Puerto Princesa Firefly Watching

This isn’t included in my original itinerary but the boyfriend showed interest to experience this so I decided to go for it. I am the decision maker here! LOL!

Kuya Jigs (the tricycle driver) probably heard us talking about this so he suggested a company/agency offering firefly watching. Given that this is not included in my original plan, my info on this is quite vague so we decided to avail the tour from the agency Kua Jigs is suggesting. He is even the one making arrangements for us.

After our Puerto Princesa City Tour and buying souvenirs at Mercado de San Miguel, Kuya Jigs drove us to Baywalk area which is the dropoff point for Firefly Watching. We waited for other tourists and when every expected guest has arrived, we then departed towards the mangrove area via a motor boat. The motor boat is I think good for 25 to 30 passengers including the crew and guide.

I usually dread traveling at night via a motor boat but I am calmer that night maybe because of the sea. :D The water is so calm that when you close your eyes and cover your ears, I think you will never feel that you are traveling in a motor boat. Additionally, it was a night before full moon so the surrounding is really bright. Think that firefly watching days prior to a full moon is a good idea? Not at all! Had we realized this, we might have not pursued with the tour because it isn’t as beautiful as when the night is dark.

Going back to the tour, after around 30 minutes traveling while the guide is talking, the motor boat stopped. We were divided into two groups; the first group is to enter the mangrove area first while the second group stays in the boat to have dinner. Since we are like two excited kids, we asked to be in the first group and were told to transfer to a smaller motor boat. I think the boat is good for 10 persons including one guide and one boat man.

To those who plan to do this tour, I suggest not to set your expectations too high. When you enter the mangrove area, don’t expect that each mangrove magically lights as if it is loaded with Christmas lights. Also, not all mangroves have fireflies. This isn’t fairytale! The first mangrove lighted with fireflies is a good 100 meters away from the entrance area. The next is a few meters away and this holds true until at the end of the tour.

Photo Credit

Through this, we learned that fireflies have preferences as well. They are only attracted to a certain specie/variety of mangrove and that explains why not all mangroves are lighted. Also, the guide used red light in order for the fireflies to shine their lights brightly since to them, red light is a sign that an enemy is approaching. The guide also added that the firefly that shines brightly and doesn’t stay in one place is searching for a mate. :D

The duration of the tour is around 30 - 45 minutes in total and if you are not familiar with the area, it is easy to get lost among the mangrove plantation. To me it is like a subdivision with streets for small boats to pass by.

When we reached the area where the bigger boat is located, we transferred immediately so that the next batch can proceed with the tour and we can eat our dinner. When the second batch is through with the tour, we travelled back to Baywalk and we were then dropped off to our respective accommodations.

The tour costs Php 1100 including van transfer and dinner buffet.

When we get back in Iloilo, I learned from a friend that there are actually two areas where Firefly Watching tour is being offered. The other one is in Iwahig and the view is said to be more beautiful. Land travel to the port is farther though.

Here are my other posts about our trip:
Puerto Princesa Travel Itinerary and Expenses
Puerto Princesa Underground River Tour
DIY Puerto Princesa City Tour 

* We weren't able to take any decent picture during this tour since the use of flash is not allowed and our camera is not high-powered enough to create high quality photos especially in the absence of light.

No comments