Monday, July 7, 2014

Travel: Surviving Red Eye Flights Bound to Puerto Princesa with our Kids

I must say I'm starting to love getting on plane trips in the early morning. Aside from that, one such rule of thumb can serve you well. One is that you can often get plane tickets cheap by flying first thing in the morning or overnight on the so-called red eye flights.
My husband and I were talking about this while waiting for our flight bound for Puerto Princesa.  We both agreed there were certain benefits for Early Morning Flights such as:
  • The family can make up for some of the sleep lost from getting up extra early by napping on the plane 
  • Flying super early allows travelers to squeeze in an extra half-day to a day’s worth of activities at their destination
  • First flights are less likely to be behind schedule. Weather may cause delays, but the ripple effect of delays on earlier flights is minimized
  • Travelers can avoid the extra night’s lodging expense from traveling late in the day and arriving at bedtime

There may still appear some drawbacks like: 
  • Those who need breakfast cannot count on getting anything to eat on the plane, and must factor in packing food or buying food at the airport. This can get expensive, particularly when traveling with children
In our case however, we bring donuts or breads and bottled water, with that our first travel itinerary would be a brekkie somewhere near the airport. 
  • Depending on your distance from the airport, taking the first flight could necessitate getting up at 4 a.m. or even earlier.

Above are photos from downtown Puerto Princesa, which is along Puerto Princesa's main commercial strip where one can find various shops, as well as banks, restaurants, and budget inns- Rizal Avenue.

1.   Breakfast at Haim Chicken Inato

Though we had some small bites at the airport in Manila, while waiting for boarding with croissants, donuts and coffee, having a full breakfast in Puerto Princesa is something that's been anticipated. 

Our first stop after leaving our backpacks at Deep Forest Garden Inn was at Haim Chicken Inato, as per Mang Edgar's (our tricycle driver and tourist guide) recommendation. It's located inside Balay Inato's compound with nipa huts showcasing the owner's artworks.

Balay Inato is a pension house that's budget-friendly yet cozy and has impeccable services to match that of any 3-star accommodation in Puerto Princesa.  Also one that's near the airport and top foodie destinations.

Photo credit here
For a review on that visit

2.  Handicraft Stores along Rizal Avenue - Manunga Handicrafts

Right next to 3 B's Tours and Travel (where we booked our Honda Bay Tour with) is this Palawan craft store.  You can start your "pasalubong" shopping here.  Intricate wood carvings and potteries are being sold and showcased.

3.  Plaza Cuartel

Plaza Cuartel, a restored ruin of an old garrison wherein the evening of December 14,1944, Japanese soldiers burned around 150 American prisoners of war in a tunnel found beneath the park's portal which now stands as a grim reminder of World War II atrocities. 

What was once a stronghold for American and Filipino soldiers, became a prison overrun by Japanese invaders. 

To read more of the history from a survivor kindly click on the link below

At a glance, you might see Plaza Cuartel as just another open space for kids to play, for couples to date or for families to stroll around, considering how relaxing the park is with all the greeneries around and a majestic view of Honda Bay, but it has in it a rich history. Not many of us know that it is too a silent reminder of our World War II past and the sacrifices of our American friends in defense of liberty and democracy. 

On that gruesome day of December 14, 1944, only 11 prisoners of war (POW) who escaped and survived a massacre.  Soldiers of the Japanese Imperial Army poured fuel on the prisoners and set them on fire. 

The wholes served as an entrance to the garrison.

4.  Immaculate Conception Cathedral

Just across Plaza Cuartel is another famous landmark of the island.  

5.  Baywalk

According to our driver, this area is one of the tourists and locals hang out, where they can have all night, strolling the esplanade and drinking and banging the night away.

6.  Mitra Ranch

One will get to see and realize how vast and beautiful the island of Palawan is by visiting Rancho Sta. Monica, known to many as Mitra Ranch.  This land area has a view deck owned by the late Cong. Ramon Mitra Jr., which also houses their mansion. Rancho Sta. Monica offers the most breathtaking view of Palawan a few hundred feet above the rest of the city. From this area you can see the perspective view of the Honda Bay group of islands.

There is a maintenance fee (entrance fee) of P 10 each for the adults, which according to the maintenance staff will be used for buying cleaning materials and other fees that the Mitra's doesn't give them anymore.  Also, inside the mansion, you will be asked to remove any footwear.

The log cabin have been a respite to the late House Representstive, when he was still alive.  His son Baham, opened the ranch to the public and added other tourist activities, such as zipline, horse back riding and trampoline.

7.  Baker's Hill

One of the questions I have while planning this trip was where to buy pasalubong.  Having read somewhere about Palawan's famous hopia and pianono found in the bakeshop of Baker's Hill, I took note of it.  Also, how can the baker me forget that?  Aside from the nice ring the place' name have, many bloggers who have been here wrote about how fun and family-friendly the place is.

To give you a brief background, Baker's Hill started as a simple bakery. The owners have since then develop the property inch by inch,  It has a mini park back then, but now you'll see that it already have a wide theme park with new establishments such as, the baker's kitchen, pizza house, hula shake, snack bar, souvenir shop, view deck, etc. 

Since we were still full from our heavy breakfast, we forwent trying out their restaurants.  However, since it was freakin' blistering, the kids got themselves fruit shakes after having fun in the vast land area of this hill.

Oh yes, they never run out of playground materials.  I even tried some of the exercise materials.

I just can't contain my envy of the different themed gardens of this place.

We're so happy learning about many things in Palawan and spending two hours in this place was one of those treasured experiences.

They have mini aviaries and some cages which are homes to peacocks and more.

8.  Crocodile Park/ Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center

Lastly, how can I refuse an exotic cuisine as part of the tour.

Care for some Croc meat sisg?

Or a sizzling plate of Croc Tapa?

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