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Saturday, April 1, 2023

Hidden Paradise: Palawan, Philippines

We arrived at Puerto Princesa, Palawan (from Manila) around late afternoon of May 16 (Thursday) and stayed at a budget-friendly backpackers inn (Mamang's) to stay the night before the early road trip to Buliluyan Port the next day. Mamang's Homestay is located at the heart of the city in front of the local mall and conveniently located near the airport. We found the place via AirBnB under Puerto Princesa listing (link below). 

The next day at 4:00 am we had arranged for a van to take us to Buliluyan Port. The van we rented is enough to accomodate all 11 of us and our luggages. Buliluyan Port is one of the 2 ports that is the gateway to Balabac Group of Islands. Road travel from Puerto Princesa to Buliluyan Port is roughly around 5 to 6 hours.

Buliluyan Port is where the journey to these hidden spots begin. Our base camp is at Candaraman Island. Your base camp will depend on the arrangements that you made with the tour operator you booked. Local tour operators prioritize your safety and security so they would also be able to tell you the best time to visit the sandbars and shoals. Also on that note, not all islands are available for overnight stay. Electricity is available but only on scheduled times of the day. Phone signals are also intermittent on these islands, so, a trip on these islands would be the perfect place for you to disconnect from your busy world.

We arrived back to Puerto Princesa from Buliluyan Port at around 11pm on May 19 (Sunday). We explored the city for a bit during the next day, right before we headed back to Manila on Monday night.


Our Island Hopping Itinerary (not in actual order}:

  • Candaraman Island (Starfish Island)
  • Mansalangan Sandbar
  • Onok Island (privately owned island)
  • Patawan Island
  • Punta Sebaring
  • Bonbon Beach

Note: Number of Islands to visit depend on the weather and your length of stay or time constraints. Food quantity and frequency depends on arrangements you made with your tour operator and fresh fruit availability may vary depending on the season of visit. 

Tour Operator: Ate Lorna Mobile No. +639465576503 (Smart Network) inclusive of boat transfers

Van Transfers: Kuya Arniel Mobile No. +639108816777 (Smart Network)

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