June 24 – 28, 2014
We took the late night RORO boat ( a cheaper alternative) out of Bacolod straight to Dumangas Port in Ilo-Ilo. It’s a good thing Montenegro lines have scheduled boats as early as 12 midnight and the best part is it only costs P128/ person (roughly $3/each). These boats may or may not have air-conditioning, I say ‘may or may not’ because they do have the AC system but most of the time they’re broken and it takes a while for them to have it repaired. Montenegro lines will tell you that the trip will take 2 hours but our trip only took an hour and 45 minutes so by 1:45 am we were already at the Dumangas Port and we had to wait 10- 15 minutes for our van service to arrive since we asked him to be there at 2 am. If you’re taking the first few early morning trips, I suggest you arrange for someone to pick you up because it’s hard to commute or look for service at the port going to Ilo-Ilo City (or wherever it is you plan to go) at that particular time. We were able to get the van at P1,200 for 11 of us.
The road from Dumangas to Ilo-Ilo City proper was dark at 2 am, it took us 45 minutes up to an hour to reach the airport but the only problem was they wouldn’t allow us to enter the airport vicinity just yet. If I remember it correctly, we had to wait until 4:00 am (or maybe 4:30 am) before they let us in. The Ilo-Ilo International Airport was clean and quite impressive in terms of service there were some areas that had free Wi-Fi and the waiting lounge was cool and comfortable. We were way early for our 7:15 am Cebu Pacific flight to Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
Hello, Puerto Princesa!!!
The honeymooners made it safe to Puerto Princesa! 🙂
Ramas- Mendezona invades Palawan. Woohoo!
We stayed in a transient house that could accommodate all 11 of us. The owner who also is a doctor was referred by Ninang Ofel, my mom’s sister. Rooms were roughly P800-P1,000/ night, they vary depending on the room….not bad for a big family like mine.
The mall to be in Palawan….Robinsons.
Of course my siblings had to get their Potato Corner and Thirsty green mango shake fix.
He found a gigantic slipper and he just had to do this…IN PUBLIC!!!! Maaaaarrrrccccccoooooo. :O
We decided to relax the first day and just explore the city of Puerto Princesa which included buying groceries a.k.a chips and bottled water, going to the mall and eating in Max’s Fried Chicken. (haha, my parents were craving for Good O’l Max). We also had to get the permit for the Underground River tour we were planning for the next day, other people can have a travel agency process it for them but it’s cheaper to do it yourself.
Make sure to visit the PPUR office at the City Coliseum, their operating hours are as follows:
Monday to Friday: 8AM to 4PM – No lunch break.
Saturday & Sunday: 8AM to 12PM, 1PM to 5PM
And here are the rates for the Cave Entrance:
Adult (21-59 y.0)- P175.oo
Minor (13 – 20 y.o)- P100.00
3-12 y.o- P75.00
During the night, we tried experiencing the Baragatan Festival of Palawan but there were too many people and we weren’t feeling festive enough to deal with the crowd so we just circled the place quickly and went home.
We took a service van from Puerto Princesa to Barangay Sabang, an hour and a half more or less from Palawan’s city proper and had a quick stopover at Barangay Buenavista. They have a view deck overseeing the Karst Mountains and some rice paddies, it was indeed a breath of fresh air.
Our quick stop to the loo…the banyos were pretty o.k.
Shopping for souvenirs already, Pauline?
Trying the ‘selfie pod’ with the family
A photo with the husband
We made it to Sabang Port in one piece.
This is the part where you take a 10-15 minute boat ride to the Underground River, you won’t even notice the length of the ride because of the spectacular sites along the way.
Boat A (AnnMarie, Angelie, Me, Marc and Nicole)
…and Boat B. (Mom, Pop, Paulo, Pauline and John)
Ramas-Mendezonas made it to one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Eeeeeppp…excited for our turn!
Family photo outside the caves before heading to our bangka
Ramas-Mendezona bangka, all ready to go
Hello husband, SMILE!
Crossed paths with this other bangka inside the cave
My photos of some of the formations inside DO NOT give justice to the grandeur of the Underground Cave, sorry but my settings weren’t set accordingly and I wasn’t well equipped for the darkness. To those who want to capture this wonder of the world appropriately, I suggest you fix your settings in advance and bring the apt lenses needed.
End of the dark tunnel
Ann Marie and Pauline, clearly happy with the experience
And that ends the Underground Cave Tour
NOTE: Be careful of the monkeys, they like grabbing plastic bags or any tote that looks like its made of plastic. You might find them cute and they do like to approach people but I suggest to just keep your distance.
Ann Marie and her little friend
Here comes another one…..oh boy, this Komodo Dragon is a big one
The parentals and the boys making sure that we get a family souvenir
Crazy boys…Underground Cave conquered! John was too cool for a ‘thumbs up’
Last pic before heading back to the bangka
Lunch Buffet by the Sabang Port, pick one…there’s a bunch of local restaurants nearby
Spent some time at the beach, the kids had fun since it was low tide
Marco talking to the locals, asking them about the island tour scheduled for the next day
Used to play with these little crabs growing up
Stopped by a bunch of pasalubong centers on the way home to get souvenirs and our Palawan shirts
And the adventure continues… Honda Bay Tour today!
Yep, we’re that kind of couple…we buy those “I <3…” shirts. Hehe
Our First Stop: Starfish Island
Sporting “the Vintage” in Palawan
Going crazy with the starfishes. 🙂
These folks look kinda hungry to me…haha
Woohoo! Lunch came with the Island Hopping Package. Delicious!
Goofing around with Marco after lunch.
Ummm…Marc, this doesn’t look right. Haha.
One of our stops: Isla Pandan
Had fun with the single and tandem kayaks for free, I guess it was still part of the tour. I’m not too sure about that but our tour guide said it was okay to use them, so we did.
Kissing with our snorkels on. Haha. How sweet.
Snorkeling with my sweetie, just love this guy!
More snorkeling in a diving site by Luli Island or maybe this was the island? Haha. The island got its name because it sinks during high tide and rises during low tide thus the Filipino term lulubog-lilitaw, Luli for short.
Supposedly our last stop: Cowrie Island, but everyone was kinda tired.
After the Honda Bay Tour, we went home and rested for a while. The entire family was scheduled to leave the next day, Marco and I extended one more day because we still wanted to go to El Nido, Palawan which was more or less 5 hours away, so we talked to our contact in Puerto Princesa and he scheduled for us to be picked up by a van leaving for El Nido that night. We were scheduled to be picked up at 7 pm but the van didn’t arrive till 7:30 pm because he had to pick up other passengers first. I’m not going to lie, the ride was a kinda bumpy but I still fell asleep anyway and I only woke up when we had a stopover at a carenderia for our late dinner. We didn’t get to El Nido until 12:45 am, from the drop off point we rode a tricycle to the transient house we were staying in.
Our home for the night, RicGem Place. I know, I know… the name doesn’t sound so promising but we were just staying a night and we only had to pay P1,200 for the both of us with breakfast, in all fairness to the place it was clean and decent; small but decent. By the time we settled in, I came to a conclusion that I was coming down with the flu I really felt feverish. NOT GOOD.
I woke up with a fever but I forced myself to go, thinking that this might be a once in a lifetime thing, besides Im supposed to be honeymooning. Thank God for doctor-husbands, he gave me fever medicine and took care of me the entire time.
We were supposed to go with Tour C (they say that’s the best) but the weather that day didn’t permit it so we ended up with Tour A, they say that’s safer. We actually woke up to thunder and lightning, I didn’t think we could still push through with the island hopping at all.
Above are the current rates of the different tours in El Nido, Palawan.
Our Meet up place before departure, looks like a closed up restaurant. Well, it isn’t peak season after all.
Thank God the thunder and lightning stopped, still looks a bit foggy though but I’l go with fog any day.
Our first stop: 7 Commando
This usually is the last stop for Tour A but I guess our boatman decided otherwise, one thing I realized is they can play around with the itinerary and it can go in no specific order depending on the weather or boat traffic. Just make sure you get to go to all the beaches in that specific tour you picked, after all you did pay for it.
Using Marco’s wedding gift. For our future adventures together, eh? Well, here we are sweetie.
Feeling cold and feverish, my crazy husband decided to draw a heart around me while I was sleeping
Marco’s…haha, he’s posessive too!
Next Stop: Big Lagoon
The manongs were preparing our lunch in the boat
Lunch at the Secret Lagoon
Underwater in Shimizu
Goggle marks—sign of too much snorkeling.
Little Miss Sick-Girl just chilling at our last spot, the Small Lagoon. I didn’t have an ounce of energy in my body to go swimming anymore.
This guy just loves goofing around, it’s a good thing you didn’t fall sweetie.
After the tour, we headed back to our place, packed our stuff and took a van back to Puerto Princesa and stayed one more night at the transient house we stayed in the last time. We left for Manila the next day.
Whew…that was quite an adventure! Happy Honeymooning indeed!