[Disclaimer: Image-heavy post ahead]
Happy summer season, everyone! To kick off my summer, I went on a 3D2N trip to Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines. It was very timely because I really needed a break from all the things happening to me; I needed an escape from the fast-paced real world realness.
It was my first time in Palawan and I had high expectations coming from all the good things I saw online and the things I heard from my friends who have been there. We stayed in Greenspace Palawan Hotel which is in the heart of the city and about 5-10min away from the airport. On our first night, we ate dinner at Balinsasayaw Chicken and Grill Restaurant. The meals were affordable and good but I did not eat a lot because I got tired from the travel and all I wanted to do was sleep.
We were scheduled to visit Honda Bay on the second day. This ate up most of the day but I did not have any problems with that because I love the beach. We got picked up from our hotel at around 6:15am which meant that I was already awake by 4:30am. In this tour, we were together with nine other people who were all very friendly. The van first brought us to an aquatic rental shop which rents out pretty much everything you will need in Honda Bay. We rented aqua shoes (for protection against a paralyzing fish which they say roams around the seas of Honda Bay), snorkeling gear and a towel. When we reached Honda Bay, we were told that we were going to visit three islands: Starfish Island, Luli Island and Cowrie Island (there are still other islands there like Bat Island and Pandan Island but I’m guessing we only visited three due to time constraint).
The sea during the day was very calm which allowed me to take photos near the edge of the boat (much like Titanic, or so I say).
Well it’s not called Starfish Island for nothing. When we were nearing the shore, we saw so many starfish under the shallow part of the ocean. Yes, the water was clear enough to let us see the starfish.
We decided to play with some images with the starfish. And this was my first time to hold one too!
This island is a good spot for snorkeling too. Other tourists were feeding the fish while the others (like myself) were enjoying the sight of the fish and corals.
PS: I left my blue skirt in Starfish Island. I only realized it when we were on the boat ride to the next island. 😦
Luli Island According to our tour-guide, the reason why it’s called Luli Island is because it’s “lulubog, lilitaw” (appearing, disappearing). But this was my favorite island! The water was very clean and blue and the view was amazing. However, unlike Starfish Island, Luli Island is not a snorkeling spot.
We ate lunch and I had henna here as well. I wanted a fish design, relevant to the beach and to my zodiac sign, Pisces.
Cowrie Island I forgot the explanation why this is called Cowrie Island. Maybe because it’s full of Cowrie shells? But in any case, this was my least favorite among the three because aside from it’s not a snorkeling spot, the water is also not that clear but not necessarily murky. However, there are a lot of recreational activities you can do here like play beach volleyball, get a massage, eat halo-halo, etc. But of course, I went straight to the ocean to swim some more.
After swimming, we all headed back to the port of Honda Bay where the van was waiting. We returned all our rented equipment before the van dropped us off at our specific hotels. Upon arriving at the hotel, we rested for a bit before heading out. We went to the Imaculate Conception Cathedral which was just 10min away from our hotel via tricycle. Luckily we were able to hear mass too. After mass, we bought souvenirs from one of the biggest souvenir shops there (forgot the name) and then we ate dinner at Kinabuch Bar and Grill Restaurant. It was already late when we got back to the hotel.
Our last day was slightly packed. Woke up at the same time (4:30am) and got picked up around 7am for our City Tour. We also checked out from the hotel because the plan was to go straight to the airport after the City Tour. Thank you Greenspace Palawan Hotel!
Our first stop was Bay Walk which, according to our tour guide, was popular place for conducting local events. He also told us a bit of history on the captured China ships there.
Next stop was supposedly the Cathedral but since we already went there the previous day, we decided to go to the next stop which was the Plaza Cuartel. There is nothing much to do here but when the tour-guide started telling us the history of the place, that was when I understood why it was a part of the city tour. Apparently, the Japanese soldiers from the World War hid in the underground tunnel that is located in the Cuartel. When the Americans found out about this, they burned these Japanese soldiers.
Next stop was a bit far from the city that was why I fell asleep in the van. The place is called, Crocodile Farm (Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center). Some of the country’s largest crocodiles can be found here and they also breed some wild animals like the bearcat.
Look, I also fulfilled my bucket list of holding a crocodile!
Next stop was Mitra Ranch. I am not familiar with who Mitra is but my parents said he was the Speaker of the House of Representatives from a long time ago. The ranch was situated on a high terrain which made it a good spot for viewing the city. I was also able to ride a horse here!
Last stop was Baker’s Hill which is just near the ranch. The name says it, they sell baked goodies! We bought asado bread and Spanish bread (my favorite) and they all tasted extra delicious since they were newly baked. We decided to skip the tour beyond the bakery because we were running late for our flight back but at least we got to try their yummy bread.
The trip to Palawan was short but fun! I will definitely go back but I’ll head to Coron or El Nido instead. Planning for more summer trips this year because I need to escape from a lot of real world/life realness. Thank you for reading! 🙂
Now that my vacation is over, it’s back to the daily grind but at least I have gym at the end of the day!