Thursday, September 25, 2008
Philippines' Not-so-Hidden Secrets: Port Barton, Palawan
Don't you get this feeling that you can't seem to write about anything even when you really, really want to? The writer's block. I have that so often that I wonder why I even have this much number of articles already. LOL
Anyway, to always have something to write about, I've decided to come up with a series of articles on the Philippines. This is my first article.
Perhaps one of the best, if not the best, vacation trips that we have had as a family was during a trip to Port Barton back in 2006. My dad's invitation to visit the place had been long standing. His persistence is admirable. Just to tickle our visual senses, he'd brought home pics from SEAir that featured Palawan and Port Barton.
When we finally decided to go, I told them we'd stay only 1 night at Port BArton. From dad's description, I deduced that the place is a laid back which nothing else to do but lie on a hammock and bask. Now can you blame me for alloting just 1 night there? What's more is that I didn't get more info about the place from the internet that I did from my dad. We wouldn't be flying that far and doling out so much moulah to go to a place to sleep with only 4 days to spend. No sirree, it wouldn't, couldn't happen.
But my dad's assessment had been as accurate as it had always have. It was the best part of our trip. The sand, the sea, the night sky - these were perfect. It wasn't your usual resort with the grand structures that you would see on the pages of a travel magazine. But it had more of the natural setting that one would look for. For one, the hotel, Greenviews, that we stayed in had huts that were typical of a tropical island - the roof was made of grass, the walls were made of woven bamboo with just an electric fan to augment the cool breeze; the beds were made of coconut lumber and had thin mattresses; the floor was made of wood; the windows were of native materials too.
For an urban family, we are so accustomed to the luxuries of the usual hotels that they all looked so alike and having to stay in a hut is something out of the ordinary. That was just part of the thrill.
The night we got there, like I had said in my other article, everything was pitch black. But this just gave us a wonderful sight - I saw what had been the most beautiful nightsky I had seen ever. The stars were countless and seemed more like twinkling diamonds set on a huge onyx, with occasional sightings of meteors rapidly flashing across it.
The beach was sandy. It wasn't as fine as powder like that of Boracay but it didn't have anything that would hurt our feet - no stones, no thorns, no trash. It had some trees that gave some shade that it had been a shame we didn't have time to lay on a hammock underneath them.
The water - ah the sea - was so clear that even at a depth of about 30 feet or so, the bottom looked like it was just a few meters below the surface of the water. The additional treat there were the tortoises that came so close that it had almost poked our boat. and the fish seemed almost too eager to investigate on the strangers that had paid them a visit. Fishing and snorkeling were all that we could muster in such a short time. I would have wanted to have an introductory dive because the fish and corals were as I had seen in some of the screensavers on my desktop.
The food in the hotel was both pleasurable to the eyes and to the palate. From that time on, I had spoken of Port Barton as though it were paradise. Well, that it really is to me. I would be back there if it weren't for the fact that I plan on getting my daughter to go to more places than I had when I was a child. Soon, though, I hope we'd have time and resources to go back there as we had planned before we even left the place.
*Note: the pics have not been edited to give you a picture of how the place really look.