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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sole Princess in Puerto Princesa

It was my first time flying out alone, locally. El Nido was our main destination. But since the only inexpensive way to get there was via Puerto Princesa, I made the decision to do a side trip there. Plus, I haven't been there yet! I have to ramble on my own in Puerto Princesa City because my lifetime travel buddy had been there three times already so I wanted to spare him the fourth time hehe. He'd just catch up when it's time to go North (El Nido). It was no big deal for me. I am an independent spirit and for sure, I'm going to meet wonderful people out there.

love at first sight
I took the earliest flight out to PPS (Puerto Princesa airport code). I was actually hoping to do an island hopping tour if possible. But it wasn't. The tours usually leave early in the morning and I won't make it even if I take the first flight from Manila. I only have two days to spend there. So I chose to do the City Tour on my first day, then see The Underground River on my second. It was voted the newest wonder of nature, why choose Honda Bay? Hehe. Also, friends advised that if I've been to Coron already, snorkeling there would be so so.

early birds in Palawan

I already had a contact driver to fetch me from the airport and to tour me around the city, so my first day had been a breeze. Right after I checked-in, we started the City Tour.

We started off with Palawan Butterfly Garden. There were not too many butterflies but still worth your while. You'll pass by it anyway so why not see it?

it has my fave color - turquoise!

When I was there, there were a lot of elementary students touring the place. So I guess it's also one of those educational tour places that they have there.

i just love this photo :)

I sometimes think about the magic of metamorphosis. How do these creatures become butterflies? Yeah, they taught it in school but still, I wonder. :)

baby butterflies

There are also other animals in there. Just that, the others are kind of creepy hahaha!

"what you want huh?" :)

My hands we're actually shaking while taking these photos haha!

centipedes, yaiiks...

Up next was the Palawan Crocodile Farm. I initially thought of taking this off my list because I don't like reptiles, ugh. But then, to make the most of my tour and my time I decided to go for it.

while waiting for my turn

After 30 minutes, I was called for my turn. An attendant will first tell the guests a brief story about the farm and how they take care of the crocs. Then there will be a guided tour to the crocodiles.

the largest they caught

Oh man, I can't take a photo of it without someone in the view. Maybe because it's a weekend (too many people).

baby crocs

The first area was where the babies are. I am not really a fan of reptiles, so it was too uncomfortable for me. I noticed that they were stinky. Gross.

their largest male croc - Valentino

He was just captured Feb 14th of this year, hence the name Valentino. He is 16 ft long and weighs 500 kilos! Whoah! (He is second largest to Lolong, who is 20 ft long). He was captured with another huge female croc who was named Valentina. She is just 11 ft long. We never saw Valentina because she was in the breeding pen which is not allowed to see by the visiting public.

Aside from crocodiles, they also house a lot of other animals in the farm. Well, not quite a lot anymore I guess. There are many empty cages around the park.

one of them is this gorgeous bird

Done with the animals hehe. My next stop was Rancho Sta. Monica or famously called Mitra's Ranch. There used to no zipline here according to my friends. Well, ziplines are starting to appear just everywhere! Sometimes, I even think it's an eyesore to a once beautiful place. Sigh.

thank you tripod! haha

Honda Bay can be seen from the ranch. What a beautiful sight!

the view from the ranch

Nearby the ranch is Baker's Hill. Nothing much to see, but it's great for photo ops.

cool! :)

They have a lot of life size cartoon and movie characters where you can take photos with. I must admit that I enjoyed it hahaha!

one of my fave shots there

I also bought some bread after sight seeing. Duh? That's why it's called Baker's Hill. Haha!

 I dropped by at Puerto Princesa Baywalk for a while. It's too hot during midday so I didn't stay for long.

deserted at noon ;)

My sixth stop was Plaza Cuartel. I didn't take too many photos because it is such a sad place in the past.

a historical place

Just across the street is the Immaculada Concepcion Cathedral.

Puerto Princesa Cathedral

That was my last stop for the day. I still wanted to go to a nearby beach (Nasin-aw and Silica Beach) after this but the trike driver said he doesn't know where it is (as if I'm going to believe him!). Contrary to what we agreed about prior to this trip, he said that covered the whole trip. Out of my irritation, I immediately instructed him to drive me home. I gave him the exact amount for the tour, yes I did not give him a single cent as tip! He's not going to get any future business from me (talk about referrals).

I enjoyed my day despite how it ended. I didn't let that driver ruin my happy travel spirit. I guess that's part of traveling. You will meet dishonest people at one point. I just roamed around the city, rested early and got a good sleep in preparation for my adventure the next day.

This is Part 1 of my Puerto Princesa travel series.

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