When I bought my tickets for Puerto Princesa, last January 8 during one of those promos of Cebu Pacific, the house construction is not yet in place. In short, I’ve got a good budget to splurge for a tour. But then, even before we set off for the trip last March 9, the house construction have already started February 15. And so the story of the low budgeted and perhaps the only trip I’d have for this year.
I would have really wanted to have this as my first out-of-town trip alone but nanay wouldn’t let me. So no choice, sister have to come with me. Nanny time! By the way, I’m the nanny. Hehehehe.
Our flight out was supposed to reach Puerto Princesa at around 5:30 PM but due to the traffic in the runway, we took off from NAIA3, 30 minutes late and thus we also touched down 30 minutes late. Upon arriving at the airport, I followed the tips I’ve read from other blogs and did not take a tricycle just outside the airport. Instead, we walked out of the airport which is just like 2 or 3 minutes away and hailed a passing trike. That saved us Php 30… instead of paying Php 50, it only costs us Php 20. We told manong trike driver to bring us to Aniceto Pension house. Unfortunately, he didn’t know where the place is. Even if I told him that it is in the corner of Mabini and Reynoso street. He had to stop and ask before we found the place.
Aniceto Pension house is what the name says. A house. 🙂 It’s a 3 storey building that has several rooms that they rent out to budget travelers like us. When we got there, most of the occupants of the other rooms were foreigners. And two of them had been there for almost 6 months! The room we got is big enough and would be good for 3 or 4 if you only intend to sleep there after a day of touring the city. It is airconditioned, with private bathroom but no TV. Supposedly, sister says its only Php 650 per night but we were billed Php 750. I dare not argue with them ‘coz sister did not get any written or even emailed confirmation on the Php 650 rate. Galing no? Here’s the few pictures I took of the pension house.
This is the room. Just the bare essentials. One single size bed and one double size bed (that was immediately taken over by sister upon sight). A small round table, one chair, a built in cabinet and a mirror. By the way, they give a towel and soap so that’s something you can leave behind should you decide to stay here.
On the third floor, you can see the kitchen which is a common area. If you are super tight in budget, you can just buy some groceries or some items in the wet market and cook up your meal. Just make sure to clean up before you go. Here’s the view from the kitchen area.
A place where you can have your meals .. al fresco.
One can also watch some TV here in the second floor common place. This is just outside our room.
Anyways, after freshening up, we went out to have our dinner. First food trip stop, KINABUCH! On most of the comments I’ve seen over the net, what’s most recommended in Kinabuch is their tamilok, crispy pata and gising gising. Though I love trying out new food, I have to take a pass on the tamilok. We had our underground river tour scheduled the day after and I just want to make sure I won’t get any upset stomach. We ordered Gising gising, crispy pata, two cups of rice (each.. heheheh) and a pitcher of iced tea. Total damage is just 680++. Good price for a set of great food! I don’t find anything different with the crispy pata. I actually find some parts of it as too dry. The one served to us doesn’t have that much fat making it dry, I think. But!!! I love the gising gising!! The menu says it’s some kind of veggie with minced pork, shrimp, bell pepper, siling haba, and siling labuyo, cooked in coconut milk. Really good! Two thumbs up!
Up close, the Gising gising.
After a sumptuous dinner, we decided to burn a few of the calories and we went to their baywalk to go biking. We got a trike to take us there for Php 40. The driver told us that its a special trip coz he is not sure if he can still get passengers from there.
Locals call the place, Baybay. There you could rent a bike for Php 25 per hour. Good source of exercise and a nice way to roam around Baybay. You would also have a lot of choices so whether you prefer the low riders or the mountain bikes, you would get it.
Roaming around the place, you wouldn’t get scared ‘coz it is well lighted with colorful lanterns. There are several food stalls too where you can get some quick snacks.
After spending time at Baybay, we decided to go back to the pension house. After all, we are to be picked up by Maple Tours for our Underground tour. Going back, we also took a ride with the same trike. True enough, even after more than an hour of our stay in the park, he was still there waiting for passengers. The trike driver is kuya Doods. He offered us a city tour for Php 500 and I gladly took it. And so the day 1 of our tour ended.
The following day, we woke up early since the travel agency where I reserved our Underground tour was to pick us up at 7 AM. We just had a noodles in a cup breakfast and off we go. The trip from the city proper to Sabang beach where we will be getting our boat ride going to the Underground river, takes 2 hours. Though a long drive, one won’t get bored since you will be seeing a lot of good views of the mountains.
Half way thru the drive, we stopped for bathroom and snack break. These items were on sale on that stop.
After another hour, we reached Sabang beach. It was such a sunny sunny day that I regret that I don’t have sunglasses on. My contact lenses feels like they are being melted.
When we got there, we were told by our guide, Mac, that we will only be allowed to have a boat ride by 12:30 PM since that is the schedule they got. Since it was still too early to have lunch, he convinced us to do the Mangrove Paddle boat tour. We went back to the van and we proceeded to take this side tour.
Here, we embarked on a 15 or 20 minute or so of tour via paddle boat among the rich mangroves. Our boat man is quite old but knows his facts. The place was also very quiet and calm… but now and then, you could take a glimpse of some snakes, monkeys and monitor lizards. The place, I think would be a good set for a movie featuring Anaconda. Hehehehe. Still, I like it.
After the paddle boat tour, we were also asked to plant some mangrove. I just hope those that I plant really do grow. After a few more minutes for photo-op, we then went back to Sabang beach for our lunch. It was a buffet lunch but food was very simple. Choices are sauteed kangkong, grilled liempo, grilled fish, chicken adobo and a soup with young coconut juice.
After the lunch, we went back again to Sabang beach to wait for our turn in the boats. We waited for like 15 minutes and then off we go.
It was a bit of a bumpy ride but its all good. And you can see here that there’s a lot of traffic going to the island.
While waiting for our turn for the actual under river ride, we had a chance to mingle with the monkeys and the large monitor lizards.
Here’s a pic of the batch of tourist ahead of us, going inside the cave. Sun was shining real hard that it reflects on the helmets worn by the tourists.
And then it was our turn to go inside the cave.
Inside the cave, your boatman will give a narrative of what each stalactite or stalagmite looks like. I won’t even dare to post the pics I took inside since I wasn’t able to take good pictures inside. I forgot to adjust my digicam and just mostly got black. 🙂 I did enjoy this tour. Really amazing what nature has to offer. Now if we can only take good care of it. Out of the cave we go..
And back to the Sabang beach to get ready for another 2 hour van ride going back to the city proper.
We were out of Sabang beach around 5 PM. We had another 2 hours of trip going back to the city. Back in the pension house, we had some good rest and a quick shower then we proceeded to Ka Lui restaurant.
We had their combo like meal and I’d say the food is interesting but I’d prefer Kinabuch any time of the day.