the.gipster: kaladkarin

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Palawan, in my Head

More than a month ago, I got the chance to visit the Philippine's last frontier, Palawan, with my friend Ryan. I have been anticipating the trip so much since that I have been desperately praying that the weather would cooperate with the trip. It was my first time to visit the place, and I wanted it to be perfect.

I had this picture in my mind about me in Palawan: A lot of grass.. A lot of trees.. more like of an African savannah that has gone Filipino style. I see myself riding this four-wheel-drive-mud-sticking-in-its-chassis vehicle watching the zebras roam and run around the field. Giraffes would then be spotted from afar stretching their necks trying to reach the leaves from the branches of this tall tree. Together with the zebras will be some mouse deer running in a herd as if being chased by some big predator.  Yeap, sounds more like of National Graphic documentary to me.

Honestly, that is what I have in mind. I think I have been watching too much National Geographic and that kind of picture (expectation) got stuck in my head. Kulang na lang eh may Circle of Life song playing in the background, at nasa set na ako ng Lion King. Sure, Palawan has that kind of scenery lying somewhere. But I wasn't headed there. I was headed for it's capital, Puerto Princesa.

In a sunny Thursday morning, Ryan and I boarded Philippine Airlines flight PR195 going to Puerto Princesa. As soon as the plane took off, Ryan and I got busy..

Erm.. with our cams.

Ryan Looking at his DigiCam

Airplane Window


The flight was supposed to be an hour but after a couple of chitchat, a glance of our erm.. itsy-bitsy snack pouch, which didn't feel like a lot of time has passed, we started seeing some islands.




Sooner than I expected, the plane swiveled a little to the left, a little the right, and there it was,  a smooth landing at the Puerto Princesa Airport. I always find it silly seeing and maybe knowing a band mosiko playing when some dignitary shows up in a particular place. I thought I'd never see myself in one. But I did. As soon as we got out of the plane, a band was playing in a corner of the airport. :D I was a little uncomfortable with it but it sure was an inviting and friendly gesture of welcoming us to Palawan. And all I heard from Ryan was, "That is nice.."

Aside from the lengthy wait for Ryan's ginormous bag, we got out of the airport in a breeze. Outside, our ride to the hotel, Niko's Cabannas, was waiting for us.

Ryan and I were only planning to stay for two nights. And our mid-morning arrival in Palawan didn't give us much time to do something else. Most of the island tours start in the morning and doing them in the afternoon wouldn't be a good idea. Since we had a couple of hours to kill before night fall, we decided, together with the friendly hotel staff, to just go on a city tour. But first, we have to get lunch somewhere in the city.

We sped off to KaLui for lunch.

wood carving
Wood-carving of KaLui greeted us by the door.

The fountain's rocky bottom.

wind chimes
Wind chimes adorning the edges of the
restaurant's roof were greeting us, "Welcome!"

I wasn't allowed to wear my flip-flops inside.

everyone's barefoot
Everyone else joined me go barefoot.

naked painting
Helloooo, Momma!

dining table by the window
The inviting table by the window was waiting.
I thought it was ours but it was for someone else.

fish swim out
A school of fish escaping the cook's wok
adorned the ceiling.

Clueless with what to order, we got the
house special, KaLui Special.

ryan's pinacolada
Ryan waited with his refreshing pinacolada. 

ripe mango juice
I had a mango shake inviting me to jump in.

seaweed appetizer
Erm, seaweeds were served as our appetizer.

After the appetizer was served, dish after dish poured into our table. I lost myself with what was served and didn't care about taking pictures anymore. My growling stomach took control of me and had me put down my cam. The next thing I know, it was time for dessert. Our dessert was a fruit salad topped with erm.. something sugary on top (gawd, i'm so bad with names) served on a coconut shell (err.. yun ba tawag dun?!).

dessert 02

A couple of minutes after we had our dessert, our tour guide arrived to pick us up from the restaurant. We thought we were the only people in the tour. But apparently, we were with some other people who were at the restaurant as well. Nothing left for us to do but wait and take pictures!

ryan & giff, van

As soon as everybody was on, the tour began with a short drive around the province's capital, Puerto Princesa city. I wish I had taken pictures of it's beautifully decorated city hall. But I was tired, and a little sleepy to pick up the camera to point and shoot.

Driving a little far away from the city, we reached Plaza Cuartel. The guide mentioned something about the plaza being used as an escape route during the Japanese occupation in World War II. Honestly, I cannot remember anything the tour guide said. Not that the tour guide wasn't audible enough, it's just that my head was thinking of something else.. SLEEP.

plaza cuartel

plaza cuartel arch

Beside the plaza, was the Immaculate Cathedral. Good thing, someone took a good picture of it here.

It didn't take too long before everyone got tired of taking pictures, so we headed of to our next stop, the Crocodile Farm. The drive to the farm was pretty much interesting. Our surroundings started greeting us with tints of red in the trees.

fire trees

crocodile skin


We spend a pretty good deal of time in the crocodile farm looking at some of the crocodiles DENR was breeding. Lest that I forget that we had a pretty good exercise walking around the mini-zoo they had near the farm.

mini zoo

wild hog

Our last stop was the humble butterfly farm. 

flower 01

flower 02


Our little souvenir from the farm and tour: butterfly porn. :D

butterfly porn

Even before we could have reached our hotel, the tour guide made a short detour to the house of the Mitra's sitting in one of the highest points in the city. The mansion has a pretty good view..

mitra house

island view

Before I could have even took pictures of the house, it was time to go. Bummer.

Our exhausting city tour was capped by a dinner in this restaurant downtown known as Kinabutch. Ryan and I pretty much ordered more than we could handle. We ended up ordering drinks, fine.. alcohol, to help us bring down what was left with what we have ordered.

After a shot of blowjob, a mai thai, and two screw drivers, I so tipsy that I can barely keep my eyes open. We decided to call it a night and dozed off to sleep as we rest and prepare for our long day in the pristine beach of Dos Palmas.

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July 17, 2007 at 11:32 AM

Anonymous Jedd said...

damn good photography giff! shyett man, i'm so jealous right now :) beautiful shots, not so artsy-fartsy, very photojournalistic.. inggit mehh hehe favorite shot ko was of the donkey/wire cage. can't wait for the dos palmas set!


July 17, 2007 at 9:05 PM

Blogger gipster said...

LOL. thanks jedd.. napressure naman ako bigla. lol. but yeah, thanks. i really appreciate it. =) talk to you soon!


July 18, 2007 at 12:20 AM

Blogger celgee said...

Really nice pics Giffy. :) I hope next time I'd be in the picture. Can't wait for our HK getaway. Certified Kaladkarin ka na talaga :) Sana matuloy tayo. Ciao!


July 20, 2007 at 2:00 PM

Blogger gipster said...

Lol. fine. hehehe.. ito na naman ang ating HK na puro plano. lol. :)


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