Plaza Cuartel, Puerto Princesa

2.9
#2 of 7 in Historic Sites in Mimaropa
Behind a cathedral and near the old fort sits Plaza Cuartel, dedicated to the memory of the American soldiers who were burned alive by the Japanese in World War II. Near the end of the war, Japanese forces imprisoned 143 American soldiers and forced them to enter the narrow tunnel, which they doused with gasoline and set on fire. See the memorial plates and pictures of the 11 survivors. The memorial stone in the center of the square--topped by a figurine of a man in chains--bears the names of all the solders from the garrison. Use our Puerto Princesa attractions planner to arrange your visit to Plaza Cuartel and other attractions in Puerto Princesa.
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Plaza Cuartel Reviews
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3.7
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  • Park and memorial dedicated to the liberation of Palawan in 2 years. In the Philippines a few historical sites associated with the war, so that the visit will not be superfluous.
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  • A brief history lesson on how Palawan was a strategic location for both allied forces and the Japanese forces during WWII.  more »
  • If not for an occasional exhibit, this place is more like an abandoned site. Not sure if there's really something to look for here except the two plaques on the entrance gate. Good thing there was a r...  more »
Google
  • Aside from a few posters giving some information about the war, but not nearly enough information, there's almost nothing to see here. There are some super tacky wedding photo spots that kind of just ruin the historical nature of the place. This could be a much better attraction if it was set up as a solemn remembrance of the tragic events that occurred here but the history is almost an afterthought.
  • Plaza cuartel is natural. It has not given emphasis to what the place really is. If you visit the place you will not know its part of history if no one will tell the story, because it has not been emphasize to what the place really about or any informative graphics or structure that will explain itself.
  • During a city tour of Puerto Princesa City, January 2016, we also visited the Plaza Cuartel (english translation - Park Quarter) on Taft Street. Just across the street is the Catholic Cathedral. This site was once a military base then as a prison with underground tunnels used by the Japanese Army during World War II. It is now a nicely developed park in the city with large trees that provide cool shade and benches or low concrete structures to sit on & relax. There are paved pathways to stroll around & different things to see. There is also a nice view of the bay. We saw & read a number of informative posters about the role of Palawan during WWII, story of survival, Palawan Massacre & other events about the war. Then there are memorials honoring persons who paved the way to Liberation & a bronze memorial for the 143 WWII American prisoners who were atrociously burned to death by Japanese soldiers, 14th Dec. 1944. There were pictures of the 11 survivors. The sculpture of a prisoner of war is unique & remarkable. The park is open to public during daytime. Free entrance.
  • Historical but sadly you won't see a museum here. It's a nice park though. You can just stroll inside its vicinity and enjoy the sea breeze and the singing of the birds.
  • Nothing much to see but it's a historical place. The tunnel looked dangerous and scary even from the outside, I could not imagine the struggles the soldiers have been through. A tragic but admirable story of courage and heroism.

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Where to stay in Puerto Princesa

The main urban area on the east coast provides the bulk of accommodations for visitors to Puerto Princesa. Choose from a rich variety of large resorts, relaxing spa retreats, and eco-lodges, with many nudged up as close as they can get to the beaches and offering sea views. More basic accommodations include side-street guesthouses and dormitory-style hostels, while wilder options can be found sitting in privileged places along the coast to the north and south.
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