Plaza Cuartel is an outdoor park and a landmark in Palawan that used to be a penal colony during World War II. The Spaniards initially built it as a garrison to protect the country from invasion.
During the Japanese Occupation, the Japanese military turned it into a penal colony where they held captive hundreds of American soldiers. Towards the latter part of World War II, when the Japanese knew that they were on the brink of imminently losing the war, they decided to execute the Palawan Massacre. The remains of the American soldiers were brought back to and buried in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Missouri, United States.
Plaza Cuartel is now a leisure park and a popular tourist spot in Puerto Princesa. As it is open to the public, tourists visit a part of Philippine History as they witness the dreary garrison and the dark tunnels of Plaza Cuartel. Historical markers are posted on the old walls to remind tourists of the gruesome incident in the place. The Spaniards originally built it.
If you’re coming from the airport or the city proper, ride a tricycle or jeepney going to Taft St. Puerto Princesa City. Ask me to drop you off at Plaza Cuartel. You can also join a guided tour with transfers for a more convenient trip.
Plaza Cuartel is open from Monday to Friday, from 8 AM to 5 PM. It is best seen during the warm season in Puerto Princesa, from December to May.