Travel Diary: Puerto Princesa

Everyone deserves a cup of coffee early in the morning, a couple of minutes of "me-time" every day or  a mini getaway perhaps. Everyone deserves a break, from everything, from a fast-paced city, from the sound of the keyboards in the office, from the deadlines. Everyone deserves to break free once in awhile. Four months ago, I, out of the blue booked a ticket going to Puerto Princesa. I don’t know why I booked that flight going there I just feel like it. I am planning to go alone. I always want to travel alone, at least once, I really find it self fulfilling. But my boyfriend is against from me going to a place alone that I have never been to, so I luckily was able to drag my colleagues to come with me. :)

We availed De Loro Inn’s 3D2N’s package tour; that includes, Underground River, Honda Bay Island Hopping, Half Day City Tour and 3D2N accommodation for only P4,888. And on top of our package we opt to have a side trip in Ugong Rock for only P650 with zipline.

This post is more on photos  rather than me typing. So let’s go ahead and let me bring you to Puerto Princesa! :)

Day 1

Ugong Rock should be a side trip but since there are a lot of groups waiting for their turn going  to Underground River, our tour guide decided to have the side trip first to not waste time.Ugong Rock, found at Brgy. Tagabinet, North part of Puerto Princesa. ‘Ugong Rock’ was derived from the echoing sound of the rocks produce when tapping it; they produce different sounds like, metal or a pipe sound. Believe me I was really in awe! :D Ugong Rock Adventures would squeeze out the adventurous person in you, it would let you climb up through steep rocks, pass through narrow passages, cry your heart out at their zip line.

And when you finally reach the top, everything you see is breath taking, the scenery, the feeling- you can't help but smile and thank God for such a wonderful creation.

I am so grateful to be given a chance to see one of the 7 wonders of nature- The Underground River.
Located at Sito Sabang, The Palawan Underground River is a Subterranean Thrill with 8.2 kilometers of 45 minutes of navigable river underneath a tunnel with stalactites and stalagmites. If you want to go beyond 8.2 kilometers you have to secure a different permit and it would be 4 hours cruise back and forth, as per our tour guide. Bats and insects live inside.

You'd see there a lot of amazing rock formations- vegetable rock formation, The Last Supper rock formation and many more.
When we are cruising inside the underground river, we are always reminded not to touch almost all of the rocks as they are living rocks, they are minerals and they are very sensitive. They die in just a touch of your palm.

I am sooo stunned. The entire cruise got my jaw dropped. How I wish I was more ready and brought with me a flashlight for me to take good shots.
The rock formations are beyond beautiful. No wonder, it is one of the 7 wonders of nature! :)

Day 2.

Thalassophile alert! 'Coz we're gonna go island hopping! :) 

Our Day 2 is dedicated for Honda Bay Island hopping. From the main island, we went to 3 islands- Starfish Island, Luli Island and Cowrie Island.

Starfish Island, apparently it is called it because you'd see a lot of starfish there.
We just had some photos taken on the island and even tried their photo tricks.

Luli Island, its name is derived from "Lulubog Lilitaw". This island is purely a sand bar and is not always there.
The sandbar disappears once it's high tide and becomes visible when it gets low tide again.
The place is picture worthy, I must say. I always love sand bar! :)

Cowrie Island, the last stop and the most beautiful of all the 3 beaches- finer and whiter sands and clearer sea water.
Before wading into the water, we had to eat our lunch fitst. We had our buffet lunch there and it's very veryyyyy delicious! Haha!
I will always love beaches, they make me calm. Beaches are always my R&R place. Always. :)

Tomorrow is our flight going back to Cebu and we have not eaten yet to one of their famous restaurants. We are planning to eat at Kalui since it is the most popular restaurant in PPS and the most recommended too but unfortunately they are closed every Sunday so we headed to the 2nd most recommended restaurant- Kinabuch's.
We ordered Crocodile Sisig, since this is PPS's specialty food. We ordered, Sizzling Bangus and Ginisang Kangkong too. The foods were great. It's so great that typing this makes me hungry. Hehe And a great plus is, the place. It is perfect, its ambiance, the songs they played all through out the night, it's perfect!

After our dinner we headed to Baywalk as the residents there advised us to go there at night time. We did biking there and buy (again) some souvenirs.

Day 3.
Unfortunately we are down to our last day here in PPS. Day 3 is allotted for our half day city tour. To be honest, our Day 3 is quite dragging for us knowing that it's our last day and we will be back to the "away from the charmed" life.

Plaza Cuartel once served as a stronghold of American and Filipino soldiers until they were overrun by Japanese invaders. The stronghold, once a haven of our brave warriors, became a prison.

PPS's Catholic Church

Crocodile Rehabilitation is our next stop where you get to see and hold real crocodiles!
Formerly known as the Crocodile Farm and Nature Park, it serves as the sanctuary of the Philippine Crocodile that is endemic to the country.  The rehabilitation center takes care of the crocodiles found in Palawan. They see to it that they don't get too much stress as most of the crocodiles die because of stress.

At the main hall of the main building, a skeleton of a huge sea water crocodile is enclosed in a glass.  And on the wall beside it hangs the skin of the aforesaid crocodile.  This crocodile was caught somewhere in Palawan island and was killed after it greedily ate a child. This showcases how big salt water crocodiles can grow. 

A few meters from main hall, is the Hatchling House. Where crocodiles are looked into by the conservation center and are separated depending on their maturity.

You then get a chance to take pictures with one of their baby crocodiles! :) Baby crocodiles are unbelievably heavy! Hehe! I can't imagine carrying the adult ones. Haha!

Rancho Sta. Monica, also known as Mitra’s Ranch, used to be a private property that is now open to the public. This is one of the must-see places in Palawan as this gives you a bird's-eye view of Puerto Princesa City.

Baker's Hill, used to be just a simple and popular bakery owned by Palawanos who work as an Architecture and a Landscaper outside the country.
As per our tour guide, before Palawanos does not have any place they can go for their past time aside from their beaches, so the owners of the bakery decided to renovate their place and has now become a tourist attraction.
There is no entrance fee, you just are not allowed to bring foods as foods are being sold inside.

I bought Chocolate Crinkles- my all time favorite!

I love pearls. And having a chance to get to see the largest pearl in the world that weighs 34 kilograms is indeed my pleasure. A fisherman from Palawan, found this huge pearl inside its clamp and was entrusted to the City Government. This pearl is larger than the popular, Pearl of Allah, as per our tour guide.

Palawan is such a great place. Very clean place, you could even see a lot of trash bins along the way. Very friendly, hospitable and helpful people. They don't even have beggars and that really amazed me. What amazed me more is they have this place called Employees' Village, each employee who works at the City Hall was given a 200sqm of land for free. Imagine?! I thought this world buried the word "free" hundred meter below the ground. Haha!

We had such a heavy heart leaving Palawan. I'd deffo go back to visit Coron and El Nido. :)

You are beautiful and so as the places around you. 💛

And by the way, before I end this blog post, I made a vlog about our PPS trip. Click HERE to watch.