2011: The Year That Was

And here goes my year summarized in photos taken from all over the Philippines. I have thus proven that once bitten by the travel bug, one can never go back. Thanks to all the friends I met online at first, on the road eventually. I hope 2012 has a lot more in store for me and my itchy feet. 🙂 Cheers!

5D4N El Nido and Puerto Princesa Itinerary

This was the itinerary we had in mind when we planned our 5days 4nights Palawan escapade for 11-15 October 2011. We were able to follow it except for the afternoon’s activity on the third day which is the Puerto Princesa City Tour. It was raining cats and dogs that day and we were able to reach PPC at around 1:30pm in the afternoon. Most tours take off by 1pm and it was impossible for us to join one since we didn’t really book in advance. We spent roughly 7K each (twin sharing basis for the accommodation) for the entire trip (inclusive of terminal fees) and I’ll be sharing to you the detailed expense breakdown in my next post. The airfare was pretty cheap too! 353-peso roundtrip tickets were purchased 5months prior to the trip. Thanks to Airphil’s 100-peso seat sale.

For now, here’s the itinerary.

Day 1

12:20 – 1:30pm – Manila to Puerto Princesa
1:30 pm – go to Fort Wally booking office near airport, catch van to El Nido

Fort wally Shuttle Tel. 0917-2762875,
Fare: P700
9:00 pm – Arrival in El Nido town, check in at Makulay Lodge and Villas ( P700.00/night.)

Day 2

09:00AM – Island Hopping (tour A+B)
1:00PM – Lunch Buffet at Shimezu Island
04:00PM – End of island tour
05:00PM – Back to Makulay Lodge and Villas (see contact details in my previous post)

Day 3

07:00AM – leave El Nido bound for Puerto Princesa
12:00PM – ETA Puerto Princesa
12:30 PM- Check in at Dallas Inn, P600 a room (good for 2),

Dallas Inn Palawan
Cel No.:             +639199678558
E-mail Add: [dallasinnpalawan (at) yahoo . com]
Complete Address: #11 Carandang St. Mangahan,
Puerto Princesa City Palawan, Philippines

1:00pm- LUNCH
1:30pm – 5pm  – city tour P600.00/pax
7:00 pm – 9pm – Dinner/food trip at Rizal Avenue

Day 4

4:30 – 6:00am – Waking up/prep time
6:30-8:30am – breakfast
9:00am – start of underground river tour P1,300.00/pax
5:00 pm – back to Dallas inn
7:00 -8pm – dinner at Kalui’s

Day 5

7:00-11:00 FREE TIME (Buy Pasalubong)
11:00am – checkout from Dallas Inn
11:30 – Lunch
1:00pm – airport check-in
2:00pm – Flight to Manila
3:10 – ETA, NAIA 3


Exploring El Nido’s Islands on a Rainy Day

A quaint little fishing village in the Northernmost tip of Palawan, El Nido town has catapulted to tourism royalty with its 45 islands and islets, 50 white sand beaches, postcard-perfect lagoons, and very diverse terrestrial and marine ecosystem (El Nido-Taytay Managed Resource Protected Area is the Philippines’ largest marine sanctuary). Everyone who’s been to El Nido would agree with me when I say this place is a slice of heaven on earth.

We woke up early for our first morning in El Nido. I didn’t want to miss out on the day’s activities so I started right with a cup of piping hot coffee. And oh yeah, I brought my handy sachets and just asked for a cup of hot water. The staff at Makulay Lodge didn’t mind. They were very accommodating in fact. The day before, they actually placed our reservation under a different date and there were no more rooms available on the date of our arrival. Knowing that we had no time to book with another inn, they gave us a spare room (which they don’t really offer to guests) for just PhP700. I really didn’t mind the condition of the room so long as I get a good night’s sleep. And I did (out of exhaustion).

After a quick breakfast of coffee and chips, we secured our gadgets in our dry bag (another great travel investment!)

Our boatman for the day approached us and told us that the tour will still proceed as planned despite the weather. We shared the boat with a couple, Pearl and Paul, with whom we later shared FB usernames. Oooh I love making new friends during my travels!

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Prelude: The Road to El Nido

El Nido is such a gem of rare beauty. The limestone karst formations of breathtaking proportions, the green lush vegetation covering the cliffs, the white sand beaches on the various islands, the variety of colorful fishes surrounding the corals, the enticing clear blue-green waters, and the clean fresh air that only means paradise- everything makes you want to stay in El Nido forever.

Touchdown at Puerto Princesa Airport


It was around 2 pm when our plane landed at the Puerto Princesa National Airport. Big problem though: we had a reservation for the 1:30pm last trip to El Nido from Fort Wally. We still would be able to catch the trip had our flight been a little bit early or on time as planned. But lady luck was on our side and a couple, who recently bought a van for Fort Wally as “franchisees” (I really don’t know the works), were going home to Taytay, Palawan on that day. So off we went with only four people on board the Grandia (including the driver). Taytay is the last major municipality before El Nido and can be reached from Puerto Princesa in 4 hours. From Taytay, the 2-hour travel to El Nido is a grueling roller coaster ride on very rough roads with little lighting.

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