Posted by: Oliver Lee | April 1, 2009

The Do-It-Yourself Palawan Trip! (day 1)

When we were about to go to Palawan last Feb 11-13 2003, I busied myself scrounging the Internet for tips on how to have the best trip ever on a low (as in really low) budget. Sad to say, I was unsuccessful on finding one. With the courageous (and as we have no choice as we don’t have money) and bahalana attitude that my friends have, we were successful in mounting a trip that is easy on the pocket, but really enjoyed every bit of the trip that we had.

And thus, I present to you, our Do-It-Yourself Palawan Trip.

First, we booked our flights with the promos that Cebu Pacific had
then (which they still run from time to time). Mind you, our flights was, as above, for February and we had it booked November 2008. For our case, we really need to do this (1) to cash out as little as possible on our flights; (2) this is non-transferrable and uncancellable (is this even a word?) so no one would back-out (in case one of us brave ones will have his testicles go retreating); and (3) so we can save money for the trip as we do not have a target estimate budget. We paid P1300 ($26.93) each for our round trip tickets (Manila – P.Princesa, P.Princesa-Manila).

And onto the pictures….

This is my picture taken from NAIA Terminal 3 airport, caters to local flights (I think it also serves some HK flights, not sure though). Frankly, I think this airport is much ok than the International one. Now I know my career fallback in case I lose my job. =D

At the waiting area, waiting to board the airplane. In the picture is (from L-R): Airene, Joas, Apple, Jan, and Ronald (whom we are fond to call by his surname Zaide. The Z makes it sound cool). We’re having a Tekken tournament while waiting, Apple emerged the undefeated winner.

From L-R (clockwise): Joas, Zaide, Apple, and Jan. Airene is not in the picture, I forgot why but she is sitting beside Joas. Zaide is taking my picture while I take theirs. Also, hope you have memorized who’s who, hehehe, so I don’t have to repeat the L-R thingy. =p

After landing….. I took their picture with the plane behind (obviously).

Now on with the story. A day before, Jan already arranged for a place where we can dump our bags, and a place to sleep. This part actually took us like a month or two, until Jan just decided to reserve a place (with our great thanks since our group conversations were getting nowhere, ehhehe, which usually happens). Jan rented two rooms at Lola Itang’s. The executive room can house three persons (one extra bed for Jan), and one room with two single bed for the girls. Check their website for the rates. What’s great here is that we are in the heart of the city (or at least near it) so food options are many, the market is near, and transportation is not a problem (tricycles and jeeps). This was one of the cheapest that we can find on the internet, but if you can find some alternatives or preference or what-not, then go for it.

The good people of Cebu Pacific had my baggage checked-in (dunno why, maybe because it is a stroller/backpack and I had it strolled rather than backpacked) although the tickets that we had was the go-lite one (meaning no check-in baggage) without any additional fee. While I was waiting on the whatchamacallit thingy that goes around and you wait for your luggage (conveyor?), the group had the fortune of meeting “Mang Armando” (insert telenovela sound here). Jan and Joas managed to get the services of Mang Armando to get us where we want to go, and we are very thankful for the services and stuff that he did for us, which you will learn on the succeeding pages. I’ll put his number here once I get it from Joas or Jan. Joas and Jan managed to have the services of Mang Armando take us to Honda Bay (or Hunda Bay as per the sign there) once we dumped our bags at Lola Itang’s. He charged us round P1000 for the trip, which is ok since he really waited for us at the port after our Honda Bay trip. He also got us around the city to look for a supermarket to buy our things when we got back, but that’s another story related to my future-to-be-2nd-post.

After I got my bag, Lola Itang’s had a van waiting for us at the airport. I think this is a free service that they do (I can’t remember if we paid for this). Here are some pictures taken at Lola Itang’s:

Jan and Joas and I don’t know what they are discussing.

Zaide texting or playing PSP (?).

So after settling down, I think about 30 minutes to 1 hour (round 11 AM), Mang Armando was already at Lola Itang’s waiting for us to take us to Honda Bay. I forgot what type of van we were in (the dumbass that I am), but it was cool and comfy all the same.

Zaide, a little bit of Joas, Me, Apple, and a little bit of Jan.

Mang Armando’s wife (forgot the name, sorry! =p)
Group Pic!

We had our lunch at Honda Bay since there is a little food stand there and we really are not that mindful of where we eat. However, you may have your lunch at some of the surrounding establishments in P. Princesa if you want before going to Honda Bay. Also, I advise you to buy some mineral water and snacks so you can have something to eat at the islands. There are some little shops there but it is a little pricey for me so just but at the city and bring ’em there.

One good thing at Honda Bay (especially for me since I’m wearing contact lenses and I forgot my goggles) is that they have a snorkeling gear that you can rent for only P100 ($2.07, go online currency converter!). So I got to enjoy swimming and snorkeling at the beach. Oh, and or those who don’t know how to swim (again, like the dumbass that is me) you can borrow the lifevests that will be provided to you once you rent a boat. I think the rental costs P1500 ($31.08), but I am not that sure. Good news though is that the boat rental service is regulated by the Department of Tourism so no worries. They also have the islands that you can visit listed there, some have entrance fees though but not that expensive. I think the highest was P50 or sumthing. Anyway, we went to Starfish Island, Snake Island (free entrance fee), and Pandan Island.

Here are some pictures to share:

At the Tourist Information Center, where you can rent your boat, snorkel, etc.

Airene, Apple, and Jan

Arriving at Starfish Island.

I took this picture using Zaide’s camera, ayos ba?

Flying pic, hehe….. Taken at Starfish Island

Group pic taken at Snake Island

Taken at Snake Island.

I took this pic using Zaide’s cam at Pandan Island

Group pic at Pandan Island before leaving.

We left the island at round 5PM I think. They have a curfew at the tourism office that all visitors should be back by 6PM. We got back at the pension house at round 7 PM. We had our dinner at the pension house since we were so tired swimming and running around the beach so we had no energy to go out. But if you want, you can have it on any restaurant or fast foods around the area.

And that wraps up our first day at Palawan. I’ll post the follow-up posts as soon as I can. Kindly leave your comments or questions if you have any and I’ll be glad to answer them the best I can.

POSTSCRIPT: Just got Mang Armando’s number from Joas. It’s 09084435581. Had the chance to ask for Mang Armandos’s permission that I’ll post his number on my blogsite when we were on our trip.

Big thanks to Jan, Joas and Zaide for remembering the fees that we paid for the trip, some of the pix used for this post, and some information that I needed since my brain is faulty as it is. To see more of the pictures of our trip, you may do so by checking my Facebook account.Just add me to your account so you can access it, my facebook badge at the top.


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