Thursday, July 18, 2013

Purple Fountain Courtyard Inn

and White Fence Country Cafe

296 Manalo Extension
Puerto Princesa City
Palawan, Philippines 5300

Directions online:



Mobile 1:     +63 917 537 2772 (Globe)
Mobile 2:     +63 999 882 5800 (Smart)
Mobile 3:     +63 925 722 2772 (Sun)
Telephone: +63-48-434-2430

While staying at the Purple Fountain
Courtyard Inn, you will enjoy eating at the
on premise White Fence Country Café.

I visited Purple Fountain Courtyard Inn and was really very impressed. They only have 11 rooms but each one of them is a little different from the other and super clean! The whole place is very colorful and made me feel like I was a kid again in a full sized doll house. The rooms are bigger than some of the inns I have visited. Very playful colors and it's kid friendly with a play set area for the very young ones on nice clean soft white sand.
The Inn and White Fence on premise restaurant
are kid friendly with a sandy kiddie area for
swinging and sliding!

Here is a map to the Inn and cafe restaurant.

There are several cozy outdoor sitting areas in the shade which make you feel you aren't in the heart of downtown. It has an on premise restaurant, the White Fence Country Café which serves breakfast all day along with a good variety of continental fare. You can view the full menu with prices here,

I recommend a visit to both the Inn and the Cafe. The prices are very reasonable and competitive.

You can go to their website to see the full rates and a slide show of each and every room they have. They also have city tours bundled with the accommodations on their website as well. All room prices include free airport transfers, breakfast,  Wifi, an electronic safe, aircon, hot and cold showers, ceiling fan and TV.
You enter to the Inn through the White Fence Country Cafe.  It reminds me of a place I  used to go to in the late 60's in San Francisco.  Go straight back past the tables to find the Inns' reception desk.
The Purple Fountain Courtyard Inn reception desk.
This is inside one of the standard rooms.
One of the cozy outdoor covered sitting areas.
Most rooms have a porch with sitting area or a gazebo nearby.

A whimsical play on colors and there is indeed a purple fountain!
The door on the left is to the very large family suite.
 The family suite has a little kitchenette and fridge and microwave.
The family suite has lots of beds to sleep in. One double bed and the rest are singles.

The family suite as seen from the kitchenette
Here you can see the family suite with the loft upstairs. The whole Inn is nice and clean.

In front of the Purple Fountain Cafe is the White Fence Country Cafe which luckily has good food and service.
Very cosy White Fence Country Café in front of the Inn. There is an air conditioned seating area as well as non. The food we had was very good, tasty and priced right. They have Filipino food, all day breakfast; sadly I didn't see any hash browned potatoes, but they do have some bacon and egg dishes for American taste buds.

The Fish and Chips were good. Perfectly crunchy! Prices are reasonable for our budget. Click to see the White Fence Country Cafes' full menu and prices here.

Cosy, cheery and comfy air conditioned seating area at the White Fence Country Café at Purple Fountain Courtyard Inn which is in back of the restaurant. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

BM Beach right down the road from Robinson Mall

When our little girl was between 2 and 3 years old we lived in city proper. This BM Beach is so close to where we used to live, it was handy to take her for a quick dip without having to make a big deal of it.

Coming from city Center you turn right at the Kia/Nissan dealer, just before Robinson's mall. Go almost all the way down and it will be on the right side of the road, which can be bumpy in spots and messy during rainy season.  I think the entrance fee was 25.00 php  a couple of years ago. It's never been crowded when we went there, which we like.

When you have a little girl bugging you to go often to a beach, this was the easiest solution for us. And to her, it might have been Amampulo she was just glad to dig her feet into the sand and sea for a little bit.

BM beach late in the day at low tide. I mean really, really low tide. I think you'd have to walk 15 meters to get to your waist!
You can bring our own picnic basket and there are places to grill food as well if you prefer to cook there. Bring all your drinks as well.

There's plenty of parking and you can rent the cottage very cheaply for birthday parties and such.
It's very photo perfect late in the day at BM beach as you can see.

It's pretty sandy and lots of sea grasses but those don't bother me.

This is a large pavillion right over the water you can rent. It has a sink which makes it  hand and a CR I if I'm not mistaken. but it's been a couple of years since we've been there.
The big cabana over the water has a CR and sink.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Islands Hotel Puerto Princesa Palawan

Islands Stay HotelPuerto Princesa

As usual I was looking for something else when I stumbled on this new hotel awhile back. It's on Rizal Avenue near the Puerto Princesa airport. Brand spanking new. Very austere and basic and as far as I can see, reasonably priced. Perfect for travelers who don't care for frills at all and just want a place to flop at night, shower up and get out touring! It's walking distance to the airport as well as many restaurants, which you will need because I didn't see one there.

If you book online you can get 15% off if you book a week ahead of schedule. At least this is what is on their website at the moment. They take all manner of credit cards and yes cash too.  All the rooms have aircon, TV and phone. Not sure if that's for outside lines or to the reception desk.

This is the room for 1 person. Very basic but clean.
All the bathrooms look pretty much like this.
This is the double bed room. For two pax
This room has a queen size be and a double bed and a small table for two.

Check out Island Stays Hotels website

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Palawan Pangolin or Scaly anteater

Baby pangolin aka scaly anteater or
locally known as the balingtong.
Before April 5, 2013 I had never heard about the Palawan pangolin also known as the Palawan scaly anteater, known so because in the Philippines, it exists only on this island. Then on April 6 a local villager brought a baby pangolin to me. He said that it's mother had been eaten and this one crawled out and was too small to eat! Imagine my horror! It looked so helpless.

What is this thing?, I asked. I had never seen one before! It was a balintong they said. A scaly anteater, also known as the pangolin. It is now one of the fastest disappearing animals on the planet from illegal wildlife poaching, over 1 million of these gentle creatures have been massacred in one year alone!

This animal is the gentlest of creatures. It has no teeth at all and when frightened, it curls into a ball, making it easy to capture! It's diet is strictly ants, their eggs and termites! How was I going to keep this little creature alive? I immediately went online and found only 1 baby pangolin that was saved in South America. It was fed with an ant and termite milkshake. I tried this but this little baby would not take the milk. Our helpers had already brought in a mud termite mound from the forest, and the first night it lapped at this mound like crazy! This gave me hope.

That night I researched online and found very little about the pangolin. Mostly that many are confiscated on route to China or in Hong Kong dead, descaled and sold for the bush meat market and for its scales, which are ground up into pills! Truly barbaric and inhumane.

I found one place online Project Pangolin and wrote to them for advice immediately. They in turn gave me contacts at the local Katala Foundation who have been very helpful.
The baby pangolin's body was cool to the I let it keep warm on me for some comfort.
Online I read where the babies suckle and cling to the mothers for up to 4 months. They are nocturnal creatures and feed at night. Well this little guy woke up at 2 PM hungry as hell and still would not take any milk and it stopped eating on the termite mound.  Later that day our helpers gathered many termites and put them in a bowl outside on our patio. It would not eat from the bowl, but it did crawl down to the base of the cement patio and started to dig. By Jove! It found an ants nest and began lapping at them furiously. It told us what it wanted with that gesture.  One of the boys named Rj, volunteered to take it around our 2 hectare property each time it would wake up and let it feed on it's own from then on.
Baby pangolin drinking water.
We named it Balin after the native way of calling the creatures balintong. We plan to release it when it is strong enough to survive on his own. It's a little male and we hope it will become a super stud.

Watch my video on Youtube of this little survivor:

Here is a short video of little Balin the pangolin foraging for termites on an old log.

A few days after we rescued this little guy, a Chinese ship struck and became reef bound at Tubatahha Reefs. On board they found 2000 dead pangolins, descaled and neatly packaged in plastic wrappers. Here is the story:

A few days later they caught another ship in Busuanga, Palawan with 23 animals on board, 22 were alive and strapped up like this. Photo from ABS-CBN TV Patrol

Another story appealing to people to stop the illegal trade of these defenseless ones on GMA7 online.

How can YOU help? Do not eat pangolins for one, tell the locals not to eat them, since they said they taste like chicken, encourage them the eat CHICKENS which are easier to raise. Do not encourage the locals to capture them for their pleasure or profit and if you find one and it needs rescuing, please contact the PCSD, The Philippine Council for Sustainable Development. Do not buy or sell them and if you hear of local poachers, also contact the PCSD immediately.

At the rate they are being captured, they predict the pangolins will be extinct in as few as 8 years.

Taken May 3, he is with us almost one month now and thriving.
I am now being assisted by the Katala Foundation whose main purpose is to save the Palawan Cockatoo sitting on the edge of extinction, and not being helped by a proposed coal plant in their flight path! They said as far as they know, we are the only people who have been able to keep a baby pangolin alive more that one week in captivity. They have brought us a scale and a data log to list it's activities and times it feeds for scientific purposes as very little is known about these nocturnal and shy creatures.

PCSD is also aware we have the creature and will also help us in releasing it when it is strong.

HELP preserve their forest environment! Help us save the Palawan Pangolin from going extinct. If you are from Palawan, teach your bantays, helpers and everyone how much we need them in our forests ALIVE.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Kamia Bay Resort Luzviminda

On the zig zag road just before you get to
Kamia, you can already see it from the car.
Sad to say that they no longer are open to the general public as of July 2014. They now book the whole place for events. Hopefully it will evolve into something more public while still being environment friendly.

We are thrilled this resort is finally open. We watched it being built on our forays to to watch the dolphins via Turtle Bay where we park our motorized banca. It's got a relatively small beach area, but the water is very clean and not turbulent at any season because it is inside the protected cove in Turtle Bay.

The breezes are always so refreshing there and the views are hard to beat. Nothing like it anywhere that we have been so relatively close to the city.

It's about a little less than an hour drive from city center. (It used to be before the traffic got so bad) Take the National highway south, past Mangingisda, go past the zig zag road and then the resort will be on the left with flags and a closed gate...pull up to the gate and HONK! There is a bamboo pole across, to keep cars from driving the steep hills. The hills at Kamia Bay Resort are very steep, and I do mean very steep, so they have people park at the entrance and then they take you by van the rest of the way to the Restaurant and beach area.

The restaurant has really good food; from spaghetti, back ribs, to stuffed squid and grilled hot dogs for the kids. The native dishes like Tinolang Manok, Lechon Kawali (our guests kept ordering more), Shrimp Sinigang got raves. We have been there 6 times and everything we ordered was very good. It's worth a trip to check out the good food and get away from city center for a bit. It's seriously worth a trip just to eat, but you will be awed by the views and I dare you to be stressed out when you get there. The views are so beautiful.

They have water sports like kayaking, sail boarding, snorkeling, scuba gear for rent with an instructor as well. If you swim they provide life jackets if you have kids, they have to wear them...which for our 5 year old kid who doesn't swim, I liked it. They have mangrove areas which can be toured as well.

Outdoor seating by the bay also covered area in restaurant. The bartender there claims to make really good beach vodka martinis and other mixed drinks.
They have open air covered cabana with tables and benches if you would prefer to have your own space to hang out in and the restaurant serves the food to you in them as well. The feeling is very private and cozy and there is no other place like it that I have been to this close to the city.

The staff are very friendly and helpful and always welcome us with a smile. I suppose so far, we are their best customers. The resort does take all major credit cards if you decide on the spur of the moment to head there and don't have a chance to hit the ATM in city center.

I am very glad they are there and we do want them to succeed since it's so handy for us to get there by banca, only 6 minutes, and the ONLY restaurant for at least 20 kilometers. We will be going back often actually since it's so close. Sometimes we rent a cabana and sometimes we just hang out at the restaurant area.

If they had WiFi, I'd probably spend several days working from there actually, so I can swim in between business emails or get a massage. That would be divine and I cant wait until they put up the floating massage cabana. I am told they will soon implement WiFi.

This is the restaurant area with outdoor seating as well as indoor. This is where they check you in to see what you want to do. You can rent a Cabana on the beach and swim, or scuba dive,snorkel, kayak as well. They will be adding massage in the future. I can't wait for that.
We rented this cabana. It was a good place to plop down our stuff and watch the kids swim from and order up food which was good. I ordered 3 dishes and they were all good. This cabana cost us 350.00 php.
The waters are clean and clear. Even when the seas are rough everywhere else,this bay is protected from the large waves. Of course summer is best to swim since it's refreshing to swim when it's so hot. They have several floating tables too and I think we will try that next time.
This is the comfort room and shower areas. My only minor complaint is that the showers are ot private so you have to rinse off in your swim suit and then go into one of the toilet rooms with a door to change into dry clothes. The good thing is that they had toilet tissue in the CR!
This is the stuffed squid. Very tender and tasty, served with salted duck eggs, atchara and a nice tangy vinegar sauce to sprinkle on the squid if you like. It doesn't come with rice so you have to order that extra. It was a little on the under cooked side but better than over cooked. I was too hungry to send it back.

This is a grilled chicken dish with a tangy sauce. It was delicious, tender and juicy, not dried out It did come with rice. I probably will order this again. Not shown because I gobbled it down before I could photograph it, was the Spaghetti Bolognese. It wasn't the sweet Pinoy version. I could taste the herbs and it had plenty of meat in the sauce over the pasta,which was al dente just the way I like it as well. The serving was a bit small for php 250.00 more or less, I thought. But then again they are far away from any markets and they are on a generator for power so their operating costs must run high.

They have several of these floating barges with tables. I think we will try one of these next time.

 I am told this old boat will become a karaoke bar.

These are not open yet, but I was told that they will launch some water sports from them and also put in a floating massage cabana. When the get this, it's where you will find me! We can't get home service massage out where we live.

This serene photo was taken on another day of the resort as we were going out very early in the morning to go dolphin watching.

 This is one of the smaller cabanas right beside the water at high tide.

Here is their contact information:
Kamia Bay Resort
Binunsalian Bay, Brgy. Luzviminda, Puerto Princesa City, PH.

+639173114506 (Globe), +639213197695 (Smart), & Tel No.: 048 433-0248

This is their Facebook Page:

Website (Nothing on it but one photo and the same contact info yet.)