Palawan is one of the premier tourist destinations in the Philippines. It receives thousands of tourists, both local and foreign, every month. There is a need to improve services related to health in Puerto Princesa, the capital city, and so far the local government is doing a good job.
All over the island of Palawan, there are district hospitals, municipal hospitals, rural health units, lying-in facilities, and private hospitals. (See below for a list of the major and more important facilities.) Most of the major hotels in the most beautiful resorts also have their own clinics and mini-hospitals, but in cases needing more medical attention, patients are flown to Puerto Princesa or all the way to Manila.
For those who are not really sick but want to remain healthy while enjoying the island, there are also a number of wellness centers offering aromatic massage and spa. And for the really health conscious, they can easily maintain a vegetarian or vegan diet since the city is littered with restaurants serving vegetarian dishes like bitter melon.
The key is to remain healthy and responsible. The worst thing that could happen in an island paradise is to get sick and spoil all the fun. Here are but some practical tips in staying healthy while spending a vacation in a Philippine tourist destination.
One, stay hydrated. The Philippines is just above the equator, which is why it is very hot and humid. The climate is basically warm all year round even during the rainy season. One can get easily dehydrated. A western tourist can best enjoy his or her Palawan vacation simply by always having bottled water in hand. One should be careful not to drink just any water. As a safe rule, never drink water from the tap, since there is no such thing as safe tap water in the Philippines. There are a number of grocery stores, pharmacies and drugstores that sell bottled water of several sorts (mineral water, distilled water, filtered water) and brand (the leading and most reliable brands are Wilkins and Absolute).
Two, it is always tempting to party and drink all night when on vacation, but whether on vacation or not, such lifestyle is always a health hazard. If you wish to make the most that Palawan has to offer, take it easy on the nightly liquor.
Three, always bring along a list of medical centers nearby, their addresses and contact numbers. Here is a list to get started with:
Medicare Hospitals: Aborlan Medicare Hospital at Poblacion Street Aborlan, Palawan; Quezon Medicare Hospital in Quezon Palawan; and Roxas Medicare Hospital in Roxas, Palawan
District Hospitals: Brooke’s Point District Hospital in Brooke’s Point, Palawan; Taytay District Hospital in Taytay; and Cuyo District Hospital in Cuyo,
Municipal Hospitals in Narra and Dumaran; and Rural Health Units in Rizal, Bataraza, San Vicente, Aracelu, Linapacan, Busuanga, and Cagayancillo
Although seemingly backward and undeveloped in infrastructure and facilities, Puerto Princesa is bustling with commerce and industry. It is also known as the cleanest and most orderly city in the entire country, and was the first to impose a no-littering law and smoking ban in all public places. The local government is determined to make it truly the best city and tourist destination in the Philippines, and one of its main focuses is to improve situations related to health in Puerto Princesa.