Sunday, December 18, 2016

Viet Ville, Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Photos below taken on October 26, 2015. That was after we checked out of Astoria Palawan and headed to the airport for our flight back to Manila.

Viet Ville in Brgy. Santa Lourdes, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, was the refugee center of Vietnamese asylum seekers in the 70s and 80s. Now only a few Vietnamese remain there, less than 10 perhaps who married the locals. Majority have flown to the US, or went back to Vietnam.

The resto is nice. Prices not that cheap but there is opportunity to go around the village, see some aspects of Vietnamese culture.

Many houses are already dilapidated, mainly because there are no more residents there.

The Catholic side of some Vietnamese and the locals.

And the Buddhist side of many Vietnamese then in the area.

Thanks again to Pidro Sing for lending us his Hiace van. Astoria to VietVille to other places and finally back to Puerto Princesa Airport.

Astoria Palawan

My family went to Astoria Palawan in late October 2015. It is about 50 kms. from the capital Puerto Princesa City proper. Spacious, with a river source upstream.

Its most famous attraction at that time was its swimming pool. With plenty of fountains, partly submerged seats, and multi-colored underwater lights at night, really nice. The girl swimming in this photo, that was Elle Marie, my older daughter.

Kayaks, lifevests available in the nearby beach. But the seawater level is generally shallow, not good for swimming except perhaps when the tide is really high.

A floating walkway.

Volleyball, strolling, biking area.

The other pools, slides were still under construction that time.

Wide dining area.

The rooms and cottages. Our room was on the left side with some towels outside.

Our two girls riding the e-kart.

I tried this bike with huge tires, fun.

Our deluxe room, really wide and spacious.

Needless to say, we enjoyed our stay there. The two girls especially.

See also:
Astoria Boracay, December 11, 2016
Palawan Tour, by Patty Soliman, October 19, 2012

Crowded Puerto Princesa Airport, Palawan, April 05, 2014 

Pidro Sing in Palawan, October 27, 2015

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Batangas Port, part 2

This is a continuation of my short post last April 17, 2009.

Last December 20, 2015, I drove from Manila to Iloilo via Batangas, Calapan (Oriental Mindoro), Roxas Port, Caticlan Port, Aklan, to Iloilo City. My family were my passengers.

 This photo taken from a boat about to leave Batangas Port going to Calapan Port, Oriental Mindoro.

Some haggling between port police or Coast Guarad + immigration and boat personnel. Boats cannot leave the port if they do not get a permit from the PNP and/or CoastGuard.

That day, there were many passengers and vehicles that wanted to cross the sea between Batangas and Calapan.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Marriott Hotels: NY Marquis, Magnificent Mile Chicago, and Manila

The first Marriott Hotel that I have stayed was the Marriott New York Marquis, right at the Times Square. I attended the 2nd International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC) in early March 2009, sponsored by the Heartland Institute.

The hotel name is small compared with the ads above it.

It's one of those tall buildings around Time Square.

My bed then, deluxe room, nice.

Elevators are like small glass tubes. I remember that there is a small tv screen inside the elevator, it gives the latest updates in US and global news, weather, exchange rates, stockmarkets, etc. Info loading while inside the elevator. Overall, I liked my stay there, about 4D/3N.

This photo is from the Marriott website, not from my old camera phone then.

The second Marriott Hotel that I stayed was Marriott Magnificent Mile Chicago, May 2010. I attended the 4th ICCC, also sponsored by Heartland Institute.

Below, hotel lobby. There are days and hours that the lobby is full of people, there's a bar and people can chat, eat and drink.

Outside the hotel was a Harley Davidson shop.

Michigan avenue, view from my room then. It was a Sunday, I remember when I checked in at the hotel, and I was a bit surprised to see traffic congestion even on a Sunday.

Marriott Manila Hotel near NAIA terminal 3. No, I have not stayed there, I attended a Rotary fellowship with our then District Governor Butch Francisco and my classmates, fellow Club Presidents in the District.

Photos I took on December 2013.

Stairway to the 2nd floor.

Connecting corridor to a casino area at Resorts World.

Caticlan to Boracay boats

I took these photos on December 2014 or two years ago. Here the jetty port in Caticlan, Aklan, mainland Panay. After paying the terminal fee, green or environment fee, boat fee, one quickly passes by the terminal building, straight to a waiting huge boats with outriggers. They can accommodate about 30 people.

The walkway to the other end of the port where bigger RORO (roll on, roll off) boats dock.

This area is peppered by many banners, mostly by Smart or Globe.

View from our boat as we left the jetty port. Travel to Boracay takes only about 20 minutes or less.

One of those huge RORO boats that dock at Caticlan port, here unloading those huge and long, fully-loaded trucks.

Photos below I took last January 01, 2016. Our RORO trip from Iloilo back to Manila, inside a big boat by Starlite shipping line.

Below us a boat from Boracay just docked.

The jetty port is expanding via land reclamation, creating a new terminal. Good, the existing port is too crowded.

A Navy boat also docked at the port.

The other boats, waiting for their turn or a group of guests by some hotels in Boracay.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Astoria Boracay

These photos I took two years ago, December 2014, when my family went to Boracay on a RORO trip from Manila going to Iloilo. One night stays at Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, then Boracay, Aklan, before heading to Iloilo City.

No, we didn't stay there, we stayed in another beach front hotel in Boracay. While walking around the beach, I received a "free buffet lunch but attend the promo lecture" invite at Astoria, I said Ok. The hotel is owned by the family of a friend who was a schoolmate at UPSE, he's two years younger than me at the school, ka-batch nya si VP Leni.

The hotel restaurant, for buffet breakfast, lunch, dinner. Nice designs.

It's a beach front hotel and it also has a swimming pool.

While I and my wife were listening to the promo lecture, this lady staff was baby-sitting Elle Marie and Bien Mary, 8 and 4 years old then.

They were drawing, telling stories, etc. They were also served some cold drinks, thanks.
 This photo is from their website,

Did we get any of their promos? Yes, the cheapest one, hehe. We got a package for their new hotel in Astoria Palawan. Will blog about it later.