18 June, 2008

Touring Puerto Princesa, Palawan in 4 Days : A Detailed Itinerary

picture taken on my way to the Underground River

The past months were a blur. It had been a very busy first quarter of the year for me that I felt like I needed and deserved a break. And what better way to unwind than to travel?

Palawan had long been in the top spot of my travel-to list. I had actually been to Palawan but only in Coron, an island located at its northern tip. It was just for a school field trip and I remember my friends and I asking Sir Caloy to take a day off our Coron itinerary so we can go to Puerto Princesa but he declined, saying Puerto Princesa was too far from Coron and we would lack the time to fully explore the island.

a picture of a map of Puerto Princesa, taken from the airport

Early this year, my house mate friends and I came out with a travel goal and that is to tour at least two (2) local destinations every year. Travel, after all, is the best teacher, so they say. Of course, Palawan was our topmost destination.

Below is the detailed itinerary of our trip, with the times just an estimate as I was too busy relishing the scenery, the gustatory delights and the entire Puerto Princesa experience to keep track of the time. The said itinerary was done in such a way that we could maximize our stay. And boy, was it really maximized as in 3 nights and 4 days, we experienced the best of Puerto Princesa.

Day 1
09:35 AM
expected arrival at Puerto Princesa Airport

10:00 AM
check-in at Puerto Pension
unpack and rest

12:00 NN
lunch at Haim Chicken Inato
01:30 to 05:30 PM
City Tour
- Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm
- Crocodile Farm
- Butterfly Garden
- Mitra Ranch
- Baker's Hill
- Plaza Cuartel
- Immaculate Concepcion Church

06:00 PM
back to Puerto Pension
rest and prepare for dinner

07:30 PM
dinner at Bilao at Palayok

Day 2
07:00 AM to 12:00 NN
Underground River

12:00 NN to 02:00 PM
Lunch at Sabang Beach

02:00 PM to 04:00 PM
Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour

05:30 PM
snacks at Viet Ville Restaurant

06:30 PM
back to Puerto Pension
rest and prepare for dinner

07:30 PM
Kamarikutan Kape at Galeri
- buy souvenirs
- girl bonding over cups of coffee

dinner at Ka Lui

Day 03
07:00 AM to 08:30
go to San Jose Public Market
- buy seafoods for grilling for our lunch in the island

09:00 AM to 04:00 PM
Honda Bay island hopping
- Pandan Island
- Snake Island
- Luli Island

07:00 PM
dinner at Kinabuch

08:30 PM
strolling in the town plaza
Baragatan Festival

Day 4
07:00 AM
morning walk and jogging along the Baywalk

08:30 to 09:30 AM
pack up

10:30 AM
massage in our room

12:00 NN

01:00 PM
lunch at Badjao Seafront Restaurant

02:30 to 03:45 AM
last minute buying of pasalubong at the airport

05:30 AM
arrival in Manila

09 June, 2008

The Quickie with a Longtime, Indelible Consequences

James Patterson's The Quickie is one entertaining read. It was so gripping that I had to stay all night to finish reading it.

It tells the story of Lauren, a woman with a perfect marriage and a great job. But this perfect world came crashing down on her when she saw her husband with another woman. Hurt, angry and hellbent on getting her revenge, she decided to engage in an affair of her own - a quickie - with a colleague.

Her night of passion, however, became a terrifying nightmare when she saw her husband and her lover on that same night, fighting, really going at each other on the street outside her lover's house. Her lover ended up dead later, his body - the body she saw her husband toss into the backseat of a car - found in a park, beaten to a pulp then shot.

And will wonders never cease? Lauren was actually a cop! When the case of her dead colleague-cum-lover-for-a-day was assigned to her, she was thus confronted with moral dilemmas and conflicts of interest. Would she turn her husband in? Would she muster the courage to come out clean? To what great lengths would she go for the "truth?"

Whatever choice Lauren had, any option left nothing to be desired. The repercussions were dire, her future bleak. For any choice she would make could cost her the career she worked so hard for and loved, her once perfect marriage, even her own life...

Like any Patterson novel, The Quickie had a lot of twists and turns and just when you thought you had it all figured out (and figured out right), Patterson would come up with more surprises up his sleeve.

Thus in reading this book, prepare for the unexpected.

05 June, 2008

Laughter is still indeed the best medicine

Yesterday I went home at 06:30 PM, way too early compared to the past days when I arrived home at 09:30 PM at the earliest.

I had a splitting headache. From the heat, maybe. I heard from the morning news that the temperature was something like 34 degrees Celsius. That and the fact that it's been a long day.

After treating myself to a Cheese Burger, fries and a McFlurry, I immediately snuggled to bed. The idiot box (read: the television) beckoned but the shows were too dull. I thus just plugged in the speaker for my iPod iTouch and listened to Enya's soothing songs, hoping they would lull me to sleep. No such luck.

Not up to continue reading any of the three books that I am currently reading, I rummaged through my shelf and found an old issue of Reader's Digest. And that's when I found my destressor for the day.

It's the September 2007 issue, the 4th Annual Humor Special. And boy, was I greatly entertained.

Below are some of the jokes that made my day yesterday. Laugh on.

From Laughter, the Best Medicine Section:

I have CDO. It's like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, only it's in alphabetical order as it should be.

Love is a Many Icky Thing

Kids define love the way they figured it out.

Q: How do you decide who to marry?
A: No one really decides before they grow up. God decides it all the way before, and you get to find out later who you're stuck with.
- Kristen, aged 10

Q: What do you think your mum and dad have in common?
A: Both don't want any more kids.
- Lori, aged 8

Q: What do most people do on a date?
A: On the first date, they just tell each other lies, and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.
- Martin, aged 10

From As Kids See It Section

My sister bought a fish for my eight-year-old son, Germaine and told him to think of a good name for it. He kept coming up with silly names, so she told him to keep thinking.

Finally, on their way home, Germaine said, "This fish already has a name."

"What's its name?" Tawnia asked.

"Sparingly," Germaine replied. "It says right here on the label: FEED SPARINGLY THREE TIMES A DAY."

From Life's Like That

Overheard at a friend's wedding:

Guy Guest 1: "A man never knows what true happiness is until he gets married."
Guy Guest 2: "Yeah, but by then it's too late."