How to leave Brooke’s Point

by Dave from The Longest Way Home ~ June 14th, 2009. Updated on February 15th, 2011. Published in: Travel blog » Philippines.
Children walking Hand in Hand, Brooke's Point, Palawan

Children walking Hand in Hand, Brooke's Point, Palawan

Brooke’s Point was a place I very much enjoyed visiting. Home? No. A place to stay a while, maybe. It certainly was the type of place I could settle and write a book in. No distractions, easy going; with a rustic charm.

A tourist destination?  I think many would be disappointed. There are no lush white sandy beaches, restaurants with stunning variety’s of food, and not so much to do. Though I did hear of a resort not so far from the town.

However, if you’re after a piece of real island life … and reality … this might just be the place.

I walked along the main road backpack in tow. Pawn stores, hand painted advertising, a single Manok (bbq chicken) stall were the mainstay of the town. Even when I got to the minivan terminal the laid back conductor didn’t rush up asking where I wanted to go. 250 pesos and 5 hours back to Puerto Princesa, leaving in 30 minutes is what the sign said. I asked if he could reserve the front seat and went off for a breakfast.

Mini van schedule from Brooke's Point to Puerto Princessa

Mini van schedule from Brooke's Point to Puerto Princessa

“It’s 200 peso to Puerto,”  said the chop house owner.

I thought I’d been cheated, just like the online  forums had said I would be. I asked again to be sure. Sometimes in the Philippines you have to double check linguistic statements.

“200 from Centro terminal 2,” came the reply.

And with a few more queries I learned that there was a second terminal literally 15 minutes further on down the road. That was 50 pesos cheaper. I also was beginning to understand the Philippines that little bit more. I put a personal bet on that the same minvan I was on, would be stopping off at Terminal 2 aka it was the same bus traveling to the same place.

30 minutes later and I won my own bet. I wasn’t complaining, I hadn’t been cheated. There were two separate terminals. I had a front row seat, and the air conditioning was working well. What’s more, the

Palawan Pawnshop front

Palawan Pawnshop front

driver was a friendly guy and we shared a meal halfway. At this point I began asking about getting to Sabang, home of the world’s largest underground river.

It’s 2.5 hours from Puerto Princesa, and I figured I could make it without spending the night in the capital. But like all good plan’s they change.

Dark clouds began to appear and spots of rain hit the windscreen. I took a chance and guessed it would not last, but I also didn’t want to be roaming around Sabang in the rain looking for a place to stay. I’d heard it was expensive. So like any traveler on a budget I changed my plan.

We turned a corner and I spotted one of Puerto Princesa’s, if not the worlds, most unusual of places. A penal colony with no guards. A place where the prisoners roamed freely and lived with their families.

Rain began to fall as I jumped out of the minivan. What better place to ask for shelter than a prison?

Coming Soon:

Iwahig Penal colony – murderers, thieves and a she-male inmate … this was one very different place


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3 Great responses to How to leave Brooke’s Point

  1. Ruben Maglaya says:

    Hi there. Again, thanks for the compliments. Our family owns Centro Shuttle Service and my ancestral house is beside that Palawan Pawnshop, weblink cyber is my sister’s and that bldg is where i grew up. Anyway, we thank you for appreciating our hometown. Ingat sa iyong paglalakbay. Hope someday i will get to meet you also.

    • Hi again Ruben,

      It’s really nice to know things like that. I remember the Centro terminal very well, and I remember staring out over at the pawn shop while waiting for the minivan to leave!

      Thanks again for your kind words, and if I come to Brooke’s Point again I’ll drop in to say Hello!

      Salamat!

  2. Espogi says:

    Well, this guy hasn’t said much good about Brooke’s Point. Perhaps he’s just being true. He might just have been curious about the town’s name, and it’s just but natural. Anyway, your blog might have awaken the sensibilities of the town’s officials to improve and promote some tourists’ destinations around especially for guys like you. Who knows? With your blog site, Brooke’s Point will soon become the next main tourist attraction in the Philippines.