Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm, Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Mar 29, 2011

This is one of itineraries of our city tour in Puerto Princesa, Palawan this month, the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm. This is the reason why we had to pay P600 for our tricycle hire, instead of P500 only. The dusty, bumpy ride going to the penal farm made the extra hundred worth it. The driver was saying that they do not usually offer to visit the penal farm because of this road, but hey I was already there and what is an extra hundred bucks to see the famous prison camp? Below is the view of the prison from the highway.This is the entrance to the prison. I had to get down from the tricycle and log down our name on the visitors book with the guard. There is no entrance fee to visit the prison.

The various farming activities that the prisoners do can be seen in this picture. They have fish ponds too.

This is the rice field. You can also see in this picture, the ones with the tin roof, are the maximum security compound.
The fish ponds and the huts make the place looks peaceful and its a picture of a perfect rural life.
This is the old building that dates back during the American times.
The majestic looking facade of the recreational building.
These are some of the items that can be found inside the souvenir shop of the prison. The income will also go to the inmates and the families of the guards. We also bought a ship inside a bottle.
A little photo opp in front of the souvenir shop. One of the inmates took this photo.
The St. Joseph the Worker Parish inside the compound looks very inviting.
Even the angels welcome you to share your burden and pray!
Inside the old but still beautiful chapel.
We bid goodbye to the Iwahig Prison and Penal farm but not before seeing apparent prisoners lounging peacefully in huts, and everybody you pass by greeting you a good day. Our driver was telling us stories of how prisoners would rather stay at the farm than go home after their sentence was up and seeing the life inside the farm, it was not hard to believe.
A prison like this really aims to rehabilitate men instead of punishing them. The prisoners that I saw do not look like anything those goons we see on TV but rather like any hardworking and decent men, trying to earn an honest living. I hope that more prison like this can be initiated in the country. It was really a worthwhile trip, despite the bumpy road! For more info, check out this link from Wikipedia and WikiPilipinas.

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