17 December 2011

Puerto Princesa Weekend

For years I've been dying to go to Palawan. I've heard so much great things from friends, from television, and from the internet. It didn't help that my girlfriend is from Puerto Princesa and she went home as early as November to spend the holidays with her family. I already booked tickets for me and my family to visit Palawan by February next year but I couldn't wait any longer so I decided to see my girlfriend for the weekend.

Against the advise of my thrifty self, I booked myself a non-promo ticket to Puerto Princesa via Cebu Pacific and a return ticket via Philippine Airlines. I leave Saturday afternoon and be back by Monday morning. The schedule perfectly fits my objective of avoiding excess leaves burning more holes in my pocket. My ticket to Puerto Princesa costs Php1,264.48 without check-in baggage while my return trip costs Php1,455.00.

VIM Pension
Marianne Home Inn
I did my research on where to stay at Puerto Princesa, the goal is to try them out so that my family will have peace of mind by their visit on February. I booked my first night at Marianne Home Inn (Php1,200/night) while my second night was booked by my girlfriend at VIM Pension (Php550/night). Both had private toilets but you could really feel the difference of that Php650 upgrade so to speak. Free airport transfers, LCD TV, free breakfast, more spacious rooms, bigger bathroom, and a much more cleaner feel are what you are paying more at Marianne Home Inn and it is worth it. The pictures can speak for themselves.

"Snow Tunnel"
Palawan Provincial Capitol
After checking in at Marianne Home, my girlfriend and I hopped on a tricycle and went directly to their house at San Pedro to eat some home cookin'.  Awaiting me were shrimps, shells, and sea urchins. After a sumptuous dinner,we went to the Palawan Provincial Capitol where there's more food, a mini concert, and a Christmas bazaar. After going around the shops and making fun of the makeshift "snow tunnel," we called it a night and went back to our hotel.

The morning after we were up early. After a quick breakfast we went to the public market (walking distance from the hotel) to buy some pasalubongs such as kasoy, danggit and dilis. I wanted to see the fresh seafood sold in the market and I only made myself hungry aisle after aisle of fresh marine creatures waiting to be cooked and served. We then went back at the hotel, checked out and went to VIM Pension. After a quick check in, we headed to Divine Sweets to meet my girfriend's highschool friends. Food prices there ranges from Php80 - Php160. A few talks and some photo ops later, we went to a one-stop souvenir shop at the back of Rusty Lopez, to buy the ever so present key chain souvenirs. The souvenirs are pretty much priced the same elsewhere but food is much more cheaper at the public market. But for those with limited time, this is the place to go.

Chao Long at Bona's
Next stop was Gypsy's Lair Art Cafe for some ice cream. It's located at Mercado de San Miguel, a commercial complex a few minutes away from the Capitol. The rice coffee is a must try at Gypsy's Lair Art Cafe and the place itself is very interesting, showcasing works of art at every corner. Mercado de San Miguel also houses Skybox Sports Bar and Grille which boasts of the "Best Burger in Town" (Php210 single patty) so I had to try that. My burger rating: 6.5/10.

It was getting dark and it started raining which is just perfect for our next stop, Bona's Chao Long. The Chao Long at Bona's is very tasty and is actually my girfriend's favorite. The dish which is Viatnamese beef stew with noodles costs Php45 per serving. And as recommended, their French bread (Php25) goes nicely with Chao Long.

And just like that my time was up. I had to catch an early flight the next day and my final memory of Puerto Princesa was a quick breakfast with my girlfriend at a cafe right next to the airport. I hope February comes fast.

The Final Roundup:
Airfare (plus Terminal fees): Php2,959.48
Accommodation: Php1,750.00
Transportation: Php194.00
Food: Php1,070.00
Souvenirs: Php190.00
Pasalubong: Php300.00
GRAND TOTAL: Php6,463.48*

*Food and Accommodations are good for 2 pax. My personal total is Php5,053.48

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