Oct 20, 2005

Celebration for two (Part II)

Day two at Palawan

It's 6:00 am and it's really happening...I don't want to wake up but we have to. Waaah!
Today we're supposed to go to the underground river. The longest underground river in the world! So I took a quick shower, woke Ryan up and packed our bags for the day. Then we realized we forgot to charge the digicam. Hoping to at least charge it for a while, we left it in the room and had breakfast.

I ordered adobo flakes & Ryan ordered his favorite continental breakfast (w/ bacon). They didn't have adobo flakes yet so I settled for the corned beef hashed. The place was packed. We recognized some folks we were with at the crocodile farm.

Already in hurry, we went back for our things and of course the digicam. We we're informed that for each tour the minimum is 6 people so we were with other groups on that day. Our guide even introduced us to them as honeymooners...mega-react naman kme kse mas maganda accommodations namin nung honeymoon noh?! Haha..kidding aside, we set them straight telling them that it's our anniversary trip.

Hayy ang sarap ng feeling! Ryan and I were so hyper kulitan kme ng kulitan. Our tour guide informed us that we'll make a quick stop at the grocery store to buy water or snacks but Ryan and I need not go down because our bags are packed with Pringles, a big bottle of absolute water and a few bars of Cadbury. Lunch was included in the tour. Bringing enough food has been my habit since elementary...sabi nga ng mga nagiging seatmates ko "takot daw ako magutom" my bag was always full of something to eat.

It was a looong and rough trip. We were all laughing at the expertise of our driver who, despite the very very rocky road, drives like he's at North Luzon Expressway. Nobody argued with him when he told us that if he drives a little slower, then we would all feel how bad the road was and feel dizzier than we are now.

This is where we stopped to appreciate the bumpy road we have endured so far and to see that there's more! Of course our trusty tripod is doing its thing. While the other groups are having difficulty taking pictures of themselves, already embarrased of asking our tour guide to do it for them, Ryan and I just keeps on posing and taking shots. Our tour guide said that the government is developing that far side of the mountain as a bird sanctuary and maybe early next year offer that as one of the tours in Palawan.

We travelled for almost another hour after the stop. We are so grateful of the small patches of cemented road because we were able to rest not only our butts but also our ears. You can really say the travel was stressful. Finally we reached the Sabang wharf. Before we went down we were all putting off lotion afraid that we encounter unfriendly mosquitos that cost Reyster Langit's life. Deadma sa Coppertone! At the wharf, an English speaking girl approached our companion and asked her.."Hey wer ar ya from?" with the accent and all...only to find out the girl was a Palawan native. We kept on teasing the little girl that we thought she's from Jamaica because of her hair and english accent. We even told her to let us go first kse taga-Palawan naman sya. Ang kulit nung bata!(Check them out at the background of our picture below)

The underground river was a short hike away. Although our guide said that there are monkeys and monitor lizards in this area we didn't see one on our way to the cave.

It's time to explore the St. Paul's underground river! The boat goes inside the cave for about 45 minutes, we were told that we will not see the entire stretch of the underground river, after all it was 8.2 kilometers! Our boatman asked us who wanted to hold the light and all of our companions who were girls refused, insisting that Ryan holds it because he's the only guy. I'm glad we did! We sat in front of the boat and held the spotlight plugged in Motolite battery. The advantage of holding the light was I could choose to point it towards whatever direction I want to check out or where Ryan wants to take picture. Though, the disadvantage is that the light gets hot. Good thing I have a small towel with me. Out of excitement I totally forgot that our digicam's flash can be adjusted. Since it was soooo dark inside we only had a few good shots. Mr. Boatman was sooo kwela pero pramis sobrang corny ng jokes na tipong sya yung pinagtatawanan namin at hindi yung jokes nya. Well, for anxious tourist I'm sure his jokes could at least calm them down. I just wonder how he'll entertain foreigners because all his "cave jokes" were in tagalog.

The cave was so marvelous inside. We could see all the sleeping bats hanging at the ceiling. The rock formations were beautiful especially the part they call Cathedral where you could make out saints, angels and even the holy family. Some tourist insist on going down there because the Cathedral was pretty much a big mountain of stone with plenty of rock formations. However, there are plenty of tarantulas in the area, a topic I would rather not discuss nor hear about. In fact, the information made me so eager to get out of the cave...at least before I realized that they cant swim. We were lucky enough to have the cave all to ourselves because on our way out there were 3 boats coming in and it could be a little noisy to hear what your boatman is explaining.

It was time for lunch and now we saw all the monkeys and monitor lizards. We were warned to hold on to our things because the monkeys are very good snatchers. They are very attracted to plastic bags. So our bags were in our laps while we ate. After lunch and no incident of snatching happened in the picnic area I placed my bag beside me but I was still holding it just to be sure. Unfortunately, the unopened pringles was exposed and I didn't feel that someone was already pulling it discretely. Ryan just called my attention because he was trying to pull it from the monkey. The pringles was in between me & Ryan and may sandalan pa yung wooden bench. It was hard to imagine how the can of pringles fit between the small space of the wood yet the monkey succeeded. Ryan, underestimating the small monkey's strength was defeated in the very quick tug of war for the Pringles. Suddenly ALL of the monkeys ran toward the direction were the thief headed. While we all wondered how they will open the can, Ryan was so pissed that he wasn't able to eat at least half of it before it got stolen. Tsk tsk...what an unforgettable experience for my dear husband who loves Pringles so much.

Shopping time! We had a little boat incident going back to the wharf because the engine won't start and we were stuck for about 10-15mins in the sea...well, as long as I could still see the shore I wasn't worried. Sabang wharf has the cheapest Palawan shirts & other souvenirs...ummm..sadly, when we left our XDA's at the vault he also left my wallet without grabbing the cash. We didn't realize it sooner because we didn't buy anything from the grocery that morning. So I told Ryan I will look around and if I liked anything....sheesh this is so embarrasing to put here but out of desperation I will borrow money from the other girls. And I did, I sooo wanted to buy the fushia pink baby tee with matching white one for Ryan. Swallowing my pride and all...I borrowed money from the people I just met this morning. Grabe! Even Ryan was embarrassed with what I did but I can't resist buying the tees. I wanted to buy too for pasalubong but was worried because we were told we are going to passby the Vietnam Village on our way back. Viet Ville had killer garlic french breads that can compete with French Baker but there was not much to see so we just bought their famous french breads.

While Ryan will never forget the monkey who stole his Pringles, I will never forget borrowing money from a new acquaintance. As soon as we stepped in the hotel, I rushed to the reception desk to get my wallet and immediately gave back the money I borrowed.

Dinner time for day 2 was at Kina Butch. Restaurants here at Palawan have funny sounding names huh?

to be continued...

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