Puerto and the Prinsesas [2016.09.05-09]

This is hilarious. I have always had this draft saved, but I never really got to work on it, and then, while I was going through my emails, I found this email of the text I wrote for this blog back in April 2017! The trip itself was in Sept 2016 (that’s how delay I write these entiries LOL!) And the email was sent from my TaskUs email, it was before we left the company and I guess I was sending all my drafts to my personal email! LOL! So I might as well finally put up my blog about this! Here it goes~  (I had to go through all of the photos again so I can choose which ones to include LOL) Reading this again would be hilarious because other than Peachy and Aly, I was also with Ben and his friend TJ during this trip.  Anyway, just to be clear. This is about a trip that is more than 3 years old. I didn’t go to Palawan recently LOL

BAMBOO BED AND BREAKFAST HOSTEL

Ok, this is definitely the place to be in Puerto Princesa if you want a unique hostel experience. We found this place on AirBnB and when I saw the hammocks, I knew I wanted to stay here! I was able to convince my friends and I’m just so happy we decided to choose this as our “home” during our 4-day trip to Puerto Princesa. It’s not too far from the airport and from where the places are. Getting a trike can be difficult at times and you’ll have to walk a bit to get to the main road. But that’s what’s awesome about Puerto Princesa, you don’t really need to rush. I actually enjoyed walking here.

They have two gazebos and three rooms. Two rooms are air-conditioned, one is a fan room, beds have mosquito nets. One gazebo has 7 beds with mosquito nets and the other gazebo houses the hammocks. It’s a very small place and perfect for backpackers. It’s also very quiet since it’s situated at the end of a compound. They have “quiet time” after 10pm, which I find very considerate for all the guests. Most of us there started our days early for the tours so it’s nice that everyone just respects the quiet time. You don’t really need to go to bed early though. You can still hang out at the common areas but you need to keep your voices to a minimum.

I got to experience both the bed in the gazebo and the one in the fan room cause I transferred on the second day. There were 5 of us so we booked 2 beds in the gazebo and the 3 beds in the fan room. It was actually nice sleeping with the mosquito net. I think the last time I experienced that was when I was a kid.

The staff is very accommodating and very flexible with requests. The showers and toilets are clean, but some of the doors have problems. That’s a very minor issue though. Everyone’s just so friendly here. You can ask other guests about places to visit in Puerto Princesa and they’d gladly share their experiences.

The best thing about it though is the hammocks of course! We would be home from our tours in the afternoon so we would just stay there and rest, or drink beer. The BnB’s tagline, “Take a vacation from your vacation.” is definitely perfect! I felt very relaxed during my stay here. It’s just too bad we didn’t get to experience movie night! I was looking forward to it! Maybe next time πŸ™‚

TRICYCLE CITY TOUR

We booked the same tricycle who took us from the airport to for our city trip. It’s just 600 pesos for the whole tricycle for the entire city tour. According to the driver, it’s usually until noon, but we had a hiccup (the tire gave out LOL) so we ended up finishing at 3pm. The driver was super nice and accommodating that we ended up giving him a few hundred pesos for a tip. While waiting for him to replace the tire, we spent some time at the city hall where you can see the world’s largest pearl.

PALAWAN WILDLIFE RESCUE AND CONSERVATION CENTER

This was our first stop during the city tour and was a great way to start the day. There was a tour guide facilitating the walk around the place. I absolutely loved seeing the baby crocs, and actually even the bigger ones. I cannot believe crocodiles can go as big as those. I loved watching the crocodiles because they’re so lazy. They barely moved and if I hadn’t known better, I would think they’re not real or dead. LOL. This place is also home to other animals that are native to Palawan. We also took pictures while holding a baby croc. The picture will cost you PHP180 and it’s a bit steep but it’s okay, my friend and I shared it and we enjoyed the whole experience. It’s actually more expensive in other places such as Baluarte.

PALAWAN BUTTERFLY ECOLOGICAL GARDEN AND TRIBAL VILLAGE

So this place consists of two areas, the first one is the butterfly garden, the other is the tribal village – well that’s obvious from the name itself. LOL. There are also some insects and animals here that are native to Palawan. I definitely learned a lot about these animals – it was a very educational tour. There are also a lot of butterflies flying everywhere. There are also butterflies mating everywhere. LOL. We learned that male butterflies and peacocks are actually more beautiful. And you need to see how butterflies mate. The female butterflies definitely make a lot of effort, while the male butterfly just hangs in there, chilling. How typical LOL. So the next part is the tribal village. I forgot the name of the tribe, but they’re supposedly the descendants of the Tabon Man, which is one of the earliest humans in the Philippines. They were pretty amazing. They didn’t prepare a show, but they did show as their exceptional talents and skills, which they use to survive. According to the tour guide, they go to the city group by group and they rotate every few weeks. They travel with their pet snake, which my friend and I got to hold. See, I definitely touched a lot of animals during our city tour! What I liked the most about this place is our tour guide, Ian. He was awesome! He definitely made the whole tour super fun. If you ever go here and here’s your tour guide, expect a few “hugot” lines and funny side comments from him. Hahaha. You can also purchase the photos you took, it’s PHP200 for two photos. It’s cheaper than the one at Crocodile Farm.

BAKERS HILL

I freaking love this place! When I heard of Baker’s Hill, I just thought it’s just where I’m going to buy really delicious baked stuff but it’s so much more! It’s really beautiful here and it sort of gives out European feels. We pretty much took photos in every corner and I just love how they came out. The whole place is totally Instagrammable! We spent quite a long time here because it’s such a huge place! My favorite spot would have to be the house with the bicycle out front. πŸ™‚ Of course, we did buy a lot of pastries, too. We had to try their famous ube and monggo hopia. They were very cheap, too.

BINUATAN CREATIONS

This wasn’t supposed to be included in our city tour, but we passed by it on the way to the city hall from the butterfly garden so our driver made a quick stop. I was very tired so I didn’t actually want to go inside but my friend made me do it cause she needs someone to take a video of her trying to weave something. I’m so happy I decided to do that. I was able to also try it for a bit. It was a very pleasant (and educational) experience. They let you try it, also it’s interesting that some of the orders they get take weeks to finish That’s really hard work, you guys. Adjacent to the factory where they work is a souvenir shop where they sell weaved products like bags, slippers, wallets, etc. We couldn’t leave without buying anything so I bought a passport holder while my friend bought a fan.

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CATHEDRAL

Churches in the Philippines are always super beautiful. Also, I think in all of my trips in the Philippines, my friends and I always make sure to visit at least one. We stayed there only for a couple of minutes and it was enough for me to appreciate the beauty of this church.

PLAZA CUARTEL

Plaza Cuartel is right across the Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral so you can visit two tourist spots in just one area. Plaza Cuartel looks just like a park where they have pictures and statues related to what it’s all about. The place is dedicated to the American soldiers who were prisoners of the Japanese back in WW2. The Japanese soldiers burned these over 200 soldiers, but some of them were able to escape. They swam their way to Iwahig so they can go back to their families. That’s quite a history so I wish they could add more stuff to see.

MITRA FARM

We stopped by really quick here. It’s quite far but the view’s really nice. We just took photos outside and we didn’t really go inside the house cause we felt like it won’t be worth paying 20 pesos for.

HONDA BAY

I’m so glad we decided to do this tour! We weren’t supposed to do the Honda Bay island hopping because we kind of wanted to stay away from doing very touristy stuff in Palawan. But my friend’s aunt insisted on it and paid for our boat. Who are we to say no? We only went to two islands – Pambato Reef and Cowrie Island. We did snorkeling in Pambato Reef and I really enjoyed it. It’s definitely a nice site for snorkeling. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful reefs I’ve ever seen. It was tiring since we had to circle around but our boatman was very helpful and helped drag us around. Hahaha. Since we went there really early, I think at around 7-8am, we were the first people there and had the place all to ourselves. Our boatman showed us giant clams and a round starfish. From Pambato Reef, we went to Cowrie Island next where took our lunch. Since it was still early, we went for a swim, took photos and went to the floating hut in the middle of the sea. We fed the fish there. I love this island! The sand is so fine and not crowded, too. I think we’re lucky that we took our holiday in September cause all the places we went to weren’t crowded. After lunch, I got very sleepy so I took a nap under a tree we found that’s far from where the other guests are. We just pretty much lazed around until it was time for us to go home. Honda Bay reminded me of the islands in Kota Kinabalu which will always have a special place in my heart. πŸ™‚ It’s too bad we forgot to take a photo at the sign! πŸ™

KAY’S HOT SPRING

We went to try one of the hot springs in Puerto Princesa and it was kind of hard to get there. We can actually take a jeepney going there but after waiting for quite some time, we couldn’t find the right one so we decided to hire a trike that will take us there. It is actually quite far. The trike driver offered to just wait for us so that we won’t have a hard time getting a ride back. I don’t remember how many hours we stayed though. Anyway, so they have a restaurant but at the time, it wasn’t really open. When we got there, it was just us and two other ahjushis so we thought that taking a swim in a public hot spring is not so bad. We stayed at the pool at the back and it was just us there. So we sort of had our own private pool. It was noon when we were there so it was quite hot. We took a rest at one of the papags nearby and chilled there for a few hours. It was another lazy afternoon for us. They have rooms, too if you want it to be really private.

CITY BAY WALK

We went here for dinner on our second day because one of my friends recommended that we go to Arnold’s. My other friends were very tired during that night, so I went with a male friend instead, who’s a vegetarian. I wasn’t able to try Arnold’s but we were able to find another place where I can enjoy some seafood and he can enjoy his vegetable rice and salad. Food’s really cheap and the service is quite fast. I just don’t remember the place we chose. It’s also not too crowded, only a few tables where occupied. Maybe because we went there on a Tuesday night. After having dinner, we walked by the bay and we ended up walking back to our BnB which is about 30 minutes away from there. Too bad we weren’t able to take photos though.

KINABUCH GRILL AND BAR

I really don’t like crowded places so I really liked this restaurant! It’s open air, too so it was really perfect! We didn’t really get to try a lot of dishes since there were only the two of us. They have a great variety of dishes to choose from. My friend was vegetarian and he didn’t have a hard time choosing what he wanted to eat. (I had to Google from time to time though to prove to him that it’s safe to eat those. Haha. But that was cute.) I definitely liked the tofu bistek. My friend enjoyed it, too. I had a beer, too so the dinner was really nice. πŸ™‚

IMA’S GULAY BAR

This is a very interesting place. I found out about this from my friend’s tita when I asked her if there are any vegetarian restaurants in Puerto Princesa. She suggested this place and so we looked for it on Google Maps. We decided to go there after coming back from Kay’s Hot Springs for a late lunch. My friend had a burrito and tofu vegetable dish, which he really really liked. I asked him what’s in the burrito and he said he doesn’t know but it’s really good. I had a garlic pasta and it was good, too. The place is also not hard to find. Our tricycle driver also didn’t know where it is but there was a huge sign in front so it’s pretty easy to spot. We were the only people there so we had the place all to ourselves. It was a pretty calm, late lunch and I liked it. πŸ™‚

UGONG ROCK GRILL AND SEAFOOD BAR

We were supposed to go to KaLui but I think it was already 10pm when we went out to have a late dinner so it was already closed. We saw Ugong Rock was nearby and still open so we went there instead. There was this nice tricycle driver who took us there (even if it’s walking distance) because I think they have some sort of commission if they bring customers to the restaurant. He was also the one who took us home. Anyway, going back to Ugong Rock. I think all of the waiters here are cute. LOL. And oh so very attentive. We had drinks with our food and for some reason, I ordered Singapore Sling. While in Puerto Princesa. LOL. 

Talk to me~