A couple of weeks ago, I went to Pangasinan, and it was one of the most memorable trips I had ever gone on in my life for two reasons. One, I had never been there before and I’d always wanted to go. Two, it was my first time traveling alone.
Fresh from island-hopping, it was time to pay a courtesy call to the princess.
We asked our van to pick us up at 6AM for our trip back to Puerto Princesa, so breakfast (and yes, more coffee) was served at 5AM to give us time to pack up and get ready. At around 9:30, we stopped at a restaurant where we could use the bathroom, get snacks, smoke, whatever. Before leaving the place, our driver realized we had a flat tire. Not a problem; he had a spare and our Puerto Princesa city tour wasn’t until 1PM. (We were able to secure a promo with Palawan Uno hotel for a four-day-three-night stay plus a city tour, a trip to the famed Underground River, and island hopping at Honda Bay for Php 6,000 per head.)
After much delay, we’re finally here. Now, the action begins.
Our service-cum-tour-guide said pick-up for the island tour would be at 8:30, so I woke up at 6 to get refreshed and ready for breakfast (I hate getting up minutes before leaving for something). I stepped out of our room, cased the hotel, and took a few pictures. And then I felt it. Tiny raindrops. Uh-fucking-oh.
For someone who’s had Palawan on her bucket list for most of her life (way before she was old enough to know what a bucket list was), this post has been a long time coming. A few weeks ago, that dream was finally crossed off my to-dos when my friends (the motley crew I was with at Ilocos, Aklan, and Calaguas) and I set off for a six-day adventure in the province. We split our trip into two – El Nido and Puerto Princesa – and this post is the first of a six-part remembrance of those glorious days of heaven.
(Please bear with the lengthy storytelling; I’ll try to make it worth your while.)
First of all, I’d like to apologize for taking a while to write. Life was happening pretty fast, which is why it took me about a month after our Calaguas Island trip to tell you about it. Fair warning, it’s going to be a pretty long read, longer than my usual entries, so make sure you’re seated comfortably. So here’s what happened.
When we were kids, my sisters and I used to go to this beach resort in Iba, Zambales almost every year with our parents. Why Zambales? It’s not where our family’s originally from. We just went there one year, fell in love with it and kept coming back.
The resort itself was far from perfect, to be honest; it was the familiarity and memories we took comfort in and encouraged us to go all those times. But as time went, the resort slowly deteriorated, and at that point we decided it was time to look for a new place. After sorting through different travel sites, we found La Vista Hotel & Beach Resort, which looked pretty good (and affordable, a big plus for us), and booked an overnight trip.
There’re times when you go on vacation to try some new and exciting activity, and other times you just want to sit around and do nothing but eat and swim. If you’re aiming for a more relaxing escape much like the latter scenario, La Luz Beach Resort in San Juan, Batangas is a great place to start.
Back in April, my co-worker Dani and I were invited to spend the night at Crosswinds’ condotel Grand Quartier. I haven’t gotten around to writing about it until now, so I hope you’ll bear with my really late review. Crosswinds is a Swiss-inspired residential development in Tagaytay City, and when they say inspired, they mean pretty much everything in it screams ‘Heidi in the mountains’. People who want to feel like they’re living in a Swiss chalet can either buy a house or have one built within the area, but enough about the real estate stuff. Let’s get on with our stay.
When my friends and I planned our five-day stay in Aklan, we decided to include an overnight trip to Boracay since two of our friends haven’t been there before. In the process of looking for accommodations, one of us suggested The Tides Hotel because she had stayed there before and said it was a good one, so we decided to check it out.
It’s been fun. We’re in the home stretch now.