First of all, I’m sorry it took a very loooong time before I got to write about the last day of my trip to Palawan! Well, here it is, finally. πŸ™‚

Our last tour day in Palawan was supposed to be just lazing around the beaches we previously went to (Malcapuya-Banana Island-Bulog Dos), but as mentioned earlier, since we are sharing the tour with other tourists, it had to be switched to a different tour day.

Last day was snorkeling in Barracuda Lake, another Coral Garden I forgot the name of, the Skeleton Wrecks, the Twin Peaks and killing time in Smith Beach for the rest of the day. Contrary to what I expected, this tour became a nice capoff. We were the only passengers of the boat – our companions from the previous day did not want to take tours with the operator anymore because of the bad boating experience from our 2nd day.

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Refreshing Barracuda Lake! A must-go-to!

There’s a little bit of hike too, up and down, to reach the Barracuda Lake. But unlike Kayangan Lake, the hike is only about 20 steps up and 20 steps down. The stairs are pretty sturdy and safe, too.

Barracuda Lake has a more open space than Kayangan. When we were there, we have some divers as company and they were gonna dive in to feed the sharks. Yes, there are barracudas that they feed with bread so they do not interfere with humans.

Wooden planks for steps looked newly-furnished.

Wooden planks for steps looked newly-furnished.

Afterwards, we went to a coral garden near Twin Peaks, I guess it’s called Twin Peaks Coral Garden.

Twin Peaks! Although we only halves of the peaks are shown in this picture.

Twin Peaks! Although we only halves of the peaks are shown in this picture.

Water in the Twin Peaks Coral Garden is so inviting! It’s just so calm. Underneath is a rich marine life. It’s so refreshing to swim and peak under the water to see the corals and fishes, and swim some more. After about an hour, we left for lunch and the skeleton wrecks.

The Hut at Banol Beach.

The Hut at Banol Beach.

The Banol beach is just a few feet area of sand, which was actually covered by seawater when we went there because of high tide. There is a hut that has a table for tour lunches. This is also where the skeleton wreck is located.

We snorkeled at the wreck site for more than an hour, we could not get a good picture of the wrecks because of bad lighting, but this is what you can you unless you dive in deep.

Image courtesy of divesitedirectory.com

Image courtesy of divesitedirectory.com

There were so many fishes in the wreck site because corals formed already on the remnants of the sunken ship. So fun to play with them.

Last stop was Smith Beach – a charming little beach with white, fine sand on a limestone island. It has a hut too and some chairs to rest at. This is where we spent the rest of the tour – just sunbathing, playing with the sand and water. We let our boatmen rest, too πŸ™‚

Smith Beach

Smith Beach

Smith Beach is located not far from the wharf. You can see the town from the beach. It belongs to the Coron group of Islands where most of the destinations in Coron tours are located at.

A panoramic shot of Smith Beach. So charming :)

A panoramic shot of Smith Beach. So charming πŸ™‚

Since coming from Palawan, I’ve always told people who come to me about their tours to “Come to Palawan, you can never go wrong with Palawan.” I know I’ll keep coming back to this wonderful, beautiful place in my country.

I’d like to stress that if you’re coming to Coron and want not to spend too much on tours and comfortable accommodation, go to Luis Bay Travellers’ Lodge. They offer rooms for as low as Php500 and serve fulfilling breakfasts. They also arrange tours for visitors so they won’t have to look for companions to save on tour fees. Visit their facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Luis-Bay-Travellers-Lodge/251237514946912

'Til next time, Palawan :)

‘Til next time, Palawan πŸ™‚
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Malcapuya Island πŸ™‚

I did not grow up spending summer vacation at posh places and beaches, no. I only got to start to travel when I started making my own money. During childhood, the closest thing I had seen as a natural wonder was the river at the back of our family house in Mindoro, and as a sexy beach the gray-sand beach area a few kilometers from there.

As of my current age, I’ve only gone to a few good beaches including Bantayan Island in Cebu, Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro, Mutiara Burau Bay in Langkawi, Malaysia, among others.

So, upon reaching Palawan, I was still wondering how a perfect white sand beach really looks and feels like. The answers came in barrels on my day 2 in Coron. Although I’ve already spent a day in El NIdo and have met some of its awesome beaches, I felt like they weren’t “it” yet.

When I mapped out our holiday, I scheduled our beach-hopping day for day 3. But our tour provider had to interchange itineraries for day 2 and 3 due to tour sharing.

First stop: The Coron word-of-mouth Malcapuya Island.Β 

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The parking area for boats at the “side” of the island.

It took us about 3 hours to reach this island. The tour provider has provided us with a malfunctioning and utterly-slow boat 😦 The trip was supposed to be just 1 hour to get here.

But the wait and travel is worth it! πŸ™‚ So is the P150 entrance fee which I think is a bit peaky!

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Please again excuse my fats and just focus on the very pleasant beach!

This island has a very long stretch of white, fine sand. This is also privately-owned, thus the considerably high entrance fee. The owner/s of the island though have provided guests with several tables and chairs for dining and tents for shed at the beach area. Stayed here for a few hours and for lunch. More pictures!

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The very clear water and the towering coconut trees complete the sophisticated beauty of Malcapuya Island.

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I’m inggit when he found this spot! So relaxing.

This is yet another must-go-to place in Coron! Or, we can decide after seeing the 2 other islands we went to on our second island hopping day. πŸ™‚

Second stop: The Virgin Banana Island!Β 

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Banana Island from afar! See the white stretch surrounding the island? πŸ™‚

Banana Island has several accommodation rooms that can be rented per night. I think they cost 1,000php per hut per night, and you get to experience living on the island for a short time and waking up to a paradise. πŸ™‚

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I’m bursting out of my swimming dress already for staying in Palawan for days! Haha!

This is also privately-owned and open to the public for 150php per head. People can stay at the huts or camp. There is a store here although it is recommended to bring own food if staying here for a night or more. The “corner” of the island is a huge bed of white sand, and is, for me, the best stop in this island to lie down at!Β Image

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The hut in the background is one of the rooms for accommodation. There is also a volleyball court at this edge of the island. It’s very wiiiiiide!

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Fine white sand everywhere. Untrimmed bushes embrace you with a feeling of closeness to a virgin nature.

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The area in the sea at the background where there is a floater is the snorkeling. Not only is this island very charming but underwater is also teeming with life!

Personally, this is the most beautiful of all the islands in Coron that I have gone to. People, if you are visiting Coron, please do see the awesome Banana Island for yourself. πŸ™‚

Third and Final Stop for the day: Bulog Dos Island

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This island is not sharing the sea of Bulalacao, Coron with Banana and Malcapuya Islands for no reason. It has equally fine and perfect sand surrounding it. What has added to its natural charm is a wide sandbar.

The sandbar is almost as wide as a beach area.

The sandbar is almost as wide as a beach area.

The Bulog Dos island’s sandbar connects to the island where Four Seasons Resort is located. The sand at 4 Seasons though is not as good as here.

It also has a very wide shore. Behind me is the Four Seasons Luxury Resort.

It also has a very wide shore. Behind me is the Four Seasons Luxury Resort.

How can one place be so, so beautiful?

How can one place be so, so beautiful?

Any person who’s said that he/she does not want to live anymore and wants to die instead has not gone to Palawan yet. Take them suicidals to Coron and make them see these islands, I’m sure they will be converted to life-loving people. πŸ™‚

After staying for about an hour in Bulog Dos, we had to go back already. It’s a shame that because of our slow boat, we could not stay further at this beautiful place.

People, please do not miss these places when coming to Coron. πŸ™‚

My personal favorite is the Banana Island – it’s very unspoiled, very virgin.

Bulog Dos on the other hand is an island so sexy that it’s perfect for just beach-bumming all day.

Malcapuya is quite the touristy one.

See you on my 3rd installment of my Coron adventure. πŸ™‚

<3,

Jules

The shot I was so hoping for!

The shot I was so hoping for!

On the fourth day of our Palawan Holiday, we left El NIdoΒ early and headed for El Nido port for the boat ride of our lives! This is the part of this holiday I was so scared from.

We boarded this outrigger boat bound for Coron Town – travel time is 8 hours (and yes, you read it right!). It was pretty scary – I was frightened by the long time that we will be sailing and because there were occasional rains that period in June. However, it was our only choice. I checked for all the other options and we could not get any other option but this. For travellers who are meaning to go by El Nido to Coron, these boats leave every day but Saturday. You may also check for the schedule at the El Nido Art Cafe.

At 7am, we were already at the silent port at the end of Bacuit Bay.

Even this humble port has boasting views!

Even this humble port has boasting views!

The outrigger boat, Jessabel’s passenger were all foreigners except for me and Mario. The boat’s capacity was 40 people but we were only 10 that trip. We left at about 8am. The ticket price was 1500 and included a yummy Chopseuy and rice for lunch.

After about 8 hours, we are already approaching Coron town! I must say the sail was comfortable except for the sweat and the one-time rain.

See the wooden deck? I sunbathed with the equally bored foreign passengers there. haha!

See the wooden deck? I sunbathed with the equally bored foreign passengers there. haha!

As soon as we boarded off, we took a tricycle ride to our hotel. Coron town has awfully small roads. I think if something as big as a bus takes on their roads, it’ll have to be one way until the bus leaves the skimpy roads.

Traveller recommendation number 2: Travelling around Coron can be costly, as most of the destinations here require entrance fees ranging from 100-300 php. If you are on a budget, better choose an affordable accommodation that does not compromise quality. Go for Luis Bay Traveller’s Lodge (shameless plug). I’m vert happy I came across this accommodation while sweeping the internet for a good one. They offer hotel-style modern rooms at a very good price – and with a yummy breakfast included! We booked 5 days with them, including all our tours for 3 days and transfer to Busuanga airport on day 8, it only costed us 11,592php for the two of us combined! You can never find any other package that can top that, so do check their facebook page now and book with them! πŸ™‚

The first part of our Β tour, which we immediately took on after several minutes of rest, was the relaxing bath at the Maquinit Hot Spring.

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The road to Maquinit Hill where the Coron-famous hotspring is located at. πŸ™‚

After about 20 minutes of trike ride, we reach the huge pools of Maquinit Hot Spring.

Spot the very huge pool behind!

Spot the very huge pool behind!

The water temperature was around 38-42 degrees celsius if I were to estimate. Whereas the pools are circular structures made of cement in different sizes. The floor of the pools are smooth stones piled up. Dipping in these pools was very relaxing! The water comes from the hill and is naturally hot. CONS, though is that the water has too many algae swimming with people and the water is not filtered.

A must-try!

Looking puffy because of the hot water.

After a few minutes of dipping, we left and went back to the hotel to bathe properly. And so happened the first night of quest for a nice and affordable dinner. πŸ™‚

We discovered Coron Edge – an affordable buffet place in Coron Town. For 168php, you can get as many helpings of a Pork/Beef dish, chicken, fish, vegetables and rice. Only, it’s located at the foot of another Coron-famous destination (which we didn’t go to haha!). the Mt Tampay. You hafta climb a few steps on an inclined and winding road to reach the restaurant.

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On our first try (yes we did have dinner here more than once haha!), the menu table included grilled tuna, pork bbq, chicken curry, coleslaw and a yummy soup!

Our hotel is located near the town market. It has food stalls, bargains and a different market feel at night! We walked our way from Coron Edge to the hotel to familiarize ourselves with the roads and to take a look at the market. Unfortunately, i could not take a picture of the market scene, I was afraid it might get snatched, lol.

First day of Island Hopping:Β 

Siete Picados!

Siete Picados!

Well, what happened to my face here?

Siete Picados was the first stop. This snorkeling spot is located at the nearest end of the Coron Islands if coming from the town. It is composed of 7 islets housing a very rich marine life. It was raining a little bit by the time we came here, but still we got off the boat to snorkel and see the fishes and corals underwater.Β 

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Picture does not justify the corals underwater.

Leaving Siete Picados.

Leaving Siete Picados.

The very famous Kayangan Lake was next.

Entering the group of mini islands to reach Kayangan Lake.

Entering the group of mini islands to reach Kayangan Lake.

I’ve always wondered where how we reach the Kayangan Lake. I did not know that is is hidden inside this group of green islets.

After several turns and passing of islands, we find this!

After several turns and passing of islands, we find this. Sorry for the white orbs in the picture!

How it looks from the "shore". Here is where boats park.

How it looks from the “shore”. Here is where boats park.

Before "hiking" up and down to the lake, we were given a short lecture about Kayangan and Coron/Busuanga at the entrance on Kayangan Lake.

Before “hiking” up and down to the lake, we were given a short lecture about Kayangan and Coron/Busuanga at the entrance on Kayangan Lake.

The Kayangan Lake is a good 750 steps up and down the hill. It was quite tiring and dangerous as the steps were slippery and some other people on their way back make the way to the lake crowded. But there are wooden handrails on the trail to hold on.

Halfway to the lake, we meet this view of a paradise, and a bonus cave. πŸ™‚

Too bad this was a little crowded too, I wanted to stay still for a few minutes while staring at this beauty.

Too bad this was a little crowded too, I wanted to stay still for a few minutes while staring at this beauty.

And the cave right infront of this picture-famous area.

I did not get the chance to explore this cave.

I did not get the chance to explore this cave.

Conquered the second half of the trek (which is a much shorter one) and this came before our eyes!

I could not believe my eyes! :)

I could not believe my eyes! πŸ™‚

It’s perfect! The turquoise, clear water, the beautiful rock formations underwater and even the wooden footpaths add greatness to this scenery. This is a must-see!

After a few minutes of snorkeling and just swimming around and enjoying the view, we had to trek back out for lunch. But here are some of the pictures taken at the lake.

It was so hard to pull off this shot! Haha!

It was so hard to pull off this shot! Haha!

β™« You and Me, sitting on a..rock! β™«

β™« You and Me, sitting on a..rock! β™«

Leaving the lake vicinity after having lunch.

Leaving the lake vicinity after having lunch.

Next stop, a coral garden, for snorkeling.

The cute little hut from afar signals boatmen where the coral garden is located at. Notice the change of color of the water / sea. The whiter area is the coral and reefs area, which is more shallow than the deep green area.

The cute little hut from afar signals boatmen where the coral garden is located at. Notice the change of color of the water / sea. The whiter area is the coral and reefs area, which is more shallow than the deep green area.

Some of the underwater shots at the coral garden.

Few fishes feasting on the algae attached to our boat. Check the coral on the lower part of the picture. :)

Few fishes feasting on the algae attached to our boat. Check the coral on the lower part of the picture. πŸ™‚

The corals are much more alive in actual than in this picture. :) The no-reef and deep area is scary to look at!

The corals are much more alive in actual than in this picture. πŸ™‚ The no-reef and deep area is scary to look at!

The last part of our tour is a relaxing time at CYC beach.Β 

Docked a few meters from the beach.

Docked a few meters from the beach.

I read somewhere that CYC beach’s white sand was continually taken by some resort builders to make their own white sand beachfront. I under-estimated this beach upon having read that. It’s still pretty and the sand is still white and fine. πŸ™‚

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The beach area.

 

Me lurking around!

Me lurking around!

They found a small crab and played with it a lil bit before putting it back to the sea.

They found a small crab and played with it a lil bit before putting it back to the sea.

 

Writing about my 5 days in Coron is impossible! So i’m writing in three parts. πŸ™‚

 

See you on part 2!

 

 

<3,

Jules

 

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During my stay in El Nido, this hammock has been a friend, and the great view from there has become a family.

I have dreamed for many weeks to finally see this view. I’ve searched for months and read about this place. It did not disappoint me, not even a little bit, when we finally got to meet each other. ‘Til this day, I still can almost feel the same happiness I felt staring at the view just by closing my eyes and imagining.

The ride to El Nido was sweaty beyond imagination! The van that picked us up was too full with locals, fellow vacationists and some foreigners. It was 7 hours of sweat, smooth and rough and dark roads, because we met the night time on the road and there are still not too many lights. It was a little bit of a freak show. Haha! It was pitch dark everywhere and our van’s hazard lights were on while driving, I think for better recognition of someone behind that there’s a vehicle on the road?

Before it’s become dark, we stopped for an early dinner at a restaurant 3 hours from El Nido town proper. The restaurant is situated near the sea and it has a nice bridge attached to it. Mario and I had some refreshments and took a number of pictures.

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While waiting for our strawberry shake and blended coffee.

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The bridge I told you about in the beginning. See the scattered islands behind?

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Cutesy rattan chair in the al fresco area of the resto,

It’s almost 9pm when we reachedΒ the El NIdo town proper. Since we are leaving for Coron in 2 days, we hurried to the El Nido Art Cafe for to buy our tickets. We thought we could have dinner there too – no, because the food is too pricey. haha!

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The entrance to the El Nido Art Cafe. It’s a restaurant, a visitor information and tours center, an art gallery and store. πŸ™‚

We dined at one of the restaurants in Bacuit Bay, and just like the restaurant on the way to El Nido, I forgot the name of this one, too. Haha! I was excited to rest and prepare for the adventure of the coming morning, so please forgive me. πŸ™‚

We checked in at Hadefe Resort – a good 15 minute walk (for a well-rested person) from the town proper. I don’t recommend this for the people who aren’t fond of walking. But I do recommend this resort for people who like the quiet. This resort also offers a great view of the sunset. Hadefe now provides visitors with mountain bikes for use to and from the resort, since it’s quite far.

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The front of Hadefe during low tide. I almost cried in glee having taken this picture of a wonderful view.

Since outrigger boats do not leave for Coron from El NIdo on saturdays, we had to cut our tours in El Nido to just one day. Sad indeed, so we made sure to make the most of it. We got up early, had a nice breakfast and coffee courtesy of the resort, and left for the tours. We were joined by a young German couple and a number of fellow Pinoys.

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Lovey dovey too excited to see El Nido’s awesomeness!

Our first stop is the Secret Lagoon. Too bad, we were not able to take a decent picture of this one. It had an awesome view. You have to swim into a small hole to get to the lagoon. At a high tide, the water reaches the ceiling of this small hole, one has to swim to get to the lagoon.

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The hole to the Small Lagoon.

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The Small Lagoon. πŸ™‚ It’s much more beautiful than in this picture. Thanks to our camera enclosed in a floating underwater case, some of the shots have white orbs in them. haha!

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The water, everywhere in Palawan, is very clear.

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After swimming around the Small Lagoon, we went to the Big Lagoon but didn’t get off the boat. They just took us sightseeing from our seats (for some unknown reasons).

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The entrance to the big lagoon. You’ll find yourself holding your breath for excitement while you approach it.

And you get closer to the Big Lagoon.

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It’s like entering the world of the Lord of the Rings. It’s truly a great thing to do, seeing this wonder!

Three words - OH MY GOD!

Three words – OH MY GOD!

I recommend that you see the Small and Big Lagoon for yourself as my shots clearly do not do justice to the great sights that these are.

Upon leaving the Small Lagoon, it started drizzling then rained. It wasn’t too bad a rain but it got us wet from the boat, extra fun πŸ™‚

We were standing and our heads stuck out of the roofing of our boat while we make 2 rounds around the lagoon, we saw a turtle on the water! But we couldn’t get a picture of it.

Next stop, the infamous Entalula Island!

Approaching the postcard-famous island!

Approaching the postcard-famous island in El Nido!

Entalula Island appears on countless of pictures for El Nido. It is famous for its rock formation that divides its shore to two unequal sections. The rock formation looks like a half-open, no-fold umbrella (please imagine it with me!). It stands nicely on a stretch of fine, white sand. It has tiny “rooms” where one can sit or setup a grilling station at.

In between the famous rock and the island's karts.

In between the famous rock and the island’s karst.

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Please excuse my fat legs! lol

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This island looks like a little bit of the Survivor series with its super tall coconut trees and rich greens wrapping the boulder of an island for shed.

The sun shone so bright again by that time we hit this island. Yey!

The sun shone so bright again by that time we hit this island. Yey!

We had our lunch here! One of the things I really looked forward to was being served lunch on the beach and eating with other folks. πŸ™‚

Bellies of the world. Haha! I had no clear shot of the food because all of us just dived in right away!

Bellies of the world. Haha! I had no clear shot of the food because all of us just fired Β right away!

They served grilled tuna, grilled pork, squid, salad of eggplant, tomatoes and onions, fruits and rice. Too yummy! The German couple we shared the boat with were too butch about eating Filipino food, oh specially the girl! She poured the soy sauce (with chopped tomatoes, garlic, onion – classic Filipino dipping sauce) on her rice! Amazing!

After the feast, we carried on swimming and lurking around., enjoyed the lovely island and beach, then left for theΒ Simizu Coral Garden. We didn’t get off the beach on Simizu Island since we just came from a beach, the boat just parked on the water and helped us off for playing with the fishes. There were too many very colorful fishes!

Whoever started snorkeling activity is a freakin' genius. It's one of the best things to do!

Whoever started snorkeling activity is a freakin’ genius. It’s one of the best things to do!

A dominance of striped fishes! Looked like they belonged to the family of carps!

A dominance of striped fishes! Looked like they belonged to the family of carps!

About an hour of goofing with the lovely fishes and we’re bound to a cap off at Seven Commando Beach.

Apparently, the Seven Commando Beach is a private island with a bar that serves pricey (but understandable) alcoholic drinks. It also has several chairs everywhere and a volleyball net for playing. It was a good time to chill! We ordered a couple of beers and some chips and were drinking at the shore, but rain fell. We had to take shelter so we don’t get to drink beer with rainwater. haha!

Mario and I did not bring any money. Our captain boatman whom we called “Tatay” lent us 200php so we can buy something! Haha kind! πŸ™‚

The bar at the background.

The bar at the background.

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White and fine sand, great beach, beer. What a treat!

White and fine sand, great beach, beer. What a treat!

After an hour of lying on the sand and having fun in this cute island, we sailed back to El Nido town. The tide was very low then, we had to walk a long way to the resort from where the boat could only reach.

Magnificent.

Magnificent.

My first island hopping in Palawan was a blast! My body was beaten up and my skin was burnt already but my heart was easily filled with such pride and happiness. I felt like a foreign in this piece of my own land. It’s a beautiful place!

That evening, we went to bed early and got up early the next day – all prepped up for… CORON!

Please also read my entry/entries on our long stay in Coron. πŸ™‚

On the outrigger boat buckled up for 8 hours of sail to Coron.

On the outrigger boat buckled up for 8 hours of sail to Coron.

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So, I begin with blogging my latest travel. My 8-day journey in Palawan.

As usual, our flight to Puerto Princes (PPS) via Cebu Pacific was delayed, by more than an hour. But this fact did not dampen our excitement.

After the early evening, hour-long flight, we have landed in PPS International Airport and hurried to meet our “sundo” from our hotel. The airport is quite small, just like most provincial airports in the Philippines. This one though is a decent one, fortunately. Upon reaching the airport’s parking lot, the form of the local tricycle caught our eyes! It looked so cute and roomy, haha!

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It looked like something from the Men in Black movie. haha!

We checked-in at GoHotels – one of the popular affordable options in accommodation. The room was cheap but it’s surprisingly good! It’s new and has modern features like the LCD TV, good shower, comfy and huge bed and the great airconditioning unit. Wanderers to Puerto Princesa, I recommend this hotel chain. πŸ™‚ Upon settling our stuff, we headed out to look for a place for dining. Our hotel’s just beside the Robinsons Mall – Palawan, but it was already closed then. We found “Chikambak” instead and we’re glad we ate there! I think it stands for Chicken-Kambing (Goat)-Baka (beef). Clever!

On our first day of touring (2nd day in Palawan), we woke up early to have breakfast at the hotel and prepare to leave for the Subterranean river. TIP: Book your meals in advanced if you are booking rooms at GoHotels. The plated meals are quite pricey, they can be booked online for half the price. πŸ™‚

We were picked up by our tour van at around 7am. It was a rainy Wednesday morning but driving to Sabang for 2 hours was a breeze. We were joined by other people in the tour – all Filipinos.

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At the Sabang wharf, where pumpboats leave to bring tourists to the underground river.

The shore at the mountain range where the underground river is in.

The shore at the mountain range where the underground river is in.

The sand on the shore of the island is white and fine. It used to be permitted to swim there but it’s now prohibited because of the many boats that dock there. A few steps from the shore is a pretty rainforest, some tables for visitors, lots of signs, some monitor lizards you might want to chase and take picture of.

The wooden footpaths give you a foresty feel when you walk on them! They lead you to the riv

The wooden footpaths give you a foresty feel when you walk on them! They lead you to the river.

After putting on the life jacket and helmet and signing some registration form, we hopped in the boat and off we go!

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I really thought we won't be able to fit in the entrance! It looked very low from afar!

I really thought we won’t be able to fit in the entrance! It looked very low from afar!

The entrance to the cave looked very low from the other side of the river. Upon entrance, you will inhale the unwelcoming smell of bat sh*t. You can (try to) fight this smell though by applying menthol on your nosetrils. The bad smell will only be present though in the entrance and in the middle of the trail.

The underground river is 21 kms long but the tour will only cover 8 kms. Inside the cave it’s pitch black but in the edge of each tour boat, a flood light is provided. The person who sits on the front is responsible in pointing the flood light to where the tour guide wants it pointed at. Some of the pictures of the awesome rock formations, stalactites and stalagmites below in the pictures.

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Looked like a corn!

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Towering! Blown me away.

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Some of the stalactites go up to some low, reachable points.

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Awesome stalagmite!

About out the nature's wonder.

About out the nature’s wonder.

Last shot before we're totally out of the awesome unde

Last shot before we’re totally out of the awesome cave.

Oh it was beautiful! The tour (including the van transfers and lunch meals) costed Php 1,500 – quite pricey, but totally worth it!

After the great tour, we take some more time lurking and wandering around the park before taking the boat back to the wharf. Lunch came next! We drove a lil bit to a part of the San Vicente Island, got off the van at a buffet serviced restaurant infront of the beach. πŸ™‚

The lunch area.

The lunch area.

The lunch consisted of soup, chicken meal (adobo), grilled pork chops, grilled tuna, sauteed vegetables, freshly-cut fruits and a bottle of softdrink. It was fulfilling. πŸ™‚

Had a few pictures taken by the beach before we left. Fine, white sands seemed to be everywhere in Palawan!

DSC01695DSC01697This is also the island where the 800-meter zipline is stationed. On the left of this point is the Sabang Wharf, on the far right is the Subterranean Park. πŸ™‚

We even saw a dead catfish on the shore.

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This could have tasted well if it were still alive and cleaned for grilling (to death, haha!).

It was a low tide then, a sandbar appeared a few steps from the shore πŸ™‚

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A warning signal by the shore.

A warning signal by the shore.

Our tour van dropped me and Mario off at a van station at the Taraw Shore where we waited for our service van to El Nido.

I only got to see this much of Puerto Princesa and I was amazed already! I’m looking forward to seeing more πŸ™‚

Stay tuned for my entry on the El Nido and Coron part of this trip!

<3,

Jules

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The Baguio famous Strawberry Taho!

We work for an Australian company, which means we take our breaks when the Australians take their breaks. In line with this, all businesses in Australia shut down on Christmas period, and so does our office.

Baguio is a famous vacation place in the Philippines especially from those who live in the heat of the Metro. it’s 8-10 hours bus ride away from Manila, and it is a city on top of a mountain, thus the cold weather. I have relatives that live here, which is why it’s ironic that I haven’t gone to here until last Christmas break.

We went there December 24, 2012. There were too many people then! Some of them were vacationists, too. Transportation was a little hard but it did not stop us in enjoying the chilly temperature, the sights, the cheap but yummy foods and the local yummy products that Baguio offers.

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Aboard the Victory Liner bus to Baguio at around 12 midnight. The seats are comfy and very apt for the long ride.

After leaving our bags at our host’s house, we left for the Ukay Ukay market! Unfortunately, we could not take pictures because it’s a huge market and I’m afraid someone might just get the iphone from my hand *paranoid*. For a price of less than 500 php, I got to buy a bag, 2 jackets, and tons of shirts and tops and pairs of trousers! It was the best ukay ukay experience I had yet! Then we headed for lunch.

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The famous restaurant, 50’s Diner! Superb serving, fine taste and selection and good price!

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Burnham Park. Another well-known for tourists. Boat rides and bikes for a fee!

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Mines View Park! I think though it’s become toooo crowded with stores.

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You can have a picture with the St Bernard! The dog looked medium with Mario, it’s huge though. πŸ™‚

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Awesome views at the Mines View Park.

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Good Shepherd – a place to buy greaaat tasting Baguio goods! Particularly the Ube Jam!

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The Mansion – the Philippine President’s Baguio residence.

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Botanical Garden is relaxing! πŸ™‚

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There are Igorots (natives) at the gate of the Botanical Garden and you can take a picture with them for a fee.

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My favorite – Trinidad Valley Strawberry Farm! Sellers of strawberry wine, strawberry jam, strawberry fruits and strawberry ice cream flock this place. You can pick the strawberries yourself as an experience πŸ™‚

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Ahh, the “Good Taste” restaurant! Two very wide floors but very much crowded by customers! I don’t doubt though! They serve tasty food generously for a good price! Must try!

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Tam-Awan! An art gallery located on a foresty part of a hill. The place is pretty cool πŸ™‚

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The gallery has a cafe that serve Benguet coffee – simply great tasting! They also serve snacks and sweet breads.

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Touring the place requires a bit of a hike. Up and down.

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Wishing well, except that you have to shoot that coin in the bamboo pole.

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Beautiful sunset, sea of clouds and a view of the South China Sea from our host’s terrace.

<3,

Jules

My father was born and raised in Oriental Mindoro – a province located south of Metro Manila here in the Philippines. I grew up in the city (where my mom was, on the other hand, born and raised) but we would always visit my dada’s hometown almost every summer. One of the popular and best places to go to in Mindoro is Puerto Galera – one of the best bays in the world, with its awesome diving spots and great beach perfect for getting a tan.

Well, here’s the irony. I haven’t gone to Puerto Galera until I turned 26 last December, 2012. And that’s thanks to my travel and heart partner. πŸ™‚

As you know, we wanted to go to Bohol and Panglao Island for our birthdays, but we did not have enough leave days to use, so we opted for Puerto Galera instead.

This part of Mindoro is a 2-hour bus and 1-hour boat away from Metro Manila.

It had many bays – the White Beach, Sabang, Aninuan, Big Lalaguna and Small Lalaguna. If you are the relax-on-the-beach type or the banana-boat type of vacationist, you will want to go to the White Beach. But I wanted to (try to) dive and snorkel to see the famous coral reefs and rich marine life of Galera so we went instead to Sabang.

From this point forward, I’ll only be showing captioned pictures. Unfortunately, I did not have a camera with me when we explored the underwater.

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The bay area in Sabang. The boats parked are used by divers in reaching the diving spots.

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One of the pricey resorts, Coco Beach. We passed by it during island hopping.

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Our boatman got me something, he said “may laman” daw. I guess it belonged to the family of oysters and clams.

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We did not do much island hopping, as it was raining. After snorkelling, we went to this island and went back to the hotel right away.

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Our hotel had a nice swimming pool. It also had mesmerizing colored lights that do not overkill the christmas theme but instead were elegant. We stayed at Angelyn’s.

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We were surrounded with restaurants which require thousands of bucks for a decent dinner plate. Walked around, and found this spot – tables and chairs and barbecue stands! They offer wide range of grilled selections and they are fairly priced. It’s located in the beach area, so you still get the beach-feel even when dining here πŸ™‚

We had a quick dip at the pool and a few bottles of beer before heading back to our room.

Sorry I didn’t do Puerto Galera justice in this post (since I did not bring an underwater camera for island hopping and snorkelling) but here are some pictures of this beautiful place from the internet.

Puerto Galera from above. See the many beaches / bays?

Puerto Galera from above. See the many beaches / bays?

One of the famous diving spots in Galera - the beautiful, colorful Canyons!

One of the famous diving spots in Galera – the beautiful, colorful Canyons!

For more information on this awesome vacation place, visitΒ http://www.puertogalera.org/.

<3,

Jules