Tuesday, June 3

Puerto Princesa City and why it's a must-see

Exactly 3 months after my Cebu trip, I went to the southern part of Luzon to check out the city of Puerto Princesa in Palawan. We got the tickets a year ago from Zest Air which was only about P1,200 or less if I'm not mistaken. It was a good grab and there was no turning back.

Since my Mom is not exactly a backpacker, we got scheduled tours throughout our stay. We availed a 3D/2N package from Ysabelle Mansion (+639175832066 or +639184089377) which included triple room accommodation, daily Filipino or American breakfast, airport transfers, van transfers for all of the tours, entrance fees, environmental fees, buffet lunch for the Underground River and Island Hopping tours, boat rentals, and tour guide, only for P4750/pax. The more you are in a group, the lesser it gets. Honestly, this was the most easy breezy trip I had since my mother was there and she worries for all of my things, pays when I'm short, keeps food for me when I'm too busy swimming and watches out for our things when Tito and I are both in the water snorkeling.

Ysabelle Mansion is actually a very decent place to stay in. I didn't expect much since the package we got was pretty cheap already but it was clean, had soft beds, and it certainly was not bad for sleeping and staying.

Ysabelle Mansion 
Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Since the city tour will not start until 1pm, we decided to have lunch first at Badjao Seafront. Tricycles are the most common form of transportation in Palawan, in fact, usually when you head out of your inn, you'll see them parked right in front. So to get to your desired destination, just call and tell them where you're headed and they'll bring you there. Most of the time, they ask you to get their number so you can call them when you're done. Plus to save you the hassle of always getting a tricycle, you can also make them your permanent service during your entire stay (Kuya Jerry +639424790028). The tricycles look pretty cute, actually. Ours was named Nonoy and it was pink!

Badjao Seafront has an amazing view. The food is fairly good and even if it was a bit pricey, I'm still giving it a positive review because of the A+ scenery it has given me while dining. We ordered clam soup, ginataang alimango, inihaw na isda, and enseladang talong. I also ordered mango fruit shake just because it goes perfectly with the view.

Clam soup

Ginataang alimango
(Sorry, I was too hungry to take decent photos)

Overall, make sure to still visit Badjao Seafront when you're in Palawan. It gives you the feeling of dining close to the sea and the food was generally good. Keep it on your list and don't skip!

So we proceeded to having our city tour after lunch... We were picked up by our service at 1:30 in the afternoon and we started with Plaza Cuartel which was a military base during World War II. About 150 American captives died when the Japanese soldiers set fire into the place on December 14, 1944.

Plaza Cuartel

We hurriedly went to Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center after and checked out hundreds of crocodiles as well as other species that can only be found in Palawan. I almost cried while in line for picture taking with a baby croc because I thought I was never gonna have the chance since kuya was too busy ignoring me. But since I have my Mom with me (the few advantages of having her on a trip), my avenger came to the rescue upon seeing me about to cry. And behold, finally a photo with the baby croc :)

Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center

After that we went to a rest house who's owned by someone I already forgot lol I wasn't paying much attention to the tour guide that time I was just busy appreciating the beautiful contrast of the green grass and blue sea from the view deck.

Just a few minutes away from the view deck was Baker's Hill Palawan which houses the best hopia in town. Or maybe even in the whole country. Creative sculptures are scattered all over the place and you can smell freshly baked pastries just around the corner. As for me, I chose a spot, sat down, ate an ube hopia, and relaxed for a few minutes before we head to another destination.

Pizza's also available in the Baker's Kitchen :D

Baker's Hill Palawan

Our last place to visit for the day was Binuatan Creations which manufactures handloom woven products utilizing Palawan's indigenous fibers. They sell a couple of items like place mats and table runners, bags, and slippers. I even got to try weaving!

Binutuan Creations Palawan

And to cap off Day 1 we decided to have dinner at Kinabuchs Grill and Bar which is sure to give you tasty and good quality food. Please make sure not to miss out on them while you're in Palawan.

Sinigang na hipon

Croc adobo

Grilled tuna belly

We ordered grilled tuna belly, sinigang na hipon, and croc adobo. The food, without exaggeration, is really good. And aside from that, they also serve tamilok or shipworm - a wood worm which tastes like your familiar oyster. Go and have a serving if you must. There's no harm trying exotic dishes, except I wasn't brave enough :p

Overall, Day 1 has met my expectations of a good day and it was a blast! I've learned a lot (the benefit of having a tour guide lol) and much to my discovery, Palawan serves the best food selection I've had in my entire travels. Will continue with Day 2 & 3 tomorrow since this is already too long... Yet again.

How about you? Had a recent trip to Palawan? Feel free to share in the comment box below :)

Happy travels!


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