A Weekend Getaway to Puerto Princesa, Palawan with Airphil Express!

A Weekend Getaway to Puerto Princesa, Palawan with Airphil Express!

by JC Ansis

When In Manila and feel like going on a vacation, book a flight and fly to Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Last weekend, I was invited by Airphil Express for a weekend getaway with other bloggers to visit the beautiful city of Puerto Princesa in Palawan. We left Manila on Friday, after being skeptical whether or not the flight would push through because of the storm. Upon arriving at the airport, I met the employees of Airphil Express (who would accompany us on the trip) and the six bloggers who were also invited, namely: Mica, Winston, Robbie, Eric, Rochelle and Anton. We took off at around 8AM and arrived in Puerto Princesa about an hour later.

We were welcomed by Ms. Anne, a tour guide of Maple Travel and Tours and our chaperone for the weekend. From the airport, they took us straight to Marianne Home Inn. This place not only has a beautiful facade but they have decent rooms and great services as well. Marianne Home Inn offers cheap rates, with a standard room for two costing only P1,200 per night and a dorm-type room for large groups for only P3,000.

After checking in and dropping our luggage, we hit the road and departed for our Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour. After registering at the Sta. Lourdes Wharf and securing a boat, we headed first to Pandan Island (getting its name from the many Pandan trees you can spot near the shoreline). FYI though, there’s an entrance free, P25 per person.

The beach was amazing, the water was crisp. The air was addicting. There were cottages and jet skis available for rent. While we were waiting for lunch to be prepared, we grabbed our cameras, took some photos, put on some sun block and took a dip. I put on my snorkeling gear and spotted a bunch of striped fish. Black and yellow, black and yellow, black and yellow. Then lunch came. We ate, silenced our tummies and lounged around.

Next up was a 10-minute boat ride to Snake Island. It was called that because the island is shaped like a snake. I took a swim, fed some fish and enjoyed a refreshing halo-halo before leaving. We ended the Honda Bay tour at Pambato Reef. This was like a mini-dock for boats, so visitors can snorkel and marvel at the corals and bigger fishes underneath. There were actually two cabins, one for fish feeding and another designated for swimming.

Before the day came to a close, we went to Ihawig for the Firefly Watching Tour. Gay as it may seem, I was pretty excited to experience this. It’s a 45-minute boat tour of Ihawig River, surrounded by mangroves and napa trees. Of course, there were fireflies. It was actually cool seeing them flicker like Christmas lights. The boatman shared a lot of interesting facts about fireflies, the river and star constellations. I even suggested that maybe they could turn it into a symphony of lights show or something. But he didn’t mind me.

The next morning, we visited the famous Underground River. Going there took us 2-3 hours land drive and a 20-minute boat ride from Sabang Beach. The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the world’s longest navigable underground river. Currently, there’s a vote campaign to include it in the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

The Underground River tour was 1.5 km long and took around 45 minutes. It was so dark inside; taking photos was as difficult as playing darts blindfolded. We had hard hats on so we could avoid getting guano-ed by bats. All sorts of shapes and sizes of stalactites and stalagmites decorated the cave. Indeed, an amazing thing of nature.

After that, we headed back to Sabang Beach and had a hearty buffet lunch at Taraw Vista Lodge and Restaurant. The Underground River tour was the only activity for the day so we pretty much just basked around. A few of us took naps, while the others enjoyed the waves of the beach.

On our last day, we had a city tour of Puerto Princesa. We visited Baywalk, the Plaza Cuartel, Mitra’s Ranch, Baker’s Hill, Binuatan Weaving Center and a few souvenir shops. At around 12, we went back to Marianne Home Inn, packed our stuff, had lunch then departed for the airport.

The whole weekend was fun, 70% of the time I was laughing, the other 30% eating. I made new friends and had a wonderful time at Puerto Princesa. The beaches, tours, food and people were great.

You, too, can experience Palawan by booking tours with Airphil Express. The Palawan Tour Package promo of Airphil Express runs from July 1 to October 15.

For as low as P6,886 per person, the tour package includes:

  • Roundtrip Airfare (ASF, YQ & TSC & 12% VAT)
  • 3 Days/2 Nights Accommodation
  • Roundtrip Airport Transfers
  • Daily Breakfast
  • A choice of either Honda Bay Tour or Underground River Tour
  • City Tour

Visit their website for more details.

Thank you to Airphil Express for the invite, especially to Ms. Line, Nicole, Brian, and Mike.

A Weekend Getaway to Puerto Princesa, Palawan with Airphil Express!


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