Again, another super delayed post but I’ll
put it up anyway. Hehehe.
My parents would always tell me that
recreation and work has to be balanced. Life would be too wild if one’s playing
and partying too much, while it would be too dull and boring if all we do is
work, work, work. The old adage rings true: “all work and no play make Jack a
dull boy.” Motivated by the need to relax after a week full of grueling work—assisting
our principals during their board meeting plus taking notes of all the tasks
that would be done post-meeting plus running errands for your Moses-like boss
plus slightly dealing with bad vibes and numerous complaints—basking in all the
glory of the sun and playing by the beach would be one welcome treat.
Especially pag nasa Puerto Princesa ka na. So there, after ng meeting, the next
day, we really tried our best to join the Underground River Tour. But before we’re
able to clinch that much needed recreation, there are a few stumbles along the
|With Mayor Ed Hagedorn. Starstrukkk. Lol. JDL's lurking somewhere. |
After the fellowship night and after
squeezing through the audience just to have a picture with Mayor Ed Hagedorn,
we decided that we MUST join the tour. Kaso, the Scrooge have already told us
that we MIGHT NOT be able to join. So syempre, sad face ang lahat. Setting our
minds that we won’t be able to see the newest wonder of the world despite us
being there in Palawan na, we just enjoyed the audio-visual presentation played
on the wide screen. It showed how the archaeologists and expert spelunkers from
Europe entered the secrets of Puerto Princesa’s famous Underground River. Awesome.
Pero nakakainis pa din kase party pooper talaga si Scrooge. We decided that
since there’s a slim chance of us joining the tour, we’ll just enjoy the nearby
sights within the city and shop for pasalubongs. T_T
O but then sabe nga sa The Alchemist, “When
you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it
(Coelho, 1993).” Ate Anna really pushed for us to go so Scrooge has nothing to
do but tell us that we have to wake up early since the departure for Sabang
Port is at 6.00AM. Yiheee! Happy happy joy joy everyone. So set na, it’s an
all-girls weekend getaway—me, Ate Anna, Ate Fina and Ate Joy.
|The colorful boats in Sabang.|
Fast forward to the next day. I woke up to
the sound of my alarm and to Ate Anna’s missed call. Time check: 4.45AM. After
preps and morning rituals, I grabbed my phone and a few bucks and I’m all set. An
hour after, tour guides assigned us to different vans and we’re off to Sabang
Port. Scrooge told us that the tourism officers told him that it would take
four hours before one gets to Sabang Port since it would be a rough road. Ok
then, I took some time to take a power nap so I’ll be energized when we get to
our destination. Dahil grupo-grupo yung sumama, the red van’s left alone to us
girls plus Sir Jon Gales and Kuya Adrian the shy tour guide. So much for being
a tour guide. Or maybe because my companions are just too madaldal. O but well.
After two hours, we’ve reached Sabang Port.
Yeah, right Scrooge, four hours. Anyway, when we got there, I was just arrested
by the beauty of the place. It’s not your ordinary beach port—the water’s
crystal clear and the sand’s just soooo fine. Perfect for picture taking. Good
thing I charged my phone. I opened Instagram and clicked for nice pictures
worthy of posting sa social networking sites. Hahaha.
|Team Orange. :D|
The Sabang Port serves as the jump-in point going
to the Puerto Princesa Underground River. It would take a 15 to 20-minute banca
ride before getting to the said natural wonder so if you’re kinda seasick take
some Bonamine or whatever. Each roundtrip banca ride costs 700 PhP to 900 PhP
(i.e. minimum of 6 persons to a maximum of 9). Be sure to wear clothes that are
ready to be wet as the ride to and from the beach may have strong waves. Plus,
you’ll have to walk a bit on the shallow side of the beach so preferably shirts
and shorts and flip flops or sandals would be good enough. If you don’t know
how to swim, lagoooot. Hehehehe. Joke, life vests are provided so nothing much
to worry about.
story: Ate Anna asked if she could take off her life vest so she can have nicer
shots while the banca’s in transit. Kuya Adrian the tour guide said it’s
tourism policy to ensure that guests have life vests so no-no-no way. Mind you,
Ate Anna doesn’t know how to swim. How braaaaave. Hahaha.
Finally, after breathtaking views during the
ride, we reached a secluded shore. Yun na pala yung daan pa-PPUR. Ayiiii,
|Run, Katniss, Run. Char.|
Can I just say that Puerto Princesa Tourism
People are just so great? Everything’s just so organized and the people are
just so nice and accommodating. As soon as touched down and waded on the beach,
there’s already a photojer willing to take our photos. He told us, it’s part of
their tourism campaign plus syempre income generating mechanism. After a few
snapshots, Kuya Adrian led us through the jungle. Hehe. We registered our names
and went straight to the wooden bridge that serves as the pathway. Ala-Hunger
Games lang. I’m Katniss and I’m running from the jabberjays! Hahaha. Choz. The
tall trees and their leafy shades. Then there’s the sun shining its rays
through the leaves. Adventure na adventure lang ang peg. Then, we’re there on the
cave’s shore. River na nga pala yun.
Bilang nakarating na siya ng PPUR last year, Ate Fina was so eager to tell us
that the sea and the river meets by the mouth of the cave. It’s called an
|Cave entrance. The estuary's on the left. |
Wasn't able to get a picture of it.
Since it’s my first time and naka-ignot mode
lang me, I volunteered
to be a tribute to sit in front of the boat and
hold the light for everyone. And at last I see the liiiiight, and at last the
fog is lifted (Tangled, 2010). Charot Pempengco.
Our boatman was one cool guy. Lahat naman
pala sila. Since there are also foreign tourists visiting the cave and the
river, these mamang bangkeros are compelled to speak in English. Galing lang
nila. And they’re not just plainly telling us what formations to look at and
bits of trivia to remember, there’s also Pinoy humor laced throughout their
boat speech. Mejo nakalimutan ko na jokes nila Kuya because of too much
excitement. Hahaha. But trust me, they’re funny and endearing at the same time.
You’d really see that they’re not just doing this because it’s their job but
more so because they’re proud that they have such a wonder within their place
and because they just love to help in boosting their city’s tourism potential.
Who wouldn’t be proud to have one of the world’s newest wonder right beside
your nipa hut?
Since my phone camera’s not much techy and
all, I just saved all those wonderful rock formations in my mind. :D there’s a
part of the cave they call The Bahay Kubo cause there’s half a squash rock
formation, then there’s also a corn-like figure and a carrot one. Then in the
middle of the cave (i.e. the part of the cave that is allowed for public
viewing) is the Cathedral. This is because the cave ceiling’s higher than the
other parts. Plus it’s circular in shape. There’s a melting candle figure in
the middle and we also saw the Three Kings. There’s also a Nativity Scene
there. When we’re on our way back, mamang bangkero also showed us half of
Christ’s face. I thought I saw the light all over His face. Joke. That’s just
my heavy-duty flashlight. Hahaha. Oh and may I just say that it’s a tough job
to hold that giant flashlight. You have to listen to Manong’s speech to know
where to put the light next. I don’t bother listening and flashing the light
but with the entire echo throughout the cave, mejo nabingi lang naman ako. Or
well, not listening lang talaga ako.
|Ang maunlad na jumpshot. :D Happy happy joy joy|
Then we see the light at the end of the
tunnel again. Enlightenment Period na. We took more pictures while walking
through the wooden bridge ulit. No monkey showed up. Sayang. Then we claimed
our pictures from the printing area and paid around 600 bucks. Ganda. Galing ni
Kuya kumuha. :D
More snapshots then a few jumpshots and we’re
off again to our boat. As we’re leaving that secluded place, I can’t help but
look back and just relish the beauty of God’s creation laid before my eyes.
Galing lang talaga ni Lord. Most creative. Hehehe.
Lunch was served at Sabang Beach. Nomzzz.
Then Ate the server gave us a bowl of
tamilok. Tamilok is a locale fare often served here in Palawan. It’s mistaken for
a worm because it’s called shipworm in English but really, according to instant
a group of unusual saltwater clams with long, soft, naked bodies; they
are marine bivalve mollusks in the family Teredinidae. They are notorious for boring into (and commonly
eventually destroying) wood that is immersed in sea water, including such
structures as wooden piers, docks and ships; they drill passages by means of a
pair of very small shells borne at one end, with which they rasp their way
through. Sometimes called "termites of the sea", they also are known
by the common name "Teredo worms" or simply "teredo".”
|Tamilok. Yameee. Char.|
Ok so there,
they’re not worms. Kaya pala they taste like oysters. Ate the server told us
that the tamiloks they gave us were freshly picked from the mangroves by the
shore. Soaked in vinegar kinilaw-style, tamilok’s good to go. Mouth watering.
Ate Anna and I
took on the eating challenge. Ate Fina refused. Weeeeaaak. Chos. She doesn’t
like daw so there. First up was Ate Anna.
Then me. As said,
it tastes like oysters. Just like any other exotic food siguro, it’s not easy
to eat. Lumalaban si Tamilok. It’s long and colorless and slimy. Okra or
alugbati colorless version. I thought I was gonna vomit the whole thing but
thankfully, I managed to swallow it. Konting nguya and I survived the
challenge! Yay. Di na ako umulit. Hahahaha.
hearty lunch and stomach-churning challenge, Kuya Adrian told us it’s time to
go back to the hotel. Onga pala, we have a flight to catch. Haha. It took us an
hour and a half to get to our hotel. We dashed to our rooms to get our bags,
stuffed it to the hotel van for airport transfer and we’re off again. Ate Fina
was left because her flight was scheduled the next day. We could’ve haggled to
stay also but because the Scrooge did some not-so-good schemes, we just settled
on going home that day.
|Bye Paradise. Hello, Real World na ulet. World Domination by smiling and doing the Oblation. Lol.|
Even if it’s
just a day, I thought it’s still worthwhile. I was able to see one of the world’s
natural wonder plus I got to eat something exotic. I felt so adventurous that
day. I resolve to go back there with family or friends. This time, I’ll take
every opportunity to enjoy everything Palawan has to offer. It’s indeed a
paradise and it’s something every Filipino should really be proud of.
Labels: blessings, bucket list, environment, experiences, Filipino pride, foodie, stories, stress, trees, WoW PHL