Thursday, April 19, 2012

Port Barton, Palawan

At first I thought it was Fort Barton. I wasn't thrilled to go there as it would look like other forts I've seen like Fort Santiago and Fort San Pedro. Then someone corrected me and said it's Port Barton. 

From Puerto Princesa, Port Barton is a three hour drive up north (take note . . . no traffic) with I'd say around 80 - 90 kph speed. 

When we reached San Vicente which is after two hours, we noticed a signage and a road to our left leading the way to Port Barton. 

From that point, it was a rough road ride of 22km (there may have been like a total kilometer  of  paved road) which bought us another hour. 
. . . to make things worst . . . it rained in some area.

I'd say this was around 6 inches and we were praying that we won't get stuck.
A regular van or car won't make it to this road.

You can also take the bus which costs PhP200
Though it takes more than three hours of travel.

Look how high that is, huh?! You can also ride a jeepney
You have to get these vehicles or motorbikes meant for this type of roads.

Port Barton's really small. Not much to see. You wouldn't even notice the market which looked like a sari-sari store ( a small convenience store) 
Run by generator from 6pm - 12mn . . . Crazy huh?
We went around and saw only one carinderia (we're backpackers . . . we need to save) Though the resorts and restaurants by the beach offer decent priced food 
(which was understandable if suppliers would go through those roads)

Catholic church

The Secret Paradise is another hour boat ride from Port Barton.
You can see on their board what they offer and contact numbers.
Yes . . . this was the closest I can get to the paradise.
( no budget )

One of  the establishments where they say you can get good food.
I don't know . . . I just wanted a photo with the big smiley on top . . . so I can't say much on the food.

This looks like a nice place but they were fully booked.

We ended up in El Busero right beside Elsa's

Wanted to lie down but it was raining on and off so the hammock was wet.

Outside our room.
Below you'll see rooms with fan included and it's PhP800
(L) Our room is the second window
(R) for PhP400 we got a bed good for two and a light hehehe
That's it. No fan. Just the window. Not even an electrical outlet. We had to use a common bathroom.
I think I got like 3 hours of sleep when I got tired of fanning myself and got tired of hearing the waves.

(L) Hammocks with the beach as our view
(R) Below is the El Busero restaurant

View from El Busero

This side of the island is where a lot of the boats dock.

We borrowed a boat and went fishing.
 I think we were out there for 2 hours and  we didn't catch  anything.
Beautiful sunset was what we witnessed while fishing.

An ad of a  B-B-Q chicken for PhP99 posted everywhere in town brought us to this place which is a different beach front
( a couple meters away from El Busero )

Low tide and pretty much the quiet side of Port Barton where you'll see very few boats.
( I like this place better. It reminded me of Corong Corong in El Nido )

This is where we found our B-B-Q chicken . . .
. . . kinda weird . . . it says seafoods is their specialty he he he

They also have cottages for rent . . . for only PhP400!!!!
We decided to stay here on our second night
since it was too late  as we already checked-in at the other place.

This small cottage is good for two with just a bed and a light for PhP300.
We got a cottage good for two for PhP400 with a fan. Our sleep here was wonderful.
Even if we had the fan until midnight, the place was surrounded by trees and so it was cool enough for a sound sleep.

and we got our own bathroom, soap and towel!!! Yay!!!

View from El Dorado
We went Island Hopping and snorkeling.

We rented a boat from El Dorado for PhP1,200 which was good for the whole day.

Our very nice boatman, Daryl.
Beautiful Islands we passed by.

Make sure you have your boatmen check first for jellyfish as it's known in some islands.
A family was stung by jellyfish when we were there. 

Exotic Island

I love this island . . . the view is just wonderful.
(r) Drinking is all behind me now ha ha ha

Our second island was German Island.
It was owned before by a German national and now I think by governent.

What to do here . . . swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing, sleeping and climb trees.
Entrance fee is PhP50 per boat

Jet, Pure and Buddy enjoying the sunset on our last day. 
I've observed that the majority are more foreigners visiting here. 
I had a chat with an English man who owns a yacht docked at the El Dorado beach front side.
We had conversations with backpackers from Greece, Sweden and Israel. 

Port Barton I think has a lot to offer if:
* they fix their roads
* generator could run until 6am like in El Nido
* promote island hopping activities more 
* add a little bit of night life
* more seafoods like crabs, shrimps etc.

Though if you want to run away from the world . . . I guess this would be a great hiding place.

All rates mentioned are as of April 2012

Friday, April 13, 2012

Kiltepan Sunrise in Sagada

Eastern side  from the town of Sagada, you'll see KILTEPAN viewpoint which stands for the name of three (3) barangays . . . KIlong, teTEPan and ANtadao. From town, they say you can reach it by relaxed walking of around 45minutes to an hour. Though some would take a ride going there as it's too early and dark for them to walk. The viewpoint is known obviously for the view of the three barangays and the sea of clouds Sagada is bragging about. So I got excited to witness this. Let me share to you my experiences.

 . . . excited to see what this must-see sunrise was.

It was still dark when we got there. We met our guide at 4.30am

The drivers and guides decided to keep us warm by making a bonfire.

Everyone gathered to keep warm.

The first bonfire I enjoyed. Perfect for the weather.
Bonfire @ dawn

Cloudy but slowly seeing what's behind it.

We rushed to have a photo as thick clouds were coming again.

Our album shot.

Trying to keep ourselves entertained while we wait for the sun.

Sat at the edge of the rock. One careless move and  it's over for one's life :)

Hmmm . . . seriously not much to do but enjoy the clouds and the cool weather.

Hmmmm . . .yohoo  guys, where are you going? Tired of our pictorial?
No sun came out but we got to see this beautiful view.
 I promise to visit the place again and see that sun and sea of clouds . . .

and so I did . . .

 . . . they say the SUN will come out tomorrow . . .
(so never lose hope)

I sat on the same rock and silently wishing for the sun.

I met two new friends . . . and not really sure what I was pointing at . . . maybe  a sign of sun rays.

waiting . . . 

Hmmmm . . . Gareth, a guide trying to entertain himself too as he waits for the same sun ( I think)
Not really sure why he was up there.

Met two new people again.

Getting to know each other . . . 

then . . . picture picture

Group picture . . . good company while we wait . . .

Sun rays . . . the closest we got to seeing the sun

My second attempt was a failure but still enjoyed the same view I saw on my first visit and good conversation with
new friends and acquaintances. This time I got the guts to stand up on that rock.

 I may not have seen the sun and sea of clouds again but it was a great morning and still excited to 
visit the place again.

 . . . they say there's LUCK on the third . . . 

I saw these men with their eye-catching cameras and lenses.

Obviously, they are photographers.

They were very friendly and they talked to me.
Awed by their lenses, I asked if they were famous people I should know.

I got different answers about if they were famous as
I didn't know if they were teasing or telling the truth.
Whether or not they are famous, I took the chance and had a photo with them.

Okay, so this is another shot of me on the rock with  a guy.
It's not what you think. It's not another story of what happened to me on that rock.
My guide and I were the only brave ones to sit on the rock and the photographers made us their subjects.

Taken by Sir Gordon from Cebu Images.

The sun peeped.

And gone the next minute.

In short, the luck I got here was that I may have met people who are shining in the world of photography.
Of course I just had to get my solo photo on the rock  standing up . . . this time, loosening a bit.

No SUN and SEA of CLOUDS on three attempts but guess what . . .
Great view, great weather, great company . . .
I always have an interesting story to tell every time I leave the place.

I won't get tired of visiting Kiltepan viewpoint and won't stop hoping for the view Sagada is bragging about. :)

My Kiltepan story continues ... click link.