2008-07-05

sabang and dab-dab resort

Puerto Princesa City is most known for its Underground River, which is also currently one of the nominees and top-rankers for the New 7 Natural Wonders of the World. A friend who has been to Palawan several times recommended going to El Nido or Coron instead of Puerto Princesa, but I wanted to see the Underground River before it gets too famous.


Most tourists take the day tour to the St. Paul’s Subterranean River National Park located two hours away from the city in Sitio Sabang. At the time of our arrival, the tour was still at P1,300/pax but is now P1,500.00. The tour agency would pick the clients up from their respective hotels around 7AM. The main highway is already paved but a large portion going to Sabang is still bumpy though not uncomfortable. Before proceeding to Sabang, guests are asked to get a permit from the Barangay tourist office, which is also beside the ethnographic museum. The place had a great view of the mountains where the underground river is. Rates depends whether you are a local or a foreigner. Upon arrival at Sabang, the tour guide pays for permit to enter the cave to the Sabang tourist office. After which, the guests ride the big boat to the cove where the Underground River is located.

welcome to sabang wow! may picture kami!

Jan and I decided to stay over at Sabang instead of taking the day tour. The beach is reputed to be lovely and there are other attractions to enjoy other than the famous river. Jane Campbell, owner of Banwa Pension House, arranged for a van that will take us there for P500.00. In retrospect, it would have been more cost-efficient to have taken a jeep (P120) since we weren’t in a hurry in the first place, but we didn’t know any better then.


Anyway, we arrived at 10AM at Sabang. Donna, the friendly tour guide of Ellen’s Travel and Tours, hooked us up with a boatman who can take us to Port Barton or El Nido should we decide to. Part of my intended itinerary was to actually go to Port Barton after Sabang, but Jane said it may not be necessary since Sabang and Port Barton are similar in feel. I was torn between wanting to see as much of Palawan in our short stay or to have a relaxed, no-rush, que cera cera honeymoon. The boat rates (P3,000 if I remember correctly) we were given sounded reasonable, but we had a limited budget and we did not want to use it all up on transportation. So finally, we decided to spend 3 ½ days in Sabang before going back to the city.


We proceeded to Dab-Dab Resort where we were booked to stay. It was actually far away from the main beach and nearer the residential homes of the sitio. The cottages were detached from each other and were surrounded by trees. There was a rattan hammock and a bamboo sofa on the veranda, while the bed had a mosquito net ready for use. The ventilation was provided by the fresh air as there was no electric fan or air con. As we have discovered, the electricity was only from 6-10PM, provided by a generator. The bathroom was quaint enough, except only a curtain separated it from the rest of the cottage. Owkaaaay…

our sabang home


They had a restaurant area which also had a no footwear policy. Arnold, a tom cat, entertained us while we hung out by the hammock. He was quite a friendly tom, and typical of most cats, felt that he owned the place and only paid attention to us because our fingers smelled of food.

no slippers allowed o hai hooman


While we were walking to the resort, we bumped into a lady selling crabs for dan-da-da-da-daaannnnn… P110/kilo! I just had to buy a kilo for lunch! I had no idea whether Dab-Dab would cook for their guests or not, but I bought anyway. Buti na lang! The Dab-Dab cook was on leave because it was off-peak. We just paid the staff P50 for cooking the crabs. We told them we will eat the crabs at noon. It was already 1030. But after a few minutes of conversation lying down, we snoozed and woke up 3PM! That’s when we had our lunch. Because there was nothing else to eat, Jan finally learned to eat crabs! I taught him how to open a crab and identify whether it was male or female, even how to cull out some flesh in the thinner legs.

lunch for two 110/kilo!


Afterwards, we decided to walk around Sabang Beach. The beach front of Dab-Dab was quite rocky. It was already low tide and we could see people scrounging round for shells and crabs. Jan had always wanted a photo of leafless trees, to play around with in Photoshop I guess. And ta-daaaah! We finally have subjects as there were several fallen trees near our resort.

low low low loooo tide twig and fruit


The day ended up to be photograph-taking. It was rare that Jan would borrow the camera for me to take pictures. But then there we were fighting over the camera and responded to with, “teka lang, may kukunan pa ako. It seemed the latent photographer in him was roused by the fallen trees of Sabang.

fairy wings? kamut green hermit dead leaf boats


We then proceeded to other side of the Sabang beach which was just wonderfully flat, to which Jan quipped, “Frisbee.” Indeed. We just sat on the sand, listened to the waves and reviewed the pictures from the wedding (and deleted some because the 4GB SD card I bought was defective. Gr!) and from the day.

look at that beach front syokoy from the sea


All-in-all, it was a lazy, relaxed day. Something that Jan and I have not experienced for a long time. It was worth “wasting” our time doing nothing, since we just got to enjoy each other’s company. That, I can say, is as good a start of our adventure as any. Yey.

masaya sa dagat

3 comments:

maimai said...

Do you have the number or an email address from this resort? Id want to ask them about the room rates. Thanks. :)

anj said...

try contacting mila at 09109241673. hope all goes well. it's cozy and affordable. :)

nolram_914 said...

From Dabdab.. how long does it take to go to the underground river?