It’s More Fun in the Philippines – Puerto Princesa Edition (Haim Chicken Inato)

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Last order of business before going back to MNL is to eat. Good thing Haim Chicken Inato is just 5 minutes away from the airport.

I liked everything we ordered. 🙂

⬆ Ensaladang talong at itlog na maalat
⬆ Buttered shrimp – fried shrimp with garlic butter sauce. i like their take on this dish.
⬆ Grilled chicken – flavorful & tender. they served this with a patis-like condiment unlike the usual toyomansi.
⬆ Buko shake

Efficient service & affordable food! Thumbs up!

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It’s More Fun in the Philippines – Puerto Princesa Edition (Ugong Rock)

Adrenaline & adventure junkies shouldn’t miss this in Palawan!

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It’s called Ugong Rock because the rocks produce sound when tapped because it’s hollow.

Activities like caving, spelunking & ziplining are available here. For P450, you can enjoy (!?) all 3 activities.

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The experience is a bit similar to spelunking & caving in Sagada. Ugong Rock’s course is less challenging which is a big plus. Our guides are mostly HS students. They do this on vacations to earn extra money.

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After roughly 30minutes of hiking to the top, you may take a rest before ziplining. It’s 65 feet high & 350 meters long. It’ll only take 21 seconds to reach the other end. It was awesome!

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It’s More Fun in the Philippines – Puerto Princesa Edition (Underground River)

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A trip to PPS Palawan won’t be complete without experiencing the Underground River. This is I think the most popular tourist attraction in the city. It’s so popular that they require at least 3-4 wks lead time for reservation. Only 900 persons are allowed on a daily basis. They add few hundreds during peak seasons I think.

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The journey starts with 15 mins of motorized boat ride to the Underground River registration area. Then you’ll be going through a jungle trail where you may see monkeys & monitor lizards (bayawak). Sadly, we didn’t see any that day. After that you’ll be riding a smaller non-motorized boat (10 persons) for the Underground River tour which usually take 20-30 mins. Inside you’ll see different rock formations of stalactites & stalagmites. It’s AMAZING!!! Too bad my camera’s flash isn’t soshal enough to capture decent pics inside the cave.

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Our boatman/guide had to speak in english the whole time coz a Dutch couple was with us. He’s good ha!

Here are some of his witty quips:

➡ You see that? Those are bat shit! Eeww!
➡ Bats are yummy! We eat that all the time. You know BAT-choy!
➡ That sexy lady is Sharon Stone, not Cuneta coz she’s big! (referring to a sexy woman shaped rock)
➡ That’s the cathedral. The bat poop on it is called holy shit!
➡ That rock looks like a chicken, right!? Thigh part… Yum yum!
➡ Pointing at a mountain looking rock formation. That one looks like the most popular mountain in Manila, the Smokey Mountain!
➡ Look up, that’s a fish. Our fish have eye liner.
➡ Okay, we’re done. Congratulations, you’ve made it! I hope you come back again but not tomorrow coz I’m tired.

Hay, laughtrip! Panalo!

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PS: I love how all tours in Palawan are well organized. Kudos to their local government!

It’s More Fun in the Philippines – Puerto Princesa Edition (Iwahig Firefly Watching)

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This is a 30 minute paddle boat ride on 2 kilometers of brackish water (combination of salt & fresh water) along the mangroves. The trees light up & looks like a christmas tree due to the presence of fireflies (duh!). It’s super nice!

The boatman/guide is also knowledgeable & entertaining! Never a dull moment (All guides during our entire stay in Palawan are impressive! Bongga at nakaka-aliw sila!)

Let me share what I learned:
▶ Male fireflies shine brighter than the females. The brighter the firefly, the more pogi he is (mas maraming chicks!)
▶ When their lights flicker fast, it means that the fireflies are making love.
▶ It’s the firefly’s abdomen part that lights-up.
▶ The brakish water is around 27 feet deep. Crocodilles don’t exist here coz they’re not swimmers. Chos!
▶ There are 34 kinds of Mangrove in the world, 32 of those are in Palawan.
▶ Our boatman also showed us the different constellations like the big dipper & orion’s belt.
▶ Motorized boats are not allowed here to presserve the area and avoid pollution.

⤵ Only drawback is you can’t take flash photography (alam nyo na bakit isa lang pic sa entry na to). Gudlak kung meron ka makuhanan sa dilim! Hahahaha! Memories na lang!

It’s More Fun in the Philippines – Puerto Princesa Edition (Honda Bay)

Isla Pandan, Starfish Island & Pambato Reef are the islands (technically just 2 islands coz pambato reef is in the middle of the ocean) included in this day tour. You need to travel 1.5-2 hours hours by land to Honda Bay port. This is where your island hopping adventure begins! The earlier you are, the better. Especially when you’re touring on your own to avoid long lines in the registration area.

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Isla Pandan
1st stop. Farthest island from the port. Cottages are available for rent. This is where tourists usually have lunch. Lucky us buffet lunch is part of the package! We had steamed crabs, grilled fish, grilled liempo, cucumber salad & grilled chicken. Solid! But for those who didn’t get a package, there are stores & tindera’s selling fresh seafood which they’ll also cook for you.

Several water activites like kayaking, paddle boarding & snorkeling are available on the island. We rented a kayak for P100/hr. The water was calm so there were no stressful moments for me. Chill lang! Snorkeling was also fun coz you don’t have to go too far to see Nemo. As what the guide told us, the fishes in Palawan are Americans coz they prefer bread over rice. Lol!

The sand is white but not as fine as Boracay or Malapascua. It was a bit gloomy & drizzled a few times but on most parts, the weather was okay. Not too sunny at hindi rin bagyo levels!

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Starfish Island
2nd stop. Alam nyo na marami starfish dito. Obvious naman di ba!? This island has a nice sand bar too. Perfect for pictorial moments! The sand is not as clean as in Isla Pandan coz of the dried Mangrove leaves on the island. It’s also coarse due to the crushed sea shells. Snorkeling & beach bumming are the only activities here.

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Pambato Reef
Last stop. This is a marine sanctuary in the middle of the ocean. Snorkeling is the only thing to do here. You’ll see colorful & huge fishes as well as beautiful corals.

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Tipid Tip: Rent your snorkeling gear in Isla Pandan. It’s cheaper compared to the shops along the highway. Better if you bring your own. That’s what we did.

It’s More Fun in the Philippines – Puerto Princesa Edition (Kinabuchs)

Our first dinner in PPS was in Kinabuchs (one of the highly recommended restaurants in the city). The place is laid back & surprinsingly not chaotic even with the huge number of diners. Good job! They also show soccer games from their outdoor projection screen (hooray for sports enthusiasts!).

3 viands, rice & 2 fruits shakes for only P825! All orders are good for sharing (2-3 persons).

💟 Watermelon shake-refreshing & yummy!
💟 Grilled squid-perfectly grilled, well seasoned & tender.
💟 Sizzling gambas
💟 Ensaladang lato-perfect partner of any grilled dish
💟 Kanin ni 04-fluffy fried rice with mixed veggies, slices of daing & scrambled egg. Their version of yang chow.

Our food arrived in less than 15 mins. Thumbs up for quick & efficient service!

Kinabuchs is a must stop in Puerto Princesa!

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PS: They serve tamilok and crocodile meat (Palawan’s local delicacies). NO, we didn’t try those. Corny I know! Maybe next time. Maybe…

It’s More Fun in the Philippines – Puerto Princesa Edition (Casitas de Az Pension)

This is the first of several posts about my recent trip to Puerto Princesa, Palawan with my travel buddy Allen.

I’m the kind of traveller who would rather spend on food & tours than on a 5-star accommodation. I’d be exploring the place and would spend majority of time outside. So why stay in a hotel when all I’m gonna do there is sleep and take a bath right!? Having said that, research is very important when looking for affordable but good accommodation. Visit sites like Agoda and Tripadvisor for reviews. I’m lucky that Allen takes care of the research part & I on the other hand is in charge of keeping an eye on promo fares. That’s teamwork yo!

For this trip we stayed at Casitas de Az Pension. The room is clean, air-conditioned and has a private CR. It’s super affordable at P5000/person for 3D/2N including airport transfers, breakfast and tours (honda bay, underground river and firefly watching). For breakfast they only have bread, jam scrambled egg, juice, coffee & banana served buffet style. I didn’t mind coz I’m not a breakfast eater. You can however order the usual silog meals for less than P100. They also have CCTV in the property and guard at the gate. This made us feel safe during our stay. It’s close to city center too (5 mins. tricycle ride). Their staff is friendly and helpful. They even let us check-out late and wasn’t charged extra. Bongga!

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