Tinglayan, Kalinga: No go zone for Americans!

I normally have great things to say about traveling in the Philippines as a tourist but today, I have to write about Tinglayan, Kalinga. It is a no go zone if you are American. It might change in the future but it is like the hills of Kentucky was in the 1960’s with moonshine. Read more

2Go Travel ferry to Boracay!

Are you going to Boracay but don’t want a bullet donated to you at the airport? Another option will be to take the 2go Travel ferry to Boracay. It is very easy to do with one small hiccup. It doesn’t leave from Manila! Read more

Breakfast for “rainy days” in the Philippines

While living in the Philippines, there are times that I can”t go anywhere in the mornings for breakfasts. That is one of the issues that people in a tropical nation during “rainy” face. So, what people do for food in the mornings? Read more

Getting from Angeles City to Aquino Airport

If you go to Angeles City and do not fly out of Clark International Airport; you probably will have to travel to Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport. (NAIA) Travel from Angeles there is quite easy but it does take some time. There is no reason you would need to use a Uber car or a taxi either. Read more


Milagrosa Ferry from Iloilo to Palawan

Are you looking to go from Boracay to Palawan via Iloilo. The good news is that you can do it with Milagrosa Shipping. The bad news is you will be in a very long ferry trip. It is really two trips on the same boat with a day trip to Cuyo, Palawan.

With the challenges of flying (via Manila), you might be just as well off to look at the ferry. It is a adventure but that is why backpackers are in the Philippines. This is no Hawaii, after all. (Note: there is a flight from Iloilo to Puerto Princesa on Cebu Pacific now.) 

Why I recommend the Milagrosa Shipping trip over a flight

I could give you a few reasons but these two are the main ones that would interest most people.

  • A free day trip to Cuyo Island
  • Two free nights of a place to sleep

Think of this way: you are paying P500 a night for a place to stay normally. If you save P1000 there alone; your trip is only between P100 and P500 to start with. That is very cheap. It you add in a side trip to Cuyo on top of that and you are really getting a great deal in my opinion.

As far as prices goes, (I know that interest everyone) the lowest class starts at around P850 then each class goes up P150 until P1400. I normally get the “tourist class” for P1,215. It is nicer and fully air conditioned.

The only real downside to the ferry is you leave at eight in the evening and arrive at Cuyo at nine the next morning. You continue on to Puerto Princesa at three in the afternoon and arrive in Palawan at around nine the next morning. As I said, it is a long trip.

How to get the Milagrosa Shipping ferry to Palawan

If you are coming from Boracay (most people would be), you will grab a Cere Liner to Iloilo. The bus will stop at the new Cere Liner terminal in Jaro. From there, grab a jeepney going downtown. After you are there on the main road, get a jeepney to Lapaz area and tell them Milagrosa or “Palawan ferry.” They know it.

Note: If you are coming for Bacolod City in Negros, the new ferry terminal is just around the corner from them. It is maybe 100 meters or so. It is not far at all.

Once you get to the terminal, just go over to the office and wait for one of the boys working to come in to sell you a ticket. Just fill out the form, pay the fare and wait until it is time to board. Simple as that.

Check out my article on CNN’s iReport on Palawan. 

Some basic tips for the Ferry from Iloilo to Palawan

As I said, it is a long trip so I would stop at Robinson’s Place in downtown Iloilo and pick up some food for the trip at the Supermarket. They have most things and you can get some good snacks for the long trip. Something getting stuff in Cuyo will be a challenge.

Another thing I would do (and do each time) is load up on stuff to read or movies to watch. The tourist class does have electricity in it so you can catch if you need to. I normally read a book on my Kindle along the trip. Killing two birds with one stone.

The last thing I would suggest is bring some medicines if you get seasick as this is a very long trip. It is better to be prepared than not. Remember the Boy Scout’s motto!

What about this Cuyo Island?

Cuyo PalawanCuyo is honestly one of my favorite places in the Philippines and it is coming along quite nicely. It is what it is: a small and remote island chain in the Sulu Sea. This is why it is a charm…. it is hard to get to. There is not the demand for air traffic so only the committed traveler even make here beside people passing through on the Milagrosa Shipping ferry.

My suggestion is walk down the beachfront to Nikki’s Pension. They have a little restaurant that is full of meals for less than a dollar and it is a great place to chill. They even have wifi or did the last time I was there. I think they can even rent you a motorbike to run around the island.

The other thing you might want to do is get online at the internet cafe. You can walk to the next block and use the cafe at Feroland Hotel. It seems to be the one with the strongest connection!

Lastly, if you forgot something at Iloilo, there is a small general store (they call it the supermarket) that you can find basic options for the rest of the trip.

All in all, Cuyo is a nice place to break the overly long sailing experience up. I love to wonder around with my camera and take pictures.

Update as of March 2016: the internet in Cuyo is very bad and there is nothing PLDT wants to do to fix it. Wifi was worse than dailup.

Have you made this trip recently?

If you have taken the ferry from Iloilo to Puerto Princesa, Palawan (or the way back); let me know any new details. I would also love to hear your experiences as well. It is a long trip but in my opinion, it is worth it to stay around from the airport in Manila. No one comes to the Philippines to see the airports.

Also, if you have questions, leave a comment and I will do my best to answer them.

I recently took the trip again and here is a Vlog from that trip! Thank you, Milagrosa Shipping.

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Malate is a no go for tourist!

If you are staying in Metro Manila, some people will say that you should stay in Malate in Old Manila. I do not and can not recommend this. I would strongly suggest that you do not stay there if you are a single woman! The problem with Malate is its crime and poverty. When those two mix, you have a recipe for trouble and lots of it.

I am from Manila. I know the city. I know where to go and not go. I know that one street can be safe and the two streets beside it can be dangerous. Read more

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Cebu Pacific goes to Guam!

Cebu Pacific Air, the low cost airline out of the Philippines has been approved to fly from Manila to Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport in Guam starting in March. What does this mean for tourist in the Asia-Pacific region?

I find it interesting that they have finally got the green light on this. I remember when they only had a flight from Cebu to Manila back when they first launched. Filipinos joked that one day they would fly to the United States of America. Read more

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Fly United Airlines via Hawaii!

If you are coming from the Philippines (or Asia) to the United States; you might want to consider traveling through Guam and Hawaii. It is a route that people forget about but one that could save you having a seriously long flight across the Pacific Ocean.

If you are like me, you are not a big fan of flights that put you on an airplane for half a day or more. My idea of a day well spend does not include sitting in an economy seat on China Airlines eating bad food and having a dead battery on my Amazon Kindle (with no way to charge it). Sorry, just not ideal to me. Read more