And the day has come… our trip to Palawan!
Early morning on the 16th day of February, 2018, we all met in Mactan Cebu International Airport. 6 of us including me, my sister, father, aunt and 2 cousins came from Cebu City; my uncle from Manila; and my brother & sister-in-law from Escalante City.
Cebu Pacific Air was on time that day. We were able to took off at around 10:40AM and landed before 12NN.
I called our van driver but he was still on his way. So, while waiting, we took a few photos in this podium placed in celebration of the Chinese New Year (which is that day and it’s a holiday).
After about 15 minutes, he arrived and told him that we will have lunch at Kalui Restaurant. My sister was able to try it there on her first trip to Palawan and she did recommend the place. When we arrived, many were waiting outside. This only proved that this place is really popular and in demand.
We did not wait that long until a table was available to accommodate all of us. After ordering and getting our tummy full, we went to their comfort room. Guess what if what did we do??? Yeah! We took photos again. We can’t help it. The place is so beautiful. Their comfort room looks like a house and there are many paintings outside.
After that, we went to our first stop of the Puerto Princesa City Tour.
This used to be the military base during the World War II. There is a tunnel that connects to the airport. Unfortunately, it is no longer accessible.
Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral
Next stop is the Cathedral that can be found just across Plaza Cuartel. We went inside, prayed then went out.
Then the driver asked us if where we want to go, Crocodile Farm or Butterfly Eco Garden and Tribal Village. He pointed out the differences. The first being a crocodile farm, we can find baby crocs to big crocs. While the second being a Butterfly Eco Garden and Tribal Village, we can find butterflies. Aside from that, there are also other animals that can be found including a crocodile. Then there is a tribal village where we can meet Palawan natives called Palaw’an.
Just to clarify, Palawan is a place while Palaw’an are the people living there.
Before we headed to our next stop, we dropped by the Souvenir Shop to do some souvenir and pasalubong shopping.
Butterfly Eco Garden and Tribal Village
After paying the Php 50.00 per adult entrance fee, we were then welcomed by a tour guide. He gave us some information about Palawan including why their logo is peacock. Palawan peacock-pheasant can be found only in Palawan and is considered to be the most expensive peacock in the world. A baby peacock costs around USD2000 each. They are already endangered.
After that, we headed to meet other animals in the garden.
Then the guide told us that the Tribal Show will about to start and he handed us to the other tour guide who can speak the native language, Ibalnan.
Everyday they will do a show to visitors to introduce their creations, activities, livelihoods, talents and even how they hunt for foods. Every two weeks, the families will be exchanging who will stay in the village and others will go home in the mountain. The people in the Butterfly Eco Garden also teach the young natives their language so that they won’t forget it.
After that, the visitors can take a photo with the natives and their pet, a snake. I don’t like reptiles and snakes are really not my thing. I think I have a phobia both the animal and the human (LOL! HAHA).
This is a place owned by late Senator Ramon Mitra. It is a very beautiful place with an overlooking view of Puerto Princesa City and Dos Palmas Resort. Visitors need to pay the entrance fee of Php 20.00 to be able to get inside the house and take photos. They also have a small bar where visitors can have a snacks. They have zipline and horseback riding too. But, the view is so breathtaking and more than enough to stay and chill.
Our last stop is Baker’s Hill. We roamed around and took photos. Then decided to eat pizza before heading out. We then got back to the van and headed to El Nido.
The 5-hour journey now begins.
We departed at 5:30PM then arrived at St. John Island View Pensionne House at 10:30PM. We just had a short stopover at Halfway to have our dinner.
- If you are renting a van for El Nido and have enough time for a City Tour, you can do it before departing to El Nido. We rented at Northern Hope Tours.
- If you are traveling in a group, it is cheaper if you just rent a van than getting a tour package. Unless, you want a tour guide with you. A van rental costs Php 1500 for 4 hours while the City Tour package is Php 600 per person.
- When we had our City Tour, we chose the Butterfly Eco Garden and Tribal Village over the Crocodile Farm. First because there is still crocodile in the Eco Garden. Second, there is more animals that we can see in the Eco Garden. Third, the chance to meet and witness the natives.
- When buying souvenirs, try to haggle the price.
- Do not miss buying pasalubong from Bakers Hill. Their pastries and goods are delicious.
- You can eat and chill at Bakers Hill.
- You can do Zipline and horseback riding in Mitra’s Ranch.
- Kalaui Restaurant offers wide choices of delicious foods. Plus, the ambiance is very amazing.
- We chose St. John Island View Pensionne House because there were few hotels/resorts left that can cater a group of 10 pax. Also, there are good reviews in TripAdvisor. But, the resort is about 10-15 minutes tricycle ride (without traffic) to the beach.
- The tricycle fare in El Nido is not fixed. It will vary on the driver. Ask the hotel staff for the fare.