Wednesday, July 13, 2011

El Nido and Puerto Princesa, Palawan | Raw Beauty

Palawan, A Raw Beauty
To Enjoy Palawan Is To be One With Nature

June 30 - July 4, 2011

I recently concluded a trip to Palawan.
First time to be there,
and first to many discoveries and unforgettable experience.

It wasn't a back packing trip adventure,
but my travel buddy discovered that it isn't necessary to do this.
My travel buddy got a deal with Hadefe.
And lo, everything is covered for Php 7,000 only/per head

Includes transport from Puerto Princesa Airport,
Transport to El Nido from Puerto Princesa and vice versa,
4 package tours,
Island Hopping Tour A and Tour C in El Nido, Palawan
Underground Subterranean River Tour and Puerto Princesa City Tour,
Includes accommodations in Hadefe Cottages in El Nido
and Remari Pension in Puerto Princesa City.
Our accommodations actually included Breakfast,
Lunch buffets are included in the tour package except the City Tour..
So the only thing left if to scour the place at night for a very good dining experience..
Which are practically a lot.
Lastly we are provided with a personal Guide who attended to our every needs.

Puerto Princesa City Airport - Arrival
Arrival, Puerto Princesa Airport
It had been a rainy plane ride with Cebu Pacific Air..
Coming from my night shift work, 
I slept all the way from NAIA to Puerto Princesa..
I just woke in this picture.
The Transport at Puerto Princesa City.
Their tricycle looks nice and the design looks like overloading is not permitted.
Lunch at Noki Nocs, in preparation for a long drive to El Nido
This is one of the restaurants suggested by our guide,
not that it's the best but its accessible, along the way and had good  food and service.
This is in front of the Capitol of Palawan.
The drive to El Nido
It was a long drive from Puerto Princesa to El Nido,
and it was raining along the way and very cold.
My first glimpse of El Nido was really inside of the Van.. 
I just woke, and on the side window
I saw a Beach with a Big Island up front (Cadlao Island) basking in a late afternoon sun.
Really beautiful place, it seemed magical.
I thought to myself, If I was to write a book and describe
the Lost Island of Atlantis, I'll think about El Nido Palawan.
My first glimpse of El Nido, Palawan is Stunning..
This is Cadlao Island on a late afternoon.
This was taken on a late afternoon after we have arrive to El Nido..
Cloudy and Rainy, this Island looks remote and distant with a lot of secrets to tell.
The foreground looks like Dead Marshes but it's really not,
in fact this is an expose beach on a low tide revealing many wealth..
corals, trapped fish, shells, sea weeds..
The place is very clean as well, no garbage debris anywhere.
This is Cadlao Island on early morning.
as viewed from Hadefe Cottages on a high tide early morning.
Picture of a lantern at Blue Azul, one of the many restaurants in El Nido.
They serve some nice vegetarian meals for vegetarian guest.
Art Cafe, El Nido Corner and Blue Azul
are just one of the many restaurants we dropped by in El Nido
I especially liked Art Cafe. 
El Nido Corner was just near Hadefe Cottages, 
being in the corner of the beach area. 
Here is where we got swarmed by a lot of 
Laga-laga (Ilongo Term for small flying termites 
appear during the start of rainy season to mate).
Meet our guide.. Kuya Loloy! He's ripped! Kitamz! Choz!
He's one of Hadefe's trusted Tour Guides
I think he's probably still groggy from his drinking the night before, 
but he's still very early for the Tour.

Kuya Loloy, took us from the airport, escorted us to lunch  
and brought us to El Nido in an exclusive Van.
Very flattering really considering that other 
travelers would have a hard time arranging itineraries.
My Take.. Helicopter Island..
One of El Nido's 45 islands and very prominent
as it can be viewed from the small town.
From a distant perspective, 

it looks like a chopper minus the blades.
Hence the name, Helicopter Island.
This picture caps the Tour A as we are 

heading to Hadefe Cottages..
As you can see, it's raining, 

can't help but take a picture of the sun rays within the rain clouds..
Very inspiring moment.
Cadlao Island..
I find it a very majestic island facing the small town of El Nido.
Since I went to Palawan on a rainy season, 

this island is always bath in clouds..
This is also said to be the biggest of the islands around and probably the tallest.
As is, if this island is covered with rain clouds then the residents don't need to guess,
because it will be raining within the hour.
El Nido Island Hopping Tours
Our Accommodations included Tour A and Tour C

Something we pre selected before the trip.
Though its my first time in Palawan,
I'd say we had come prepared and knowing what to do..
I just don't know what to expect.

Rainy day morning.. 
The waters are on high tide but 
the boat is unable to come closer to the beach.
We actually had to kayak to get to the boat.
Tour A: Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, Simisu Island, Entalula Island and the Seven Commando Beach.
The highlights of the Tour A Package are the Lagoons,
especially the small lagoon where we had to kayak our way in.
A very nice experience, considering that you can't expect what to see inside.
Without kayak, you have to swim or snorkel your way in,
can be very tricky, but I did swim inside as the waters are calm.
Lunch at Simisu island was the best, the island itself is
a good site for snorkeling and it has a very diverse colorful fishes,
I love the fish feeding activity after our lunch.
Seven commando beach was the last stop,
a beautiful stretch of white sand beaches,
very picturesque, here we bought Buko and enjoyed sipping fresh juice from it.
Ever experience having buffet lunch on a secluded island??
I just did, and I did it bare hand even when there is spoon and fork..
I'll do it again and again if I can.
This is in Simisu Island
Tour C: Hidden Beach, Tapiutan Island, Secret Beach, Matinloc Island and the Helicopter Island
The hidden beach was a perfect place.
The entrance was obscure and unexpected,
so it was surprising to see a small stretch of white sand beach inside..
Though it was raining and on high tide,
it was easy to see that this is a rich place.
Plenty of different fishes and very for snorkeling.
The secret beach was a very well liked highlight for
the Tour C considering that the entrance was very dangerous due to big waves crashing on it.
Helicopter Island is perfect for jump shots.
Survivor Switzerland recently concluded their shooting here in Palawan,
This island is one of areas featured. 
The essentials when island hopping.
This is my Red Dry Sack

it save my DSLR from absolute ruin of wetness.
As is, DSLR case is very expensive and 

we didn't have time to  buy just the pouch.
This is my tripod which also serve as a mounter for my things when on the beach.
The life jacket is provided by the guides,
I'm not using it really since I like snorkeling without life jacket,
I wear the life jacket when it raining and the small boat is  taxing.
Snorkling gear is needed, if you don't have one,
you can rent with your guides or the resort you're in for only Php 100

Meet Tina and Alan, traveling buddies we met on Tour C in El Nido..
They decided to come with us on our Tour at Puerto Princesa.
Palawan Subterranean River
I ate Tamilok.. Eeew!!
Its a Kinilaw of the Mangrove Worm.
I experience LBM the next day. 
But hell, I'll try everything just for the heck of it
Even the visit to the Famous Puerto Princesa Subterranean River was raining all the way.
Good thing Kuya Loloy anticipated that we needed umbrellas,
Now I can sing Umbrella by Rihanna, LOL!!!
The other visitors where just unlucky to be drench in the rain.
I guess it pays to have an experience guide.
Overnight at Puerto Princesa
After our wet tour of the Subterranean River
We were lodged at the Remari Pension
Again, is included on our Package with Hadefe Tours.
A very spacious room with 2 double size beds,
aircon, cable tv, free wifi and a big comfort room,
and is located very near the Capitol Building.
We had dinner at Kinabuchs Restaurant where I tried eating Crocodile Meat.
With Alan, being an experienced back packer, Tina and my Buddy.
We took a trip to the Puerto Princesa Market 

and have our own City Tour.
We bought some of these Lato and 

njoyed it over beers at Remari Pension.
The Market also had some souvenir shops.
I got myself a shirt for El Nido as didn't buy one at El Nido.
Lots of dried Fish.. Very affordable.
We got an instant lecture on what is the Mother of Pearls.
The locals are really nice although 

the vendor knew we weren't buying one of these.
But it was nice to look at.
Puerto Princesa City Tour
City Tour: Visited Crocodile Farm, Mitra's Ranch, Baker's Hill, Binuatan Creations, Plaza Cuartel, Immaculate Conception Church, Baywalk and Public Market

The next day was our last and our flight schedule was at 1PM bound to Manila.
The City Tour proved to be an ordeal as I am suffering from LBM.
I just endured, I wouldn't pass this moment for anything.
Below us are a hoard of Philippine Fresh Water Crocodile.
Scary Dinosaurs.
Just before this pen, 

is the Salt Water crocodile over 17 Ft.
I real monster to behold and really fascinating.
I couldn't even fit it in a picture, 

it's too big and just right below us.
Just looking around at Mitra's Ranch.
my LBM was getting worse.
Now who does it better??? hihihi!
Baker's Hill!
I bought my Mom some pearl Jewelries here.
What's up Doc???
Over all, this trip was probably the best.
I just started this frenzy of travelling this year,
never thought I'll bag Palawan sooner as is,
most people here think that making this trip was expensive.
I'm not an experience back pack traveller,
and I didn't intend my Palawan Trip to be one,
It was all worth it.

Php 7,000 included all 4 Tours courtesy of Hadefe Tours.
included is the transport from Puerto Princesa, Airport and El Nido.
Accommodations at Hadefe Cottages in El Nido
and Remari Pension in Puerto Princesa.
Kind and cheerful staff who treated us like a family member.
free spirited experienced guide.

Php over 2,000 Plane Ticket bought at
Seat sale with Cebu Pacific and Airphil Express. 

Dinner almost Php 1,000 in various restaurants


Francis Balgos is a Call Center Agent, Weekend Travel Warrior, Amateur Spelunker, Sometime Surfer, Newbie Mountain Climber, Photography Enthusiast, Certified Beach Bum, A first born son, Faithful lover, True Explorer...

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  1. nagandahan naman ako sa mga pics dito.. parang gusto ko rin mamasyal sa Palawan... :)

  2. @AJ - Ikaw yung una ng comment dito.. plano ko na sana delete or re entry nalang nah medyo edited nah. tenkyu! :)

  3. great post! I love the scenic shoots you got and the marilyn monroe pose haha.

  4. ay you're with gabz pala. nice. siya rin nag mention ng hadefe sakin kaya lang never ko naman silang nacontact. ever. Sayang ang 7k deal. hihihi! Anyway, I enjoyed Palawan too. Ganda talaga no? sarap balik balikan.

    I appreciate your comment on my blog ( Salamat! sa uulitin. hihihi!

  5. I am living here in the Philippines yet I didn't have a chance to be there in Palawan. I really think it is one of the best.

    Margaret River day tours

  6. I've been to a lot of tours in Asia but there only one place I really wanted go again and again and that is Palawan. I enjoyed every second I was there. It's a perfect paradise and leisure to go through, relentless and relaxing adventure are the words I describe that location. Fantastic!

  7. Palawan is one the wonderful places that I had been through, this is a paradise where you can unwind, relax and feel the scent of the perfect nature. Aside from Coron, there are other places that has tremendous nature locations such as Puerto Prinsesa and El Nido Palawan.


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