Recently, we went on a press trip or familiarization trip sponsored by One Life Adventures and Tourism Philippines, in cooperation with Philippine Airlines. It was an honor to be part of influencer trip, and most importantly because it will highlight a trip covering one of the most beautiful islands of the Philippines – Palawan.
Complete disclosure, we weren’t paid to say good things about this tour. Just like a lot of the bloggers, this trip was for us to experience the 10-day tour of One Life Adventures and see how they feature the best of Filipino culture and Palawan in 10-days.
So you can be sure that this article will contain nothing but our honest take on the whole trip. But just as an added disclosure, we already love Palawan by itself, so yes. It would be hard not to say good things about this trip.
And without further ado…
Day 1: Meet Up Dinner and Drinks in the Sky Bar
Our adventure started in Manila where we first met the whole gang. The trip was with top influencers in different industries – travel, lifestyle, modeling and acting. Some flew in from the United States, most were from Australia, some from Europe, and Rachel from Asia. I actually flew from Spain for this one, as I cut my trip home to be a part of this 10-day adventure.
Our One Life Adventures trip, led by Joe Silk, officially started with a short welcome in IM Hotel. We then walked in the Makati Area to our first dinner together – the perfect way to break the ice and talk to each other.
Pizzas, mojitos, sangria and lots of laughs and smiles. Everybody were super excited about the upcoming adventure in Palawan, with most of the people visiting the Philippines for their very first time.
After dinner, we visited Z Hostel, as part of the main itinerary of One Life Adventures. Then we had a chance to visit one of the best rooftop bars in Manila with great views, live music, and affordable drinks.
Day 2: Puerto Princesa and Lunch at the Painted Table
Next morning, we boarded our first local flight with Philippine Airlines, the official partner of the trip, and headed our way to Puerto Princesa. It was a quick 1.5 hour flight, so we figured if you had a heavy night the previous night, this wouldn’t be too hard. It would be really helpful to actually understand that this 10-day tour will include a lot of boat rides and local transports in land, so you’ll need to be careful with alcohol consumption. Before the flight, we had the opportunity to enjoy swimming and taking a few shots in IM Hotel.
With that said, we did have a lot of booze and fun along the way. You’ll see!
The welcome in Puerto Princesa was so great. The flight from Manila to Palawan was really short, maybe just an hour and a half. We maximized the time we were in the airplane to watch the stunning aerial views before landing to Puerto Princesa. Once in Puerto Princesa, we were picked up to our hotel and had lunch at The Painted Table.
If you have a particular diet, the hotels and restaurants so far pretty much had really good options – vegetarian, vegan and of course, local Fillipino food. It was actually amazing to see some people from the team really get in and try some of the local food. We believe this is a big part of every travel experience.
Day 2 was pretty relaxed. After a good lunch, everyone actually chilled by the pool creating content. ha! Will we ever get tired of using that phrase? But seriously, this was a great time to hang around the people from the tour, or just relaxed on your own by the pool. Really good views, and really nice to get some tan or some water time, before all the salt water coming your way.
At night, was another get together dinner (all meals were usually done in groups, but you’ll have a chance to say no, or separate at one point) at the best local place for sea food in downtown Puerto Princesa. If you’re into seafood, this is definitely an option. There were options for vegetable dishes too, to cater to all diets.
We had really great food with of course, bottles of beer. After eating, those who want to have more fun or a quick night out headed to Tiki Bar, one of the most popular bars in Puerto Princesa. And boy did we have so much fun!
We had so much drinking, dancing, playing pool and beer pong. It was really fun playing and drinking with the gang!
Day 3: Underground River and Port Barton
Day 4: Over night Camping
Our favorite part of the trip was Port Barton. Before arriving at the island, we had a quick breakfast and bought all the things we needed like snacks, beers, sodas for two days of amazing island hoping in Port Barton.
We spent the day snorkeling, swimming, eating, drinking, and listening to music. We of course also visited beautiful spots and went for a camping in a really beautiful place. The island had no signal, so there wasn’t internet connection. This disconnection let us connect with the whole gang.
We pitched our tents in the island, enjoyed the sunset, beers, coconuts, snacks and dinner time next to the campfire. The dinner was a local dish with rice, vegetables, meat, and fish.
The bonfire was a time to talk to each other, just have a nice night of games Sleeping in a tent sounds uncomfortable? Not here, guys. One Life Adventures provided us a everything we needed for comfort like a small mattress, blankets and a tent.
Day 5: More Island Hopping and Relaxation
The day started with a nice sunrise which made waking up early in the morning worth it. As usual, we had a great breakfast in the island and another day in paradise was just starting.
We again did some island hopping, snorkeling, and swimming. We had the chance to see Giant Turtles. The water was so clear and transparent- so perfect to enjoy the underwater beauty. In the middle of the day we visited a school in the islands and we had so much fun playing with the kids.
We loved our lunch stop in German Island, one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines and our personal favorite in Port Barton. After our lunch and some relaxation in the island, we went back to Port Barton.
Before actually getting to Port Barton, we stopped by Bigalo Waterfalls. The beach next to the waterfalls in the mainland was stunning! It took us a short walk (around 10 minutes) and a 5-minute climb to get there.
After two days of island hoping in Port Barton, we went out for dinner and slept early. The next day, we traveled to El Nido.
6th Day: El Nido, Cadlao Resort, and a Dinner in Leo Beach
We enjoyed a peaceful morning around the pool. Some went paddling, kayaking, and enjoying massages. The trip from Port Barton to El Nido took us 3-4 hours. Joe managed (as always) for us to get there on time for the stunning sunset in El Nido.
If you’ve been craving for some personal time, this was actually a time to do it. Spend it alone or some of the people from the tour.
It was planned that we would stay for 3 nights in El Nido, one of the most beautiful places in the world. For the 6th day, we stayed in Cadlao Resort. It was a beautiful and quiet resort with amazing views of the sunset from the pool area.
For dinner time, the team went all together to Leo beach. The place was so modern and cool. We ate tasty burgers. We went back to the resort and continued drinking.
7th Day: Filipino Culture Day and Dinner Greek Restaurant
We loved the activities on the 7th day of the trip as we were toured by The Filipino Experience. We had a fun Filipino Culture Day in a small village near the beach. We enjoyed a nice walk and we also learned about banana herbs, coconut trees, leaves and many more interesting more things.
We went fishing too but we weren´t lucky. We didn´t catch anything, ha! We also cooked one of the most popular Filipino dishes, Adobo. It was delicious!
After cooking and eating, we had more activities like climbing a coconut tree to dancing typical Filipino dances and playing Filipino games. Everything was well-organized and we really had so much fun!
It was also a great day hearing about Filipino history and culture in the village. We ended up doing a zip line as well in Las Cabañas. Rachel loved the experience so much! We witnessed another beautiful sunset while having beer and while listening to music in Las Cabañas. The beach was full of people and we loved the atmosphere.
At the end of the day, we chose a Greek Restaurant next to the beach with beautiful views. We enjoyed our way to our place riding tricycles for a few minutes. It was really fun!
8th Day: El Nido Party Boat
For our last day in El Nido, we had a boat party! Everyone and everything was present- food, beer, cocktails, and music. Imagine, we were partying while island hopping! The boats usually follow Tour A,B, C and D, but that time, our itinerary was a mix of beautiful and quiet places in El Nido.
We visited Papaya Beach and one of our favorites in the Philippines, the Big Lagoon. Kayaking and swimming between the limestones are what we did there. Swimming between the limestones is something unique and we hope you guys will have the opportunity to experience it!
We did a stop in Pinagbuyutan Island part from Tour B and it was a beautiful place to stay in. We took pictures and even snorkled. After visiting this beautiful island, we had the opportunity of watching another amazing sunset in the middle of the islands. The experience was really awesome, guys!
We ended the day after having dinner and some drinks around the pool area.
9th Day: Back to Puerto Princesa and Dinner at Shangri-la the Fort
We woke up early and had our long trip back to Puerto Princesa. It took us 5-6 hours riding in a comfortable van to get to the airport and fly back to Manila. The flight with Philippine Airlines was great. It was a short flight, just an hour and a half. As usual, we enjoyed the amazing aerial views leaving Puerto Princesa. We had a snack and a cup of tea/coffee in the plane.
Once we arrived in Manila, everything was well-organized as usual. Tourism Philippines and One Life Adventures picked us up in the airport and drove us to our hotel to spend the last night with the group.
To our surprise, they dropped us in Shangri-La Hotel! It is one of the best places to stay in Manila for sure. They welcomed us nicely with our cocktail and amazing room with all the comfort, fruits, chocolates and we even got a gift! It was Sungka, a typical Filipno game to remember our experience.
And yes, we got another amazing dinner by the pool at Samba Restaurant in Shangri-la. It was a Peruvian dinner. Rachel and I agreed that it was the best dinner ever and we weren´t the only ones saying, ha!
We had Ceviche, rice with seafood, salteado de lomo with vegetables and rice. The dishes were really tasty and the dessert was also sooo delicious. We had chocolates for dessert which was a nice food to end the day.
10th Day: Breakfast at Shangri-la Fort
We woke up early because we had to leave Manila again to go to another experience. Palawan again, yes! But before leaving, we enjoyed the pool area taking photos and having one of the best breakfasts ever!
There were many food choices. From tasty fruits (mango, papaya, watermelon, pineapple) to cheese, salmon, sweets, baked goodies, Filipino dishes, noodle soups, and even pasta. It was an amazing breakfast.
Yes, this amazing adventure ends here. A big thanks to One Life Adventures, Philippine Airlines, and Tourism Philippines for making this awesome trip possible and also flying me from Spain to the Philippines to enjoy the adventure with Rachel.