a journal on hiking and traveling around the Philippines

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Where I've Been Last Week

I was itching for a solo birthday adventure but I was incredibly undecided where I wanted to go. Several destinations overseas came to mind. Japan (read about my first trip here) was my first choice, but with 4 days left before I planned to fly out, I realised it was going to be unnecessarily costly, around 30,000 Pesos for a four day stay.
Helicopter island in El Nido, Palawan, one of my stops during my birthday trip
Going old school, I wrote some provinces I wanted to visit on a sheet of paper, cut it out and drew my destination from the lot. I got Marinduque first. Hmmm. That was my first reaction and just as quickly as turning on a switch, I changed my mind once again and ended up booking a flight to Puerto Princesa (Palawan). From there,  I booked another flight to Davao. Hehe! I can be very indecisive when I have a lot of things on my mind.  :P  (Tip : I use Skyscanner and Traveloka to check on available, cheap flights.)

I'm sharing with you my itinerary. It's not exactly efficient but it's exactly where I wanted to go. I'll be writing separate posts and include travel information for each leg and will put the links once  completed. :) My budget for this trip was 15,000 Pesos inclusive of airfare but I have not accounted all my expenses and may have exceeded my budget.  I certainly hope not.

Leg 1 - El Nido, Palawan
November 21, 2017 - fly to Puerto Princesa, travel to El Nido; check-in at Overcomer Lodge
November 22, 2017 - island hopping in El Nido (Tour C) via Northern Hope Tours
November 23, 3017 - AM : visit Nacpan beach; PM - chill
November 24, 2017 - 9:00 AM - travel back to Puerto Princesa; Check-in at Kuhl Inn; PM - Baywalk Cruise & Firefly Watching

Leg 2 - South Cotabato & Maguindanao
Blue Lagoon at Brgy. Margues, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao
November 25, 2017 - fly from Puerto Princesa to Davao; travel to GenSan; Check-in at Hotel Giorgio
November 26, 2017 - travel to Tupi, South Cotabato, hike Mt. Matutum; travel back to GenSan
November 27, 2017 - travel to Cotabato City; stayed in a hotel downtown (didn't like the hotel so I won't mention it anymore. The recommended hotels in Cotabato are actually Novu and EM Convention Centre).
November 28, 2017 - hike Mt. Minandar in Maguindanao, travel to Davao to take flight back to Manila (Note : Davao has cheap flights to & from Manila; and is a good transit hub to other destinations in Mindanao such as Gen San & South Cotabato. It's really cheaper even if you factor in the fare to your final destination, but it can be very time consuming. Consider this only if you have plenty of time to spare.)
A day hike at Mt. Minandar in Data Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao

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