Friday, October 30, 2015

Palawan Trip 2015 Itinerary and Guide (Puerto Princesa and El Nido)

What to do, where to go, who to contact for your Palawan trip? Ito na. :)

Finally posting this skeletal itinerary after 4 months since this trip. I'm grateful for the four days we spent there even if some of those that had happened weren't the experiences we looked forward to. Sabihin na lang natin na, there's a reason for everything. Huhuhu. 


Click on the links to open a new tab


Day 1
We spent almost the whole day waiting at the airport because our flight got delayed for more than six hours!








Who to contact:

As much as I wanted to give you the contact detail of our driver in Puerto Princesa, I lost it when my phone got reformatted.

If ever I'll return to Palawan and there's no need for it to be entirely convenient a.k.a a senior citizen-friendly tour, I'll hire a tricycle to tour us around rather than join a group. 

We got a little apprehensive when we read blog posts about getting the tour permit so to secure slots in the Underground River, we bought a tour package for four days. Availing one is fine if you're after convenience/ you don't have time to plan the itinerary of your trip. Sino bang aayaw sa isang bayad lang e okay na lahat ng details, diba?


But for those trying to minimize the cost, you may just book your accommodation and be the one to ask around for a cheaper tour package when you arrive in Palawan. It turned out that our tricycle driver can book us an Underground River Tour for 1.1k per person but the commercial rate of it is 1.5k + per person. Nakaka-kaba lang na wala kang datnan na tours o slots pero unless it's a super kaduper peak weekend/season/whatever, meron choices pag andun ka na. Marami. Maraming mas mura. 


Sa susunod, lalo kung keri e DIY na ako. hehe

Nga pala, even if you can find discounted rates, Palawan is a tourist-friendly place. They don't take advantage of the tourists since almost all rates are standardized. And, they have CCTV's so being on your own even after past midnight feels safe somehow. First time ko rin mag-byahe ng mag-isa ng halos alas tres na ng madaling araw tapos sa ibang lugar pa. hehe. Buti na lang safe at walang kaba kahit wala masyadong tao sa daan. Hihi. Can't wait to experience Davao someday! :)



What to do:

We wanted to cover a lot of places for the four days that we were there. Again it is okay if you're after seeing more places in a limited time but definitely not something that I'll do if I return. Ayoko na ipagsiksikan kasi medyo nawala 'yung quality.


 Kung El Nido. El Nido lang. Kung Puerto Princesa, Puerto Princesa lang. Balik na lang ulit if ever. Or sayang kasi talaga Day 1 dahil na-delay lang kami ng bongga. >.<  Mas okay 'yung kahit 2-3 tours man lang sa El Nido tas maliban sa Underground at Ugong e makapag-Ihawig Firefly Watching, Mangrove at City Tour din ganyan. Andun ka na oh. Pero actually kung walang delayed flight at marami kang budget, kaya 'to ng 5-7 days eh. El Nido saka Puerto Princesa.



Congratulations, Palawan for being the most beautiful island in the world! Kahit four days lang at kahit hindi pa namin nalibot lahat, nakita ko the reasons why you deserve the title for the nth time.


I want to be back someday especially since I'm looking forward to visiting Calamian Islands. Haaaaaaaay. :( As much as I wanted to believe there's more, this is probably my last flyout for 2015. Hahahaha. Or aasa pa rin akong meron?! Hahahahahahaha. Sige na, aasa pa rin. More pls!!!!! :))

Puerto Princesa & El Nido Day 4: Baker's Hill (Pasalubong!)

Our last day in Palawan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We decided to go to Baker's Hill for their famous hopia. Oo, mas masarap ang hopia dun at mas pinasarap pa kasi malayo sa Quezon City. haha. Glad we chose Baker's Hill for our last destination. Nakahabol pa kami ng mas maraming pictures. Hehe.

We hired a tricycle from our pension house. Somebody has already asked me who our contact person was in Palawan but I lost his number because my phone got reformatted.

Anyway, he brought us to Baker's Hill and two other souvenir shops. He was telling us about the different tourist attractions in Puerto Princesa and that he can bring us there too but due to time constraints, we couldn't go anymore. :( Sobrang bitin. Huhu. I hope to be back and see more of Palawan. 

Here are the pictures I took from Baker's Hill. 

I was expecting a bakery but we saw more than that.

Our driver toured us around and was the one who took most of our pictures. Sayang talaga we lost his contact details.
Baker's Hill is a park and you can roam here for free.
Palawan is also known for cashew nuts. Huwag kalimutan bumili nung buo pang mga kasuy. Mas okay kesa 'yung sa nakahati na.
These signs were the first one to catch my attention when we reached the viewing deck. Hehehe! Baker's Hill has spoken. :)) This happened before Aldub or okay fine, this happened during the 4rd or 5th day of Aldub kaya uso pa 'yung, "Walang Forever" . Bawal mag-date kasi walang forever!!!

Pero dahil isa akong proud member ng Aldubnation, bawal mag-date kasi hindi rito 'yung tamang lugar. Respeto dahil maraming turista ang nagpupunta rito. hehe. May forever na!!!! May forever din tayo sa tamang panahon. Huhu. Charoooot. >.<


Overlooking view from Baker's Hill.

Pero kung walang Aldub, masaya mag-bitter dito. hahahaha
They have statues there too. Super perfect for photo ops!
And playground for the kids.
And more photo ops.
The house of the owner? haha. I'm not really sure.
I was looking forward to a bakery but we saw a lot more. Aside from the well-landscaped and well-designed park, they also have restaurants inside the Baker's Hill.
For Pasalubong...


They only accept cash for payments. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Puerto Princesa & El Nido Day 3: Balay Inato Pension House


One of the Pension Houses you may stay at in Puerto Princesa is Balay Inato Pension House. We stayed here for two nights.

Aside from the complementary breakfast meal, they offer free pickup and drop-off at the airport. Having the free shuttle is so convenient!
I've slept a lot in other places but it was my first time to be alone.

Aside from the rooms, they also offer tour packages and van rentals.

You'll also have free wifi connection, television, drinking water, hot and cold shower, towels, tissue, soap and shampoo.
Qt dog at the reception area.
The available rooms.
Haim Chicken Inato for dinner.

While there are a lot of homegrown restaurants in Palawan, you may try Haim Chicken Inato as well especially since it's in the Balay Inato compound. 

Delicious chicken inato just a few steps from your room. 



Book your Puerto Princesa, Palawan Hotel: here.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Korea Travel Mart 2015

Have you been Imagining Your Korea?

So am I!! (claiming it since 2013! #neverlosehope #somedayitwillhappen Hahahaha!)

Korea Tourism Organization Manila organized Korea Travel Mart 2015 that will be held on October 24 - 25, 2015 at the Activity Center of Glorietta Mall, Makati City. 




If you're planning to go to Korea to experience Autumn and Winter this year, here's your chance to book your trips! Not only will you be given special gifts when you book your travels, you also get a chance to watch special performances.



The admission is FREE. 


See you there! :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Puerto Princesa & El Nido Day 3: Ugong Rock Adventures

Must Try Spelunking and Caving! (And Ziplining!) in Palawan.

After having our lunch, we left Sabang Port and proceeded to another ecotourism attraction in PPS, Ugong Rock Adventures.

I did not see this coming so it's a good thing that I was then wearing my Sandugo sandals because it made the trek a lot easier! Or was it all in the mind? Hehe. 
It is a community-based ecotourism project initiated by ABS-CBN's Bantay Kalikasan and I forgot what the other association was. Lelz. Ang tamad ko maghanap ng infos. Hahaha!

This was the orientation area where she explained the activities we were about to experience. Aside from the activities, what made Ugong Rock Adventures special is that almost all the staff are senior citizens but they don't look like it. Mas healthy pa sila sa'kin. haha. E syempre sa'kin ko pa talaga na-compare. Haha. Pero seryoso, sobrang nakakabilib lang.

Gear Station

Wearing helmet and gloves while doing the activities is a must.
Here's the cave entrance.

Ugong Rock is a limestone hill/formation and from the word itself, it got its name from the sound (some of) the stalactites produce when you hit them with your knuckles. Not all stones there produce the sound, meron lang iba na parang hollow and then may vibration pag 'yun nga, kumatok ka sa bato. 
Our guide pointing us several rock formations inside the cave. There was a Buddha formation in the ceiling and...
And don't even ask me what my reaction would be if I had to go there alone. Hahaha.
This rock formation is the evidence that this was formed million of years ago when the place was still submerged underwater. There is a similarity between this rock formation and those you'd see in El Nido. Kasi after million of years din, 'yung mga nasa ilalim ngayon na part dun sa Small Lagoon e maging ganito rin ang itsura.

Small Lagoon Link
Spelunking Area.

Hayyy, maliit na bagay! Chicken! Wala na bang mas difficult pa rito? hehehe. Jk.

I've already experienced caving twice when I didn't have a blog yet but we can always make new memories so I can put other adventures here, diba? 
When I saw that some of the passageways were narrow, I was like, "How should I fit in there?!" 

Well, apparently I did. Sexy pa pala ko!... pag naka-sideview. hahaha!
This made me miss mountain climbing. It is almost a year since Mt. Pulag happened.
We started from the bottom, now we're here!! <3

Love the view on top of the Ugong Rock Formation!!! 
For the last three days, I was just looking at these limestone cliffs/mountains/forests (whatever you call them) and then I was able to climb one! Hihi!

So this is what it looks like from the top. 
Claiming more adventures. hehehe.

EDI WOW TALAGA, TIIIIIIIN. :))))
From the viewing deck, you have two options.

Zipline your way down or do caving again passing through a different and easier route.

I decided to do caving since I've tried several ziplines already.

By the way, I like to try South  Cotabato's Seven Falls Zipline someday!! Yes, universe? Yes? Yes!! Hahahaha. Someday!! Bet ko rin talaga Lake Sebu. 
Photo op on the way down.

I wanted to show the narrow passageway but I totally blocked it. See, kasi maliit nga 'yung daan. hahaha!
Staircase on our way down.

Our guides were the ones showing us where to have our photos taken and they were so patient. Hehe.
Glad we made it back down safe!

Life, more caving and spelunking pls!!
Bye, Tagabinet, Puerto Princesa City.

Prior to going there, I didn't know that such place exists but it's a good thing that it's one of the sidetrip options after doing the Underground River Tour.

For only P 550.00, you're able to hit three birds with one stone; 1. you're able to challenge yourself and experience these kinds of activities 2. you're able to help the locals with their livelihood 3. you're able to help in the conservation of nature. Yes to all, diba? :)


P 200.00 for spelunking and caving
P 350.00 for one-way zipline

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Sultan Mediterranean Grill, Makati

It's rare for me to eat Mediterranean cuisine not because I don't like it but because I have no idea about what to order aside from the usual shawarma and kebab. That's the reason why I am happy I was finally able to try other Mediterranean dishes here in Sultan Mediterranean Grill in Valero Plaza Condominium, San Agustin Street, Makati.

If you're looking for a restaurant serving Mediterranean cuisine... :)
Starter/Appetizer

Falafel balls with Hummus
P 250.00
This is served with a pita bread that's covered with a cheesecloth.

This is something that I haven't tried before but it tastes good and I was actually surprised that this is just an appetizer. 
Salad
Salata Horiatiki/ Greek Salad
P 200.00
Vitamin Boost
P 250.00

I liked this salad because of its orange and cranberry dressing. Nothing like an extra vitamin boost especially in this crazy weather we're having this days. Huhu. I wish I could eat this today too! 
Moussaka
P 220.00

This is almost like Lasagna only they used eggplant instead of the pasta. I liked the cheese, hehe, I'm just not really a fan of eggplant. 
Lamb Shank
P 550.00

They slow-cooked this lamb for three hours. Yup, three hours so no wonder that the meat is very soft and juicy. It is perfect with the buttered rice and gravy. It might seem expensive but a serving is huge that it is good for sharing.

 I liked this a lot even though I only had 2 spoonfuls of this because there were too much food to try. Oh, and it was my first time eating lamb and their shank didn't disappoint. 
Lobia Rice
Beef Shawarma
Kebab Platter

CHUNKS (all caps para intense!) Chunks talaga as in malalaking chunks of beef, lamp, seafood, and chicken perfect paired with Sultan Grill's garlic sauce that is readily available in each table and their lobia rice.
With the diced veggies it came with. 

I liked this a lot too!
My mixed berry yogurt drink.
SULTAN MEDITERRANEAN GRILL'S
Facebook: here.
Instagram: here.
Twitter: here.


They're open from 11:00 AM to 10 PM.
Address: UG9 Valero Plaza Condominium, 124 San Agustin Street, Makati




Thank you Sultan Mediterranean Grill for the invite and Aldous for organizing this event. :)

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Puerto Princesa & El Nido Day 3: Underground River 2015!

I was putting watermarks on my pictures and I looked at them in a different way. Hindi naman 'yung binaliktad ko muna 'yung pictures ah. When we there, yes ang ganda but my reaction was more like, "O ano pang meron?" 

Maybe I thought of it that way because I'm used to seeing man-made statues that's why it was as if there's nothing special but then when you keep in mind that those are all formed naturally. As in, million years na pagso-solidify ng minerals na galing sa saltwater then na-form 'yung mga ganung klaseng figures and shapes, everything in that cave would take your breath away. Maski nga 'yung pusong bato na shape hindi ko kayang i-form sa clay eh, tas magkakataon na mafo-form siya dun sa loob ng cave. Diba? hahaha. Ktnxbye.

Wala lang. Mas na-appreciate ko kasi sa pictures kaya if ever na makabalik ako ng Palawan tas kayanin naman na pumunta ulit dito, why not? 
You would still have to ride a boat from Sabang Wharf (here) to reach the National Park.

This is also the registration area for tourists; the only step that would take a long time especially if there are a lot of tourists waiting in the area. 
Then we were called by our guide because the boat that would take us to the Underground River Park has already arrived.

The boat ride took us around 15-20 minutes.
Limestone Karst can be found almost everywhere in Palawan. 
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site off my list.

San Agustin Church, Intramuros link: here.
Paoay Church, Ilocos link: here.
Calle Crisologo, Ilocos link: here.


Next plsssss. Hahaha! I'm looking forward to my next adventure. No plans yet but I'm letting the universe surprise me this time. O wag akong umasa kasi masasaktan lang ako? Hahaha!
Our tour guide volunteered to take my pictures since I was alone but you know, selfies can always do the job.

Naalala ko tuloy nung nasa Kalanggaman Island, Leyte sabi ang hilig ko raw palang mag-selfie. HAHAHA. E kasi, nakakahiya naman pa picture ng pa picture sa iba. Bilang lang talaga ang mga taong matyaga at 'yung keri lang na maging makapal mukha ko para magpa-picture lagi. Haha! 


Kalanggaman Island Sandbar link: here.
Bayawak
Only saw one monitor lizard though.
You can reach the National Park through trekking as well. 
Our turn to enter the cave!

Pag galing dito mo titignan, ang liit lang pero pag pasok mo, ang laki. Grabe mas malaki pa sa'kin. haha!
It's really a good thing that I became more courageous in doing these things. I couldn't imagine bringing my younger self here. Baka nagwala na ko. Bangka tas madilim na cave? Hala mas malala pa sa horror story sa'kin 'yan nung bata ako! 
This is one of the figures you'll see in the cave.

Hindi ko talaga masyadong na-appreciate when I was there kasi nga, you can see horse figurines everywhere e pero pag iisipin mo that everything there was naturally-made. Grabe. And to think that naka classfiy sila, like sa isang part parang mga religious statues like last supper, si Mama Mary and three kings tas sa isang part, meron naman mga vegetables. Diba. Ang galing galing?
It was said that the crosses were put there even before this became a tourist spot and that vandalism from something-57. Bawal na ngayon!
Done.

Meron lang allotted area for the tourists and can't take the risk to explore farther because of the reduced oxygen level in the air.


Nga pala, Puerto Princesa Subterranean River is also called St. Paul Underground River Cave.
Bakit? Akala mo ba e hindi kita kayang KALIMUTAIN?? :)))
I was looking forward to seeing a lot of monkeys in the area but I only saw one.

Feeding them isn't allowed and you must not bring plastic bags with you because for the monkeys, plastic bags mean food. 
Shades pangontra haggardness.

Mas okay ang walang tulog kesa walang gising!! :))
On our way back to the wharf for lunch. 
Mabilis lang.

Mas matagal pa nga byahe papunta rito but it's definitely worth visiting!
Huhu. Kamote fries is love.

I was able to eat rice during lunch because I wasn't alone anymore. I got acquainted with the couple in our tour group and we ate together. Dapat kung magjo-jowa ako 'yung pareho kami ng interests, noh? hehehe. Relationship goals ang magbilang ng miles kesa years. Haha Edi wow. Loko lang. Hindi muna. 
I also like to try the Mangrove Boat Tour and Firefly Watching Tour.

Next time, Palawan!! 
This was supposed to be the only itinerary for the day but we headed somewhere else for spelunking and caving.

To follow na lang :)
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