Bui Vien

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Otres Beach

Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Bukit Bintang

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Big Lagoon

El Nido, Palawan

Bangui Windmills

Bangui, Ilocos Norte

Calle Crisologo

Vigan, Ilocos Sur

Filipino-Chinese Pagoda

San Fernando, La Union

Monday, 29 April 2013

22nd: Puerto Princesa, Palawan

I celebrated my 22nd birthday in Palawan with my honey. Since we were on a budget, we tried to do the cheapest way possible to have a city tour in Puerto Princesa, the capital of Palawan.

In Puerto Princesa, we met Kuya Dhong, a tricycle driver who offered to tour us around the city for PHP 700 (2 pax).  It is much cheaper compared to the city tour package of the travel agencies.

Viet Ville (or Vietnamese Village) is a small village in Sta. Lourdes, Puerto Princesa. It was a refugee village for Vietnamese when the Vietnam War ended. We had our lunch at Viet Ville Restaurant. Spent a total of PHP 545 for two.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Vietnamese delicacy (Kakanin yan, hindi gelatin!)

Vietnamese noodles with Thai basil and sprouted mongo (It tastes weird, actually.)

Vietnamese rice toppings (Pork)

Palawan Wildlife and Rescue Conservation Center (formerly Crocodile Farm) Entrance is PHP 40 per head. Tour starts every after 30 minutes. Nothing much spectacular here, only the officials... I mean, the crocodiles, and other animals. 

Picture with the baby croc costs PHP 30 per person.


Rancho Sta. Monica, is also known as Mitra's Ranch. According to Kuya Dhong, the place is owned by Ramon Mitra.

If you wanna take a picture with the horse, you must give a tip or "donation" to the horse keeper.

The view is simply romantic.

Baker's Hill is just a few minutes drive away from Mitra's Ranch. 
They have a bake shop that sells cookies, brownies, hopia and other delicacies. We spent around PHP 860 pesos for the "pasalubong."

Parrot? Bird? Rooster? I don't know.

The spectacular view.

Meet Sadako.

You can take a lot of pictures here.

Puerto Princesa Cathedral

Puerto Princesa Baywalk
There's actually a festival-thingy going on when we went there, and there were food stalls everywhere! We had our dinner there and spent around PHP 300 for two already.

Rice meal costs PHP 90 each.

Breakdown of expenses (for two):

Viet Ville Restaurant (lunch) - PHP 545
Crocodile Farm (PWRCC) entrance - PHP 80
Picture taking with baby croc - PHP 60
Picture taking with horse @ Mitra's Farm (donation) - PHP 20
Souvenir shopping @ Baker's Hill - PHP 860
Dinner @ Puerto Princesa Baywalk - PHP 300
Kuya Dhong's City Tour - PHP 700
PHP 2565

*Tricycle to Puerto Princesa Airport costs PHP 40 only. PP terminal Fee costs PHP 40/head.
*Our airfare to Palawan costs PHP 2500 (sale, the terminal fee is already included as of August 2012) via Tiger Airways, and the fare back to Manila costs PHP 3800 via Zest Airways. I DO NOT recommend Zest Airways because we (and my co-workers) have experienced 1 hour delay in our flight.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Accommodation: The Circle Hostel in Zambales

The Circle Hostel is a budget-friendly accommodation located in Sitio Liw-Liwa, San Felipe, Zambales. Sitio Liw-Liwa in San Felipe, Zambales is known for surfing and skim-boarding.

How to get there:

Ride an Iba or Olongapo bound Zambales bus at the Victory Liner Terminals in Cubao or Caloocan.

If you take the Iba-bound Victory Liner bus, it will pass through the town of San Felipe. Tell the bus driver to drop you off at the Bobulon Elementary School in San Felipe OR at the San Felipe Public Market. From there, you can ride a tricycle to Sitio Liw-Liwa (2 kms. away).

If you ride an Olongapo-bound Victory Liner bus, the last stop would be at the bus terminal in Olongapo City. From there, you can either take the San Felipe ordinary bus or Iba-bound buses (Victory Liner). Tell the driver to drop you off at the Bobulon Elementary School OR the San Felipe Public Market.

Cubao to Olongapo - 207
Olongapo to San Felipe - 61
Tricycle - 30

It'll take about a five or six hour bus ride from Manila to San Felipe. The tricycle ride from the public market to the hostel will take about 10 minutes.

Rates per night:

Bunk bed (w/ mosquito net) - 350/head
Hammock (w/ built-in mosquito net) - 250/head
Pitch a tent - 250/head

There's actually a co-ed single dorm bed and a female single-dorm bed. For the tent, you have to bring your own. :)

the hostel

reception area

tent and hammock


bunk beds

There's also a common area where you can charge your batteries or drink with friends and meet new people! (Remember, there are no strangers!)

There's a shared bathroom. (3 shower area, 3 toilet)

The hostel offers surfing lesson:

With surfboard and instructor - 400

There's "karinderya" or food store just across the hostel:

Food costs from 60-100+ pesos.

The beach is 2-3 minutes walk from the hostel.

 huge stones!


lagoon! (it's hidden!)

no waves yet!

Cost of damage (without surfing):1278

Air-con Victory Liner bus (Cubao to Olongapo) - 207
Ordinary Victory Liner bus (Olongapo to San Felipe) - 61
Tricycle from Bobulon Elementary School (San Felipe) to the Circle Hostel in Sitio Liw-Liwa - 30
Bunk Bed - 350
Dinner - 90
Breakfast - 70
Tricycle from Hostel to San Felipe Public Market - 30
Ordinary V. Liner from San Felipe Public Market to Olongapo terminal - 80
Lunch - 60
Air-con V. Liner Express bus from Olongapo terminal to Manila - 300+

For more information about The Circle Hostel:

Victory Liner Website: