Where to Stay in Lingayen, Pangasinan: The President Hotel

PRESIDENT HOTEL (12)

Travelling to the province, especially on a Friday night is not a joke. Alongside with my friend, Mai of Budget Biyahera. We traveled from Cubao to Lingayen for a solid 6 freaking hours! And all throughout the trip we thought about how can we teleport in our hotel bed. The President Hotel, our home for 2 nights is strategically located along Maramba Boulevard in Lingayen, Pangasinan. The hotel is also considered as one of the historical spots in the city because the house of the 12th Philippine President, Fidel V. Ramos once stood there. Continue reading “Where to Stay in Lingayen, Pangasinan: The President Hotel”

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7 Selfies in the 7 Lakes of San Pablo, City Laguna

Now that I live in Quezon City, travelling to the South is not a big deal for me anymore. San Pablo City, Laguna, just a 2-hour drive or bus ride away from Manila, boasts its different attractions bursting with culture and heritage. Their local delicacies, guided nature-treks and lake tours are something to look forward to.

Last weekend, me and my future Thailand travel buddies decided to explore the city’s main attraction: The San Pablo Seven Lakes. Because I didn’t have the luxury of time to research the area, #minsantamad we relied on our printed Google map and kept bugging the locals we see in the streets to ask for directions.

Dubbed as one of a kind in the Philippines, and probably the world, the seven lakes of San Pablo City was formed by phreatomagmatic eruptions, an eruption where ground water comes in contact with hot magma pushing up near the Earth’s surface.* Aside from the beauty that the lakes possess, the lakes also provide livelihood to the locals in terms or fishing and tourism.

Now, let me take a selfie!

DSC_1680

It all started as a joke of taking a selfie in each lake. Thus, the idea of this blog post was born.

Continue reading “7 Selfies in the 7 Lakes of San Pablo, City Laguna”

Unofficial Guide to Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Continuation of our Palawan Adventure.

We left the terminal at around 1130. The journey going back to the city was also full of uphills and downhills. This journey we had two stop-overs one in taytay; where we had a 15 minute lunch and another in roxas to drop off some passengers. The driver also had to stop for a few minutes to replace tires. The ride back to the city was about 6 hours. The driver dropped us off the central terminal; and we rode a multicab dyip bound to the nearest hotel in the area. In the dyip we had a chance to meet some locals who also gave us tips to enjoy the city.

Infront of Go Hotel, Puerto Princesa

What a nice room we have 🙂

We checked in Go-hotel an economy hotel that is perfect for backpackers because of its accesibility.  After checking in we went around to the place that was recommended to us by locals; bona’s chaolong. Chaolong is a vietnamese soup; it is very popular among the locals because the restaurant was crowded. We ordered beef  chaolong noodles and yakult shake for dinner. After dinner we  rode a tricycle to the baywalk; our driver said that it was like the manila bay walk only it was cleaner. The puerto princesa baywalk has bikes for rent, kiosk to buy food and beverage. It is a perfect place to hang around during mornings and nighttime.

Jam packed night!

Bona’s Chaolong

The next day the day of our departure; we had our breakfast at local tapsi restaurant. We ordered tapsilog and chicharon. We need a heavy breakfast in preparation for our 1pm flight. After breakfast we once again explored the city; we went to the immaculate conception cathedral which is accesible by multicab dyipneys. By this time we have dithed riding tricycles because dyips are far more cheap. The cathedral was beautiful it is colored blue and the inside was in te color hue of purple. We also had a chance to visit the plaza cuartel; a monument that was erected to the american prisoners of war that was killed in a massacre during world war II.  The monument was enclose in a park where the the monument serves as its center piece. We returned to the hotel to fetch our things and to catch our ride to the airport courtesy of Go hotel.

Hearty tapsi breakfast at Pares Plaza! A perfect place to remove the Chaolong after taste 😛

Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral

Our air asia flight departed from the puerto princesa airport at around 130; arriving in clark at around 3pm. Thankfully, it was a very smooth ride unlike the flight going to puerto princesa.

Our first Palawan experience is the bomb! We may have budget issues, but still we enjoyed our trip. Palawan is a big island and lots of places to go to. And we know we will always come back here without having second thoughts.

The Eco-Tourism Development Fee

Aside from the usual fees used payed during the trips like fare, food, lodging and tour packages; some places charge for Eco-Tourism Development Fee (ETDF). This is new to the the TheTwoBrokeGirls because it was our first time in Palawan. For us to be enlightened we checked the ever reliable GOOGLE SEARCH, and this is what we read.

“The collection of Eco-Tourism Development Fee (ETDF) in El Nido supports environmental protection, tourism development, thus ensuring that the beautiful sceneries the visitors admire and enjoy remain the same, if not, even further improved.

El Nido Mayor Edna Gacot-Lim said this in yesterday’s interview where some walk-in foreign tourists resort to renting tents with all pension houses and inns fully booked until end of February.

Lim said the ETDF made it possible for the municipality to purchase three portable toilets which will be deployed in frequently-visited islands for the comfort of the tourists and, essentially, for the cleanliness and sanitation of the islands and the beach.

She said that the ETDF is used in the waste segregation and disposal of El Nido where new sets of trash bins are placed in major streets in the town center and along the stretch of the beach. The bins come in three colors to differentiate the biodegradable, non-biodegradable and plastics.

Lim said that the fees collected also fund environmental projects like the Reef Watch, a project conducted with the local NGO that collects garbage left by tourists in the islands and end up underwater. About five mooring buoys have already been installed by the ETDF fund. It also supports the operation of the marine sanctuaries identified in the barangay.

In 2008, the Sangguniang Bayan of El Nido approved an ordinance imposing a fee for all visitors such as P200 for non-Palawan residents, P100 for Palawan residents and P50 for student visitors.

Since then, the municipal government gathers an average of P3 million annually from ETDF. The ordinance also states the sharing scheme for the collection. 50 percent is for tourism and environmental projects, 20 percent are for administrative expenses, 10 percent are for all barangays, 10 percent is for the Protected Area Office of the Protected Area Management Board and 10 percent is for General Fund. (LBR/VSM/PIA-Palawan)”

http://pia.gov.ph/news/index.php?article=711328013277

Photo from Lakas ng Trip

The official receipt of the ETDF… Wow I’m an American citizen! 🙂

Cheapest Place to Stay in El Nido, Palawan

A month before our trip, I started to search on where we will stay in El Nido. We really don’t want to spend that much in a room knowing we’ll be out for the whole day.

So I searched;

“cheapest hotel in el nido”

Price ranges from 800-1,200 php / night

“cheap inn in el nido”

Price ranges from  500-1,000 php / night

and the last one is

“cheapest accommodation in el nido”

and viola! The top search is from a Pinoy travel blogger Lakas ng Trip!

This blog really helped us to get around El Nido from a domestic traveler’s point of view . Places to eat, where to go, what tour to avail, how to get around town etc. So I got excited when I read about his post about Tay Miloy’s Inn.

Would you believe that it only costs 300/night?! That would be  P150 each! Jackpot!  So I sent a message to Kuya Rodrigo!

It was just really like a house

The room is very basic. Just what we need. And it’s pink ; )

Veranda. This is where where we drink our coffee while observing the locals as they pass by.

Second floor. 3 rooms plus the common bathroom.

The tours offered by Tay Miloy’s Inn c/o Servant Tours. We booked Tour A

Other services

Tay Miloy’s Inn was named after the father of the owner’s wife and he is quite popular in El Nido that when you say to the tricycle driver to take you to Tay Miloy’s house they would know where it is. We kept calling Kuya Rodrigo, Tay Miloy til the 2nd day we stayed there. We stopped calling  Kuya Rod ” Tay Miloy”, but that is embarrassing for us.. hehe

There are different ways to get to El Nido. You have the choice to drive, fly and ride a boat. Flying might be the quickest way but also the most expensive option. Many tourist who stay in Manila and are planning to visit El Nido make several stops. You can plan a road trip and stay in a hotel in Batangas. From there, you can ride a boat and stay In Coron for a few days. Then ride a ferry to El Nido. Boat rides are an exciting and affordable way for you to travel, specially if you have plenty of time to spare and would like to visit different islands.

Contact Details

Mobile No.: 0929-795-5756 – Rodigo Caranog
E-mail: rodrigo.caranog@gmail.com

Location

Near the Lexus Shuttle Station. Less than 5 minutes walk to the beach.

Rates

Off-Peak Season
(May – Nov)
Fan Room: 300 Pesos/night/room
Aircon Room: 800 Pesos/night/room
Good for 2 pax/room;
Additional of 150 Pesos per extra pax
Peak Season
(Dec – April)
Fan Room: 500 Pesos/night/room
Aircon Room: 1,000 Pesos/night/room
Good for 2 pax/room;
Additional of 150 Pesos per extra pax
  • Check-out Time: 12 NN
  • All rooms have common bathrooms.
  • They only have 3 fan rooms and 1 aircon room.
  • Rooms have electric sockets for your gadgets.

Notes

  • If the reservation was made in Tay Miloy’s Inn and there would be changes in your travel plans; please inform Kuya Rod before hand. Please inform them so they can offer the room to other guests.
  • The owner may provide hot water for drinking; guest may also use the kitchen you just need to ask the owner
  • The establishment is near the municipal hall, elementary school, eateries and grocery stores
  • Reservations must be made in advance

 

Unofficial Guide to El Nido, Palawan

We did not expect that the booking we made last March was to fall on days that heavy rains was pouring in Central Luzon. But, the flight was already booked and plans were already made Kaiye (my travel buddy extraordinaire). We  made our way to Diosdado Macapagal Airport to catch our flight to Puerto Princesa City. Our flight was via Air Asia, they fly everyday to Puerto Princesa and they offer the cheap flights. The flight to Palawan is a bit rough,  but the sun welcomed upon arriving to the Puerto Princesa Airport.

We got excited when the sun shone through our window! 

As we make our way out of the airport and we we’re greeted by local tricycle drivers offering services. The tricycle driver took us to the Fort Wally FX Station in Puerto Princesa City station to start our six hour journey towards El Nido. Our van driver Kuya Bobot, is a seasoned driver, we were joined by foreigners an Italian, 4 Spaniards and a Balik-bayan. The Balik-bayan gave us tips for us to enjoy our El Nido experience. The path to El Nido was a real challenge, a few hours of uphills and downhills; plus an hour of rough road will really make you feel dizzy.

We arrived at the Fort Wally Terminal in El Nido at around 8:30 pm and we immediately took a tricycle en route to Tay Miloy’s Pension Inn. The owner of the lodging house Kuya Rodrigo greeted us and he escorted us to our room. After placing our things we headed out to check the beach or aplaya and to scout for a place to eat. In the beach there were beach front rest houses and some restaurants where local and foreign guest are dining, there were also boats anchored in the seaside. One can also see some groups of people who are hanging around the beach front while drinking and chatting.There are also some children playing in the beach. The town center is really interesting, it is a close knit community where everyone knows each other. You can pretty much go around town center by talking a 30 minute walk. We went a local burger joint to order 2 footlongs, since some eateries are already closed. We slept at fan room which was very affordable.

At 9:00 am the next day, we we’re met by kuya rod to escort us to the aplaya to start our island hopping expedtion. Upon arriving at the boat we were joined by some french and a korean; our guides lance and jr were locals. Our itenerary features 5 destinations, so at around 915am we headed out to the sea.

Good morning El Nido

Boat mates… This will be one hell of a ride! 

Our first destination was the small lagoon.  Water in the area is shallow so we had to swim to enter the area. Fortunately,  there were life vest and snorkeling gears provided by the tour guides so after a tips on using the gears we headed out the lagoon. El nido was place to admre and behold it was one of the most beautiful places i’ve set my eyes on. The swim towards the lagoon was not that smooth, it was my first time to snorkel but i was really excited to see the view. The view in the lagoon was really breathtaking, it has very clear waters that lets you see the fishes and corals.

Number one must have when you’re going here is an underwater camera!

The second stop to our journey was the secret beach. We had a little trouble going ashore because the waves are quite high. We entered a small opening on the rocks that leads to a shallow pool.

We art thou is the Secret Beach?!

There is nothing really to see there so we took the opportunity to have our group picture! That’s how friendly we are!

The 3rd stop was shizumi island, it is named after a japanese driver that was found dead in the island during the 1970s. We stopped to rest in beach while our guides prepared our food. Dishes like grilled pork, fish and  squid; were prepared. There was also rice, fruits such as pineapple, bananas and watermelon was served. There are also sliced cucumbers and tomatoes as side dishes.

Beautiful Shimizu!

Stayed here for almost 2hours and I took the opportunity to shoot some photographer feel pictures! 

This kid has definitely has talent!

After lunch, we left shizumi island to go to our next stop at the big lagoon. Unlike the small lagoon where we have to swim to reach the area; the big lagoon only allows visitors to take the boat.

Two words; Jurassic Era

Of course we took the chance a picture to this very famous place

The last stop of our island hopping was the 7 commandos island, this is were travellers can play beach volley ball, sunbathe or enjoy a drink of fresh coconut juice. Guest may also enjoy chitchats under the shade of the coconut trees. We stayed there until 4 pm; then we joined the other tourist to return to the mainland.

Perfect place to just chill and drink something

Did you know that this island is sold worth 35 million pesos by a German citizen?! Now they’ll make this as an resort and the good news is they allowed people to visit this!

After a long and fulfilled day we’re back to the town of El Nido!

That night we strolled the town to look for a cheap place to eat; we came across an eatery that serves full meals at75 pesos each. After dinner we strolled around the beachfront to set our sights on whats happening in the restaurants. Restaurants may feature entertainment by local musicians as well as a wide variety of dishes from italian dishes to indian dishes. This shows the diversity of the travellers that are making their way to el nido.

The next day we visited the local bakery to buy bread for our breakfast. Our choice bread was ensaimada; and the beverage of preference was 3-in-1 coffee. Hot water was provided by kuya rod from the inn. We now prepared for our journey to return to Puerto princesa via lexus van.

I think this is the only bakery here in town

Before leaving we checked out the town, you can actually go around there by simply walking! Nice exercise!

Every time you go to places you really have no idea of, it a must to visit the local Tourism office

Bye El Nido! See you again next year! 

Yes, we may not have a lot of money to spend in El Nido, but you don’t need a lot of money there… The scenery is priceless. We can’t wait to go there again next year!