The Last of the Last Frontier: Balabac Palawan

It has been a while that I haven’t written or updated this blog. So now, it’s nice to be back with a bang! (charot). Life has been so hard and hit me big time. No more other details though, since this blog is dedicated for our travels and itinerary. I want to live to that promise and prove that not all promises are made to be broken. (hugot#1)

Alright, let’s get back to business. It was initially way back May 2017 that we planned to go to Balabac, however, we had to cancel due to my flight in Sydney (ehem). Now, we had another chance, another seat sale fare from Cebu Pacific and we decided to push through with this cancelled plan. We decided to spend a portion of the much awaited 13th month pay in this so called paradise.

We started our long journey last November 15, 2018, our flight was early morning of 4am as part of strategy to avoid delays. We landed at Puerto Princesa before 6am and headed directly to San Jose Van Terminal to ride the van that will bring us to Rio Tuba, the easiest way to cross the seas going to Municipality of Balabac. It was almost a 6-hour van ride and you have to get a home-stay to spend the night since there is only one boat schedule on a daily basis. There is no definite time for boat departure so be early like 5:30am. Have your name listed and be ready again for a long boat ride. It took us approximately 4 hours to get into the Balabac mainland. That was 2 days already just for travel time.

At about 4pm, we stayed at Sing and Sway home-stay. This is the only lodge with 24-hour electricity, there are other lodges there but I am not sure how much they cost. It was a fan room and no other amenities included like breakfast or hot bath okay? Haha. Look for the nearest carenderia and grab some dinner. Some other organizers arranged packages with dinner and you might want to look into other blogs then. However, we still got the best tour guide in the island, Kuya Boboy. He will take care of the boat ride, lunch, dinner and overnight stay in which island you have chosen depending on your length of stay. For us, we decided to have a 2 days and 1-night island hopping worth 5k per person. By the way, Kuya Boboy cooks delicious ulam and a Bikolano too, Kaprobinsya Ko!😁

We were so excited and also manage expectations so that we won’t get disappointed. But, I tell you, all the van ride, boat ride and money we spent were all worth it. Balabac has the most beautiful islands I’ve ever seen in my years of exploring. We were mesmerized, amazed, in awe and all we had to say was “WOW”!

Again, our country has a lot to offer. Be surprise by its majestic scenes. To be honest, this is the second place that made me cry (Batanes was first). The shore line of Onuk was like the biggest infinity pool you will ever see. The clearest water, clearer than Kalanggaman, Coron or Calaguas. The sand of Punta Sebaring is finer than Boracay or Caramoan and maybe, just maybe the finest in the country.

It may be costly and time consuming, but definitely a check on our bucket list. It will heal your broken heart. You will leave everything behind. Going back to the concrete jungle was heart breaking. If only, but we have to face the truth that life is not always like paradise. You have to rest when you are tired and face again the challenges of your life😉

One thing I would like to do though, is maybe next time, we will be given another chance to see the beauty of Balabac. So go ahead, book that flight, travel Balabac and see for yourself what I am talking about.

Hope this blog will help you plan ahead. Forgive my grammar lapses 😂

See sample itinerary with expenses and some pictures to excite you more. You can also visit my facebook album.

Day 1

4:55am- Cebu Pacific Flight to PPS

6:00am- Arrival at Puerto Princesa Airport

6:15am- Tricycle Ride to San Jose Terminal

6:30am- Breakfast at San Jose Terminal

7:00am- San Jose Terminal to Rio Tuba

1:00pm- Arrival at Rio Tuba

1:15pm- Lunch

2:00pm- Arrival at Rio Lodge (free time)

6:00pm- Dinner at Rio Tuba

8:00pm- Lights Off

Day 2

6:00am- Tricycle Ride to Rio Tuba Port

6:00am to 10:30am- Waiting for passengers at Rio Tuba Port

10:30am- Rio Tuba Port to Balabac Mainland

3:00pm- Arrival at Balabac Mainland

3:30pm- Check in at Sing and Sway Homestay (free time)

6:00pm- Dinner at Balabac

8:00pm- Lights Off

Day 3 (Island Hopping)

8:00am- Start of island hopping

9:00am- Arrival at Candaraman Island

11:30am- Arrival at Kalibungan Island (lunch)

2:30pm- Arrival at Mansalangan Sand Bar

4:30pm- Arrival at Punta Sebaring Island (overnight)

6:00pm- Dinner

8:00pm- Sleeping Time


Punta Sebaring

Dinner at Punta Sebaring

Sunrise Punta Sebaring

Mansalangan Sandbar

Day 4

8:00am- Start of island hopping

9:30am- Arrival at Onuk Island (lunch)

2:00pm- Arrival at Camiaran Island

3:30pm- Arrival at Balabac Mainland

6:00pm– Dinner

9:00pm- Lights Off

Day 5

5:30am- Port of Balabac to Rio Tuba

10:00am- Arrival at Rio Tuba Port

4:00pm- Arrival at Puerto Prinsesa City

5:00pm- Check in at Victoria Guest House and Cottages

7:00pm- Dinner

9:00pm- Lights Off

Day 6

8:00am to 5:00pm -Free time and Pasalubong buying

7:00pm- Flight going back to Manila

Contact Persons:

Kuya Boboy- 09363988961

Van from Rio Tuba to PPS- 09097240847

Divina Abia-09500461812 (carenderia owner)

Total Expenses with AirFare:

Cebu Pac – 7k RT good for 2

Tricycle to San Jose Van Terminal – 100 for 2

Van San Jose to Rio Tuba – 1,800 for 2 RT

Rio Tuba Terminal Tryc to Rio Lodge – 100 for 2

Rio Lodge – 400 per night

Tricycle from Rio Lodge to Rio Tuba Port – 100 for 2

Rio Tuba Boat to Balabac – 1,480 for 2 RT

Homestay at Swing and Sway – 1000 for 2 (2 days)

Balabac Island Tour Package – 10,000 for 2 (2D1N 6 islands)

Victoria Guest House – 800 per night

Estimated Food – 3,000 for 6D5N

TOTAL EXPENSES – 25,780 / 12.5k each

Other travel tips:

  1. Bring Off Lotion (Malaria Scare)
  2. Food during boat ride (might get stranded in the middle of the sea)
  3. Brace yourself from Crocodiles ( crodocile attack every month)
  4. Look for other homestay in Rio Tuba aside from Rio Lodge
  5. May 3g signal ang Globe not sure sa Smart
  6. Bawal maarte sa food at tirahan 🙄😂
  7. No ATMs in Balabac so bring enough cash,but there is M Lhuillier and Palawan Pawshop for emergency purposes
  8. Have another overnight stay at PPS due to travel time from Rio Tuba- look for any homestay or hotel using any booking app or website

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