Saturday, September 22, 2012

Palawan Adventure - Mitra's Ranch and Baker's Hill

I was surprised that the city tour went faster than expected. We were just down to two attractions and it's not even lunch time yet. Our tour guide decided to put Mitra's Ranch and Baker's Hill last on our itinerary so that we can have time to shop for goods there.

Mitra's Ranch

The ranch is owned by the family of the late senator, Ramon Mitra. It's a good spot to enjoy the view of the Palawan cityscape from afar. We spent our time to sit and relax while feeling the cool breeze.

Unfortunately, visitors are not allowed to enter inside the house anymore but anyone would still prefer to stay outside and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. 
Picnic chairs and tables are everywhere from the parking area to the viewing deck. One can also try horseback riding and the 360-meter zip line for P500.00 each.

Baker's Hill

Not far from the ranch is the Baker's Hill. It's basically a bakery on top of a hill turned into a tourist attraction because of the adorable life-sized displays which makes you want to go back to your childhood :)

The Hopia Ube is so good my mom bought 5 boxes to take home to Manila. Yummy!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Palawan Adventure - The City Tour

It's the 2nd to the last day of our Puerto Princesa getaway. Nobody wants to leave, I don't want to think about leaving at all. We felt at home there. I wish our town in Cavite can be that beautiful and disciplined. But before we say goodbye to the place, we just have to make one last stop - the city tour! 

Immaculate Conception Cathedral

The church was the nearest place from our Pension House, barely took 10 minutes to get there. I like this holy structure, it reminds me of our church back in Naic. I discovered that we share the same patron saint and celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary every December 8th.

inside the church

The Grotto

Just beside the church is the Plaza Cuartel. nothing much to look at but it has a historical significance in the city. It served as a garrison during the 2nd World War wherein Japanese soldiers and American hostages where burned and killed. 

Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center

The Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center is basically a breeding ground for different kinds of crocodiles.  It is also a research institute for the conservation of Palawan's other endangered species. 

On the picture is my brother posing with the remains of a crocodile, the skin and bones tells the story of the country's largest crocodile until Lolong came along. I thought we'll see him there but the tour guide said that he is being kept in Surigao Del Sur. 

Bones of a Sperm Whale are also displayed in the center. It is said to be recovered from the Tubbataha Reefs. 
HUGE! I see some sort of a boat or a canoe when I look at it.

The Bearcat interaction

For a minimal fee of P20.00, one can take unlimited pictures with Palawan's Binturong, or popularly known as the Bearcat. In my opinion it is called as such because it's fuzzy like a bear but not big enough to be like one, much like a cat. It's totally harmless, it doesn't make any sound when you carry it and it's extremely cute! I'm just a little afraid that it will scratch my neck and bite me haha foolish thought! I wish I can take one at home :)

Crocodile Farm

It's time to meet and greet the crocs! First stop is the hatchery. It's where the eggs are kept and hatched. Baby crocs are everywhere, mostly from 0 months up to 2 years of age. Our guide told us to avoid making loud noises and to the take the flash off our cameras so as not to scare the babies because they might just jump off their cage and bite us!

Down to the lair of the big crocs. According to our guide, casualties have occurred in the past wherein visitors accidentally fall off the viewing deck and gets eaten by the big boys.   
My mom told me that before it was really dangerous to walk through the ledge because there were no railings on the side, one wrong step and you're sure to get eaten! 

This was our complete souvenir shot with a baby crocodile. Unlimited pictures can be taken for P30.00 each. The baby croc is 2 years old, it had it's mouth taped to prevent casualties. I'd say its awfully slimy and cold but it behaved and cooperated with us just fine!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Palawan Adventure - Honda Bay

Day 3 - Sunny Tuesday morning. Everyone's excited because it's beach day! The whole family was already awake as early as 5AM, preparing what to wear and bring. As for me, I brought 2 pairs of swimsuit just in case. As long as my sunblock and camera is with me I'm sure to be okay.
It was a 30-minute drive from our pension house to Sta. Lourdes Wharf, the place where Honda Bay is situated. As we availed a tour package, everything was set. An outrigger boat was waiting for us. Hooray! we're one notch closer to the corals and fishes :D

smile guys!
Pambato Reef

Not far from the port is the Pambato Reef. Basically, it's one of the famous snorkeling and diving spots in Palawan. A marine sanctuary where a variety of fishes, corals, clams and other sea life can be found. 

When you see a turtle - shaped raft stationed somewhere out the sea, that's the snorkeling spot. We hurried to prepare our gears - life vest, sunblock and snorkeling mask. and don't forget the cameras!

A brief orientation is given before the activity. A designated diver/guide is assigned in every group. the diver will then bring their groups to a snorkeling site. 
I saw things I never saw before, giant clams and pearls, different kinds of fishes and those blue corals are just so awesome :) It's not my first time to do this thing but I think among the places I've visited, Palawan has the best diving and snorkeling site. Too bad we didn't rent one of those underwater camera case. I feel bad whenever I remember.

Pandan Island

After an hour or so, we headed to Pandan Island. I was hoping to visit one more island before we get home but our guide said some of the Islets like the famous Snake Island is now restricted. She didn't mentioned why, but we were still happy to push through nonetheless.

According to our guide Ate Jean, the island is called as such because of the Pandan Trees  growing around since it was discovered.

Welcome to Pandan Island!
Our tour package comes with a buffet picnic lunch. We shared a hearty meal of Shrimp, Grilled Pork and Fish, Inihaw na Talong, Crabs, Mangang hilaw and salted eggs and tomatoes on the side. It was prepared by our tour guide and some of the staff on the island. Seafood never tasted this yummy!

Things to do in Pandan Island

The island is a good spot for diving and snorkeling. little fishes can be seen not far from the shore. it's fairly easy to spot them. Jet skis, Banana Boat and Kayak equipment can be rented. Henna Tattoos and Body Massages are also available.

There are people who offer to take some trick shots for free. it is only your discretion if you will give them a tip or not.