Tag Archives: vacation

Budget Place to Stay in Puerto Princesa, Palawan: Manay’s Transient House

The place where we stayed in Puerto Princesa is called Manay’s Transient House. It is nothing fancy, but I assure you that the hospitality they showed us is comparable to a 5-star hotel. All I can say is that I’m such a happy customer ๐Ÿ™‚

Budget Place to Stay in Puerto Princesa: Manay’s Transient house

They might not give you the amenities and comforts of a 5 star luxury hotel, but they can give you their warmest smiles and greetings! And believe me that in this transient house, you are not a mere guest, but you will feel that you are a part of their family. By staying here you will feel that you have brought a piece ofย  home with you.

I’m a person who is really choosy about the places to stay, so, if I had a chance I will research about every single hotels/hostels in that city, and choose an affordable yet decent place to stay. However, for this trip, I was not the one to book or plan it, since we are in a group, and I’m just a plus one (+1, in Filipino, Sabit). My mom’s office mate was the one to book this transient house. To elaborate, my mom and her office mates attended a convention conducted in Puerto Princesaย  and since my mom told me to go. I didn’t say No, because I love traveling and it’s a good chance for me to explore Puerto Princesa.

We are a group of 14 pax all in all. Some stayed in a different hotel, but my mom’s office mates being spendthrift and all, opted to use this transient house.

For the very first time in my life, I’m the one who is in the passenger’s seat—meaning I didn’t do anything for this trip, they were all planned beforehand by other people–I’m not really comfortable with that idea, but still, It is okay, sometimes, I feel like I need a break with my being Yannah-the-know-it-all.. so It was a good break and experience for me.ย  My mom warned me that I should not expect anything from the place we are going to stay, and so I didn’t but what I did not know is how hospitable the people were. They are really helpful and always smiling– I thought I’m in a 5 star hotel when they shared us those warm greetings. It just felt like home!

I should warn you that this transient house is not for those who wanna splurge, it is very simple, but what made me write a review about it is the impeccable service that they provided us. They are really hospitable. Aside from that, the place is really cheap and clean too! ๐Ÿ™‚

HOW CHEAP? Hotel (P1200 per night for 4 persons including airport transfers). So, it is like P300.00 per night. Coffee and Breakfast are also served. Clean Linens are provided. You can also ask for more discounts if you’ll be coming by groups of 10 or more.

They will provide for your needs like airport transfers, van/tricycle rentals and even underground river permits! The owner always serves us with a smile, and they even give you trivia about the place, it is like having a host and a tour guide all at once!

The owners are really nice and helpful…. we experienced how helpful they are…. We needed to rent a tricycle to bring us to the Honda Bay Port, we didn’t arrange it prior to our arrival in the City, or even the night before, hence deep inside me, I know that we’ll have a hard time looking for a ride. Luckily, the owner is very helpful, he told us that he will contact someone for us. Take note that we asked for his help at around 6 am. And amazingly at around 6:30am we already have our driver!

The location is in a residential area but is only a 5 minute ride to the city center, just ask the owner to bring you to the area of choice and they will do it, or just hail a tricycle outside the transient house and your on your way to the city center.

By the way, my mom saw a squirrel (rare in Manila and other parts of the Philippines) in the vacant in front of the hostel. ๐Ÿ™‚

The transient house is good for 10 or 12 persons. If you are traveling in a big group like us, maybe this is a good choice for you.

Facade of the main hall/house with our group.. You can spot my mom somewhere there! ๐Ÿ™‚

They have 2 rooms, or may I say Cabanas that is separated from the main house of the owners, This is basically a homestay but you have your separate cottages. There are a total of 3ย buildings, the house and the two cabanas/cottages/buildings–where guests stay at ๐Ÿ™‚

The 1st cabana/room is good for 4-5 persons, it has its own bathroom (don’t expect a shower though, there’s only a pail and a dipper). The 2nd one is good for 6-8 persons (double deck beds), outside of that room is a kitchen where another bed is located, it also has en suite bathroom.

The 2nd Cabana with the 2nd room and kitchen
The 2nd room
other view of the 2nd room
The 1st Cabana with 4-5 pax capacity, this is where we stayed, see the bag and the hat, that’s mine! ๐Ÿ™‚
1st room good for 4-5 pax
Room 1 another angle, sorry, I took this photo when we are about to check out ๐Ÿ™‚
see the TV??
Bathroom, no shower, just dipper and pail, no flush though, de buhos type, haha, but It is clean though and if you are just staying for few days, and in a tight budget this will do ๐Ÿ™‚

Contact Number:ย  Papa Armi–owner 09198094745

You can also ask him to help you with your underground river permits if you decided to stay in this hotel. ๐Ÿ™‚

CLICK HERE TO VIEW OTHER POSTS FOR MY PUERTO PRINCESA ADVENTURE, LIKE ITINERARY, BUDGET, TIPS AND OTHER REVIEWS OF PLACES I VISITED.

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Pandan Island, Honda Bay, Puerto Princesa: Simply Breathtaking!

Breathtaking— the only term that I can use to describe this island. It has aquamarine/apatite colored waters amidst the cobalt blue sky, it also has the whitest fine sand I have ever seen (whiter than the one in Boracay). It is simply a paradise!

What makes this island special?? There are no buildings made of concrete, just cottages made of wood.. This is the place where you can really savor the beauty of nature.

The lone tree.. beautiful isn’t it? This is my own cozy spot, no crowd, just me and nature
white sand beach and blue waters… ooohh.. looking at this makes me want to jump to swim!! I miss this place!!

It is amazingly picturesque! There are also a lot of coconut trees which makes it your dream tropical island.

While looking at this island, I imagine as if I’m a survivor of a shipwreck, and this is the island I choose to be stuck.

Towering Coconut trees

I’ll definitely choose this place to relax and chill….

According to our tour guide/boatman, this island has the whitest and finest sand throughout Honda Bay, thus,ย  it is more popular for the visitors than the other islands. Most people choose to stay here to eat their lunch, so during lunch time there are a lot of people…. and it kinda become messier/noisier.

The downside of its popularity is that it is a lot more crowded or noisier than the others.

I might say that I prefer the Starfish Island over this island… because more people spend all their time here, but I don’t blame them since this is the most beautiful amongst the islands… However, I hate the seaweeds that lives in its shallow waters… I just don’t like swimming with those amoeba-like (in terms of movement) weeds :)… anyway, the waters here are shallow, just like in Boracay… in order to reach the deeper part you need to walk at least 3-5 meters, this is good for those who have children, since it is safer for the kids…

Amidst all the cons, I can still say that it’s a relaxing place, since it is a big island, you can find a good and silent spot and CHA DA!ย  You have your little paradise without anyone spoiling it…. you can have your cozy, private space where you can meditate, reminisce or just be emo (emotional) ๐Ÿ™‚

My cozy spot

The best thing here is the sand! it is indeed white and fine….Actually, the sand here is comparable to Boracay, and I may say that it is whiter! I’ve taken some sand with me by putting it in a bottle of mineral water, and compared to what I got in Boracay, It seems whiter… But, you would only see the difference if you’ll look at it closely….

There are various business establishments in the area– No, not like those in Boracay, concrete stores/hotels etc…– Only small stores that offer foods, drinks, and even massage! This island is more commercialized than the others since it is the top choice of tourists who visits Honda Bay…

The Registration area With the prices.
One of the “paluto” restaurants in the island.

There are a lot of cottages for rent, but we weren’t able to get one…all were occupied. However, we found a table with chairs and fortunately for us, they didn’t charge us for that tiny little space beneath a coconut tree…

Cottages lining up near the shore

There are three (3) “paluto” restaurants in the island–As far as I’m aware of. they will cook for you and serve you the freshest seafood available– Which is indeed not only tantalizing to the eyes but also delectable to the taste-buds! I promise you that the food is great!

Fish ๐Ÿ™‚ Yum!
Yum!
Shrimps!

unfortunately for us, the other restaurants doesn’t want to take our orders anymore since they are already super busy…. poor me, I’m already hungry during that time ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Luckily, our boatman found this small store on the end most part of the island, the store is selling crabs. I bought all those crabs for P1500, including rice and the service fee for cooking. Me, my colleague, the boatman and his assistant all dined together…

FROM THIS:

THE CRABS ARE STILL ALIVE…

TO THIS:

TO THIS…. Now they are cooked!
I pity the crabs… I just saw them breathing and the next time I saw them, they’re cooked.. but, oh well, that’s life! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Aside from the restaurants, there’s a shower place where you can wash your body and change your clothes after hours of swimming and rolling in the sand. It is made of native materials, so it blends well to the tropical island theme… ๐Ÿ™‚

Shower Area

After we spent 3 hours here, we went back to the port. By the way, there is an entrance fee of P100.00 per person in this island.

Here are the other pictures I took. I experimented using my DSLR, so, here you go, some are good while some are not (overexposed, not good blending!) I’m an amateur you know! :p

HAPPY WANDERING!

To SEE other posts about Puerto Princesa, CLICK HERE!, (ITINERARY, REVIEWS, BUDGETS, ACCOMMODATIONS, ETC).

Starfish Island, Honda Bay, Palawan: SERENITY at its finest!

THE STARFISH ISLAND

starfish we found in starfish island.

It is named as such because of the existence of various starfish in the island. It has a fine white sand(though, It looks color flesh in the photos).ย  Warning however, is that in the shore there are bits and pieces of shells that may wound you if you’re not careful, so I advise that you walk with your slippers on. Amidst those shells lie a fine sand that it so good to touch! It is like polvoron or powder… I just love rubbing it in my feet… It feels like walking in a carpet ๐Ÿ™‚

Another starfish, also, look at the sand, there are bits of shells with it ๐Ÿ™‚

I think, the best thing in this island is the fish feeding area where you can feed the fishes with the bread while you are doing your snorkeling—so basically, you are swimming while feeding them ๐Ÿ™‚ There are various kinds of fish swimming and awaiting for you to throw them a piece of bread, so doing this activity is really a great experience, especially for the kids and kids-at-heart (like me! Lol!)ย  It is so cool. Anyway, I don’t have pics with the fishes because I’m busy feeding them :)_

fish..fish..fish… so colorful!

My experience with the fish feeding is that at first, I was really scared, it seems that I feel threatened because of the various kind of fishes swimming towards me every time I give them bread, I’m so scared that they will eat me or bite me… so I stayed in the floater until the assistant boatman (he is actually a kid) showed me that they are harmful and won’t bite ๐Ÿ™‚ย  (thanks for the movies Piranha and Jaws, which made me think that I can be eaten alive of this cutesy little friends).

Anyway, the island itself is somehow less crowded than the more well-known Pandan Island, since when we docked here, there are not much people roaming or swimming, so basically we had the island for ourselves. By the way, upon entering this island, you need to pay P20.00 or P40.00 as entrance fee (sorry forgot the exact amount, it’s been too long after I wrote in my blog), You can also eat here if you brought with you food and snacks. It is better to eat here if you have a packed-lunch because the other island—Pandan Island— is totally crowded! Moreover, there are a lot more vacant cottages here than in pandan Island!

Cottages in the Starfish Island. Not much people here
Ruins of an Old restaurant which once stood here. I somehow feel lonely looking at this pic… ruins of man made structure amid a nature-made wonder

Another photo of the ruins:

My colleague and I, together with the boatman and his assistant, walked towards the seemingly disappearing piece of land because of the tide change. It is almost high tide, and we can see that the path we walked through is now covered by shallow water.

there is a picture wooden frame there suggesting that the view is indeed picture perfect! btw, we walked that path and it’s really amazing! see the narrowing way? it is almost high tide!!!
we walked towards that cottage/shelter… looking at this picture melts my heart…. hmmm.. and also, look at how the waters cover some parts of the path… so interesting!
we are now going back…. look at the winding path and the island itself. beautiful isn’t it. the man in orange is our boatman… see, no people?? You can say that this an “almost deserted” paradise!
The path where we walked was already covered by the waters….

One more interesting thing in this island, is the existence of mangroves or in tagalog, bakawan. However, when I imagine places where mangroves are planted, I always fear piranhas or crocodiles swimming towards me! But Nah! that’s only me. Aside from the fears I got from watching too much movies, the awe that my heart felt while savoring the peaceful atmosphere that this island provides, is indeed one of a kind experience, it is really relaxing–it made me forget about my endless hardship in school ๐Ÿ™‚ … I feel serene deep in my heart, and somehow made me feel blessed… that I don’t know why… don’t ask me, just experience it yourself ๐Ÿ™‚

Mangroves in the other side of the island… so beautiful…
look how calm and serene the place is!

This place is indeed a paradise! A place where you can feel nature at its finest! No noise… no crowds.. just you and nature! ๐Ÿ™‚

Things not to forget:

1. Visit this first and eat your lunch here, savor the peaceful vibe of this island, it is really amazing!

2. Don’t forget to bring bread, buy it in the stores in the metro or in the port, a loaf of bread is only P20.00, I suggest you buy 2 packs of bread (2 loaves) because I assure you that you’ll have tons of fun feeding and swimming with the fish

3. Don’t forget to rent snorkeling gears, you will need it to look at the fishes underwater.

How to Get to honda bay: Click here to see my previous post about Information, Tips and How to’s for Honda Bay Palawan
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CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS FOR PUERTO PRINCESA, PALAWAN

Puerto Princesa, Palawan: Honda Bay: Tips and Infos

Honda Bay is a cluster of beautifulย  islands and islets in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. The islands here have fine white sand beaches, and cobalt blue waters.

I really recommend that anyone going to Puerto Princesa to visit this place at least once.ย  This is a serene and photogenic place! ๐Ÿ™‚

PARADISE in Honda Bay, Palawan

To explore the islets/islands of this bay, one should rent a boat (which is usually provided by the city tourism office) for a price of 1500.00 (depends on the boat size)ย  So basically, this trip is an island hopping adventure ๐Ÿ™‚

There are 3 main islands/islets in this bay, namelyย  Pandan Island, Starfish Island and the Snake Island. Although there are more islands in this bay, only the 3 mentioned is open to public. They are named as such because of the existence of Pandan and Starfish in those islands while the snake island is named that way because of it’sย  long and winding characteristic similar to a snake.

Why is it that when I look at this picture, I feel lonely… ๐Ÿ˜ฆ hmmm…

In my visit last April, I was not able to visit the Snake island because it is undergoing beautification However, this would not hamper me in giving and presenting to you the other two beautiful islands of Honda Bay, but first let me tell you the process on how the entire trip came about.

WHEN TO GO HERE?

The Philippines is a sunny place throughout the year however, due to climate change, strong typhoons or heavy rains visits the country a lot more often… The Philippines has only 2 seasons, wet and dry. Dry or summer months starts from March to June or July while wet season starts by August til December. The wet season is where a lot ofย  low pressure areas are formed, However, I can say that it is a game of luck, or a gamble if you want to visit the Philippines during the wet season, since just because it’s called wet season it would rain the whole time… there are only days that it would rain while the rest is sunny…
However, for foreigners who will visit the Philippines (especially for those in the far most corner of earth) I think you need to plan your visit during the summer months, so you will be sure that no rain would ruin your vacation.

HOW TO GET HERE:

Honda Bay is about 20-45 minutes drive from the city center. The mode of transportation from the city center towards Honda Bay Port is by land, you can rent either a tricycle or a van. I opted to rent a tricycle for P500.00 or $11USD. The road is well paved/cemented, so going here by tricycle isn’t a problem. If you decided to rent a van, it will cost at around P1,500-2000.00 (this is the price that was given to us by the van driver we hired going to the underground river). We left the city center at round 6:45 am and arrived in the port at around 7:15.

HOW TO GET A PERMIT:

Upon arriving in the port, you will notice that people are lining up, that line is where you will pay for the boat rental, environmental fee, and where you can get your permit. Unlike the underground river, there is no need to get a prior permit before heading there, so it easier to tour than the latter.

There are 4 simple steps in getting your permit and paying for the fees and these are:

First, you need to line up for the lane stating no.1 and where you will fill up a form and state how many passengers or tourists that are coming with you, you also need to put up their names, you should also know if what type of boat you are going to use, whether it is a 6passenger boat (which is the smallest) which costs P1200.00 while there are 10-12 passenger capacity boats which costs at around P1400-1800.00…

the 2nd step is where you will get your permit and pay for the boat rental fee and in exchange, you will receive the name and number of your boat.

The 3rd step is again filling up a particular form and paying for the environmental fee. The 4th step is waiting for your name to be called and VOILA, you are good to go.

The boat we used for our island hopping adventure

OTHER TIPS:

However! before you go anywhere else, you need to buy water, food or rent a snorkeling gear. Food and Water is expensive on the island itself, and it is advisable if you bring them with you at the start of the journey, so if anytime you feel thirsty you have a water/drink with you. But, I suggest that you go grocery shopping while you are still in the metro, since it is cheaper there than buying in the port itself.

Snorkeling gears and swimming shoes

As for the snorkeling gear, Part of your itinerary is to visit a snorkeling site with lots of fishes and various corals! Moreover in Pandan and Starfish island, you can snorkel and feed the fishes which is quite interesting because the fishes swarm around you if you give bits and pieces of tasty bread.

The fish and coral sanctuary

Click here to see my other posts for puerto princesa, palawan.

HAPPY WANDERING! ๐Ÿ™‚