Monday, December 8, 2008

Manila - Puerto Princesa - Manila

It was a crabby start, a day earlier than my horoscope predicted. ("Ma, taxis don't fly!") But my family arrived at the airport, two small wheeled suitcases in tow. Including the fake LV that my brother and I refuse to touch. (We will not be caught dead with it.) It was given to my dad as a gift. I promise to buy a replacement the next time I go on a trip abroad.

Words of wisdom in the Terminal 2 toilets

At Terminal 2, we ate at Ya Kun Kaya Toast. The toast was good but expensive (of course). It was good that we ate before boarding. PAL served coffee, tea or toast and Hansel biscuits, twelve pieces of them without the filling, Fita-style. On the way back, we got even less:

"natural taste cookies"

When the pilot announced that we had leveled off (in terms of altitude), he also said that we were ten minutes away from final descent.

Puerto Princesa, the capital of Palawan province and its only city, has a lot going for it: P7 tricycle fare, green local laws, low crime rate, earthquake-free. The airport is not one of them.

The army band played for us when we stepped down from the plane. That did not prepare us for the barrage of porters and semi-manual baggage claim at the departure area. Did we say garage? ("Magandang place ito for Amazing Race.") The departure area may be under construction, but this is no way to welcomes guests.

The plane and the luggage containers

The belt and the passengers

The arrival area is more or less done, but I don't think they really thought about it. Looking at the construction from the outside (above):
Me: "It looks 90s."
Pa: "80s. Parang munisipyo. (Like a municipal hall.)"
Cent: "70s. Panahon ng disco. (Disco era.)"

I'll get ahead of myself and saw what the arrival area is like. It's new, but not everything is. When, oh when, was the last time you weighed your baggage on an analog scale? The gates are so cramped it's worth checking in early just to get a seat.

Did they not expect A330s to come here? And what if it rains? There would not be enough umbrellas for the boarding passengers.

Crabby, crabby!

Map of Puerto Princesa

Map of city center


  1. I've always wanted to go to Palawan! I think I'll like that place more than Boracay because it seems like it's a lot less crowded. ANYWAY, I love the little words of wisdom in the bathroom. Haha

  2. For beaches, El Nido or Coron would be the best places in Palawan. I haven't been to either, but we'll get there someday :)

  3. hi! im from puerto princesa and i kind of agree with u, sa airport. it sucks, especially the arrival, isang taon na ata na ganun un e.
    i like ur comments.

    coron is really nice, the diving sites are great but then its really expensive here. ung bawat isla may bayad unlike el nido which is free.

  4. salamat, lorene!

    i heard that about coron from a friend, too. but getting to el nido is expensive, isn't it? :)