Puerto Princesa Trip – Day 1: Hello Palawan!

JB and Mama slept in our apartment in Makati last night, so that they won’t be travelling from Marikina to NAIA Terminal 3. We left Makati around 7:00 AM, but we still arrive around 8:30 AM because of the traffic jam in the intersection from Vito Cruz to Osmena. Mon and his family, on the other hand, was still caught in traffic in Cavite and they arrived a quarter past 9:00 AM. Our flight was exactly an hour after but we had no problem checking in.

It was a very special day, especially for the kids because it would be their first time riding an airplane. You can see their excitement and they were both extremely giddy. The two of them normally get along very well, and I hoped that they won’t be too unruly.

It was my nephew's first airplane ride

Airplane aisle

Good thing that it was a daytime flight as I always look forward to seeing the seas and islands from up above. JB was extra excited, though, and I had a great time explaining to him the things that we saw, and the islands/coastlines that I can identify. We arrived almost an hour after in Puerto Princesa International Airport, and we headed straight to the conveyor belt to get our luggages. It took us around 15 minutes to finally get our things, because two flights almost arrived at the same time. We did not arrange any transportation ahead of time, as I’ve read online that we could just take a trike to downtown.

We arrived in our guesthouse along the main road, and we checked in immediately in order to get our long awaited lunch. It was drizzling a bit and I was hoping that the weather would clear up once we were done eating. We were to do the city tour with the trike driver who contracted us on our way to the guesthouse. However, the guesthouse owner presented another option for us (i.e. another driver) who agreed to take all of us in a single trike. That definitely cut the cost half for the city tour!Still amazed over seeing landscapes from the airplane

Our first stop was the Crocodile Farm (but I know that it is no longer called with that name). There were also lots of tourists, mostly foreigners, waiting outside for the tour to commence. By the lobby, there was this skeleton enclosed in glass, and its original leathery skin plastered by the wall. Looking at the skeleton, an adult person can comfortably fit inside its rib cage. I could no longer remember the story about this particular specimen, though.Over a croc statue

The skeleton and skin of the giant crocodile

After the introduction, we were then brought to some sort of nursery with lots of water tanks and baby crocodiles inside. I am not normally scared of crocs, the same way I am utterly scared of snakes, but seeing piles upon piles of baby crocodiles with their creepy eyes, I freaked out a bit. LOL Imagine falling into one of those tanks. But these tanks have got nothing on those cages housing the big, adult crocs. It was a death-trap waiting to happen in case one loses his balance in walking on them.

There were not a lot of things to see in the farm though. Aside from cages of birds, one baby croc (with its mouth taped shut) and the fluffy bear cat, we immediately finished the tour in less than 30 minutes. It was a much more time travelling to and from the downtown to Crocodile Farm.

A baby croc peeking from the water

A bear cat

Our next stop was Mitra Ranch, a very high place overlooking the sea. There were horses for rent (Php 50 for 5 minutes!), but the kids wanted to experience riding the horse, so we eventually gave in anyway. There was also a zipline but as I am not a fan of heights and the price was too expensive, none of us even bothered. I was also afraid of one of the horses because it was GIGANTIC. When I was just standing on the grass, I just saw it passed me by and I was petrified  on the spot and was afraid it would kick me!Mitra Ranch with JB and Mama

Mon with his family

This horse was insanely big

From Mitra Ranch, the trike driver took us to Baker’s Hill, which from the outside looked like your typical pasalubong and souvenir area. We had no idea what to see inside, but it was a very beautifully landscaped garden, complete with snack areas and playground. The owner must have spent millions to make the place look out of ordinary.

We were just talking about how Mon’s grandma would love to be there as she has a green thumb. One time when we were in Agua Grande in Ilocos Norte, she was unable to stop the urge of getting a specimen of an interesting plant by the entrance. I doubt she could have done the same thing in Baker’s Hill, though, and we could have ended up getting caught!Pretty garden - Baker's Hill

A group shot taken by Mon

Our last stop was the cathedral, and as they say, you can make a wish if it is your first time visiting a church. =) Our mothers were very happy that we stopped by here, and I had a great time taking photos of the interior and exterior of the cathedral. The kids were clearly bored, though, and the promise of dropping by Puerto Princesa baywalk kept them going.

Had to drop by the cathedral

The only baywalk I know of was the one in Manila. The one in Puerto Princesa looked pretty much the same, but the number of stalls cooking food on the spot, renting bikes and selling interesting trinkets was a far cry of how the Manila Baywalk looks like today. It was almost sunset and the sky was getting interesting coloration, and we were chasing after the little light to get good pictures of us.

We had little time to explore, as we were so tired of the day, We promised to eventually go back in the baywalk some other time, and maybe eat dinner in one of the stalls. But for now, we just had dinner in of the fastfoods in downtown Puerto Princesa. =D

Puerto Princesa Baywalk

Boats in Puerto Princesa Baywalk

bryologue

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