On our 3rd day in Puerto Princesa City, we were scheduled to take the Honda Bay Tour - translated: beach bumming and island hopping!
I woke up at 7:00AM and after the usual morning regimen, Jojo and I had our break at the pension house while waiting for our tour group to leave.
my breakfast - ham, egg, cucumber with rice, around (PHP80)
By 8:00am-ish, we left the pension house and arrived 30 minutes later at the dock where the boats that will take tourists around Honda Bay are. Our guide already arranged for our transportation so we just waited a few minutes and we were off.
Honda Bay, or originally "Hunda Bay" (we were told that the word hunda translates to deep in Spanish language, relating to the body of or the bay), is home to numerous beautiful islands (and islets), pristine beaches and unspoilt coral reefs.
our boat for the day
There are islands that are yet inhabited, and some others considered as privately "owned" like the one below. One will be left to wonder how it feels to have his own island.
Our first activity for that day was snorkelling. We stopped in a floating hut that served as jump-off point to snorkelers. As usual, I'm not keen to do this activity because of a previous traumatic experience just months back.
We then went off to Pandan Island right after and arrived minutes before lunch time. While the group take the time to relax and settle in our cottage or go around the island, our tour guide and the boatmen prepared our lunch.
A lady approached us selling lobster and asked if we were interested. It was around PHP600 per kilo, including the cooking charge so Jojo thought of buying 2 kilos for everyone to share.
me and the lobsters
Oh, it was a good thing that they sold fresh coconut juice (still on its shell) for PHP15 because I don't drink water!
While waiting for food, I just went around the surrounding the place. I find Pandan Island very nice and cozy.
by the beach
another view of the beach side near our cottage
By the time the lobsters were cooked, our tour guide helped us prepare and break the shell. How morbid!
closer look. eek!!
It was a feast for all of us! Lots of food, lunch by the sea - fantastic! There were other food items prepared for our tour including:
grilled tuna jaw
cucumber and tomatoes mixed
This is what I got on my plate - a whole lobster, shrimps, grilled tuna jaw, pork barbecue and mixed cucumber and tomatoes on side. I am drooling as I'm looking at this picture and writing this blog now.
After lunch we had time to go around the island more and play. Here are some shots taken around the island:
lifeguard chair. not sure why it wasn't facing the sea..
me and Jojo
After lunch and lurking around Pandan Island, we headed off next to Snake Island, a beach island famous not because it has snakes on it but because of its snake-shaped white sandbar.
On this island, we also stopped to eat halo-halo being sold by a vendor (PHP25).
Our last stop for the day is in Starfish Tabuan Island.
Located at the far side of the island, one can an old house already wearing out.
What do you expect to find in Starfish island? Of course starfishes! Lots of them lying around by the beach!
I took the chance and had my picture taken with a couple of starfishes. Disclaimer: I hastingly returned them right after.
beach side in the island
our tour group picture
We left the island and boarded our outrigger boat to go back to the port. It was a short 30-minute ride back but most of us were tired due to the activities we've done the whole day. For the rest of the daylight before dinner, we just freshened up and rested in our room at the pension house.
For dinner, this time we ate at the usual Mang Inasal, located along Rizal Avenue.
waiting number 41
vinegar, chicken oil and soy sauce
We ordered for Chicken Inasal (roasted chicken) and rice topped off with chicken oil. Deliciously unhealthy!
We also had pork sisig (minced pig head, snout, ears, meat) served on sizzling hot plate on the side for sharing.
That basically capped off our night and we spent the rest of the day resting and watching TV.
On our last day in the city, we passed by the public market after having breakfast to buy local delicacies like marinated danggit fish (called lamayo), cashew nuts (baked and garlic fried) and cashew brittle.
A couple of hours later, we left for the airport (utilizing the airport transfer of our pension house) to catch our flight back to Manila. As I was waiting to board the plane, a small plane at the apron with a seal of the United States of America caught my attention so I took this shot. I was later told that US ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney was in the city that day.
While waiting at the departure area, I cannot help but think of all the things we've done in Puerto Princesa City and Palawan for the past few days. We've basically covered a lot in such a short time. Will I ever be back in the city again? Probably, and hopefully next time with my family whom I think would be very happy to see all the sights and experience all these things I've done on my short stint in the city.