Palawan,

Thrilling: Edison's Firefly Watching

10:15:00 PM Christian Aligo 0 Comments

The name is Edison.

Every time I think of that name, the famous scientist no longer crosses my mind. Instead, I think of the evening we traveled from the Puerto Princesa Baywalk to Sicsican River to watch fireflies and stare at the clear sky.


Before the Firefly Watching

After introducing himself as the tour guide that evening, Edison welcomed us to the much-anticipated Firefly Watching.

Of course, when he said he works also as a disk jockey, the tour guide wearing a plain purple shirt just got more interesting.

The payment for the tour is P1,100.00, but it comes with dinner buffet.  We found ourselves eating in a floating restaurant with a view of the city.


All seafood dishes served in the humble restaurant are freshly harvested by locals. A singer performs while guests enjoy their dinner.

After filling our stomach, we transferred to a boat customized for firefly watching. I sat in front in hopes of being on a premium seat for the firefly watching.

The Journey to the Firefly Kingdom with Edison

As we were approaching the mangrove trees in the Sicsican River, Edison was giving instructions on how to customize the settings of our camera to best capture the firefly lights.

However in the end, he said it would be better if we just put off our camera because it is really tough to take photos of the firefly even if we were using a DSLR camera.

Because he was our tour guide, we believed him. SO NOW, PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME FOR PHOTOS OF THE FIRELIES. 

Edison asked us if we saw the movie Life of Pi. I did.


He then discussed the scene wherein the protagonist saw lights in the water. He said the lights were actually plankton.

Plankton are very small organisms that cannot be touched in the water, according to Edison. Of course, we believed him so we did not attempt dipping our hands into the water.

When we reached the Sicsican River, we could see the outline of high mangroves on both sides. We were informed that fireflies could be found in unpolluted areas like the river. We believed him.

While he was discussing about the location of fireflies, I remember reading articles about a place where Enya visited that became his inspiration for her new album, Dark Sky Island.




For a more intriguing presentation, Edison held a lamp that emits red light. According to him, the red light would trigger the fireflies to flash their native green light as a form of self-defense. Red light is a stranger to fireflies.

Every time he switches the red light on, the fireflies in the mangrove trees flash their light creating an impression of Christmas lights scattered on a Christian tree.

As we went on to explore the other sites of the river that has a set of fireflies, Edison found a new way of entertaining us.


The More Interesting Part of the Tour

Edison had another light in his hands.

When he switches it on, its light reaches the sky.  It fascinatingly looks like a sword in Star Wars.

It looked something like this:




He showed the different constellations and the planets that are visible to the eye of an Earthling. These can all be experienced when in less polluted area like Puerto Princesa.

Of course, the metro residents were already delighted with the sight of the stars.

Edison is now Thomas Edison to me. Thus when we asked him questions, I had two in mind: was he really interested in science and where the hell did he buy the Star Wars flash light.

The firefly watching package in the Sicsican River seemed like a National Geographic Channel experience to me. Thanks to Edison.


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Have you been to the Sicsican River Firefly Watching? Share us your comment. If you’re heading to Puerto Princesa and need some piece of advice, just shoot me an email at christianaligonow@gmail.com. 




DISCLAIMER: This is an honest write-up published for the establishment mentioned above. While no financial favors have been given to the writer in exchange of this article, free items/services were provided to have a basis for the content of the article.