My family and I went to Puerto Princesa City (PPC), capital of Palawan island-province, last Friday. We were going to Astoria Palawan because we got a low, promo rate for 3D/2N stay, in an extended birthday gift for the two girls, Bien Mary and Elle Marie who turned 5 and 9 years old respectively, early this month.
We arrived evening that day and we stayed at Aquari Suites, not far from the airport. The next day, my friend from more than 3 decades ago in UP Diliman, Peter "Pidro" Sing, arrived from Manila and he offered to take us to launch, then have his driver bring us to Astoria later, about 61 kms. from PPC proper. Pidro has several businesses in the city.
Pidro brought us here, a famous restaurant in the city because of its location -- seafront, the walkway from this entrance to the dining hall is surrounded by huge and mature mangrove forest with their extensive root system.
This is my second visit to this resto. The first time, another friend from UP, JB Baylon also brought me and his other friends here, after our visit at Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corp. in the southern municipality of Bataraza.
Lots of nice food over-flowing in front of us. And lots of interesting conversation on what he's been doing recently, including the results of a self-financed survey of Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates this month.
Pidro is an all-around guy with his hands spanning from corporate and political consultancy to running his own personal and family businesses to personal advocacies and civil society work of spreading personal financial education to many poor and middle class people. See my earlier discussion about this, Financial education and Pidro Sing.
Pidro likes to treat us, some of his lesser entrepreneurial buddies and former dormmates at Narra Residence Hall in UP Diliman in the early 80s, to an occasional and spontaneous buffet dinner. Either he would text one or two days ahead, or hours before. Below, in one of those spontaneous treat in 2009 (wow, 6 years ago). From left: me, Ding Aguila, Cliff Espinosa, Jim Naval, Sarge Colambo and Pidro. All former Batang Narra Kids.
From Badjao resto to Astoria Resort last Saturday, Pidro's driver, Dong, drove a Toyota pick up. Yesterday, from Astoria back to the City and the airport, with a side-trip at the Crocodile farm, Pidro sent this van. Dong posing with the van, at the Viet Ville where we had lunch before heading to the city.
The two girls enjoyed the van, sleeping in the trip as they have wide and long legroom. Thanks again Pidro for the VIP treatment. Tummies and memories still full of our Palawan trip.
Pan de Pidro, July 28, 2012
Palawan Tour, by Patty Soliman, October 19, 2012