Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My Impulsive First: Iligan

Iligan. Aside from its majestic waterfalls, I would also associate it to my many firsts: first time to stalk a local (wait, don't judge me! Read on.), first time to ride a habal-habal, and first time to come face to face with a place so iconic, it felt mystical to me.

It was my first trip after college, and my first trip to Mindanao. I was unable to book a flight with a schedule similar to my friends', so I decided to book an earlier flight. At first, my plan was just to spend all day chilling at my hotel room, since my friends will be arriving later that afternoon. I wasn't much of a travel bug then as I am now, you see.

But I realized it was too good a day to waste, and having heard that Iligan was nearby Cagayan de Oro, I told myself, why not?

So despite having no plans, no idea, no one that I know, I went straight from CDO Airport to Iligan. How? I tailed a local.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Palawan Day 7: Coron Day 3 - (Pasalubong) Shopping Spree

Aww. This is the last post of the second part of my Palawan escapade (see part 1 here). The last post  always feels like the last day of trip itself: already nostalgic, despite the fact that I'm not even home-bound yet.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Palawan Day 6: Coron Day 2 - Island Sight Seeing

Good Morning Coron! 
I woke up at around six am to find almost everyone in the room also stirring up. Ha. A trip can really bring out that morning person in everybody, even the most hardcore anti-morning like me. I was excited for breakfast, as I've ordered (one of) my favorite breakfast from Macario's-- danggit-silog ( a lot of dried danggit, garlic rice and egg for Php 95. Free delivery, yay). Paired with free and unlimited instant coffee from our inn and the cold, refreshing, sea-side morning air, it was such a nice breakfast.

Gumamela with morning dew.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Palawan Day 5: Coron Day 1 - Hello Coron!

July 5, 2012
A week after my Puerto Princesa- El Nido trip, I found myself (found talaga, parang di sinadya. ahahaha) back to the airport, this time with friends and now bound to the another island in Palawan.
We were all a little nervous about the weather, since it was raining heavily for several days before the trip. Thankfully the sky cleared up a bit on the day we were bound for Coron-- just little drizzles here and there.   Our nervousness went back with full force when we saw the plane we'd be riding in:
Yep, that tiny propeller plane. Dear Lord, the turbulence.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Palawan Day 4: Homebound (But Not For Long)

Wake up at 7am, roam around the city center, visit a museum, see Plaze Cuartel, have lunch, dash to the airport.

Woke up at 10:30, a hurried lunch (and all because the trike driver misheard my 'Plaza Cuartel' and thought I meant 'Plaza Hotel' >.<), a quick peek at the Cathedral and missing Plaza Cuartel by inches, and the mad, mad dash to the airport.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Palawan Day 3: Journey to the Center of the Earth and Firefly Tales

Having left El Nido at 10 pm (how I love that the RORO buses stick to the schedule), I was expecting to reach Puerto Princesa  at around 5 am, but apparently trips are shorter at night, because we arrived at around 3 am. The San Jose Terminal was alive with trike divers waiting for passengers. My companion, Tina, and two other backpackers were immediately surrounded by drivers offering a trip to the city center for Php 150. It was much too expensive for us, so we decided to just wait for daylight (when fares go dramatically lower) in a corner in the station.

Palawan Day 2: The Amazing Limestone Cliffs of El Nido and other Island Hopping Tales

There are so many things to love about El Nido, but the thing I fell hard for were the limestone cliffs. Those tall, rugged, majestic awesomeness that proudly display the scars of time on their facade.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Palawan Day 1: Puerto Princesa and its Stories

The Solo Trip Planning Process
Months before this solo trip, I drew up this itinerary for a four day stay in Palawan that included a visit to the ff key spots: El Nido, Underground River and Puerto Princesa City. The RORO bus line hasn't begun their operations yet when I started researching about the place, so it was bit worrying how I'd manage to squeeze in those three places in the limited time that I had (yep, four days is sooo short for a Palawan vacation) in consideration with the van and other buses' schedule (no night trips~ >.<). I finally came up with an acceptable itinerary that left very little room for vehicle breakdown, delayed flights and other inconveniences that might come up (including what might be a lengthy search for an accommodation). But hey, to come up with an itinerary was already an Au achievement, since I rarely form plans and pretty much prefers the go-with-the-flow way of travelling. However, a cursory search about the place hints a requirement for a modicum of planning, so planning I did.