6/29/11

Palawan, one more time!

Here's a wrap up of our lil Palawan adventure. Thanks to my friend, Le - the creative genius for this video. Enjoy! :)

6/23/11

Palawanderful Life!

I alighted from the Cebu Pacific Plane in Manila on June 18 6ish am walking like a zombie. I had no sleep at all from night-pm duty straight to the airport. Basta ikaw, Dawg! Hehee...HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! ILY!!!


Booked buy 1 take 1 tickets to Puerto Princesa for Daut's birthday. Yey! (P2,495/2pax via Ceb Pacific. Not bad eh?) La Charica Inn was our home in the last frontier. It's affordable, comfortable and very accessible from the airport and downtown. Double Room starts at P1,300 with continental breakfast and free wi-fi. They even gave us a 10% discount!

Popular tours for first timers in Puerto Princesa are Honda Bay Island Hopping and Underground River. Its a MUST to experience these two. So here we go.

DAY 1 HONDA BAY ISLAND HOPPING
Standard Rate = P1,500/ person
Inclusion: Aircon Van, Tour Guide, Entrance Fees and Travel Insurance, Buffet Lunch, Shed Rental, Boat Transfer
Our driver was late in picking us up so we started our Island Hopping around 11am already. Our first stop was Pandan Island. The place reminds me so much of Cebu's Pandanon Island. Did our first round of snorkeling after our picnic lunch. We had joiners in the tour which frankly were flowing with bad aura. They were a group of friends who were always complaining. They had side comments to the tour guide like, "Hindi mo ba tatanongin kung okey lang kami?" "Ito ba ang buffet?" "Anong pangalan ng agency ninyo kasi hindi namin i-recommend?" Oh Please... Don't wanna be around negative people. Bad vibes, go away! One of the reasons why Daut is my favorite travel buddy is because we always find ways to enjoy even if things are not going perfectly as planned. As with any journey, who you travel with can be more important than your destination. 



Next stop, Snake Island. The island is named from a winding sandbar which actually looks like a snake from aerial view. The tip of the island is very narrow where you can see both sides of the ocean. It's snorkeling time again. Daut and I were so amazed with the corals and fishes we saw, we forgot to take underwater pictures!

Last stop, Pambato Reef. Unfortunately, we were not able to go snorkeling because its closed already. Bummer! Bumawi naman ang tour guide and took us after to Iwayan and Tiange Tiange - a cheap store for pasalubongs.

Palawan is known for their cashew nuts. Small pack costs P60.


Dinner @ Kinabuch. The restaurant reminds me of Jerry's grill. We wanted to try the local delicacy, Tamilok--woodworm that is found on dead mangroves. But all sold out :( So we tried another exotic food-crocodile adobo. Nooomnom tastes just like chicken! All these food below costs 700 plus.



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DAY 2 UNDERGROUND RIVER
Standard Rate = P1,500/ person
Inclusion: Aircon Van, Licensed Tou Guide, Permit & Entrance Fees and Travel Insurance, Buffet Lunch, Boat Transfer
Trivia:The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is located about 50 km north of the city of Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines. It features a limestone karst mountain landscape with an 8.2 km. navigable underground river. A distinguishing feature of the river is that it winds through a cave before flowing directly into the South China Sea. It includes major formations of stalactites and stalagmites, and several large chambers.  


Our call time was 5 am. We were joined by a cute couple who were celebrating their first anniversary. And the Reyes family composed of cool parents and 3 children in the mid 20's. Daut and I felt good vibes with this group. Funny enough, we were from different stages. From boyfriend/girlfriend to husband and wife to a family. Haha. The parents said Daut and I were the brave ones so they made us sit at the front of the boat towards the underground river. At the mouth of the cave, a clear lagoon is framed by ancient trees growing right to the water's edge. Monkeys, large monitor lizards, and squirrels find their niche on the beach near the cave. 


 
The cave was simply amazing. The first word we uttered was, "WOW" but we had to keep our mouth shut because we might catch the holy water a.k.a bat's weewee. Be careful of the holy shit too! 

Vegetable Section. Want some cabbage? Haha. There were other cool formations inside the cave like the holy family, melted candle, naked woman, etc. Too bad, my camera won't do justice. The tour lasted about 45 minutes with funny stories from the tour guide. After experiencing the underground river myself, I think that it deserves a spot in the new 7 wonders of nature. Vote now!!! :)))

UGONG ROCK
This was not part of the tour package but Ate Shyr, our tour guide offered to take us there since it was just on the way and we finished early. The latest project of ABS-CBN for the community in Puerto Princesa is the zipline. Unfortunately, it stopped operating because the owner of the surrounding rice fields had some issues with airspace. Pwede ba yun? He wanted P25 for every zipline ride. It was open that day because the big bosses of ABS CBN were there to negotiate. Lucky us!

First, we need to climb up Ugong Rock. These formations have a chime like ring if you give them a tap. The guides say the the word “ugong” means sound. Fee is P200 with gloves, hard hat and tour guide.



We passed thru cracks, crevices, limestone formations, climbed a rope and even slipped thru a hole. It's no biggie for hardcore climbers. But challenging enough for me! Haha. After an hour or so in the maze passageway, we reached the top. It was a little crowded up there. Some where waiting for their turn in the zipline while some were resting and enjoying the view. Going down via the 330m meter zipline was fun and fast! Additional P250 for the ride.
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Mass @ the Cathedral. We always find time to hear mass when we travel. All the beauty and wonders of nature reminds us that the BIG GUY above created all of these for us. Thank You Lord for angels everywhere. Daut and I have been always blessed with our trips. :)
Baywalk
Dinner @ Balinsayaw. When we were in the underground river, we noticed birds flying in and and out of the cave. They are actually "Balinsayaw" . Their nest is made up of saliva. *Poof! Now we have bird's nest soup. It's quite pricey though for a soup. P300 good for 3-4 persons. But really, really good! MUST TRY!
The balinsayaw dessert deserves a solo picture because I find it really brilliant. You want buko? You want nuts? You want ice cream? Ahh you can find everything in this lil thaang! Total damage for our dinner = P700 plus (again? Ha!)
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DAY 3 CITY TOUR 
Standard Rate for City Tour in Puerto Princesa is P600/ person via van. If you know me and Daut, you'll know that we travel on a budget. So we hired a tricycle for P700 instead. At leeeaaaast...we had the trike to ourselves and we can stay in one place as long as we want without thinking of other joiners. Haha.
Mitra's Ranch
Butterfly Garden
Baker's Hill
Crocodile Farm

There you have it folks! That's how we spent Daut's Birthday weekend in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. The last frontier, the city in the forest. Nature at its outrageously best! Where else can you find the longest navigable underground river? Only in the Philippines! No wonder travelers from all over the world have been raving about it. I had a blast on your birthday Dawg. Hope you did too! You make me happy, in so many ways! *giggles* One more time, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!!
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