2008-06-26

banwa pension house

when jan and i decided to go to puerto princesa for our honeymoon, i immediately went to work looking for lodging. our initial list had asturias, the legend and hotel fleuris because they were the ones on the PALakbayan list of partner hotels. hotel fleuris had good reviews from ganns, so it was on top of the list. things got a little confusing, however, when people started suggesting asturias and legend. legend located nearer downtown and had good accomodations, asturias was father away and was supposed to be better for honeymooners.

i did further research on puerto princesa hotels until i stumbled along the banwa pension house website. i immediately fell in love with the place. it felt like the kind of thing jan and i would appreciate without having to dent our budget much. for a private room with its own bath, we would only need to shell out P650! it had that artistic, enviromental feel of the place that we both enjoyed in camiguin's enigmata.

however, i did not immediately book it because i was still thinking of the asturias package that we stumbled upon. they had a P6000/person package for 3D/2N which included tours to the underground river or the honda bay island hopping and a city tour, 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 1 dinner plus airport transfers. it was not a bad package and quite tempting.

as compromise, we thought of staying at banwa for our first night before proceeding to sabang. which was what we did.
our home in puerto princesa

we were met by the owner, jane orcullo-campbell with her little girl, ulan (naunahan ako sa pagpangalan ng magiging anak ko ng ganun!) and her mother, celie. jan and i were immediately bowled over by the beautiful tapestries made of coconut beads, as well as the shell curtains that decorated our wooden home for the night. the dog, minerva, was standing guard by the stairs curiously staring.
our living room

our room for the night was a queen-sized bamboo bed, with a painting in one corner and beaded tapestry on the other. it was immediately recognizable as the mother and child, but when i read the name, i had to do a do-over. it said magina, without a hyphen, so i thought, "huh, is this a body part?" then thought... oh! mag-ina. hehe.

the tapestry in our room "mag-ina"

a quick peek at the corridor would show an open veranda with a wooden sofa adorned with pillows with patchwork cases. i was loving the place more and more.
our hallway

the veranda was probably the best part of banwa. since most of the lodgers there stay at the dorm rooms, it is where the guests converge and somewhat "forced" to interact with each other. most of our companions were caucasians. the only filipinos around were the owner, the staff and the wife of one american guest. staying at veranda made one feel like one was in the middle of the woods, rather than in the middle of the city. more artwork and tapestry festooned the common room. it was jane's mother who did the tapestries pala. galeng!
our sala

our dining

one cool thing about the place was the level of trust the staff has with their guests. there was no one to constantly stay at the bar, so we were just advised to take what we need from the fridge and list down whatever we got. the same goes for the use of the internet (P30/hr). at the end of your stay, it will just be included with the lodging fee. astig!

they would also gladly contact tour companies for their guests to ease them from the trouble of looking around for themselves. banwa already knows which ones would give the best service to their guests. it was actually jan who helped jan and i find a van to bring us to sabang.

jane was very friendly and made us feel comfortable by reveling us with recommendations for our stay. she offered a lot of advice regarding our travel itinerary. it was through her that we found out about the new dolphin watching tours being offered. one that i really wanted to do for the longest time.

jan and i discussed our plans and decided to come back to banwa first before going to asturias. good thing we were not able to pay for the asturias package yet because we were suddenly opened to a whole lot of options.

by the way, it was the baragatan festival in puerto princesa the week we were there. more on that later.

thanks to banwa, our honeymoon was starting out a whole lot of fun. :)

2 comments:

gandarynako said...

hey! thanks for posting about this; my hubby and i are planning a palawan trip for the holidays and this seems like a good place to stay.

sucelle said...

hi

a friend and i are planning to stay here. Would like to know, how are the amenities/features of the room?i mean does it have a fan at least? not indicated in its website kasi. :)
sorry for the bother, hope to get your reply. thanks :D