The City of Puerto Princesa’s immense developments in the last ten years have left the light pink blossoms of the “Balayong” in the sidelights. The term is the local Cuyuno name for Palawan Cherry, a small-medium sized tree that is the symbol of feminine dominance, female beauty, and love in the language of herbs.
Through the concept of First Lady Ellen M. Hagedorn, she has put back the Balayong tree in the limelight to further improve the image of the City. She imagines that one day it will be a niche of the woody plant’s stunning blooms during the months of February and March.
To revive the Palawan Cherry’s forlorn splendor, the City Government started in 2005 the 1st Balayong Festival and planted a thousand trees in the nature park. Because of the victory of the first fete, the City Council of Puerto Princesa unanimously passed Ordinance No. 288 on October 28, 2005, declaring the 4th day of March as Balayong Festival. This is in celebration of the founding anniversary of the City of Puerto Princesa.
On March 4, 1872, Spanish colonizers scanned the province’s shorelines to look for a place where a capital could be established, they came upon a hill and discovered out an extensive plateau that was ideal for a settlement. A portion of that hill was where the first mass in Puerto Princesa was held and where the Eualia Park now stands. This year, the 6th Balayong Festival commemorates the 139th year when Spaniards first set foot in the city.
The town was converted into a city on January 1, 1970 under Republic Act 5906 as amended by Presidential Decree No. 437. On February 23, 1994, Republic Act 7684 was approved declaring March 4 as a special non-working holiday in the city. The day is celebrated with the popular participation of the residents, meaningfully eliciting community support towards development goals and cultural progress.