the (figurative) path to puerto princesa

This was my list of top 5 places in the Philippines that I wanted to visit around five years back:
1. Batanes
2. Palawan
3. Siquijor
4. Siargao
5. Tawi-Tawi

In the last five years, I have only been able to scratch off Tawi-Tawi and Siquijor. Nonetheless, my travel buds and I have visited other interesting provinces and cities of our beautiful country. To name a few, we hit Camiguin, Bantayan and Malapascua Island in Cebu, Carabao Island of Romblon, Surigao City, Bulalacao of Mindoro and a few more others.

Back to the time when Jan and I were not engaged yet but were informally discussing things should we get wed, I told him I'd rather splurge on the honeymoon than on the wedding. The good girl that I am, I think we deserve it. Besides, I enjoy travel more than parties any day.

I thought the honeymoon was a good opportunity for me (because Jan has given me freehand with decisions related to this) to finally go back to my list. Siargao was scratched off given that we will be setting up a community school in Surigao City, so it will be more accessible for regular trips. So it was a toss-up between Palawan and Batanes.

Batanes was actually winning my heart but Jan, being a guy, had a very practical point. June is the start of the rainy season. Good point. And a wisdom that benefitted us with an actual storm actually coinciding with our honeyhoon. Hehe.

So it was decided. Palawan it was going to be. But Palawan itself has so much to offer. We could go to Coron-Busuanga, El Nido or Puerto Princesa City. My inclination was going to Coron, but then I figured, I want to find out if the Underground River was worth being nominated for the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. So Puerto Princesa it was.

yey! puerto princesa!

With all the stress for the wedding preparations, I was not able to pay full attention to it as much as I wanted to. Even getting tickets became stressful given the gas increase. In a span of three weeks while I was doing research, tickets rose from P8000++ round trip to P11000++ round trip (both of us)! I had to ask help from Ninin and Jerry (who in turn asked help from Tatit and Crissy) with the itinerary.

My initial idea was to spend the night at Puerto Princesa, then proceed to Sabang for two days, then spend another two days in Port Barton, then go back to Puerto Princesa to do the tours. I also did research on places to stay in each place. Based on that, Jerry and Ninin were able to come up with a superb itinerary, inclusive of contact numbers, transportation schedules and fare costs. Asteeeeeg! Galing, guys! :)

What was more beautiful about the honeymoon was, our ticket to Puerto Princesa was a gift from our travel buddies. It was so apt and so symbolic to have them do this for us, being our constant companions in trans-regional
kalokohan. I was so deeply touched by the gesture.

So to our dearest Mike and Ina, Jerry, Ninin, Sherwin and Myra, Mon and Dinah, Shiva, Rhia, Kang, Meh-Anne, Camille and Tatit, thank you for bringing Jan and I to Palawan and for blessing us with a very interesting beginning to our life together. ;P