Thursday, October 31, 2013

Architect's Summit Day 2: Honda Bay Tour

I almost did not make it to the assembly area by the imposed meeting time at 7:30 AM.  We went out drinking the night before until about 3:00 AM and my alarm did not turn on. It was my room mates phone whose not taking part of any tour that woke up.  I was able to take a quick shower and change to my beach outfit, and went to the lobby with still 30 minutes to spare for breakfast.

I joined the other delegates to our assigned van after eating.  Inside the van, the Reggae music playing perked me up. Our driver turned out to be one of the members of the Reggae group Mito's Tribe that performed at our welcome dinner the night before. We were the last one leaving the hotel, because we were waiting for another participant who didn't show up.  We had separate vans but, it was just to take us to the wharf where all the other tour attendees boarded a large boat owned by Legendary Tours.  Legendary Tours is the Tour Organizer that caters mainly to the guests of Legend Hotel Palawan. According to our van tour guide, the wharf came from the tailings of a mercury mine during the 70's.

Before reaching the wharf, we made a quick stop to a dive rental shop to get aqua shoes and bread to feed the fishes at Pandan Island. The aqua shoe rental was 150 pesos.  I made the mistake of settling on the small size that actually hurt my feet rather than protect it. 

We went straight to Pandan Island which is 45 minutes away from the wharf.  Just as soon as we reached the shore, it started raining and most of us just seek shade from the many huts that lined the shore.  Then one by one, people started exploring the beach and soon most of us are in the water.

The beach is teeming with fish.  You don't have to swim far to see them.  Just throw a piece of bread in the water and they will come to you.

You will never go hungry on this island.  Just behind the huts are stalls selling the fresh catch of the day.  They will even cook it to your liking.

Since we will be here most of the day, our group ordered large clams, crabs, sea urchin and fish to add to the provided lunch.

Legendary Tours even provided beach games for us.

At around 2:00 PM we boarded the boat again to visit Star Fish Island.  It's smaller than Pandan Island and home to its namesake.  We stayed around 30 minutes to explore the sand bar and the mangroves on its side.

On our way back, we passed Luli Island, short for Lulubog, Lilitaw.  Is also a sandbar that disappears during high tide.

We were not able to visit Snake Island because of a claim dispute and they are letting the Pambato Reef recover from human visitors.

We're back in the wharf around 4:00 PM.

Travel Tip:

Most hotels can arrange the tour for you.  They have a tie-up with the different travel agencies in the city and can combine you with other groups.  For Honda Bay Tour, it normally cost 1,100 - 1,300 per head.  Try to know the inclusions for you to compare.  Normally, that would include Lunch and Snorkle.  Aqua Shoes can be helpful, but make sure it fits you well.  You can buy fresh seafood at Pandan Island and have them cooked to your liking.  Toilet Facilities are also available.  The beaches in Honda Bay has a steep drop and wearing life vest at all times is advisable.

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