Tag Archives: yannah the wanderer

JAPAN VISA FOR FILIPINOS: SCHEDULE OF STAY

HELLO THERE WANDERERS!

This is a sample of my Schedule of Stay that I submitted to the Japan Embassy  last 2013 before they became lenient

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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 🙂

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 of  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 Princesa  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.  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! 🙂

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. 🙂

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! 🙂

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 3 buildings, the house and the two cabanas/cottages/buildings–where guests stay at 🙂

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! 🙂
1st room good for 4-5 pax
Room 1 another angle, sorry, I took this photo when we are about to check out 🙂
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 🙂

Contact Number:  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. 🙂

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

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,  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!  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) 🙂

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 🙂 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 😦

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! 😦

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… 🙂

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).

Puerto Princesa, Palawan: Honda Bay: Tips and Infos

Honda Bay is a cluster of beautiful  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.  This is a serene and photogenic place! 🙂

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)  So basically, this trip is an island hopping adventure 🙂

There are 3 main islands/islets in this bay, namely  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’s  long and winding characteristic similar to a snake.

Why is it that when I look at this picture, I feel lonely… 😦 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 of  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! 🙂

Puerto Princesa: City in a Forest

Puerto Princesa is indeed a place  blessed by God with natural wonders. From the newly awarded (7 wonders of nature) Underground River, to beautiful fine white sand beaches to scenic limestone mountains.

The entrance of the Underground River
Sabang Beach (a fine sand beach near the Underground River)

Everything in Puerto Princesa is beautiful, scenic, indescribable. With a lot of different animals that are rarely seen in other places in the Philippines (like birds that are only seen in Palawan, squirrel–yes, squirrel–not found in Legazpi city nor Manila, monitor lizards, eagles, crocodiles, and other animals.

Crocodile in Crocodile Farm

Puerto Princesa’s tagline being a city in a forest is not a joke nor it is bluff, it is indeed a city within a forest. The city is surrounded with lush greeneries and beautiful landscape. It has also a vast territory, compared to other cities in the Philippines. You won’t be able to tour the city in one day, unlike my hometown, Legazpi City where your 30 minutes of riding the tricycle will be enough, but here a day won’t suffice.

I went to Puerto Princesa last April 18, 2012 to April 21, 2012. I went to the Underground River, Honda Bay, and toured the city itself. It was a wild 4 days in my life, seeing those beautiful landscape made my heart flutter with delight. The only thing I said is “ANG GANDA! (So Beautiful).

I admit that living in Manila (center of the Philippines) made me a city girl where tall buildings, wide roads and night bars are my usual delight, but as I stepped into Palawan (no, as I looked in my window during my flight) I can totally say that Puerto princesa captured my heart.

I want you to join me as I tell you the story how this wonderful city captivated the heart of a city girl like me.

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS ABOUT PUERTO PRINCESA, PALAWAN, PHILIPPINES

Manila’s Intramuros: A City Within Walls– A brief historic background

In some ancient cities in the world, high walls were created to provide protection for their territories and for their people. Such idea was also incorporated by the Spaniards– the longest colonizers of the Philippines–and made a city which is kept within a wall– This creation is called Intramuros.

Map of Intramuros from Wikipedia (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Manila_1851.jpg)

Miguel Lopez de Legazpi is one of the persons who initiated the transfer of the Philippines’ capital from Cebu to Manila. As such, he created a city which is strategically located near the Pasig River– which is the only ingress and egress of water from the lake called Laguna de Bai—Pasig River had also became the passage of various merchants and even military intelligence even before the Spaniards’ 333 years period of colonization since there are tribes ruled by Rajah’s that are already settling near what we call as Intramuros.

From that city, Intramuros which literally translate as a city within a wall. Intra means “within” while muros means “city/cities” became the capital of trade, industry, religion and even military. More importantly it became the seat of the colonial government.

Santa Lucia Gate in Intramuros: One of the entrances. Source (Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Santa-lucia-gate-intramuros.jpg)

However, most of the people who live within its walls are the Spaniards themselves and only a minuscule number of Filipinos who were rich and famous during that time are allowed entry. Filipinos are considered 2nd or even 3rd class citizens by the Spaniards, they see Filipinos as savages, so as much as possible they wanted these “low class” people to be outside the city walls, they even lock the walls at night for security– from this discrimination that Filipinos rebelled against them… however, it took the Filipinos 3 centuries before they got tired of the discriminatory character that the Spaniards showed them.

Some Info about Jose Rizal:

Only until the National hero Jose Rizal wrote various novels that definitely strikes down the blatant abuse of the Spaniards to the Filipinos— abuses such as rape of women, discrimination, torture– as well as its utter disregard of the problems in the society during that time–especially corruption and poverty. These subversive novels became the lifeblood of rebels, it became the inspiration for an upcoming massive rebellion. However, these rebellion did not become successful or grand/national in scale until Jose Rizal was executed by the Spaniards– and after that time, the long patience of all Filipinos were shattered into pieces; and it started the nationwide rebellion which made the Spaniards had a difficult time pacifying…

FAST FORWARD….

Intramuros suffered a lot of fires and bombings throughout history. It became a place where a lot of bloodshed happened– from Filipino rebellions during the Spanish era, Philippine American liberation to World War II…

Destruction of Intramuros during WWII. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Manila_Walled_City_Destruction_May_1945.jpg)

However, from all this things that happened, most of its original walls stood ground–and remains of some of the destroyed walls and structures are still there for you to see…

And what is interesting is that some of the structures therein are still intact– the cobbled streets and a Church that lived longer than all of us– a 16th Century Church which survived all of the things that happened during the past— even the bombings during the World War II– this Church is called San Agustin Church– A UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Some of the preserved houses in Intramuros/ newly painted/ look at the cobbled streets

Within Intramuros there are a lot of places of interest, Fort Santiago, Baluarte de San Diego, San Agustin Church, Manila Cathedral and the old residence of the Governor-general (President) during the Spanish era–which is now the head office of Land Bank of the Philippines.

Preserved houses which is now a school

Governor General's residence

How to Get Here?

1. Ride LRT-1 and get off Central Station.

2. Walk towards the City Hall and you will see the entrance/gate to Intramuros

or

1. Ride a taxi! taxi is cheap in the Philippines..

Entrance Fee: No entrance fee in Intramuros itself except museums and Fort Santiago

Fort Santiago — P75.00 for adults, P50-students and children

San Agustin Church Museum — P100.00 for adults

 

 

Free Talk No. 2: Apologizing for my absences :)

Hi guys!

I’m sorry for my recent absences, I think I owe you some explanation for my unbelievably long “no-post” days.

Before; I decided to create 6 posts a week, leaving only a day without blog post… but recently, it was total chaos.. no post, no everything..  Sorry about that. Here is the ff reasons:

1. I don’t have a proper internet connection. I thought my Samsung GTab will be my official partner in tethering internet to my laptop since unfortunately I ruined my broadband router, however, it doesn’t live up to my expectations 😦

2. last last week is my midterms week so I decided to study— don’t forget I’m still a student 🙂

3. while last week is a busy week for me, I got a lot of assignments and reports 😦

I have series of posts that are long overdue, forgive me for not posting it. However, I promise that i will make sure that it will be posted in this blog sooner.

Sorry for missing out for my 6-posts promise. Starting today, though, I still cannot promise that I will be posting the same magnitude as I did before since my academics is getting much heavier than ever…

and now I’m making a new covenant…

I promise that I will create at least 3 blog posts a week during busy times and will create at least 6 posts a week during “not-busy” times…

🙂 I hope you understand! AND THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR FOLLOWING MY JOURNEY IN DISCOVERING THIS LOVELY WORLD! STAY WITH ME AND I PROMISE TO CREATE INFORMATIVE BLOG POSTS FOR YOU!