I fell in love with Puerto Princesa, Palawan the moment our Cebu Pacific plane touched down. We had about an hour's delay at NAIA 3 due to the long cue of planes taking off. We were all sooo excited to get there, and the delay wasn't helping much to keep our excitement at bay. We wanted to be up in the air heading towards Puerto Princesa airport already.
But what I didn't expect was how small my world was. You'll see how this blog progresses. But maybe a sign of things to come here's our first "it's a small world" picture. Cory Quirino became my EIC for quite some time in the magazine I was handling back then - Zen Health. She missed her earlier flight to Palawan, so she took the latest flight out, which turned out to be our flight as well. =)
Ms. Cory with me and Chuchie at the NAIA 3
Anyway! When we finally got there I immediately knew I was in paradise for the next 3 days! Together with my constant travel buddy, my Canon EOS 500D, I sensed the coming adventures would be memorable and FUN!
First stop: Microtel Puerto Princesa
The good fortune for me during that time was that I was a travel writer and staying in hotels and going on tours was absolutely free. In Puerto Princesa we stayed at the Microtel Hotel for our first 2 nights. Located some 15 minutes away from the airport and about 10 minutes from the city proper, the hotel was the only beach front hotel in Puerto Princesa at that time. To me it was a very homey hotel. The beds were absolutely comfortable, the sheets smooth and mabango, the rooms were big, and being a beach front hotel the cool wind served as an airconditioner for the lobby. And as an internet freak, the first thing I checked was free Wi-fi. And yes, they do have free, fast Wi-fi! :)
The resident hotel manager, Mr. Raul Suarez, was very hospitable. I even saw him talking to some of the guests. He made sure we were okay and that we got around the city despite it being a it far. Microtel has a service van which picks up hotel guests from anywhere in the city and then back to the hotel, and vice versa. They have obviously planned the whole thing well, as operations were smooth, although delays are quite inevitable.
The food is served at an airconditioned hall beside the main hotel building. We ate breakfast and lunch there. And the food was really good. Mr. Suarez said that they have partnered with a local and popular cafe to cook the food.
Our 2 night stay at the Microtel proved to be a really good experience. For those who aren't so much concerned about their hotel's location, I would strongly recommend the Microtel Puerto Princesa. The staff is very friendly, the hotel comfortable, and the stay as great experience. Mr. Suarez said that they are still planning on arranging tours (Underground River, Honda Bay, etc.) for guests. And it's quite since it's outside the city proper. Best place for the perfect Puerto Princesa getaway! :)
Anyway here are some pics I took.
The signage outside the main entrance
The signature multi-colored Microtel facade
The beach during low tide. Even during high tide the beach is relatively safe. You can wade as far as your bravery could serve you and the waters would still be knee-high! :)
An artsy-fartsy shot of the pool located behind the hotel. It offers a good view of the beach! :)
Oh! And my "it's a small world" moment. My mom's friend from way back in the day when she was still with the National Media under Marcos was there. They were friends and the woman had wanted to meet me. She was also a friend of my late Ninang Baby. Also a friend of Mom's from the Rotary Club of Makati was also there. Apparently Mom was friends with all of them. And it was weird being in the middle of it all! I just don't have the photos to support this hehe!
Part 2 is the next 2 days of our Palawan adventure. This is where our tour of the city actually began. So hang on for more! :)