travel: the almost budget trip to puerto princesa, palawan

The highlights of our trip to Palawan:

One, we missed the plane going there.

Two, we missed the plane going back.

I know, walletbreaking. I went back to Manila broke and unable to buy even a candy for my breath (which stank because I haven’t had breakfast because I couldn’t afford it duh).

But the damage has been done and we just have to suck up to it. Our 2D/1N trip became 3D/2N because we had to stay for a night to get somehow cheaper tickets.

The reality is that I wouldn’t have pushed through with the trip had my companion said it wasn’t free. But there they were… free round trip tickets to Palawan! Courtesy of my companion’s mom! So who in their right mind will say no to that? Who?? That was before we got left by the plane.

…And even after we did miss the plane to Palawan. My friend was so persistent in pushing through with the trip (not to mention already bragged about it on twitter the night before). So we kinda have to push through because everybody’s waiting to hear our adventure, duh (I know that this is a horrible alibi and I just couldn’t get myself to confess that I want this trip bad too).

Then the plane ride home. I just don’t know how we could possibly miss the plane again knowing that we just missed it a few days ago. When would we ever learn?

All bad vibes aside, the trip to Palawan was rather one of the cheapest! (excluding plane tix that could have been free and mainly because of incessant haggling and flirting with the locals to treat us to some local cuisine–not recommended)

Places we visited with our incurred cost:

  • Puerto Princesa Subterranean River — P 1,000 (But this is because we went with a group of 20+!)
    • Contact: +63 915 748 9729 – P 1,200 for an Underground River Package from this person (if you haggle really hard)! Just tell her that you really are in a tight budget and were referred by LJ’s cousin.
  • Buena Vista Viewdeck — FREE! Courtesy of the Subterranean River Package
  • Baker’s Hill & Mitra’s Ranch & ride to Iwahig — P 600 roundtrip tricycle rent. We halved this as we were 2 so P 300 each. Baker’s Hill, 30 min. Mitra’s Ranch, 30 min. The rest of the time was the transit to Iwahig (which was around an hour away)
  • Firefly watching — P 200 each cause we shared a boat with another person. Each boat costs P 600 and can fit 3.
  • City Baywalk — FREE! Plus we got free inuman by the bay courtesy of our newly-found local friends!
  • Pristine beach resort — P 10 by trike from Baywalk. P 30 entrance.
  • Plaza Cuartel — FREE! P 10 by trike from “bayan” or city center.
  • Imaculate Concepcion Cathedral — FREE! Just in front of Plaza Cuartel!



Seriously you SHOULD go to Chao Long! It’s a Vietnamese restaurant with really good noodles if you choose rightly! But they have really cheap food so you can try all to figure out what’s the best!

On the right, chicken inasal from Balinsasayaw. On the left, pork bbq from Skylight hotel.


So we promised a local friend that we’d recommend him to all our friends going to Palawan. He was supposed to bring us to Honda bay. He has a boat of his own and he agreed to have us pay just the gasoline (if you are plenty, that’s a lot of savings!). He can be your tour guide for a very affordable price provided you have someone pretty with you (kidding)!

Contact Elmer +63 909 699 7217


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