Busuanga aerials

A riverine estuary meandering its way to the sea.

map_busuanga.gif Busuanga Is. in the Calamianes group in northern Palawan is an adventurers’ and divers’ paradise because of its natural wonders, world class dive sites, beaches and (stunted) African wildlife in Calauit. But coming in from Puerto Princesa via a plane is another traveler’s treat: the wild and domesticated environment as viewed from the aircraft’s window.

Verdant forests as well as estaurine tributaries with its pockets of mangroves. Low hills with patches of cultivated areas but most of the times denuded. And of course, man made its mark as a rough road cuts through the green.


To enjoy these views, it is better to take the after lunch flight of Seair from Puerto Princesa to Busuanga as the afternoon light renders a golden hue down below. Also, since the Francisco Reyes Airport is located at the northern part of the area, there is much wider scenery that can be viewed than taking a flight from Manila.

The views within the Bacuit Archipelago (El Nido is located here) is also quite exhilarating.

Denuded patches mark man’s presence.

Photographing, however needs some skills. Fast shutter speed is needed and if your camera isn’t up to the task, a higher ISO will be required. This also entails lots of trial and error. Just ensure that you are at window side and not directly at the wing as it will block the views. Lastly, windows should be clear, not foggy and shoot in RAW so that you can make adjustments.


These are just sample photos. To check out the other 8, head on to Binary Silver.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.


  1. donG hO
    April 24, 2008 @ 22:03

    astig Estan. dream ko talaga ang Busuanga at Coron. this photos tells me that I need to plan now. galing. kaya lang pwede bang puntahan ang area na yan.

  2. Sidney
    April 25, 2008 @ 16:18

    You walk inside the footsteps of Arthus Bertrand!

    Nicely done…
    Of course Arthus Bertrand did it in a helicopter… and he is now world famous.

  3. Traveler on Foot
    April 26, 2008 @ 16:35

    Wow! Beatiful. I really like the first image of the winding river.

  4. Dennis
    April 27, 2008 @ 6:35

    i’ve been to busuanga before on a trip to coron from manila and your view flying from puerto princesa is really much different especially as the plane (a turboprop yes?)flies low. i did fly from puerto to manila but on a jet plane and so my view was quite distant. nice blog you have here.

  5. The Islander
    April 28, 2008 @ 17:39

    WOW! hail to thee…
    The first pic is so beautiful. nindoter than nindot.

  6. estan
    May 1, 2008 @ 14:54

    dong ho, you should prepare for a trip there. I think this area of the island is accessible but you’ll have to ask around to go there.

    sidney, i would want to do aerial photography since not many in the country is doing it. however, i think its expensive. but i’ll try to check around.

    traveler on foot, yep, i also like this first image.

    dennis, i’m not sure what plane i took but it was good that it flew low. but also, its circling around for a good landing at the airport. puerto – manila doesn’t afford this kind of elevation.

    islander, hahaha, okay pud na da, nindoter than nindot!

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