After seeing many beautiful photos online of the Philippines we decided it was the perfect destination for our late honeymoon and we were definitely not disappointed after spending 9 days in such a beautiful and friendly place. We read about Palawan and after hearing it had been voted the number one island in the world in 2014 we decided to head there for most of our time and skip the crowds in Boracay this time, in the end we spent Sunday – Friday in Palawan and the rest of our time was in Manila. Read on for more details and photos from our time in the incredible Philippines.
Where did we go & what did we do?
We landed in Manila on a Friday evening and headed straight to our hotel, after a loooong taxi queue, as we were getting up early on Saturday morning for our trip to Mount Pinatubo, which you can read more about here, doesn’t it look beautiful?
On Sunday morning we flew to Palawan and spent a while at our hotel before being picked up to go on a trip to see fireflies, we started our trip on one boat for around 15 minutes as the sun set and then we all transferred to a smaller boat to take us through the mangroves to find the fireflies. By this point it’s pitch black and you can’t use flash so we didn’t get any photos but when you spot the clusters of fireflies in the mangroves it’s like seeing lots of tiny fairy lights glowing but it’s even more special that this is nature and not your Christmas tree lit up by electricity. After seeing the fireflies we had dinner on a floating restaurant accompanied by live music.
On Monday we went on our island hopping trip around Honda Bay and later made our way to El Nido but we didn’t arrive there until around 1am and went straight to the hotel before El Nido Tour A on Tuesday. The following day we went on our final island hopping trip on El Nido Tour C.
On Thursday we were up early and headed back to Puerto Princesa at 6am from the bus station. We didn’t have any other plans for Thursday so just relaxed at the hotel before our early start to go the the Underground River on Friday. After our visit to the Underground River we headed to Saband Xtreme Zipline. The Zipline was 800m long, over the sea and lasted just over 1 minute, the view was breathtaking but the zipline itself wasn’t quite as exhilarating as I expected.
After lunch in Sabang we went back to Puerto Princesa to catch our flight to Manila where we spent a relaxing Friday night.
Where did we stay?
While in Manila we opted for a more luxurious hotel and chose the Aruga by Rockwell in Makati city. We stayed here for 3 nights: Friday and Saturday at the beginning of our trip and the final night before returning to Dubai. This hotel also joined the “Powerplant Shopping Mall” where they also have a supermarket so you can stock up on snacks for your trips.
In Puerto Princesa we stayed at Deep Forest Garden for Sunday and Thursday. The room was en-suite, clean and pretty basic and the resort had a bar and restaurant, a wine cellar and an outdoor pool with bar. You could book trips from reception here as well if you hadn’t booked beforehand.
We stayed at Doublegem Beach Resort in El Nido from Monday to Wednesday and this was the most basic of the places we stayed however it had a private beach where you could watch the sunset, we also didn’t spend a lot of time here as we were too busy island hopping.
How did we get around?
While in Manila we took taxis to get around the city and our trip to Mount Pinatubo was with a guide in a car and later a jeep. We flew with Cebu Pacific from Manila to Puerto Princesa and back again. While in Palawan the mode of transport in the towns was a tricycle, while we were picked up in a minibus for each of our day trips. To get from Puerto Princesa to El Nido and back we took a minibus that lasted 4 – 5 hours.
Would we go back?
DEFINITELY! Our time in the Philippines was absolutely incredible, the scenery was beautiful, the sea was so clear and such wonderful shades of blue and green, the people were so friendly and we squeezed so much in to our time there with snorkelling, ziplining, boat trips and much more.
We have also put together a long list of helpful hints for your trip to the Philippines here.