Balabac: Hidden Paradise at the Southern End of Palawan

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Video: Balabac, Palawan

 

Mahirap mag research ng mga itinerary kasi minsan mapapadaan ka sa mga travel blog na may magagandang post ng mga lugar sa Pilipinas hanggang sa madadagdagan nanaman yung bucket list mo. Ganito ang nangyari sakin 2 years ago when I was researching for our itinerary to El Nido. May nakita akong blog regarding Balabac, Palawan. I googled it then boom! ANG GONDO! Hahaha!

So, Moo and I, together with my bestfriends, Jae of nojaewalking and Wilson have decided to conquer the last of the last frontier, the southernmost tip of Palawan – Balabac Island.

16900327_120300002254233779_556206181_nThis is where Balabac Palawan is located. Few hours away from Sabbah Malaysia.

From Puerto Princesa, sinundo  kami ng van nila Ate Len of Kina Kuan, siya ang aming tour guide sa Balabac. Pero kung hindi kayo kukuha ng tour sakanya, you can ride a van in San Jose going to Rio Tuba, travel time is 4 hours. Around 6:30am kami dumating sa Rio Tuba, early birds kami masyado kahit na ang alis ng boat ay 10:00am pa. Mahirap nang maiwan dahil usually once a day lang ang byahe ng boat going to Balabac.  While waiting, nagbreakfast muna kami sa isang eatery dun at nag-CR. Nagulat ako sa CR nila. Hahah!

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Ayan pag nag-wiwi ka or poop, direcho na agad sa dagat. Haha!

After 2 hours of sailing, we arrived in Bancalaan port, one of the Barangays in Balabac. Dito namin na-meet si Kris, isang solo traveler na napaka-hilig mag time lapse! Hahah! (Hi, Kris!) Dito din kami sinundo ng boat nila Ate Len, nag lunch muna kami before mag  island hopping. Sa buong buhay kong gumagala, ito yung first island hopping ko na may pa-biko (rice cake). Haha! Instead of fruits, mga rice cakes yung dessert nila.

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Arrival in Bancalaan Port.

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My bestfriend enjoying the Biko (rice cake). 😀

2 islands lang yung pinuntahan namin and after nun, dumiretso na kami sa Balabac mainland. Sa sobrang layo, inabot na kami ng gabi sa laot! Kamote! Hahah first time kong mag-layag ng gabi at maalon pa!

Kakaiba ang island hopping sa Balabac kasi from one island going to another island will take you 1-2 hours and 3 hours if you’re coming from Balabac mainland. Yung pwet mo na yung susuko sa kakaupo mo sa bangka at mumurahin ka ng balat mo dahil nasunog na sa araw. Hahah!

For our 2-day island hopping, as far as I can remember, we went to Candaraman Island (day 1 and 2), Patawan Island, Canabungan Island and Mansalangan Sandbar. We didn’t made it to Punta Sebaring due to time constraint at high tide na, hindi na rin namin makikita yung wide stretch sandy shore dun. (There’s a reason to go back! 😀 )

Ang gaganda ng mga islands dito, napaka-unspoiled. Wala pa sigurong mga lovelife, virgin pa e! Haha. Kitang-kita mo talaga yung ganda. Fine white sand, Green to Blue Green ang kulay ng dagat. Grabe, ngayon lang ako nakakita ng ganitong isla na trees, sand at dagat lang ang laman. At ang pinaka-maganda?? Kami lang ang tao! 😀

dscf6056Unspoiled beach in Balabac.

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Blue Green waters of  Mansalangan Sandbar.

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Ganito yung madalas na ganap ng mga beach nila. May mga kahoy-kahoy pang awrahan. Haha! 😀 (Pinkish sand of Patawand Island)

16931225_120300002318664218_112910146_oDaming starfish!

Our island hopping tour was inclusive of meals, so, yung dinner and breakfast namin, minsan sa bahay nila Ate Len kami kumakain, minsan naman sa eatery nila Ate Raya and yung lunch, syempre madalas sa bangka.

16976310_120300002302625647_1393159292_nDinner in Ate Len’s house.

Electricity in Balabac runs from 2pm-6am only. So, we stayed in JD Sing and Swing Lodge kasi 24 hours ang electricity sa kanila, plus the owner is our kababayan! 😀 Yamanin si   Mr. Diaz, may pa-generator sakanila. Hahah!

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Our messy fan room for 500/night

After ng dinner namin nung first night sa Balabac, dinala kami ni Ate Len sa Police Station. O, relax, pina-register nya lang kami dito. Hahaha! Gusto nya kasi lahat legal process. Safety first! 😀

3rd day is Onok Day! Excited ang lahat kasi this was the highlight of our trip. Before getting to Onok Island, you must need to secure a permit kasi it is privately owned by the Vice Mayor of Balabac. Nung first night palang namin, tinawagan na ni Ate Len si Kuya Toto “SB” Astami, son of Vice Mayor Astami and fortunately, he granted us the permit.

This was the boat called “Papet” by the locals that will bring us to Onok Island. One of my scariest boat ride ever! Akala namin, CDO White Water Rafting! May times pa na ka-pantay na namin yung alon! hahah!

After 1 hour of buwis buhay Papet ride, we arrived in Onok Island. Words are not enough to describe how beautiful the island was! I’m so amazed! Indeed, it was the hidden paradise of South Palawan and I must say, this was the best beach/island I’ve ever seen/been to. Oha, napa-english ako sa sobrang ganda! Hahaha! 😀

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Turqoise water + fine White sand + water bungalow = Perfect! (no filter, GoPro shot)

Pagdating namin, lahat na ata ng anggulo ng beach, umawra kami. Hahaha! Picture dito, picture dun. Very accommodating din si Kuya SB. May snacks pa kami pagdating, mga Malaysian products pa din. Yun kasi ang madami sakanila, pati mineral water nila galing Malaysia. 😀 Swerte din kami kasi pinagluto nya kami ng masarap na lobster! Tsaka yung chicken na ayaw nya sabihin kung anong tawag sa luto na yun. Haha! Basta masarap lahat!

Fresh lobster for lunch! 😀

May mga pumupunta daw dito na hindi legal, kaya nagpapapicture-picture lang tapos eskapo na. Hindi nila alam na pag dumaan ka sa due process, madami ka pang madidiscover dito sa Onok Island. Tulad ng pawikan nila, first time ko maka-encounter nun at first time ko din makakita ng Giant Clams! Ang saya!!

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Onok Island, My Best Beach / Island in the Philippines.

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With Mr. Pawikan 😀

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Giant Clams!! 😀

What a wonderful experience we had! Wala na kaming pakealam kung masunog kami sa araw. Sulit at enjoy talaga yung stay namin sa Balabac. Ang babait pa ng mga tao dun, napaka-makwento and lagi silang naka-smile. Ang simple lang ng buhay nila pero masasaya sila dun. Malakas ang signal ng Globe pero ang internet napaka-hina. So, 3 days kaming disconnected sa mundo ng Facebook and Instagram. Okay din pala maenjoy ang simpleng pamumuhay. 😀

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with our new friends: Rsheena the cute daughter of Ate Len (Yellow shirt), Kris (Red) and Jacob (White)

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Last dinner in Balabac with Ate Raya, Kuya Toto “SB” Astami and Ate Len

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..Yung galing kang Palawan pero pasalubong mo Malaysian products. 😀

Siguradong may babalikan kami dito sa Balabac; Magagandang beach/islands, yung hospitality ng mga tao pati na din yung mga Malaysian products nila. Hahah!

Thank you, Lord, sa experience na ‘to. Kahit maalon, keri pa din. Hahaha! Best time na pumunta dito is summer talaga. Sulit ang mahabang byahe at pagkasunog ng balat ko. So, pano? Kitakits ulit sa next Bodex Kets Adventure! 😀 😀 😀

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Ito yung dumating kami na tao at umuwi kaming kahoy! Hahah! 

ITINERARY and EXPENSES:

Day 0 – Arrival in Puerto Princesa 

5:00pm – ETD: MNL-PPS
6:20pm – Arrival in Puerto Princesa International Airport / travel to Fanta Lodge
6:30pm – Fanta Lodge / check-in
7:00pm – dinner / rest

EXPENSES
Php 1,099 – Cebu Pacific Manila – Puerto Princesa
Php 17.50/head (70/4) – Tricycle to Fanta Lodge
Php 216/head (432/2) – Fanta Lodge fan room booked thru Agoda
TOTAL: 1,332.50/head

 

Day 1 – Balabac Palawan / Island Hopping

1:30am – wake up / prepare
2:30am – Van pick-up by KinaKuan Tour
6:30am- Arrival in Rio Tuba / breakfast
10:30am – Depart for Balabac Island
12:30pm – Arrival in Bancalaan Port / meet Kuya Noy (boat captain, Ate Len’s husband)
1:00pm – Lunch
2:00-6:00pm – Island hopping
6:00pm – Travel to Balabac
7:30pm– Arrival in Balabac / check-in at JD Lodge Sing and Swing / wash up
8:30pm – Dinner in Ate Len’s house
9:30pm – Register at the police station
10:00pm – rest

Day 2 – Island Hopping

6:30am-  wake up / prepare
7:30am – Breakfast in Ate Raya’s eatery
8:00am – 6:00pm – Island Hopping
7:00pm – Back in Balabac mainland
7:30pm – wash up / dinner in Ate Len’s house / rest

Day 3 – Onok Island

6:30am-  wake up / prepare
7:30am – Breakfast in Ate Raya’s eatery (own account)
8:30am – Tricycle going to Port / Depart for Onok Island
9:30am -4:00pm – Arrival in Onok Island / photo ops / explore
4:00pm – Back to Balabac mainland
5:00pm – Arrival / wash up
6:00pm – visit church / buy pasalubong
7:00pm – Last dinner in Ate Raya’s eatery (own account)

EXPENSES FOR 3 DAYS IN BALABAC
Php 400 – Van pick up from Fanta Lodge to Rio Tuba 
Php 250 – Boat to Bancalaan Port
Php 750/head (1500/2) – JD Sing and Swing Lodge fan room for 3 nights
Php 4000 – Island hopping for 2 days with meals by KinaKuan Tours
FREE – Tricycle going to Port
Php 3000 – Onok Island with lunch by Kuya Toto “SB” Astami
TOTAL: 8,400/head

Day 4 – Back to Puerto Princesa

4:30am-  wake up / prepare
5:00am – Breakfast in Ate Raya’s eatery (own account)
5:30am – Tricycle going to Port
6:30am – Depart for Rio Tuba
10:30am – Arrival
11:00am – Depart for Puerto Princesa
12:30pm – stop over in Brooke’s / lunch
1:30-4:30pm – Travel again to Rio tuba / van drop off at Airportside Inn
5:00pm – Check in / dinner / rest

EXPENSES
FREE –  Tricycle going to Port (2x kaming nag tricycle going to port pero laging free. Hahah!)
Php 350 – Van from Rio Tuba to Airportside Inn (KinaKuan Tours)
Php 281.25/head (1125/4) – Airportside Inn A/C room with free breakfast for 4 and free airport transfer (booked by sir Gerson of Palawan Batak Tours – Thank you sir for the discounted rate, for the pasalubongs and nice meeting you 😀 )
TOTAL: 631.25/head

Day 5 – Back to Manila

6:30am – wake up / prepare
7:30am – Free breakfast
8:30am – Depart for Puerto Princesa International Airport
8:35am – Arrival / pay terminal fee
10:00am – ETD: PPS – MNL

EXPENSES
Php 200 – PPS Terminal fee
Php 884 – Cebu Pacific Puerto Princesa to Manila
TOTAL: 1084 /head

TOTAL EXPENSES FOR 6D5N – Php11,447.50 (nga-nga na paguwi)

CONTACT NUMBERS:
Ate Len of KinaKuan Tours : 0928-6279421 | 0927-8614166
Mr. Diaz of JD Lodge : 0917-5961991
Sir Gerson of Palawan Batak Tours (for PPS tours) : 0915-7179844

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