Archive for the ‘Palawan’ Category

If you’re going island hopping in Honda Bay, you have to pay a fee for swimming on the islands’ beaches as they are owned by certain people or corporations. I’m not sure why Palawan had to sell these islands or how this happened. As of now, the only island you can go for free is Snake Island. Anyway, here is the list of fees to the islands on Honda Bay.

HONDA BAY ISLAND FEES
SNAKE ISLAND FREE
PANDAN ISLAND 25Php/person
COWRIE 25Php/person
STARFISH ISLAND  50Php/person
LULI ISLAND 50Php/person
PAMBATO CORAL REEF 50Php/person
DOS PALMAS 500Php/person (30 minutes)



JUNE 29 – Our last stop on our self-guided City Tour in Palawan is Baker’s Hill. This property on a hill is owned by a retired US navy and is known for its breads and lifesize character figures in its garden. Baker’s Hill as a tourist attraction is a perfect place for picture-taking especially for those who have children. They have a number of hilarious figures that people can pose with. After several photos with the figures, we decided that it was time for a break and so we went down to their canteen which serves food and breads. You can order Squid Balls, sandwiches, barbeques and most of all, "Halo Halo".


Halo-Halo which literally means “mix-mix” is a popular refreshment among Filipinos which basically consists sweet beans, jackfruit preserve, sago or colored tapioca pearls, minatamis na saging (sweetened bananas), ice, milk and sometimes leche flan (crème caramel) or ice cream on top. It’s probably called "Halo Halo" for the mixed ingredients or for the actual act of stirring and mixing the ingredients together once it’s served. There are several versions of the halo-halo but I have to say that the one they have on Baker’s Hill was really good. They also have several sungka trays which you can use while passing time or waiting for your food to be served. It is the Philippine version of Backgammon. I actually got addicted to playing it that I want to bring a "Sungka" back to Qatar. I even found a Sungka in Pandan Island and played it there too!

Going to Baker’s Hill is probably the best way to wrap up the Palawan City Tour.

Still on our first day, we were able to go to the Crocodile Farm after visiting the Buttefly Garden. Since it was a Sunday, the Crocodile Farm only opens from 2-4 p.m.I think Mavis had to pay Php50 for adults and Php20 for children.

The crocodiles are considered an endangered wildlife in the Philippines thus the Crocodile Farm was institutionalized. The entrance to the Crocodile Exhibit was interesting because in the hall were the bones and skin of a 19-ft long crocodile which was captured only because it “accidentally” ate a human. It is the remains of the largest that was ever captured in Palawan. It was kept alive but died some moths after captivity. A tour guide is available and would show you around the Farm and some intersting facts about the crocodiles.

We were taken to the crocodile nursery where young crocodiles are kept in large basins. As little as they were, a glimpse at them can already elicit fear as they already have sharp teeth and can leap but not high enough to get out of the basins. This is were they grow the crocodiles and would eventually be placed back to their natural habitat after some months. You would also be taken to pens where the adult crocodiles live. Some of the bigger ones are solitary while the smaller ones share pens. There is a metal bridge suspended on top of the pens. Although sturdy, somehow it crossed my mind whether the bridge was strong enough to hold us. Thank God it did!


The best part of our visit to the Crocodile Farm was being able to hold a real and live crocodile, just a small one of course. If you’re brave enough , you just have to pay extra 30 pesos for the photo opportunity. Another group who were there weren’t that brave and decided not to hold the baby croc. The croc itself was not that big and its snout was bound by a rubber band. Even so, it was scary to hold the crocodile after all an ordinary rubber band can easily snap. Luckily it didn’t when we held the croc. Xiane, a brave little girl that she is, also held the crocodile in her hands without hesitation. I had to support her hands though because it was a little heavy for her.

It’s nice that Palawan is conserving its wildlife, including the crocodiles. And the Crocodile Farm is a great place to infrom and teach people that even "scary" crocs deserve to have their place in Palawan.

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Butterfly Garden in Palawan is a small sanctuary for butterflies. We went there on our first day after our lunch at Kawayanan Resort. We hired a van for Php 1500 for 3 hours instead of taking a packaged City Tour which would charge Php 600 per person.

Before you enter the garden, visitors are asked to watch a 5 minute video about the butterflies and the guidelines to follow while in the premises. Visitors are not allowed to touch the butterflies at any time. Inside the garden you’ll find lots of wonderful flowers of different colors, most of them I’ve only seen in this garden. Too bad though, when we visited it was drizzling, preventing us from seeing a lot of butterflies which I assume would be flying all over if it wasn’t drizzling. We saw just a few but still the place was such a nice place to shoot photos. We also had the opportunity to see a butterfly come out of its cocoon. It was a sight to behold.

The entrance fees for Filipinos with valid IDs is 25 pesos/head and 15 pesos for children and 50 pesos/head for foreigners.


Our stay in Palawan had been more pleasant and enjoyable because of Kawayanan Resort. Kawayan Resort is located at the heart of San Pedro, Puerto Princesa. As soon as we got out of the domestic airport, a van was already waiting for us. Reaching the resort only took 10 minutes. Once you enter the resort you’ll be welcomed by lots of plants and trees. We went straight to the dining hall/restaurant which is like an open pavilion made of “sawali” or nipa which makes it quite cool and breezy. All the dining tables and chairs are made of bamboo. The restaurant is spacious enough and can accommodate 30-40 people. We were greeted with complimentary Iced Tea and were shown our cottages. After a while, we ordered lunch. The food was good but a bit on the expensive side. The restaurant also served as our hang out at night and where we spent each night playing pusoy dos (poker) while the children watched Cartoon Network on cable TV.


We rented 2 cottages which accommodated all nine of us, 7 adults and 2 children. Our cottages were named Champaca and Waling-Waling (names of flowers) respectively. Each cottage has 2 good-sized bedrooms, a living room with a 14-inch cable tv and a refrigerator, a bathroom with hot shower and a small balcony. Its walls and ceilings are all nipa while the floor is tiled. The beds can accommodate 2 adults and a small kid. In our case, we had to ask Xiane to sleep in the other room with her Mamita after the three of us spending the first night in one bed. Tian and I hardly moved that night as the bed wasn’t spacious enough for us three. It also has a small cabinet where one could keep clothes during their stay and a dresser. All-in-all the cottages were fine, nothing fancy, yet comfortable and neat enough.

During our stay, we were also able to take a plunge in the pool which was clean. But what we liked most about Kawayanan Resort is their friendly and very accommodating staff. They were so flexible and always willing to grant our requests whenever they can. If you need to go to town, just ask them to call a Tricycle for you and it would be there in 5 minutes. You can also ask them to reserve a spot for you at Ka Lui if you’re planning to dine out. They also have a WiFi connection so you can bring your laptop with you and surf. As we were not bringing Mavis’ laptop, they even let us check our emails using their laptop. The staff, despite being few in number, always have a smile on their faces and serve their guests with enthusiasm. Arnold, who worked both in the restaurant and ran errands in the resort, deserves special mention. The same goes with the very nice receptionists. As always in our out-of-town trips, accommodation was never really meant to be grand or fancy. For us as long we have a clean and comfortable place where we can stay, we’ll be fine. But having stayed in Kawayanan has been a very pleasant experience, making our visit to Palawan extra special. For those planning to go to Palawan, Kawayanan Resort is highly recommended.


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It's been 10 years since the San Juan Family started their blog documenting their lives in this little spot called Qatar. Follow Chris, Mavis and Xianelle as they share what Doha has to offer.

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