When I was 23, I looked 14, is what I was thinking when I was going through these photos. It was 2005, we were on a school break, and I decided it was a good time to take the bus to Puerto Princesa and endure the 12-hour day trip. The roads were so bad back then that the 238 km (148 mi) trip took that long. There, I met up with H who flew in from Manila, and we took off on a day trip of Puerto Princesa. He arrived early in the morning and we went straight to the Puerto Princesa Catholic church, also known as the Immaculate Conception Cathedral before going for lunch at Badjao Seafront Restaurant. (Just click on the thumbnails to view full size).

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CATHEDRAL

   

To read more and see more photos of this beautiful blue church, you may visit the blogs below:

 

BADJAO SEAFRONT RESTAURANT

Despite readers’ comments on this blog at eatandrun, I would still recommend Badjao Seafront Restaurant for the great view and ambiance. When we we’re there, it was totally empty. This restaurant, as well as Casa Linda Inn, is owned by the family of the actor Matthew Mendoza, who I used to see at the Puerto Princesa airport every time I went there, and maybe through the years, the restaurant has declined in terms of the quality of its food and customer service.

          

The restaurant is out of the way and we asked our tricycle driver to wait for us while we lunched. You have to walk on a plank walkway through the mangroves to get to the restaurant. I loved the fact that it is built on top of a mangrove habitat, has a beautiful view of the sea and is considerably an open-air restaurant.

I cannot remember what we ordered and how much our bill was but I can recall that the food was good and the price was reasonable – over all, a good place to dine in.

We also contracted the same tricycle driver who brought us there to take us on an impromptu city tour.

CROCODILE FARM

Since it was the farthest, some 30-40 minutes travel from the city proper and located in National Road, Barangay Irawan, we went to the Crocodile Farm first. The farm is formally known as the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center because it also shelters other endemic species such as the Palawan Peacock-pheasantPhilippine Mouse-deerPhilippine Pangolin and Palawan Bearded Pig. I took photos of these animals in the mini-zoo at the back of the farm but none were good enough.

 

BUTTERFLY GARDEN

It started raining while we were on the way to the garden, located in Barangay Sta. Monica, and rain was still falling lightly when we got there, making most of the butterflies hide under leaves and what-not. We expected a big garden and was slightly disappointed when we saw that it was a small screened garden where butterflies roamed freely.

The most memorable part of this visit is the educational video all guests are required to view before going inside. H and I shared a lot of laughs over this video. I don’t know if they still show the same one now but back then, the video was really hilarious in its presentation. I can still hear, “da kriih-sah-lis..” in my head.

 

MITRA’S RANCH/HOUSE

The home of the late Speaker/Senator Ramon Mitra, the vast estate has been opened to visitors and boasts the family’s elegant mansion as well as a scenic view of Honda Bay – making it ideal for picture taking.

  

BAKER’S HILL

Not far from Mitra’s Ranch is Baker’s Hill, popular with tourists and locals alike for its baked goodies (particularly the hopia that tourists buy as pasalubong), garden and mini-zoo. We had a fun time with the ostrich. It had a huge sign by the fence that said it may look cute but it can get cranky and can bite so don’t touch – something we personally saw! I assure you, a cranky ostrich can get quite scary!

  

We only stayed one night, and actually only stayed at a friend’s house near the bus terminal, and left very early the next morning for El Nido.

I came back to Puerto Princesa a few months later on my way back to Manila from El Nido and went around the city again. I’ll post on that some other time.

H and I also came back to Puerto Princesa in early 2008 and did another little tour of other places in the city that we didn’t get to see on this day. I blogged about that trip here – and wow, I’m amazed at how different I look! Maybe because I had make-up on? The blog has some lay-out problems because of the crash that my site experienced last year (that resulted to the loss of some 400+ blog posts as only 600+ were recovered) but it’s still readable. Do check it out –> Back to Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.

The only place we didn’t go to, and actually have never gone to in all our trips to Puerto Princesa, is the Iwahig Penal Colony. Maybe we will visit next time. I’m thinking that the next time, we will stay at the Puerto Pension Inn, and visit Iwahig, the Bay Walk and do an island hopping tour of Honda Bay. That should complete one day in the city before going north to San Vicente and Port Barton.

As a side note, I’ve been eyeing these towns for the longest time! To whet one’s appetite, here are some links:

 

*** All photos were taken with a point-and-shoot Pentax Optio WP camera in November 4, 2005.

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