05 Apr 2013
in Palawan Tags: Cassia, Palawan cherry, Puerto Princesa, travel
I got an invitation from the owners of Makulay Lodge to go to their house south of Puerto Princesa and I was eager to go. The lodge in El Nido is now being managed by their sons, Likha and Kalikasan, while the owners live in their house in Luzviminda, about 20 kilometers outside of the city proper of Puerto Princesa. There are two ways to get there, by land via bus or van bound for Aborlan or by boat, from the port at Callebajo to the port in Mangingisda.
Fresh from the very first flight of the day from Manila via ZestAir, I stepped into the cool and crisp morning air of Puerto Princesa and headed directly to Itoy’s Coffee House. I love Itoy’s Coffee House. I have been going there since 2008 and I like how they have improved through the years. The service is great, the staff, friendly, the coffee, good, even if the food is not so much. What I like best about them is that they are open at 7am. I stayed there for three hours before hopping on a multicab going to the San Jose terminal.
When I got to the terminal, the van that would pass by where I was getting off only had three passengers and was waiting for, probably, 10 more people, and I was told that it might take an hour for it to leave. I was advised to take a bus instead. A bus bound for Aborlan was pulling out of the terminal when I got there and it was full to the point of overflowing. I nevertheless threw my bags into the bus, near the doors, and hoisted myself up. I was laughing while thinking, “Igzoydiiing!”
I sat on my bags and held on tight. The sun was bright, the sky, blue, and foliage, green. The fresh breeze rushing through the windows rustled everyone’s hair, clothes, luggage, and even our spirits. Especially mine. Sitting on top of my bags, my booted feet dangling almost out the bus doors, I felt happy and free. I love open bus rides through rural areas.
It was a very narrow bus with two seats on each side, bright green outside, and very colorful inside. The baggage was so much that it was as high as the passengers’ shoulders and heads. Even I sat on two layers of bags.
The highlight of this bus ride was being reminded it was the blooming season for one of my favorite trees – the Palawan cherry (Cassia nodosa or Cassia x Palawan Cherry). The trees lined the road and made the scene very pretty.
26 Mar 2013
in Life in El Nido, Palawan Tags: Caalan Beach, El Nido, friends, home, Lia, Makulay Lodge, Palawan, travel
January 2013 was a very eventful month. And truly, it defined how the rest of the year is going to be for me. I know this year’s only been three months but it was the most difficult time of the year. So far, at least. And when things are difficult for me, I run to my refuge, back to where my heart is, to the place I call home.
View of Cadlao Island from Makulay Lodge
Lia’s put a hairpiece on me. Clever girl.
Good morning. Of Monsters and Men.
25 Mar 2013
in Life in El Nido, Palawan Tags: Corong-corong, El Nido, Palawan, photography, Stunning Vistas Beach Resort, sunset, travel
I love riding my bike in El Nido. On one January afternoon, I concluded my ride by having a glass of shake and some food at Stunning Vistas Beach Resort in Corong-Corong and happened to have caught this. <3
Stunning Vistas Beach Resort
Lugadia, Corong-Corong, 5313 El Nido, Palawan
Contact numbers: +639217515783 or +639995660888
If you are looking for more accommodations in El Nido, here is the link to the most updated list of accommodations, with contact numbers, links and a map. Click HERE.
23 Mar 2013
in Palawan Tags: Bacuit Bay, diving, El Nido, Palawan, Submariner
I have gone on diving trips many times. Soon, I will go on a diving trip and actually go diving, instead of just hanging around, listening to music, taking photos here and there, posting on Instagram and sipping coffee. Soon. For now, here are the photos from that jellyfish-filled day.
20 Mar 2013
in Palawan Tags: accommodations, Cervantes, El Nido, Jack's Place, Nacpan, Nacpan beach, Palawan, travel
After many years, I finally made it to Nacpan Beach. On a confused-weather day, we rented a motorbike and rode all the way to Nacpan Beach – Lia and I with our friend Likha. I say “confused weather” because it wasn’t really sunny but it wasn’t cloudy either. Not all the time at least. Though we appreciated the fact that sometimes the sun hid behind the clouds and made the motorbike ride more bearable for everyone, this was not good at all for my so-called photographic endeavors.
- Motorbike rental for the whole day is Php700, gas is included, but you drive the motorbike yourself. You may hire a motorbike with a driver from Php500 and above, depending on your negotiation skills, and maybe, your weight. You may also choose to rent a tricycle for Php1000 and above, depending on the number of people going.
- You may also choose to spend the night in Nacpan Beach. There are currently two available accommodations. You may camp but be warned of the sand flies.
- Travel time from El Nido town to Nacpan Beach is 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on how fast you drive. It can even be 30 minutes if you drive like mad.
- Lunch on the beach is Php250/pax with your choice of viand, salad, dessert and unlimited rice. The meal is simple but delicious. There is another little eatery by the road where one can also have lunch. If not, packed lunch is the only other option.
The sun is out!
Aww, the sun went into hiding.
Our tire tracks on the beach. Yes, you can ride your motorbike on the sand. I was actually given lessons on how to drive a motorcycle while we were here. But no, those aren’t my tire tracks.
21 Dec 2012
in Life in El Nido, Palawan Tags: Aplaya Bar, Aplaya Restobar, bar, El Nido, Palawan, restaurants, travel
Located at the very end of Rizal Street, on the right corner, across from Casa San Buenavista, and facing the beach directly, is Aplaya Bar and Restaurant. It was one of the “new” places I came across coming back in El Nido after a year’s absence. What once was a pretty garden with gumamelas and bougainvillea, stood a bar and restaurant. I had liked going to the beach after work, to have a glass of Shirley Temple, and this was one of the few bars that a Shirley Temple was available (the others being Sea Slugs and El Nido Corner Restaurant). They had a Buy1-Take 1 promo during Happy Hours, and Lia loved playing on the beach in front, so we were here a few times.
20 Dec 2012
in Life in El Nido, Palawan Tags: accommodations, El Nido, La Salangane, La Salangane Hotel, La Salangane Restaurant, Palawan, restaurant
La Salangane has rooms and a bar and restaurant in the heart of town, as well as an apartment/villa in Caalan. I have not been to La Salangane II in Caalan and the photos here are mostly of the bar and resto.
I have been in El Nido two months when I first walked into this restaurant. It was a bright and sunny afternoon and I was completing a photo walk around town. It was one of the last accommodations located on Serena St. that I was supposedly documenting, and it was nearly four in the afternoon. I walked in there, and met two very amiable men, a French and a Spaniard, and forgot to leave.
Amidst bottles of San Miguel Pale Pilsen and my cocktails, we talked about music, movies, cuisine, and travel all over the world.
16 Nov 2012
in Life in El Nido, Palawan Tags: Corong-corong, El Nido, El Nido Art Cafe and Boutique, El Nido Boutique and Art Cafe, Palawan
Our last few days in El Nido last September were spent hanging out at the beach in the afternoons….
A friend of ours has a cottage in Corong-corong and we would swing by sometimes to hang out.
The beach in this part of Corong-corong is not known for being clean because there are a lot of trees and leaves fall on the beach.
15 Nov 2012
in Palawan Tags: A Place to Remember, accommodations, Anang Balay Turista, Bayview Inn, beachfront, Blessed Inn, budget, Bunakidz Lodge, Caalan, Casa Buenavista, Casa Cecilia, cheapest accommodations, Chislyk Cottages, Cliffside Cottages, Corong-corong, Dara Fernandez Beach Cottages, Devayn's Inn, El Nido, El Nido Bayview Inn, El Nido Beach Hotel, El Nido Sands Inn, El Nido Skyline Inn, El Nido Viewdeck Cottages, El Nido Waterfront Hotel, Entalula Beach Cottages, Francisco Inn, Gloria's Beach Cottages, high-end, Hostel La Banane, Kape Pukka Pension, La Salangane, Lally and Abet Beach Cottages, Lolo Oyong's Pension House, Lualhati Cottages, map, Marina Garden Beach Cottages, master list, mid-range, Nido Bay Inn, Ogie's Beach Pension, Palawan, Pura Vida, Relucio Travellers Pension, Rico's Beach Cottages, Rosanna's Cottages, Rovic's Pension, Sei Nazioni Cottages, Shore Pass Lodge, Silverise Pension, Spider Pension, Tandikan Beach Cottages, The Alternative Inn, town, travel, Villa del Vincejos, Willa's Pension
Having lived in El Nido on and off since 2005, I have seen how the little town has grown over the years. When I was last back there this year, there are so many more accommodations available that I felt making a master list would be very useful. The El Nido Tourism council has come up with a map and this will be our guide. This list was compiled in September 2012. *updates are ongoing with the photos and details*
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
We will use these maps as guide:
Click HERE to view large image.
Click HERE to view large image.
14 Nov 2012
in Palawan Tags: accommodations, Corong-corong, El Nido, Islandfront Cottages, Islandfront Cottages and Restaurant, Lugadya, Palawan, travel
A family-owned resort located in Corong-Corong, El Nido, Palawan, Islandfront Cottages is known for its unique rooms, designed and decorated by the owners themselves. The family owns one of the only two drugstores in town, and it comes with a grocery too. I liked doing my groceries at their store because they carry many items that can only be found at their store, and also, we know the owners.
Islandfront Cottages is located right by the beach in Corong-Corong, which, if one is coming from Puerto Princesa, one will pass by right before entering the town proper. The rustic, native-style cottages are arranged around a garden.