Monday, May 20, 2013

El Nido - Island Hopping Tour A

Island Hopping – Tour A

Good Morning El Nido.. We are here!!!
our View from our Accommodation

We begin our morning with prayers and thanks giving to God that day and asked for another favour that we can enjoy our stay and give us a good weather throughout our stay in El Nido.

My sibling woke up early (well maybe, they are excited J  ), prepare our things, we ordered different breakfast in Marina Garden (continental, american and filipno breakfast), after settling our bill I asked them where can I find the Servant Tours to arrange our Island Hopping Tour.

Rate of Island Hopping:

Tour A   P700.00 (Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Simizu Island, 7 Commandos)
Tour B   P700.00 (Snake Island, Cathedral Caves, Pinagbuyatan Island, Entula Island)
Tour C   P900.00 (Matinloc, Hidden Beach, Secret Beach, Helicopter Island, Star Island)
Tour D   P800.00 (Cadlao Lagoon, Paradise Beach, Nat Nat Beach, Bucal Island)

Additional P200.00 for Eco Tourism Development Fee valid for 10 days, you must present your receipt before leaving for Island Hopping.

Package includes sumptuous buffet lunch without water, so bring water and snacks with you because swimming and snorkelling is very tiring and you might feel hungry and thirsty.

After a brief negotiation at Servant Tours, they gave us discount for Tour A with free use of snorkel gear (others charge P100.00 – P200.00) we headed to Midtown Bakery to taste their precious egg pies yet in a very cheap prize. What I read about this egg pies is true, for me, they are the best egg pies that I’ve ever tasted for P20.00 and for the price that’s’ quite a steal. I bought 3 pies as our snacks for island hopping that day and my sister Dhing bought some “piyaya” (too bad I don’t have a picture of that), but that is also delicious.
Waiting for our Island Hopping
James Dadule (the ever reliable tour guide) fetch us for our Island Hopping, we are 14 excluding our tour guides and captain, 12 Filipinos and 2 foreigner.
James Dadule - our reliable and wonderful guide
you can contact him if you want to arrange a private tour
The Boat left at 9:00am, and you are require to wear your life Jacket, listen to James very carefully as he is going to give you a little briefing on island hopping and history of El Nido and each island you are going to visit.

Now let me take you through Pictures. Too bad, we don’t have underwater camera so we weren’t able to capture the beauty of marine life on each island.

Now Let me tour you

We forgot to take picture on the whole menu because we are
all famished when they served it and we attacked it  :)
The Lunch was being prepared by the captain and James in one of the Island where everyone has a free time to nap, to snorkel while waiting for food to be served. I choose to snorkel with Jun the second tour guide with the other lady, but Madam was a little bit scared when we got a little far from the shore, she decided to stop and I continue my snorkelling with Jun.
Big Lagoon (group picture)

7 commandos - our last stop for island hopping tour A
Jun and James are very reliable tour guide, you can see in their actions and faces the sincerity of what they do, and i witness how hard this job is, it very tough specially if all the tourist doesn't know how to swim, just listened to them very carefully because they value your life more than you, your safety is their number one concern, always wear your life vest if you don’t know how to swim J

The Island hopping end at 5:30pm. At 7:00pm we ate our dinner at Squidos

Spicy Seafoods Curry at Squidos
After our delicious dinner, we roamed around but because we are already tired from our first day island hopping we decided to get back to the resort and have our early rest so we can gain strength for the next day.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Touch Down Puerto Princesa

After my Bohol Trip and being able to discover blogs and learned how to catch the seat sale I know I can travel more.

Then chance came again when I catch the seat sale at the Air Philippines  Clark – Puerto Princesa for P688.00 one way, immediately I booked for three person (with my two siblings) and P757.00 at ZestAir via Puerto Princesa – Manila.

The original plan is to concentrate more on Puerto Princesa, but when I read a lot about El Nido and how they presented the Island Hopping with their blogs, we change our route and decided to spend 3 days in El Nido and back to Puerto Princesa on our fourth day and have our Underground River on last day of this trip.

After thorough searching through blogs, I choose the servant tours for our Island Hopping and Marina Garden for our Accommodation.

After settling everything through phone with our accommodation and tours, we just waited for the time to come for this trip.

My sisters were so excited yet scared because it is going to be their first time and second time for me to ride on a plane and go to the unfamiliar territory.

After praying that morning, we headed to the airport, we used the public transport going to the Airport. We negotiate one jeepney going to Clark Diosdado Macapagal Airport, someone approached me if he can tag along with us because he is alone and he might miss his flight, we agreed to divide the cost of the rented jeepney, after almost 30 minutes, we arrived at the airport but the gate is still closed.

Around 8:30am, the gate opened and I noticed how strict the security is, we encountered problem at the Air Phil counter but been solved after 30 minutes of waiting, our flight that date was early than our original flight schedule, good thing we came earl or else, you know what I mean  J

Diosdado Macapagal - Airport Lounge

We are all excited on this flight and my sisters are little bit nervous. Airphil gave a light snacks. The flight was smooth, and after more than an hour, we say hello to Puerto Princesa.

On Board w/ free light snacks from Air Philippines
Hello Puerto Princesa.. Finally...
Because of the some misunderstanding with my contacts for our underground river, I select the other agency and they accompanied me to the Underground River Office to secure our permits (note: the UR controls the numbers of visitors daily, they also leave a few slots for those people who wants to do it on their own), we paid P175.00 for our permit, and gave it to our agency and settle remaining amount for the full package of that activity then they drop us to the nearest fast food.

After our late lunch, we headed to NCCC Mall (a 5 minutes walk across chowking) to buy some groceries, it took us 20 minutes and hail tricycle going to San Jose Terminal to catch the 4:00pm bus ride going to El Nido but we asked the driver to make a stop at the nearest ATM machine so we can withdraw (NCCC mall has but it was offline that time), the line was a bit long and the tricycle waited for 20 minutes for me. I gave P120.00 for this ride because the driver waited for more than 20 minutes for me, we even asked him to serve as our service on our city tour once we get back to Puerto Princesa.
Puerto Princesa - Mode of transportation - their 6 Seaters tricycle

I don’t have any idea that the 4:00pm RORO bus schedule is Ordinary, so we waited for the 6:00pm A/C, I didn’t attempt to ride in a van because I want a bigger leg room for us, besides it is going to be a 6 hours ride, I texted the Marina Garden for our delayed schedules and they reply me assuring that they didn’t gave away our reserved room.

After the 6 hours bumpy ride, we finally reach El Nido, the tricycle charge P50.00 per ride and will drop you to your resort.

It was midnight when we reach the resort, and the moment we enter in our room, we charge all the gadgets (note: El Nido electricity run from 2:00pm to 6:00am only), so 5 hours of charging won’t harm our gadgets.

After praying and give thanks that “early morning” we took our “goodnight” sleep.