My Puerto Princesa Experience

Back to work and got swamped with so much paper works that piled up while I am away and more paper works brought home for our latest steering committee meeting, not to mention my study related papers and case studies.   Before I lose my self in the chaos of work and everything else that needs my attention. I would like to stay still for a moment and remember what a beautiful paradise Puerto Princesa is.  I promised that I will chronicle my stay there and the best time to do is now, when it is still fresh in my mind.

It was a business trip with leisure on the side.  The 10th ERDT Conference was co-located with an international conference and the venue was at the Hotel Centro in Puerto Princesa, Palawan where we were also billeted.  We arrived at the Puerto Princesa Airport at around 11:30 am and went straight to the hotel .PP airport

I got high expectations with the hotel and was a bit disappointed but eventually got used to it and it was not really that bad it just that last year we stayed in a five star hotel and I can’t help but compare.  The staff are nice and accommodating so that’s a plus.  On our first day we ate lunch at Max’s restaurant at the nearest mall, I was kind of disappointed cause I was hoping to dine in a local restaurant but we are so hungry so we settled.

The first day was spent travelling and shopping at nearby souvenir shops. This a typical Filipino trait, buying “pasalubong” for family and friends. You’ll notice that almost everyone’s first question once they get to their destination is “where are the pasalubong center/souvenir shops”.  I bought some freshwater pearls earrings and bracelets for my mom, sisters and bffs.  I also bought cashew nuts (my favorite) and some danggit (dried fish) and dried squid (another favorite).  The hotel has a pool so we took advantage of it and went for a swim

The second day was all business.  I was at the registration area in the morning and assisting participants.  In the afternoon, I attended the Steering Committee Meeting that lasted for almost 5 hours.  My head was about to explode when the meeting ended.  There’s so much to do and just thinking about it makes me dizzy.  We rest for a while and went out for a dinner.  We went to Badjao Seafood Restaurant which is probably 30-40 minutes drive from the hotel but it was worth the time and effort.  SAM_1402

The food was amazing, everything’s fresh and tastes great.  I loved the crabs, shrimps, fishes, everything.  I was so full that I felt like I have to carry my stomach while walking back to the car.  There’s also a guy who played the piano and he is really good, he played the most romantic songs in the world.  The ambiance is also fantastic, very rustic but with a touch of elegance.  The restaurant is surrounded by mangroves and the air’s fresh. The view would must have been great during day time. I loved that place and my wish to eat in a local restaurant was granted.

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Sun and Wind

April is over and I don’t know how it happened.  What I know is that I loved it! So many things had happened.  One of the highlights is our office’s recent workshop/team building in Sol Y Viento Resort in Pansol, Laguna.  The resort is still new, just two year in business (according to one of the staff).  A lot of construction is on going but it didn’t diminish the beauty of the place.  It’s on top of the mountain or along the mountain (whichever is right).  They followed the terrain of the mountain and its like they carved the resort out of the mountain’s face.  I have to admit this realization made me worried, human beings just can’t live nature alone.  What seemed to be an uncharted place decades ago is now accessible to the public.

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that’s basically how they manage to build a resort on the mountain..

 

Anyway, the view is magnificent.  Our room was located at the 4th level and getting there is quite an exercise but so worth it.  We are opposite the Mount Makiling and from the balcony you can see the entire mountain.  I can totally see Mariang Makiling lying, from her long hair to her legs, that was amazing. I only read about her when I was in grade school and now I can proudly say I saw her in person (fangirl mode and to an inanimate object).

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that’s Mount Makiling, too bad I can’t capture the whole mountain

The resort as I have mentioned earlier is gorgeous. The view is amazing and the ambiance is very peaceful and relaxing.  You can see the Laguna de Bay and of course the stunning Mount Makiling.

 

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that’s us in front of our room, Mount Makiling as our gorgeous back drop

 

 

The restaurant is not so huge but beautiful, it’s rustic and elegant at the same time (that’s the same thing I can say to the whole resort).  The food selection is not so great, typical Filipino food and a bit of foreign cuisine.  They taste quite good, especially the crispy pata.  The price is like those of restaurants but some are good enough for 3 persons.  Considering our budget, we did good, since we end up so full and satisfied.  I truly enjoyed the lunch, the sinigang na sugpo, kare-kare and crispy pata (yum)

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from left; crispy pata, kare-kare and sinigang na sugpo

We went around the resort riding in golf cart and it was just a short trip since some parts are off limits due to ongoing construction.

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no, I did not drive the golf cart (that would be a disaster)

There are currently (I saw several small pools that are not yet ready to be used) 4 pools in the resort.  The largest if a 5 feet pool with cold water (cold compared to the rest of the pools).  There are 3 hot spring pool, the largest where you can actually swim is probably 4 feet or less, with a temperature of 35 degree Celsius.  The other two are not intended for swimming, you can just submerge your body and enjoy the hot spring water, one is 37 degree Celsius and the hottest is 39 degree Celsius.  I tried all, but stayed at the 37 degree with the rest of the group.  The water was so soothing to my tired, weary body and mind.  It was just right, the water is hot but the wind is cold.  There is also a man made falls but we were not able to experience it since they only let the water flow during afternoon and probably for just a couple of hours.  We got our picture taken though.Image                                                                   

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getting up there is not easy, I was afraid I will slip

It was a great vacation (though short), I would love to go back a year later and see how much improvement is done.