth in a paradise!
Plenty of restaurants, bars, spas, recreational facilities, tour destinations, dives and travel services have also flourished to cater to the needs of tourists and provide livelihood to the residents. This is especially seen in Puerto Princesa City, El Nido, Coron, Busuanga and Taytay.
Through the years, tourism-related establishments in Palawan are on the rise. If you’re searching for a one-stop shop where you can taste farm-to-table organic produce, shop for souvenirs, handicrafts and snorkeling equipment, as well as listen to live music at night, check out El Nido Boutique & Art Café. How about having a magical sunset yoga session in a serene hillside boutique glamping hotel? Hike up to The Birdhouse in Maremegmeg Beach, El Nido and stay for dinner in its in-house restaurant, The Nesting Table where you can sip your coffee and savor your meal with a spectacular view!
Meanwhile, pizza-lovers will find their piece of paradise in Trattoria Altrove in Coron, which is highly recommended for those who are looking for an authentic Italian food like antipasti, pasta and gelato. What’s not to love in a delicious brick-oven style pizza with a glass of red wine? For those who are searching for a chill nightlife with a bit of a Bob Marley vibe, grab your beers and cocktails at Tribu Kuridas Bar and Tattoo in Coron and listen to live reggae music, jam with the band and meet your fellow backpackers.
Art lovers will enjoy the warm and creative ambience of KaLui Restaurant, a tourist favorite diner in Puerto Princesa that is adorned by lovely local artworks. Delectable seafood cuisines are their signature dishes and the menu is based on their fresh catch of the day. For those who need their burger, fries and milkshake fix, visit NomNom Comfort Food, a kid-friendly café with a fun, millennial atmosphere. Here you can also play board games with your friends and enjoy a virtual reality experience!
Countless business opportunities await investors in this island paradise especially in its capital, where economic activities are concentrated. Puerto Princesa City, located in the midsection of the province, is more than just a jump-off point to popular tourist destinations El Nido and Coron. This highly-urbanized city with strong investment potential is also Palawan’s center of trade and commerce, education, communication and public administration.
As of 2015, Puerto Princesa has 8,597 business establishments. As the financial center of Palawan, it has 38 banks, 42 pawnshops, 38 insurance firms, 42 money changers and 66 lending investors or financing firms. For sports enthusiasts, the city is also the home of Puerto Princesa City Coliseum, which has a 6,500 seating capacity for sporting events and a maximum of 10,000 seats for conventions and conferences.
Palawan’s capital city also sees the potential to invest in renewable energy generation as well as information and communications technology facilities like call centers and business processing outsourcing, apart from its main industries like tourism, agriculture, fishery and forestry. Fiscal and non-fiscal incentives are also being offered by the local government of Puerto Princesa to investors in preferred investment areas.
Puerto Princesa was recognized as one of the model cities in the Philippines when it comes to cleanliness, environmental protection and conservation and local governance. It was also hailed as the first “carbon-neutral” city in the country and in Southeast Asia. The city also earned a hall of fame award as the “Cleanest and Greenest City in the Philippines” in 1996 along with other distinctions.
3. It has a Prime Location, Rich Natural Resources, and Good Infrastructure
The island province of Palawan can be reached via daily commercial airlines and is easily accessible from metropolitan cities like Manila and Cebu. The most common entry point is Puerto Princesa City with around an hour and 20 minutes travel time from Manila. Aside from several domestic flights, its new international airport also links Palawan to the world by offering direct flights to South Korea, Taiwan and mainland China. Its seaport is also being developed for better accessibility and transport.
There are also flights going to El Nido (through Lio Airport), Coron (through Francisco B. Reyes or Busuanga Airport) and San Vicente. Ferry rides and cargo ships from Manila and Iloilo going to Puerto Princesa are also available. Other transportation modes around the city include car rentals, taxis, tricycles and multicabs. Meanwhile, jeepneys, air conditioned shuttle vans and buses are used to move between the city and other municipalities. Dubbed as the Philippines’ cruise capital, Puerto Princesa City also has more luxury ships docking at its port.
Puerto Princesa is also strategically located within the growth corridor of the BIMP East ASEAN Growth Area, an initiative created by Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines to attain inclusive development in remote and less developed areas of the four countries. Through better connectivity and improved flow of goods and services, it aims to bolster trade, tourism and investments by capitalizing on infrastructure and natural resources.
Man and Biosphere Reserve and The Last Ecological Frontier of the Philippines
Palawan was declared as a “Man and Biosphere Reserve” by UNESCO in 1990. Known as the country’s “last ecological frontier,” the island province is gifted with a diverse flora and fauna, fertile fishing grounds, rich mineral resources, vast tracts of land for development and various natural attractions. This is complemented by the province’s skilled and competent workforce in both academic and technical fields.
Brimming with lush tropical rainforests and a unique coastal and marine ecosystem that includes coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass meadows, Palawan has 105 out of the 475 threatened species in the country based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature, according to UNESCO.
In addition, Palawan is an ideal place for investment as well as retirement because it is earthquake-free. Not only is it safe from tremors, Palawan is also rarely hit by typhoons because of its geographical location. Plus, there are still a lot of budding tourist spots waiting to be explored and developed like San Vicente, a remote paradise that has the Philippines’ longest white sand beach called Long Beach and a small fishing village known as Port Barton.
Now is the Best Time to Invest in Palawan!
If you want to invest your hard-earned money into a real estate that combines island and city living, buying an affordable condo in Palawan is worth the risk.
Nestled in a flourishing business district, Camella Manors Verdant in Puerto Princesa is the newest and one of the most affordable mid-rise condominiums of Vista Land in Gabinete Road, Brgy. Bancao-Bancao, Palawan.
The Verdant is only 10 minutes away from the Puerto Princesa International Airport as well as the Port of Puerto Princesa. Malls, schools, hospitals, churches, museums, beaches, lifestyle centers and other major attractions are also within reach. In addition, business and commercial engagements in the city are expected to grow with the ongoing infrastructure developments in the area.
The Verdant’s Building 1 will soon be ready for occupancy. Projected turnover of 266 condo units to local and international investors is in the first quarter of the year. Meanwhile, the second building is already pre-selling its units and is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2021.
The 5,075-square meter condo village comprises two 7-storey structures that have a total of 532 units for both buildings. Each building of The Verdant features studio, 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom units.
Other condo perks of the resort-type development include the use of amenities such as swimming pool, kiddie pool, fitness gym, club house, play park and commercial area. The Verdant also has CCTV cameras 24/7 and an electric perimeter fence to keep everyone safe and secured.
Indeed, to invest in Palawan is a perfect venture to pursue!