Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A year ago, I planned to update this blog through my first Palawan experience, but then again, a lot of things happened, so here I am, more than a year after, retelling our trip to one of the Philippines' most beautiful islands. It was a sort of pre-reward for all our hard work during our review for the Architectural board exams, but the catch was, we weren't sure yet if we had passed! Yet we decided that it was the best time, since--if for any reason but we were hoping not!--any of us would fail, at least we were there and no one would back out because of such cause.

As I am writing this 13months later, I am finding it hard to recall
the wonderful feeling of travelling to a different island, but I remember doing some last minute shopping for swimsuits and sunblocks! Embarassingly, it was also my first time to ride a plane (nyarhar), so you can just imagine how giddy I was!

We landed safely--of course, I am still here, writing this--and we were met by our host's wonderful parents and were treated for dinner at Leslie's, of which afterwards we went straight to their lovely house. As if we weren't tired enough, we decided to go to the town's park and have some late night coffee before we went back and prepared for our first day at Puerto Princesa.

Our first adventure was to island hop, as you can see from pictures below. Twas my first time snorkelling, too!:)
buying uber cheap hats!

Afterwards, we went to Balay Inato to eat--what else--Chicken Inato! I felt like a kid again, eating using my bare hands. I used to love eating at Jun-Jun's San Fernando, Pampanga and we did the same thing with their chicken barbeque.:)

We wouldn't miss the Underground River, and that's where we went the following day. It was beautiful! The waters that you see prior to entering the cave were crystal clear, and the trip through the cave itself was magical. We were also quite lucky to have a funny guide with us!

guide: "you see that formation over there" (points to a rock that resembles a woman)
us: "yeah?"
guide: "we call her Sharon"
martin (our friend): "Cuneta?"
guide: "No, Sharon. Sharon Stone."

(readers' reaction -- :/ ) Well, I don't know, but that really made us laugh. LOL. Or maybe you really had to be there to appreciate it.

For dinner we tried crocodile meat! yeah! I remember it was a bit.. malangsa (fishy) or it might have been my imagination. And it's true, it tastes like chicken!

Crocodile meat. looks normal, doesn't it?

One of us couldn't stay long so the following trip was to quite a number of places in one day to maximize his time: Puerto Princesa Zoo, Ihawig (where they keep prisoners in an open field, instead of confining them in prison cells. They say in the end, even the prisoners don't want to be let out. I think it serves the purpose of rehabilitating criminals, instead of merely punishing them.) and Baker's Hill where they had really delicious food. For the evening, we went to have dinner at a restaurant beside Legend Hotel, and we had karaoke afterwards (Unfortunately for them, I'm a mic hogger when it comes to that)!

The following day, we went to Badjao Seafront, which had a scenic view of the sea. That was the afternoon of June 21, 2010. During our ride back, they all received messages that they have passed the board exam! I started crying because I didn't receive any-- bahaha I'm such a crybaby-- to realize later that I really wouldn't because I only told a few people that I would be taking it. They then asked their friends for my name, and yup, I passed, too! It was a happy, happy moment, and we started calling our loved ones back home. We went directly to church to say a thanksgiving prayer, ate at a Vietnamese restaurant (which started my affair with Vietnamese food!) and in the evening we had dinner at Ka Lui restaurant to celebrate.

immediate celebration after learning of our victory at the board exams! the vietnamese beef stew was awesome!:D
better not show our faces during these happy tipsy moments! :)

Our last but my most favorite place that we went to was at Nagtabon Beach, still at Puerto Princesa. It was quite a secluded area and few people were there, we three had the beach to ourselves. The waters were as clear, or even more clear, I swear, than glass! It was the closest to paradise that I have ever been. It was also my first time to learn how to swim, the first time I had courage enough to wade through deep waters without anyone holding me!:) cool eh?

We stayed for a week, and we only have our host's family's kindness to thank for our stay. Few know it, but I've always dreamed of going to Palawan since learning of it as a kid. I said I'd rather go there than to Boracay, which I feel has been overrated (but who am I to say if I've never been there, right?) and my wish came true, along with my dream of becoming an Architect.

Thank you Lord, you are so good.


  1. I'm so happy for you my dear, really you've accomplished a lot at a very young age, just wish i had your wisdom and discipline when i was your age (instead of running 'round town like a headless chicken!)

    Cheers to you my beautiful and brilliant sister! loves you :) ... te babes

  2. Thanks my dear sister! It's never too late to start! I'm sure you're free to start your own adventure right now.:)