“Palawan Revisted: Of Dogs & Relatives” presents several pictures not previously depicted on my sister site, “Philippines Plus.” Occasionally I’ll publish photos on “Live Philippines” which are a follow-up to articles I post on my main site.
Let’s begin with a view of the beach from a fantastic eatery we found in El Nido, Marbers. This beach bistro, run by a German and his Filipina partner, features a wide selection of German cuisine on their menu. Their Facebook review gives them 4.2 out of 5 stars.
I highly recommend a stop at Marbers if you’re in the El Nido area. Bernie is the host. A friendly guy with a talented chef that’s been with him for 14 years.
HOW TO GET TO EL NIDO
It was a gloomy, rainy afternoon when we visited El Nido. El Nido is currently ranked #1 in Condé Nast Traveler’s list of “20 Most Beautiful Beaches in the World.”
We didn’t spend enough time there to do the place justice and may return in the future.
But if you’re planning to visit El Nido, be prepared for a long van ride from Puerto Princesa. We took a Cebu Pacific flight from Iloilo City to Palawan’s capital of Puerto Princesa for a total round trip cost of 7,000 pesos, 145 US Dollars for two tickets. I shelled out an extra 2,000 pesos to get front row seats for extra leg room.
Only took around 30 minutes to get there. Plus, our flight arrived 20 minutes early!
If you wanted to get to El Nido directly from Manila or Cebu, you could book a flight on AirSWIFT. But that could set you back around 10,700 pesos, 220 US Dollars, for one round trip ticket.
It’s much cheaper to fly to Puerto Princesa and take an air-conditioned van for about 400 pesos, eight bucks, for the 4.5-6 hour ride to El Nido.
We also had the option of taking the RORO (roll-on roll-off) ferry from Iloilo City to Puerto Princesa which takes up to 24 hours and includes a stopover in Cuyo Island. We decided to fly this trip.
UNDERGROUND RIVER TOUR EATS
It was your classic Filipino-style eatery. Native construction, open-air, with dogs wandering in and out of the joint looking for a handout.
But the restaurant we stopped at after our Underground River Tour was a cut above the usual dives we had been at on previous tours. The menu offered some different cuisine not seen at other eateries.
Lato, a seaweed that my asawa absolutely loved, along with a refreshing cucumber salad, were some of the different menu items I had never found at similar places.
My wife went back for several servings of lato, the buffet meal was included in the price of our tour, and couldn’t stop raving about it. Me? I tasted it but I’m personally not that wild about seaweed.
PALAWAN REVISITED: OF DOGS & RELATIVES
After our tour at the Underground River, we visited some relatives of my wife who lived in Puerto Princesa. We stopped at Greenwich Pizza at the Robinsons Mall and chowed down on chicken, spaghetti, and pizza, of course.
My asawa’s relatives, originally from Guimaras, migrated to Palawan years ago in search of more fertile farm land. It’s said that the richer soil in sections of Palawan can grow an abundance of rice without any need of fertilizer. Fertilizer means more money to plant the rice which cuts into the profit margin.
I’m wearing my “Batman” 3X t-shirt from the MaxWear department of SM Malls. That’s some of my nieces and nephews in the shot with me. We’re on our way to find an ice cream kiosk for some dessert.
As you can tell, we discovered the location of the ice cream vendor, and my lovely asawa and one of our pretty nieces, Luz Maria, are enjoying their dessert. Luz is married to a Belgian man 40 years her junior and is in the process of obtaining a visa to Belgium to join her husband.
Belgium immigration laws are much stricter than the United States. Our niece has to have insurance and proof that her spouse owns a home in Belgium in order for her to obtain a visa to live there.
Seems like I only spied one stray dog after almost four days in Puerto Princesa. While we traveled back and forth between Puerto Princesa and El Nido, I only counted a handful of canines along the way.
I never stepped into one pile of dog poop anywhere.
If a captured canine isn’t claimed by it’s owner in 20 days the mutt gets “put to sleep” permanently.
SO LONG PALAWAN
Adios, Palawan, and thanks, or “salamat” for sharing your bewitching beaches with us.
Most of all, the people are friendly. The streets are clean. The Underground River is awesome.
Happy Trails to you.