Living In The Philippines Forum

Living in The Philippines => Places to Visit/ Things to Do => Topic started by: BigBird on January 08, 2009, 03:25:16 AM

Title: Boracay or Palawan
Post by: BigBird on January 08, 2009, 03:25:16 AM
On our next venture to the PI I just told the wife we need to make another side journey outside the jungle she calls home.  I don\'t go all that way to see just the family and have no adventure even though it is a great adventure everyday in her home.

In her home we don\'t worry about the power since there isn\'t any outside of my generator!  I worry about the next can of fuel!

She says right away - Boracay!  And all the time I am thinking Colin,  ;)  Palawan and Honda Bay with time in Puerto Princesa.

I will have 2 others in tow on my nickel.  I promised her sister and husband a route out with us this trip.  Last trip it was Nanay and Tatay in tow in one direction and then another brother, sister and 2 kids in another direction.  I had a blast and I feel they did too!

Now I am a tight ass but also on vacation too.  But not too low key and for sure not big bucks either.  We got the \'family rooms\' at each destination.  And I like to eat good local foods.  I am a growing boy of 250# and I get cranky when hungry.  So I like my food while in the PI that is for sure.  But budget is something that must be kept in reality.

Colin - Tell me how I can have a great time in your neck of the woods.  Sell me on that area.  I hope you can give good pointers and recommendations.  I will buy you a beer.   ;D  Hell maybe even a case if you drink and help us out.

When is best season to visit?  She wants to go home for next Christmas and I want May time frame.  So what is it like in mid December or after first of year?  She will most likely win her time slot.  But if more money than I envision is needed it might take until May 2010 to stuff my pockets.

Never been snorkeling so it will be a first.  This time I will take mask with eye perscription inserts so not blind and can see where I am going and what I am looking at always when in the water.  I can walk 5 minutes to the beach.  But at least one day and night in a nice waterfront setting so all can at least feel like a millionaire for a day and tell the tales back home for many years to come.

I would like to land and go to furthest point first and work backwards to airport.  Give me some ideas on how to spend our days.  I guess maybe 5 nights in all on your island. 

Over the next 8 months I plan to get it all together and then start to reserve planes and places.

Any and all suggestions are welcomed.  I say Palawan again and she says oh no honey Muslims.  I don\'t even think she can point out Palawan on the map but has opinions from stories of old.

Then I read all the good stuff about Palawan like flys, sand fleas and killer mosquitoes.

Help me sift it all out and put together a nice getaway. 

Is Boracay all that or just a tourist trap?  I don\'t want to sit and watch the sun set.  I wants to run out of time and have it set on me daily!  Not to mention breath taking pictures, movies and great memories of places, people and foods and sights we\'ve see and places we went!

Title: Re: Boracay or Palawan
Post by: c_a_p_t_a_i_n_r_o_n on January 08, 2009, 08:02:59 AM
If you\'re an adventurer, Boracay will feel pretty constrictive after about 4-5 days

You don\'t say where your gals home is based or how long you\'ll have.....maybe both?

2.5 weeks on Palawan and 3 days on Boracay ???
Title: Re: Boracay or Palawan
Post by: dylanaz on January 08, 2009, 09:29:27 AM
Boracay reminded me of Waikiki beach - minus the warm water. It looks nice and a lot to eat as you walk the beach at night. But I agree with Cpt. 3 days sounds about max there for an adventurer.
Title: Re: Boracay or Palawan
Post by: c_a_p_t_a_i_n_r_o_n on January 08, 2009, 09:42:59 AM
I was there for 5 days in July.......worst thing about Boracay was the pesky vendors...... selling sunglasses when you where already wearing some

I\'m a sailor, so 2 days were spent messing around on the paraws

(http://www.seair-inflight.com/_@dmin/uploads/Image/cover_storyapr06.jpg)


Title: Re: Boracay or Palawan
Post by: BigBird on January 08, 2009, 10:52:35 AM
If you\'re an adventurer, Boracay will feel pretty constrictive after about 4-5 days

You don\'t say where your gals home is based or how long you\'ll have.....maybe both?

2.5 weeks on Palawan and 3 days on Boracay ???

I will be on vacation for 6 weeks.  My wife is about 7K north of Loreto on Dinagat (Surigao Del Norte).  Just keep heading north and always stay left and follow the coast line.  When you run out of trail and land you are there - home sweet home -.

I just don\'t want to sit 24 x 7.  I will have plenty of that at her home while she is at home.   I tell her she gets 5 weeks of family and fiesta along with all travel time and I get one full week on the run.  A day or two of island hopping and 1 - 1 1/2 days of land based sight seeing would be the meat of the trip along with one day dedicated to people watching on the beach in a tourist high traffic area.  Nice sunsets and a few cold beers and food, glorious food. But not walk my ass off all day long either. 

I want to be comfortable and I know there are a lot of nice little places much cheaper that afford location and comfort but reasonable on the pocket.  A move around every two days is not an issue with me.  I don\'t care if there is no pool outside my door.  And a beach hut is a lot of fun for a couple of days.  I want to fill that week and my camera chips too with great sights of the PI and good time memories. 

I get my vacation fix and it\'s back to under da saya for the remainder of the trip.  I enjoy every moment!!

My preferred time is in May 2010 but I think this trip we are going to do a Christmas 2009 at her home.  She wants to decorate the place up and make it a WOW for her family. It\'s hard life in paradise in her home.

I told her I will take her brother-in-law and sister along because he just looks so damn mean and she is a hell cat when they raise the price on us.  Great to have along for good prices and no hassles!  Plus it is their turn to see the Philippines outside that one rock. 

The time for grab ass and kiss face play vacations are past.  I want just a great local home style vacation on my piso.  I don\'t have to or want to impress anyone.  I just want to enjoy the places and food.  But i like my coffee and breakfast too in the mornings......especially the coffee and I hate 3 in 1 packets with warm water.








If at years end then Christmas and New Years at home will consume a large chunk of time.

Title: Re: Boracay or Palawan
Post by: aerosick on January 08, 2009, 12:41:31 PM
In April \'07 we went to Boracay and stayed at Station 3 (lower price area) for 4 days. We got 2 basic cottages for PhP 1,800 each. The price of food was double or more (even in the stores) than in Carcar, Cebu where our family lives.

After 4 days the Island got very small, but you can\'t beat the beaches for people watching. Eda and her family spotted several TV stars wandering around. And the white, sandy beaches are great in the evenings swimming and watching the sunsets.

Once at Boracay was enough for us though. I want to go to Palawan soon...

Billy
Title: Re: Boracay or Palawan
Post by: c_a_p_t_a_i_n_r_o_n on January 08, 2009, 03:15:05 PM
My list puts Iloilo, Palawan and Siargo ahead of another trip too Boracay

....then there\'s also Zoamboanga, General Santos etc etc
Title: Re: Boracay or Palawan
Post by: on January 08, 2009, 08:43:10 PM
Hi BigBird,

I agree with what others are saying about Borocay, worth a visit but only once and then for just a few days.

If you want all the facts about Palawan you can go to http://www.palawan.gov.ph, not a well laid out site but if you poke around enough you find a lot of information.

If Jack will allow it  ;D you can take a look at my site. http://www.thephilippinejournal.wetpaint.com It has only one member and contributor ME  ;), and is just intended to inform my family and friends in other parts of the world where and how we live. Lots more work to do on it, so just take it as it is.

The best time to visit anywhere in the Philippines is around February and March in general, earlier than that can be wetter, and later than that hotter, but this can vary from place to place.

The best snorkeling here would be the Tubatah reefs, they are long boat ride out but there are plenty of other places and dive schools to help you.

The airport is at Puerto Princesa, and most people spend a few days seeing the local sights such as the Underground river, You could then go to El Nido in the far north but that is a 6-8 hour drive.

Yes there are Muslims here, but no more than I have seen elsewhere. Also you need to differentiate between Muslims and terrorists they are not necessarily the same thing. Muslims simply practice a different religion, and it should be remembered that the prisons here are full of Catholics, so what does that prove  ;D

Palawan is no different to most other places in the Philippines for insects, and \'killer\' mosquitos  ???

It would seem that you are not coming here for a while, so a bit nearer the time you can contact me with any questions.

Colin
Title: Re: Boracay or Palawan
Post by: BigBird on January 08, 2009, 10:38:59 PM
My list puts Iloilo, Palawan and Siargo ahead of another trip too Boracay

....then there\'s also Zoamboanga, General Santos etc etc

On the last trip I spent a few days on Siargo.  Did the island hopping thing and was close to but not right in the Cloud 9 area. 

The beach and water at the place was not really for swimming (for me) but got my fill at Naked Island.  The place we stayed at was nice little cottages and we ordered our breakfast and dinner meal the day prior.  All food was consumed on covered patio.  Only TV was in that patio area too.  All costs were reasonable.  All requests were met and we even had round trip transportation to Dapa port in a van.  The fresh hot bread (pandisol (sp)) was awesome each morning.

Don\'t think the wife would allow Zoamboanga, General Santos etc as she is easy to roll NPA off into the conversation when I mention anything Butuan and lower from Surigao. 

I was saving Boracay for when I get too old to go any where else and just want white sand, sun and skin on a beach!  I personally think to the wife it is just a status thing to say she was at Boracay.

Maybe I will also give Iloilo a look see too as that was not on my list of places due mostly to my own lack of knowledge of area.
Title: Re: Boracay or Palawan
Post by: coutts00 on January 08, 2009, 11:57:03 PM
My take on Boracay.

We went there as guests of my wife\'s German / Filipino aunt when they visited last year. We spent 250 USD in 3 days and we weren\'t paying most of the bills. The place is all about the Beaches and the food, vendors everywhere and most guests are whiter than you are. Most average Pinoy can\'t afford the place, great Italian food, French or Pizza or almost any other variety that takes your fancy, hard to find Filipino food there, but you can get some great coffee, plan on walking the length of the island as wheeled vehicles are not allowed on the beach, you can walk the 250 mtrs to the main road and catch a trike or multicab up the road to another part of the beach, but what did you miss in between points, you will never know.

So if you like walking, gazing and spending, go for it. Otherwise Palawan is the go.

Wayne
Title: Re: Boracay or Palawan
Post by: BigBird on January 09, 2009, 04:54:47 AM
Thanks Colin and others for comments.

My trip might seem far off to you but for me it is time to begin the planning stages.  It takes me some time to get my mind and money in line.  You are on Filipino time now since you been there so long……. ;D

My imagination is larger than my wallet!   :o

I also have to figure in Christmas and New Year is Loreto far far far away from any hustle bustle of the main stream life and also try to beat high season time dates for planes and lodgings.  My ideal month is May but looks like a Dec – Jan trip this time around.  So time starts now on how to dice and slice up my 6 weeks.

While in Puerto Princesa my list does include Underground River, Butterflies and Crocks.  I also read about Vietnamese foods in the area and might want to try that angle too.

My ideal trip would be to fly from Cebu to Palawan.  See some sights and drive away to next stop.  Next stop areas of Honda Bay and Sabang.  Then onto Caruray and continue to Port Barton and then along to Roxas and Taytay.  After that quickly see El Nido as I know the price tag will make my heart skip a beat or stop.  Then fly to Manila and then to Surigao.

And now my reality trip is most likely the same but no Taytay and El Nido with flight back to Cebu at the end with additional day in Puerto Princesa.  I might even have to pare out some of the middle stops too.  That is why research, research, research.  It reads like transportation is a slow go anywhere there usually.

Sound crazy or realistic keeping in mind budget over luxury?  Sleep cheaper, eat better and see more is my goal.

My wife is dreading my outing as she knows it is a time of on the go and schedule and agenda.  But get back home and watch her light up as the photo album is pulled out and all that goes away.

No diving for me but I do want to learn and enjoy to snorkel a bit. 

I want to bring along 2 guests but costs might just leave them at home too and just me and my gal go island tripping for that long week. 

I looked at what Iloilo had to offer as maybe a side get-a-way for a group of 4 in that direction but seems a little boring or I just have not made the right hits yet about what to do for 3 days and 2 nights in that place.  I don’t do many architecture or history and church sites……  I am also looking at Davao for an alternate 3D/2N get-a-way for my family in tow. 

My wife is very cautious or a bit scared to run around to places unknown in her home lands.  I’ll go almost anywhere as I feel relatively safe.  She likes the safety in numbers angle.  And in at night fall or not to far away from a comfort zone. 

I think Boracay would just piss me off on costs compared to what you can do in so many other places with the same monies.

It would also be nice to bump into expats along the way in each stop for a hello and quick area run down on do and don\'ts from their view and experience.


Title: Re: Boracay or Palawan
Post by: on January 09, 2009, 08:57:41 AM
Hi BigBird,

My personal view on you suggested tour of Palawan.

Honda Bay is just a 20 minute drive north of the city centre and best done as a day outing. You could have a multicab to take you then come back to collect you later. This can be arranged by any of the hotels or pensions.

The Underground River (Sabang) is normally taken as a long day trip from Puerto, and again easily organised from Puerto. Travel agents can arrange for you to tag onto any of the hotel organised tours. We went there a year ago with a group of visiting friends, it took about 2 hours, the first half on good roads, the second on a rough dirt track. That section of the road is being improved slowly (this is the Philippines  ;D ) The only good stretch of road in the whole of Palawan goes from Puerto to Roxas, and that was because it was built by a Vietnamese (?) company. All other roads are built by local contractors with the usual corrupt practises resulting in them not surviving too long.

I had never heard of Caruray before, but having looked it up it could be a difficult journey. If you were thinking of travelling north from Sabang, then the road would almost certainly be dirt track and I would think the same from there to Port Barton. Palawan is not called the last frontier for nothing  ;D. A boat trip would be the only obviously way to travel along that coast and that would be several hours in a small pump boat. Check the weather forcast if you are going to do this.

El Nido need not be too expensive, our Bank manager drove there and back with her family, and they would not have stayed at expensive places. We are planning to go there sometime and don\'t fancy the long drive, particularly as the road north of Roxas is bad in places, so we will fly there from Puerto.

If you are thinking of flying from El Nido to Manila, I suggest you check the fares, I believe it is expensive.

On the subject of air fares, when you fly to Puerto, always ask from promotions, they are always available and make a big saving. You will need to book a little in advance to get these.

You can email me if you have any other questions.

Colin
Title: Re: Boracay or Palawan
Post by: c_a_p_t_a_i_n_r_o_n on January 09, 2009, 01:34:59 PM
Palawan - on the yahoogroups site I believe someone posted an economical resort trip to Palawan around this time last year (but the search facility is absolutely worthless IMO) so tracking it down may be difficult
Try www.palawan.com (http://www.palawan.com) lists a few resorts by general area PP, El Nido, Coron etc
My interests lie primarily in the Coron, Busuanga Island area way up north, seems better sailing, diving, fishing there. So I\'d probably going there via Manila, rather than PP (Coron is about 300km to each). 
Calauit Island Game Preserve and Wildlife Sanctuary might be worth a side trip too. http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/3712/calauit03.html (http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/3712/calauit03.html)


Boracay - one thing that I found interesting and maybe worthwhile, Filipinos seem more comfortable being on the beach there than at Alona Beach, here on Panglao. Thus there\'s more of them using the beach and that makes them more comfortable. There\'s a perception that Alona is for foreigners and some guests of ours seemed a little uncomfortable there.
Title: Re: Boracay or Palawan
Post by: BigBird on January 12, 2009, 10:48:50 PM
Thanks for the input.

I do know if Colin had to ‘look it up’ I for sure am NOT going that way!  I think I have the scope of my first adventure on Palawan now and it is within the limits of the paved roads.  I will have 2 guests and wife in tow so I think I will keep it more main stream tourist adventure and not an exploration trip due to months of year we will visit.  Time now to get educated more in my target areas.  I’ll be back to this topic as I narrow in on the time frame and places to maybe reserve and things to see and do as summer time rolls around and planning is put to hard schedule.  We have plenty of our own beach front property already in a remote location on Dinagat.  I want a vacation escape while in that area on vacation!  Looks like a Christmas time frame trip this time around (her pick). 
Title: Re: Boracay or Palawan
Post by: on January 13, 2009, 10:19:05 AM
Thanks for the input.

I do know if Colin had to ‘look it up’ I for sure am NOT going that way!  I think I have the scope of my first adventure on Palawan now and it is within the limits of the paved roads.  I will have 2 guests and wife in tow so I think I will keep it more main stream tourist adventure and not an exploration trip due to months of year we will visit.  Time now to get educated more in my target areas.  I’ll be back to this topic as I narrow in on the time frame and places to maybe reserve and things to see and do as summer time rolls around and planning is put to hard schedule.  We have plenty of our own beach front property already in a remote location on Dinagat.  I want a vacation escape while in that area on vacation!  Looks like a Christmas time frame trip this time around (her pick). 


The fact that I have not heard of Caruray (I am not an expert on all things about Palawan  ;D) doesn\'t mean that it is not a good place to visit. I would guess that it is a small, very attractive village/town (?) with fantastic beaches etc. etc. but there are hundreds of places like that all over Palawan. The important thing is being able to get to these places, and then find accommodation there. When you fly into Puerto Princesa, particularly over that area, all you can see is an almost empty coastline, little beaches with no road access and hundreds of tiny uninhabited islands. There are a few remote and isolated fishing villages and inland it is mainly mountains and trees. A great place if you are an athletic adventurous type with plenty of time to explore, but you will only be able to sample some of it in a few days. Robinson Crusoe would have felt at home in some of these places  ;D

Colin
Title: Re: Boracay or Palawan
Post by: c_a_p_t_a_i_n_r_o_n on January 13, 2009, 02:25:29 PM
Just jawing with a neighbour, who suggested avoiding Palawan in rainy season Dec-Jan due to increased mosquito, sand fly activity and said Mar & April are best time to visit
Title: Re: Boracay or Palawan
Post by: Steve & Myrlita on January 13, 2009, 09:51:49 PM
Just jawing with a neighbour, who suggested avoiding Palawan in rainy season Dec-Jan due to increased mosquito, sand fly activity and said Mar & April are best time to visit
Also the hottest time of the year (up to 107F Heat index)....God Bless
Title: Re: Boracay or Palawan
Post by: on January 14, 2009, 08:20:55 AM
Just jawing with a neighbour, who suggested avoiding Palawan in rainy season Dec-Jan due to increased mosquito, sand fly activity and said Mar & April are best time to visit

I can\'t say that I have noticed any change with mosquitoes, they do breed in static water which could, in theory, increase in the rain season, but we rarely get continuous rain, just occasional showers and the puddles dry up in between. Sand flies can be a problem on some beaches but not every beach, and this must be the same wherever you go in the Philippines.

Colin
Title: Re: Boracay or Palawan
Post by: on January 14, 2009, 08:44:12 AM
Just jawing with a neighbour, who suggested avoiding Palawan in rainy season Dec-Jan due to increased mosquito, sand fly activity and said Mar & April are best time to visit
Also the hottest time of the year (up to 107F Heat index)....God Bless

I don\'t know where you got your information from, but this is the coolest time of the year. 107°F is 46°C and I have never known it get that high during the hottest periods later in the year. Right now, 9.00am, it is a comfortable 26°C and later in the day it will go up to around 29-30°C. Later in the year the early afternoon temperatures will rise to around 34°C. If you are including the humidity factor in your Heat Index figure, then that is misleading because it varies a lot and is not often very high.

Colin
Title: Re: Boracay or Palawan
Post by: Steve & Myrlita on January 14, 2009, 01:27:51 PM
Just jawing with a neighbour, who suggested avoiding Palawan in rainy season Dec-Jan due to increased mosquito, sand fly activity and said Mar & April are best time to visit
Also the hottest time of the year (up to 107F Heat index)....God Bless


I don\'t know where you got your information from, but this is the coolest time of the year. 107°F is 46°C and I have never known it get that high during the hottest periods later in the year. Right now, 9.00am, it is a comfortable 26°C and later in the day it will go up to around 29-30°C. Later in the year the early afternoon temperatures will rise to around 34°C. If you are including the humidity factor in your Heat Index figure, then that is misleading because it varies a lot and is not often very high.

Colin
That may indeed be true there in Palawan. Here in Negros however, using my weatherbug page which reports weather from Mactan Airport in Cebu which is the closest station to Bacolod City, it has reached 94F and heat index with humidity to reach 107F. If you are curious, here\'s the link I use...
http://weather.weatherbug.com/Philippines/Bacolod%20City-weather/local-observations.html?zcode=z6100
Title: Re: Boracay or Palawan
Post by: on January 14, 2009, 05:12:08 PM
Just jawing with a neighbour, who suggested avoiding Palawan in rainy season Dec-Jan due to increased mosquito, sand fly activity and said Mar & April are best time to visit
Also the hottest time of the year (up to 107F Heat index)....God Bless


I don\'t know where you got your information from, but this is the coolest time of the year. 107°F is 46°C and I have never known it get that high during the hottest periods later in the year. Right now, 9.00am, it is a comfortable 26°C and later in the day it will go up to around 29-30°C. Later in the year the early afternoon temperatures will rise to around 34°C. If you are including the humidity factor in your Heat Index figure, then that is misleading because it varies a lot and is not often very high.

Colin
That may indeed be true there in Palawan. Here in Negros however, using my weatherbug page which reports weather from Mactan Airport in Cebu which is the closest station to Bacolod City, it has reached 94F and heat index with humidity to reach 107F. If you are curious, here\'s the link I use...
[url]http://weather.weatherbug.com/Philippines/Bacolod%20City-weather/local-observations.html?zcode=z6100[/url]


Your post gave the impression that you were referring to Palawan. Here is the equivalent link for Puerto Princesa
http://weather.weatherbug.com/Philippines/Puerto%20Princesa%20City-weather.html?nav_section=1&zcode=z6100

Maybe you should think about moving  ;D

Colin
Title: Re: Boracay or Palawan
Post by: geno555 on August 11, 2009, 03:23:43 PM
Although never being there myself I have several friend who have visited Puerto Princesa and said it is the hidden treasure of the RP.  I would hedge my bets on Colin\'s suggestions.

Murf
Title: Re: Boracay or Palawan
Post by: on August 11, 2009, 10:28:39 PM

Although never being there myself I have several friend who have visited Puerto Princesa and said it is the hidden treasure of the RP.  I would hedge my bets on Colin\'s suggestions.

Murf

Murf, you have been misinformed, it not a nice place to visit, Mosquitoes, Muslim rebels and lots of tourists tramping around. Borocay is the place to go.  ;) ;D ;D ;D ;D

Colin
Title: Re: Boracay or Palawan
Post by: geno555 on August 12, 2009, 06:11:18 AM
Darn that makes 6 times this week alone I have been \"misinformed\"...oh well such is life, live and learn and enjoy what you can when you can. Thanks for the input thought, will no where to not to visit first!

:)  Murf