While many others were deep asleep after their New Year activities, we were packing our things while trying to nurse a hangover on the morning of January 1st. Prior to preparing what we have to bring, we welcomed 2013 at a countdown in Makati, followed by a party at Relik and beer breakfast at Rue Bourbon. Even if we were all tired, the three of us tried our best to make it to our morning flight to Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
We arrived some time after lunch in Puerto Princesa and headed straight to the President’s House at the Palawan State University where we stayed for four days. We were supposed to have a quick countryside tour, but we fell asleep the whole day.
The next day, we woke up early for an approximately 76-km road trip going to Sabang Port. From there, we had a 20-minute boat ride going to the entrance of the cave. We were so excited upon seeing the entrance, especially with the fact that we are about to see one of The New 7 Wonders of Nature. The whole trip inside the cave was amazing. It is a guided tour, wherein the guide will provide you with some interesting information about the rock formations that can be seen inside. The guide tried his best to be funny throughout the tour, which, in my opinion, is a failure in spite of his efforts. I just marveled at the sights that I was seeing and did not at all pay attention to the things he was saying.
After the tour of the cave, we took a quick look around the area and saw monitor lizards roaming freely. We then went back to Sabang where we had lunch. There’s a small restaurant by the beach that serves buffet for a cheap price. The food, however, was not even close to being delicious, apart from having limited options. We then took a stroll around the area, passing by the Sheridan Resort, which is one upscale accommodation option by the area.
Our next activity that day was island hopping at Honda Bay. However, rather than choosing to hop from one island to another, we opted for the more relaxing choice. We just chose one island and stayed there for a couple of hours to swim and sleep by the sand. We went to Cowrie Island, which was a pleasant surprise for us. There were few people, making us feel like we own the island.
On our third day, we first went to the Crocodile Farm where we had an up-close encounter with the crocodiles that were bred in the area. After which, we headed back to Honda Bay to choose another island. We initially decided to go to Snake Island, but we were informed that it is not open for tourists because of some rehabilitation going on. We opted to go to Luli Island instead. In the island, there is an area for snorkeling that is abundant with different fishes. The island itself is charming, although I enjoyed Cowrie more. It started raining late in the afternoon, which forced us to go home earlier than planned before the waves get bigger.
For our last day, we headed to some other attractions in the city, including Mitra’s Ranch, Baker’s Hill, Baywalk, and a cathedral and a park (I can no longer recall what they are called). We flew back to Manila at around after lunch.
While in Puerto Princesa, we planned to go to El Nido, which was around 5 hours away from the city. However, we figured out that it is going to be a tiring trip, which lead us into going to Boracay instead. We booked our flights and accommodations just two days before our Boracay trip, but we were still able to get a good price.
It was the 5th of January when we flew to Boracay for our 3-day beach holiday. We stayed at Villa Criselda. When we arrived at the hotel, we were surprised to know that it is now called Facebook Resort. The place is decent and cheap. Our room costs only 2,600 per night, which is pretty much a good catch. While in Boracay, we had more time to rest. There was not too much of drinking and partying this time. We also chose not to do any of the usual Boracay water activities. Instead, we spent hours on the water and sleeping on the sand, talking about what happened in the three years we have not seen each other and what could possibly happen in the next three years before we see each other again.
One of the good places where we ate at Boracay is Ole Restaurant, which is located at D’ Mall. We had some tapas and paella. They had big servings, which made us rest for some time first in our hotel before we finally had a round of drinks. I also did not forget to take home some calamansi muffins from The Real Coffee.
Boracay, as always, never disappoints. It is, by far, my favorite holiday destination. Even after visiting the place for five times already, I am still looking forward to coming back. In fact, it was during that visit in January where I texted some friends and made a plan for an April summer getaway to once again enjoy the multitude of things that Boracay can offer.
- Special thanks to Fred and Sammy for this trip (my cousin and cousin-in-law). They are from UK, and went to spend the New Year and a couple of days in the Philippines. These guys are the best!