Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm


Iwahig Penal Colony

Entrance to Iwahig Prison

Have you ever been to a Prison for a tour? If you are in Puerto Princesa City, it is something to consider. Part of the tour could be to visit Iwahig Prison. I have heard different responses from different tourists over their visit at the Iwahig Prison. Some say it is not as bad as it sounds. Others are uncomfortable being around inmates and some are amazed how the prisoners can roam so freely. I guess, if you like some adventure and you are curious to know how it works here in Iwahig Prison, maybe you need to give it a try.

Brief History

Iwahig Prison

Prisoners during farming

Located 41.5km away from Puerto Princesa City downtown, Iwahig is a Penal Institution created originally out of the Spanish occupation’s allocation to Palawan as a place where to send prisoners for exile. But it was the Americans who eventually established the penal colony and it’s facility on November 16, 1904.


The Rehabilitation Success at Iwahig Prison

Today, Iwahig Prison is claimed to be the largest in the world of it’s kind. Sentenced Prisoners are sent here mainly because the main Prison in the capital Manila is

Iwahig Prison

Souvenir Shop at Iwahig Prison

overcrowded. Iwahig Prison’s model is known to have been effective in helping prisoners’ rehabilitation and getting back to the life outside. Here, they can do farming, fishing, forest activities, handicraft and some recreational activities even like dancing.
The farming really seems to be helping the prisoners prepare themselves for returning back to the society. They get to work freely with very loose security comparing to a normal prison. They use tools such as knives or machetes in the farm too, which is normally not allowed in a Penal institution.
Prisoners with “good moral character” or simply have done and behaved well in serving their sentence (life is considered 40 years) will be given a chance for release.

Iwahig Prison

Oldest Building in Puerto Princesa Inside Iwahig Prison

Tourists are welcome and will be shown around by an inmate guide. That is correct, inmates work as a tour guide here. You can take pictures or buy souvenirs at the Recreational Hall which is the oldest building in Puerto Princesa City. They sell native handicrafts and souvenir items made by the inmates themselves. You will also be entertained by, no other than, their in house dancing inmates.

I think Iwahig Prison is a pretty special place to go to in Puerto Princesa. Guess the tour will help a person to reflect on one’s life. Take time to appreciate the gift of being able to walk around freely and not being held up for many years in just one single place. And I guess, be thankful that we can be with our loved ones without restrictions. I think it is quite nice, don’t you think?

Iwahig Prison

Inmate Dancers of Iwahig Prison

Just a little tip for ladies: Please try to avoid wearing revealing, super short, and tight or provocative clothes when planning to visit Iwahig. I have heard ladies telling me how they did not feel comfortable and how the inmates stare at them (they were wearing shorts and tank tops). This is an all-men prison and you probably will understand that they are missing out on a lot of things from the outside.

Location: Barangay Iwahig, Puerto Princesa City
Fare: Minimum Php 50.00 (Jeep/Multicab), Php 500 or higher for hired Tricycles
Travel Time: 40-45 minutes from the city proper

Originally posted 2016-08-05 11:52:01. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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