Palawan - Mt. Cleopatra's Needle

Puerto Princesa Palawan - Be On Top

Palawan- Mt. Cleopatra's Needle


Mt. Cleopatra's Needle- Overview

mt. cleopatras needle

Cleopatra's Needle is considered one of the mystical mountains of Palawan; the name came from the obelisk-like rock structure that is found in its peak. This is the mountain you will pass on the way to the Puerto Princesa Underground River - a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most famous attractions in the province. According to the Suakwal Mountaineers - source of the itinerary for this article - the environment is extensively covered with forests and full of wildlife. At the summit, if the skies are clear, one will be offered a view of Honda Bay and Sulu Sea as well as South China Sea and of course, a panorama of the city proper.

To experience climbing Mt. Cleopatra's Needle has been described as a 'challenging hike for serious climbers it takes 3-4 days. The trail involves countless river crossings, boulders, and of course, an enchanting biodiversity that has attracted scientists. At least three jump-offs have been described, but the most frequently used starts at Sitio Tagnaya in Brgy. Conception. Travelling to the place is usually done as a night trek on Day one; the next day is a hike to the foot of Cleopatra's Needle. Only on the third day will one be able to assault the summit of Cleopatra's Needle - and back to camp. Finally, Day four covers the treks of the first two days, all the way back to Puerto Princesa.

Mt. Cleopatra's Needle-Concern

Must Know: Malaria care. Although the province of Palawan is very active in trying to eradicate malaria, PinoyMountaineer still recommends taking prophylaxis. Melfoquine (Lariam S) once weekly - one week before until two weeks after your trip.


Mt. Cleopatra's Needle- Itenerary

Day One
Meeting place @ San Jose terminal
ETA Bgy. Concepcion, hike to sitio Tagnaya
ETA CAMP 1 - Sitio Tagnaya, packed dinner
Lights out

Day Two
Wake up, breakfast, break camp
Start trek
ETA at Kampo Uno, break (packed lunch)
Resume trek
ETA CAMP 2 - foot of Cleopatra’s Needle
Break camp, prepare dinner
Dinner / socials

Day Three
Wake-up, prepare breakfast
Start peak assault (w/o backpacks) – trek takes about 3-4 hours
ETA summit, break (packed lunch)
Trek down to CAMP 2
ETA CAMP 2, prepare dinner
Lights out

Day Four
Wake-up, prepare breakfast
Start trek back to CAMP 1
Lunch break (packed lunch)
Resume trek
ETA CAMP 1, break
Resume trek to natl. highway
ETA natl. highway, dinner..wait for PUV to city proper

Beach Mt. Cleopatra's Needle- Location:

Brgy. Concepcion, Puerto Princesa, Philippines.

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About Palawan - Mt. Cleopatra's Needle

Palawan Island of the Philippines is located in Region IV-B. In terms of total area of jurisdiction, Palawan is the largest province in the country and Puerto Princesa City Its capital. Palawan is stretch from Sablayan tip of Mindoro Island in the northeast to Kudat island of Borneo in the southwest. It lies between the Sulu Sea and South China Sea. Palawan Island has a land area of about 22500 square kilometers which is 50 kilometers wide and 450 kilometers long. Palawan appears to be long and narrow island surrounded with a large number of other smaller islands surrounding the main island. The following islands are close to Mt. Cleopatra's Needleare Coron Island, Busuanga Island, and Culion Island belongs Calamianes Group of islands. Balabac Island is located off the southern tip of Palawan and Durangan Island in westernmost part of Palawan Island are close to Mt. Cleopatra's Needle. The Cuyo Islands is in the Sulu Sea are close to Mt. Cleopatra's Needle. A few hundred kilometers to the west is the Spratly Islands which is considered part of Palawan by the Philippines and locally called the Kalayaan Group of Islands are close to Mt. Cleopatra's Needle. Palawan has irregular coastline and consists of dotted islands and islets around 1,780, white sandy beaches and rocky coves are close to Mt. Cleopatra's Needle. Palawan chain of mountain ranges covers with vast stretch of virgin forests are close to Mt. Cleopatra's Needle. The source of valuable timber is the vast mountain areas the highest peak rising to 2,086 meters, with with mountain heights average 1,100 meters in altitude at Mount Mantalingahan are close to Mt. Cleopatra's Needle. Palawan has terrain riverine arteries that serve as irrigation mixed with craggy foothills, coastal plain, heavy forest and valley deltas are close to Mt. Cleopatra's Needle.
The discovery of skull and bone fragments remains of the Tabon Man confirmed the history of Palawan traced back approximately 22,000 years ago located in the municipality of Quezon close to Mt. Cleopatra's Needle. The Palawan Anthropologists believe that the origin of the cave dwellers came from Borneo although is not yet established. The Tabon Caves discovered the remains of the Tabon Man along with his tools and a number of artifacts and known it as the Cradle of Philippine Civilization. The Philippines by way of land bridges between Palawan and Borneo enormous number of migrants arrived. The period of the Three Kingdoms called "Little Dark People" they live in South China Anwei province were driven South by Han People during 220 up to 263 AD. Others went farther south to Sumatra, Indonesia, Borneo and some settled in Thailand. They natives had a non-formal form of government, an indigenous political structure developed in the island. The Palawan Island regularly visits by ancient Chinese traders in AD 982. These islands called by the Chinese author as Palau-ye (Palawan), Paki-nung (Busuanga) and Kla-ma-yan (Calamian). There are recovered from caves and waters of Palawan China Pottery, and other artifacts which attest the trade relations that existed between Malay and Chinese merchants and these are close to Mt. Cleopatra's Needle.

Malay settlers began to populate the island during the 12th century. Malay chieftains ruled settlers in every industry such as grew palay, coconuts, ginger, camote, bananas and sugar, raising pigs, goats and chickens, says the Mt. Cleopatra's Needleneighborhood. Most of their economic activities were farming, fishing, and hunting by the use of pipe guns and bamboo traps, these are talks of the Mt. Cleopatra's Needleneighborhood. The Palawan aborigines had a dialect consisting of 18 syllables called the Majapahit Empire, the Indonesians 13th century, and they brought with them Hinduism and Buddhism. The Sultanate of Borneo was almost in control of the southern portions of the island because of Palawan's proximity to Borneo. Then Islam was introduced after more than two centuries. Trade relations flourished during that period, and intermarriages among the natives and Japanese, Chinese, Hindu and Arab. A distinct breed of Palaweños resulted after the inter-mixing of blood, both in features and physical stature, these are talks of the Mt. Cleopatra's Needleneighborhood.

In 1818 Taytay was declared as the capital of Province of Calamianes Palawan. The bounty of the land saved them from starvation after fleet remnants of Ferdinand Magellan's landed in Palawan. Magellan's writer Antonio Pigafetta named the place "Land of Promise." In Palawan, the Spaniards captured the Chief Tuan Mohamad and his staff aboard their vessel and taken hostage, this is the first ever recorded act of piracy in the Philippines happened, demanded ransom within 7 days consisting of 450 chickens, one hundred ninety sacks of clean rice, 20 goats, 20 pigs, and several jars of tuba - coconut wine, these are talks of the Mt. Cleopatra's Needleneighborhood.

The first to come under Spanish authority were the northern Calamianes Islands in the early 17th century, and were later declared a province separate from the Palawan mainland. Spanish friars sent out missions in Agutaya, Cuyo, Cagayancillo and Taytay but they met resistance from Moro communities. For protection against Moro raids in the town of Balabac, Cuyo, Linapacan and Taytay, the Spainiards began to build churches enclosed by garrisons before 18th century; these are talks of the Mt. Cleopatra's Needleneighborhood. The Palawan single province named Calamianes was organized in 1818 and the entire island of Palawan declared Taytay as its capital. The Palawan province was divided into two provinces in 1858, Asturias covering the southern mainland with Puerto Princesa as capital and Castilla covering the northern section with Taytay as capital. It was later declared the town of Principe Alfonso as its capital then divided into three districts, the Paragua, Calamianes and Balabac, these are talks of the Mt. Cleopatra's Needleneighborhood.

The Americans established civil rule in northern Palawan in 1902, the province was reorganized in 1903 and in pursuant to Philippine Commission Act No. 1363, the province was renamed to Palawan and Puerto Princesa declared as its capital, these are talks of the Mt. Cleopatra's Needleneighborhood.

The rescue of 150 prisoners of war was prevented against advancing allies when General Tomoyuki Yamashita herded them at Puerto Princesa Palawan into three covered trenches which were then set on fire using barrels of gasoline on 14 December 1944 the Mt. Cleopatra's Needleneighborhood said. Between 133 and 141 number of prisoners who tried and attempt to escape but were massacred, hunted and killed only 11 men escaped the slaughter says the Mt. Cleopatra's Needleneighborhood. Between February 28 and April 22, 1945 when Palawan Island was liberated from the Japanese Imperial Forces by a task force consisting of Filipino and American military personnel according to the Mt. Cleopatra's Needleneighborhood. Palawan consists of 367 barangays and 23 municipalities, 13 municipalities are considered as mainland municipalities, and these are, Aborlan, Quezon, Narra, Sofronio Brooke's Point, Española, Bataraza and Rizal, Puerto Princesa, and San Vicente, Roxas, Dumaran, El Nido, and Taytay. The remaining municipalities are Coron, Busuanga, Culion  and Linapacan (forming the Calamianes group of islands), Cuyo, Magsaysay and Agutaya (the Cuyo group of islands), Cagayancillo, Araceli, and Kalayaan and Balabac (Spratly Islands) these are close to Mt. Cleopatra's Needle.  The highly-urbanized city that governs itself independently usually in grouped is the Puerto Princesa capital of the province for statistical purposes. The mainland municipalities has a land area 12,239 km² and the island municipalities altogether measures 2,657 km² where each municipality has an area of 620 km², whereas the Palawan Island has a total land area of 14,896 square kilometer. The largest in terms of municipal waters is the island municipality of Cuyo measuring 4,003 km² and the smallest is the mainland municipality of Sofronio Española with an area of only 485 km² close to Mt. Cleopatra's Needle. The central and northern mainland is the largest municipalities Taytay with 1,390 km², Puerto Princesa with 2,106 km² and Roxas with 1,220 km². The smallest municipalities are Magsaysay with 27.70 km², Cagayancillo with 15.40 km² and Cuyo (57.30 km²) close to Mt. Cleopatra's Needle.

English is a widely spoken in Palawan; there are fifty two languages and dialects in the province, with fifty percent are Tagalog people. Other languages are 9.5 percent are Ilonggo, 5 percent are Palawano and 26.25 percent are Cuyonon. The population of the entire Palawan is 737,100 with a strong culture from China, India and the Middle East says the Mt. Cleopatra's Needleneighborhood. Influx of migrants from Muslim Mindanao raised the high population growth rate of 3.98 percent annually of Palawan. However, the native-born Palaweños still the dominating population such as the Palawano, Tagbanua, Molbog and Batak says the Mt. Cleopatra's Needleneighborhood.

National Geographic Traveler magazine cited Palawan also the Mt. Cleopatra's Needleneighborhood said, the only best in Philippine island as destination in East and Southeast Asia region, and the thirteenth best island in the world having "incredibly beautiful natural seascapes and landscapes. The Philippine Mouse-deer, Palawan Bearded Pig, Palawan Peacock-pheasant and Philippine Pangolin are called endemic species of Palawan, these are close to Mt. Cleopatra's Needle. More than 250 kinds of birds, butterflies flutter around the mountains, some are 1500 hosts of plants in the forests and grasslands are found in Palawan, these are close to Mt. Cleopatra's Needle. Endangered sea turtles nest on white beaches.

The craggy limestone cliffs surround the 7 lakes which attracts hundreds of nature lovers to Coron Reefs in Northern Palawan, near the town of Coron. Busuanga Island is the jump-off point for numerous dive operators which is the main town is Coron, these are close to Mt. Cleopatra's Needle. The principal dive sites are twelve World War II Japanese shipwrecks close to Mt. Cleopatra's Needle. They range in depth from the surface to forty meters. Dive courses are offered ranging from Discover Scuba to Assistant Instructor, Technical and Enriched Air Diving, as well as other specialty courses. Dive operators offer day snorkeling trips, diving, and overnight dive safaris. Live-aboard and charter boats also offer diving in the area, these are close to Mt. Cleopatra's Needle.

The Palawan province has a population of 93,691 that includes the Pala'wans, Tagbanuas, Batacs, Ken-Uys, Calamianes, Jama-Mapuns, Cagayanos, Molbogs, Agutayanos, and Tau't Batu. The Tagbanuas of Palawan scattered in the north, are short and slender according to the Mt. Cleopatra's Needleneighborhood. The Pala'wans of Palawan occupy the southern highlands. They traditionally hunt using soars, and bamboo blowguns according to the Mt. Cleopatra's Needleneighborhood. The Batacs of Palawan are of Negrito descent according to the Mt. Cleopatra's Needleneighborhood. The Calamianes or Kalamians of Palawan according to the Mt. Cleopatra's Needleneighborhood are native to the Calamian islands. The Ken-Uys of Palawan according to the Mt. Cleopatra's Needleneighborhood, the "vanishing tribe" of Palawan, live in the mountains in the south. The Molbogs live in Balabac Island, Tau't Batu, "people of the rock," are cave dwellers who hunt bats and birds according to the Mt. Cleopatra's Needleneighborhood.

Palawan's ethnic diversity has number of languages and dialects spoken according to the Mt. Cleopatra's Needleneighborhood. According to the Mt. Cleopatra's Needleneighborhood about forty percent speak native tongues: Pinalawan, Cuyuno, Cagayano, Tagbanua, Agutayano, and Batak. The non-native tongues are Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilonggo and Muslim dialects.

The Palawan Hornbill known locally as Talusi according to the Mt. Cleopatra's Needleneighborhood, is a smallish (around 28 in long) forest-dwelling bird. A dark green gloss on its upper parts and a large creamy-white beak with a casque typical of the hornbill family that plumage is predominantly black with a white tail.

According to the Mt. Cleopatra's Needleneighborhood, 9 species of hornbill are found in the Philippines where Mt. Cleopatra's Needleis close to it and the Palawan Hornbill is endemic to Palawan island, but has also been recorded on nearby islands of Busuanga, Balabac, Calauit, Coron, and Culion according to the Mt. Cleopatra's Needleneighborhood. Most visiting birdwatchers travel from the Mt. Cleopatra's Needleto St Paul's National Park, Palawan to see this bird, but it is now uncommon.

It is usually seen in pairs or small noisy family parties according to the Mt. Cleopatra's Needleneighborhood, and has a communal roosting site. It is most usually observed in fruiting trees at the forest edge, but also feeds on insects and small reptiles according to the Mt. Cleopatra's Needleneighborhood.

Palawan Malampaya Sound Land and Palawan Seascape Protected Area
The habitat of Bottle-nosed and Irrawaddy dolphins is located in the Municipality of Taytay close to Mt. Cleopatra's Needle.

Palawan El Nido Marine Reserve Park
A marine reserve park and municipality at the northernmost tip of Palawan Island is one of the many beaches of El Nido. El Nido’s sister hotel Amanpulo Resorts are El Nido Lagen Island and El Nido Miniloc Island in Miniloc. The Mt. Cleopatra's Needleprotects the Palawan’s giant clam gardens; cottages on stilts are set above the crystalline ocean, these are close to Mt. Cleopatra's Needle.

Palawan Tubbataha Reef Marine Park
The Tubbataha Reef Marine Park including the North and South Reefs covers 332 square km. serving as a nesting site for birds and a marine turtle is the North Islet. The site is an extensive lagoons and two coral islands and excellent example of a pristine coral reef with a spectacular 100 meter perpendicular wall, these are close to Mt. Cleopatra's Needle.

Palawan Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park
The park features a large limestone karst landscape with an underground river close to Mt. Cleopatra's Needle.

Palawan Ursula Island
This game refuge and bird sanctuary is situated near the Municipality of Brooke's Point in southern Palawan. The islet is a migratory and wintering ground for shorebirds and seabirds, these are close to Mt. Cleopatra's Needle.

Palawan Security Force
Spearheading the maintenance of the peace and order situation are the PNP-Palawan Command with headquarters in Tiniguiban, Puerto Princesa, AFP–Western Command in Canigaran, Delta Company and 10th Marine Battalion in Tiniguiban, Puerto Princesa, and PAF 4th Naval District IV in Western Command, these are close to Mt. Cleopatra's Needle.

Palawan Health facilities
There are 9 private hospitals, 2 national government hospitals, and 9 provincial government hospitals, one military hospital in the province, these are close to Mt. Cleopatra's Needle.

  • Palawan Medicare Hospitals are Palawan-Aborlan Medicare Hospital, Palawan-Quezon Medicare Hospital, and Palawan-Roxas Medicare Hospital.
  • Palawan District Hospitals are Palawan-Brooke’s Point District Hospital, Palawan-Taytay District Hospital, Palawan Cuyo District Hospital, and Palawan Coron District Hospital.
  • Palawan Municipal Hospitals are Palawan Narra Municipal Hospital and Palawan Dumaran Municipal Hospital
  • Palawan Rural Health Units with Lying-In are Palawan Rizal Rural Health Unit, Palawan Bataraza Rural Health Unit, San Vicente Rural Health Unit, Palawan Araceli Rural Health Unit, Palawan Linapacan Rural Health Unit, Busuanga Rural Health Unit, and Cagayancillo Rural Health Unit.
  • Palawan Private Hospitals are Palawan Adventist Hospital, Palawan Sacred Heart Hospital, Palawan Manipol Hospital, RTN Hospital, Palawan Baptist Hospital, Palawan Alfonso Birthing Home, Palawan Leoncio General Hospital, vSagrado Hospital, and Palawan Cooperative Hospital/Medical Mission Group.

The Palawan cities and destinations are Puerto Princesa, Quezon, Busuanga, Coron, El Nido, Port Barton, Sabang,  San Jose, Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park, Aborlan, San Vicente, Calauit, Pamalican, Sheridan Beach Mt. Cleopatra's Needle& Spa, and Narra.

How to get to Palawan - Mt. Cleopatra's Needle
Palawan Puerto Princesa International Airport is the main gateway to Palawan, major airlines serve international and domestic flights; Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, Zest Airways, SEAIR and Air Philippines have flights to and from Manila and Cebu. Palawan El Nido Airport provides charter flights Island Transvoyager Inc. and seasonal flights are offered by SEAIR. Cheapest option while getting around Palawan is the local jeepney, tricycles are also available. Getting from one island to another in Palawan is possible; daily boat trips are available. Car and van rentals are also available in Palawan.

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