Sunday, December 6, 2015

Canvas Boutique Hotel

Update. Finally had a short staycation at this hotel!

The superior room was very clean and roomy. I like that the shower, commode and sink are all separate. The breakfast buffet was ok, but the chefs don't know how to make sunny side up eggs so that the yellows still wiggle!

The elevator is brushed stainless steel, and it's not being cleaned properly. I have this fetish about clean elevators, and dirty brushed stainless steel drove me a little crazy.

From a resident's point of view, it is a handy spot. They left enough trees, thankfully, for it to feel foresty when you look out the windows. It is across the street from the local gift center, which carries native gifts and cheaper pearls to bring back home with for our guests who might stay there.

It's near enough downtown, one could take a trike or taxi to most of the dining areas from there, if you chose not to eat at their in house restaurant. Not far from Robinson's mall either.

It's off a very busy street, so don't look for relaxation when you hit the streets walking. Indoors, it's a combination of art and industrial-ish decor. I like the tall ceilings which give it an airy feel. Very stark but easy to navigate.

Art on the walls by local artists with themes on each floor for the rooms. Of the walls, the hotel has this to say,

"If walls could talk, what would you want it to say? The walls at Canvas speak volumes, and—quite literally—every storey has a story. Weaving that narrative into life were a team of visual artists who rendered Palawan culture, life forms and mythology onto colorful, vibrant reverbs of the island's most celebrated cultural traits. The result is a refreshing surge of life, breathed to perfectly weave into the hotel's contemporary fixtures. To wit, the walls whisper this: staying at Canvas awakens an innate instinct for adventure. Start from the ground up and allow the Canvas walls speak to you.

The first floor, dubbed Underworld, is painted with otherworldly elements that'll leave the observer daunted.

'As you reach the second landing, drown out in awe as you explore Under The Sea, teeming with water creatures floating in colorful concrete. Trek the steps to Land at the third floor, as you imagine yourself at a hike through earthy ground and rich soil, and bask at the summit in the top and fourth floor, aptly called Sky and Mountain, where airy explorations await. See, your adventure has already begun—and you've only just arrived at the hotel."

The Under the Sea themed 2nd floor.

I'm not sure it had that effect on me, but, I live here you see, and I am aware first hand of it's wonderful and rare, endangered native plants and animals, as well as it's tribes.

Getting back to the hotel, they let me shoot one of their rooms, which was the deluxe. The room was well appointed with everything you need to enjoy your stay. The room was quite modern, but the paintings on the wall softened the effect and the green tree tops made it feel cozy. I also like the different ways you could light the room.

I'd definitely stay at this hotel on my next trip to a late night party, so I don't drive back home in the dark south of town. They haven't posted the rooms rates online for some reason. Hope they do soon. I did send an email asking but they haven't gotten back to me yet.

Deluxe room at Canvas Boutique Hotel
Deluxe room at Canvas Boutique Hotel.
Deluxe room at Canvas Boutique Hotel.
Canvas Boutique Hotel- Lobby and facing restaurant. 
A couple of friends and my parents ate at the restaurant a week after it opened. My friends remark was that the waiters hovered too much (in their desire to please), but it got annoying. Neither said the food was great yet. But if people would speak up when there, and tell the waiter or manager what is needed, I am sure they would listen. Remember, if we don't learn to speak up, nothing will change.

I didn't get around to shooting the pool as it was raining..but will go back soon.

Cell number is 0917 807 1360
Visit their website at:
Email for reservations:

Palawan brewed beer - Ayahay

If you love beer, then while in Puerto Princesa, you must try this locally brewed beer.   It is the first micro brewery in the Philippines.

Their line of specialty craft beers are carefully prepared with ingredients hailing locally and from all corners of the world. "Ayahay" means relaxed. Aptly so, Palawe├▒o Brewery's signature beers set the cool pace in any occasion. Enjoy a bottle and relax... "Ayahay"!

Check out their website at:

Check out their Facebook page:

Hours are: 1pm to 9pm except Sundays
It is located at: 82 Manalo Street near corner of H. Mendoza Street
Puerto Princesa City
Palawan Philippines 5300

T (+63) 048-434-0709/725-6950
C (+63) 917-5599109

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Save Turtle Bay Marine Sanctuary

7 Seas Corporation based in Singapore in a joint venture with Hotel Centro in Puerto Princesa, want to put in an Ocean Park in the protected bay and marine sanctuary outside of Puerto Princesa city, called Turtle bay, renamed (Kamia Bay for a resort by a local developer). If you click the link,
UPDATE JUNE-14th-2015
Seven Seas properties has taken down the artist renditions on this page. PCSD seemed not to know the extent of their development. No building should commence until Seven Seas has resubmitted the new exact plans.


An orphaned otter from Turtle bay.

All permits should be rescinded for bad faith and Turtle and Binunsalian bays should be zoned back as marine sanctuary as per an ordinance declaring Turtle and Binunsalian bays as protected bays. ORDINANCE NO. 13-92
THIS PROJECT HAS ALREADY BEEN GIVEN PERMITS BY Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) ! WITH NO environmental impact study. It was taken only to the city and the BARANGAY! Since when are Barangay officials qualified to make such decicions of such great consequence?

Otters and other species live in this protected cove called Turtle bay.The 7 Seas corporation want to put in manta rays and captive imported dolphins!! The water is brackish from the fresh water estuaries flowing into the bay, I can't imagine the creatures will thrive in there. The corals are already a mess from cyanide poisoning; it used to be a common way to harvest fish.

The company wants to offer:
Oceanarium - (do we really want to encourage the proliferation of the illegal live fish trade by featuring the native fish taken from our very own environment.
Witness the best of marine life with an awesome display of manta rays, whale sharks, dugongs and sun fishes. (There are no more dugongs in Turtle Bay. I am in that bay many times a week in our native banca and there are no dugongs there. Where will they get the dugongs? Sun fishes? Are you kidding me? The brackish water in the bay will kill them and it's certainly not deep enough, nor food naturally food occurring for it.

WHALE SHARKS? (Now they are hallucinating. Talk about hell on earth for any of the aforementioned sea creatures forced to live in that bay.) There is NO KRILL in this bay to feed them...the water is brackish..they will all die.

In order to view whale sharks this deep from a room, Turtle bay aka Kamia Bay will have to be deeply dredged...and the water is never this is a brackish bay. It is totally unsustainable as there are no krill for the CAPTIVE whale sharks to eat.

Mangrove Exhibit - (No issues there) Forest mangroves are one of the most productive and complex ecosystems in the world. Known to have originated from Southeast Asia, these biological marvels are home to a diverse array of flora and fauna.

Aviary Section-Meet formidable coastal raptors called Brahminy Kites and feed them by hand as they glide near you. (Is this even legal? Or recommended? Hand feed wild birds? If you look at the photo they are CAPTIVE WILD BIRDS netted in)

Take a leisurely stroll in the Lorie Canopy Walk and let friendly lories rest on your shoulders while feeding. (Encourage wild birds to shit on the shoulders of hundreds of people a day? Are you kidding me?)
Feed wild birds? There is a new above them and people can touch them? Maybe take them into their rooms and smuggle them out too? Give them germs? Is this sustainable?

Croc Cage- Immerse in an exhilarating crocodile diving experience with some the largest saltwater reptiles in the world. An acrylic, cylindrical shaped cage will let you have an up close session with crocodiles in a 360 degree clear view. See these prehistoric creatures like no other. (Seriously? They spent years removing them from the environment here and now that new species have moved into the cove, they take a chance on escapees?)

Dolphin Cove - (It is not right capture dolphins from one area and then hold them captive in a less than ideal habitat for them.)

How is keeping captive dolphins sustainable, oh ye of PCSD?
Swim with these lovable marine mammals in the open sea. Take a photo and have a memorable time together. (Now you're talking. Swim in the sea with wild NOT captive dolphins is fine, not something you can always guarantee, but nothing like seeing them in their own environment.)

Stingray Cove - (This bay is not big enough for all the creatures they want to feature, nor is it an ideal habitat. This bay was a Marine sanctuary and even then, it's health is already declining by immigrant fishermen who build into the mangroves, corals already destroyed by cyanide fishing in the past.)
Go beyond the waves and as you touch and take a dip with friendly stingrays in an engaging and cool attraction.

To ply the bay In our small native banca/boat, we have to be careful when leaving the cove not to get stuck on sand bars that appear at low tide.

This is the reply of Mr. Art Ventura, former Executive Director of PCSD when he was invited by one of the staff as their "former boss" to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of R.A. 7611 known as the "SEP Law", a unique law that was created supposedly for the protection of Palawan. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The raping of Palawan-Tourists be aware

UPDATE: A sad day for Palawan when a COAL FIRED plant is approved by PCSD, or Palawan Council for Sustainable Development!

However, we who live here will continue to fight! You can help!
Help us stop the coal fired electric plant. Sign this petition!

To accommodate tourists who come here for the pristine beauty and wildlife, Palawan is literally being raped. Forests are being cut for building materials, as well as rivers, rife with life. A coal fired plant is being shoved down our throats with lies upon lies.  Be a responsible tourist. I have listed the agencies you may contact so you can write to them with positive suggestions.

Tourists...don't come here blindly.  If you do come, make sure to make your voices heard so you will not be the cause of it's destruction. Tell hotels to put in solar, and water harvesting solutions. We, the residents, are already rationing water and we have electrical power outages that last 4 hours a day every single day!

Tell people you want to see other sources of livelihood. If you want to see our wild life, train guides to do jungle survival courses! Live wild indigenous animals and plants with a proper guide. Heck! Start a guide for jungle adventures and bird watching. Train trike drivers to do something more sustainable and useful. There are so many of them they cannot each make a decent living. Thousands of gas powered trikes clog the inadequate main roads, spewing C02 emissions. Help create the pristine Palawan we are being told is the best island in the Philippines. Bring us the technologies that will not pollute our beloved land. Let's make this a global concern; because it is! Be a part of the change!

A day or two old little otter was already a victim of human encroachment into Turtle Bay, aka Kamia Bay, where wants to put in an ocean park with captive dolphins, whales sharks, sun fish and crocodiles. This is a relatively small, shallow and brackish bay. Dogs from immigrant fishermen making homes near or on the mangroves killed it's siblings. This little guy was given to me to try to keep alive. He was a real fighter but his little body just could not survive without his own mother's special milk, which is contains 6 times more fat than cows milk. He died after 5 days. He broke my heart. But his life will and does have meaning.

This river below is being raped to harvest rock and sand to make building and roads without proper environmental studies. You come to Palawan to see it's pristine beauty and wildlife, but the very beauty is being destroyed to accommodate you!
This was our favorite river to go to, it's just 8 minutes from our home. It is now raped for gravel, rock and sand to build tourist hotels.
Forests are being raped of hardwoods to put of exotic huts and resorts.
Photo by Demto Anda - A combined enforcement team led by Supt. Benjamin Acorda on the way to Naglayan Island on 10 Apr. 2015 to serve two search warrants to the Sunlight Ecotourism Resort. The mangroves surrounding the resort were raped and white sand from other beaches was brought in to fake you all out to it's "pristine" beauty!
Photo by Demto Anda - That this beach used to be a mangrove area till it was covered with white sand and planted with coconuts. The all done by Sunlight Ecotourism Resort. the Eco in their company name is a joke! Disgraceful. The white sand you see is from another beach with white sand that they raped to put in in there for you tourists.

A road through old growth forests leading to the naval facility in Oyster Bay, Macarascas is nearing completion. 
A road through old growth forests leading to the naval facility in Oyster Bay, Macarascas is nearing completion. Yet its proponent and contractor have not even secured the proper permits including tree-cutting permit and SEP clearance. 

Brooke's Point, Province of Palawan, Philippines Large scale oil palm plantations
Massive expanses of virgin forests all over Palawan, are being raped to make way for the monoculture of Palm oil plantations.

Deforestation for a palm oil plantation in Sumatra, Indonesia. Such practices are starting up in Palawan. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.

Mining threat to remote tribe in Philippines. The Palawan live in the south of Palawan Island in the Philippines. Thousands of new settlers and a big mining push by the Philippine government now pose a serious threat to the tribe. It just doesn't end for the indigenous tribes here.

The icing on the cake of horror, is a planned Coal fired plant in a barangay in Narra.  You can sign this petition to try and help stop this.

You can read more speculation about the issues surrounding the planned coal fired plant at this link:

What YOU can do to stop this!

Write to our local agencies and tell them you do not want a commercialized Palawan that will compromise it's natural beauty and wildlife. Make POSITIVE suggestions for change and what you would like to see happen instead!
Here is the ordinance declaring "Kamia" (a fake name) a protected area: READ IT.  It's really Turtle Bay also known as Binunsalian bay.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Santa Lucia Hot Springs

We went to this place in 2009 when we first arrived in Puerto Princesa, but it was totally undeveloped and a muddy place. This year 2015, we decided to take the road to it again and lo and behold, it is open to the public and is developed with 4 deep pools to swim in and one shallow pool, without cover which is the hottest of them all, and, I think, the source of hot water for the rest of the pools.

The Sta. Lucia Hot springs is off the the South Highway road, past Iwahig, if you are coming from the city. There is a faded wooden sign on the left side of the road, turn there and go down the mostly graded, but bumpy road for almost 3 KMS. We were in a 4X4 truck, but didn't need to use the 4 wheel drive this time of year. There were several motorbikes coming and going and they were able to get down the road just fine. The last part of the road at the entrance was steep and rocky but we had no trouble getting down. I am not sure a lower car wouldn't scrape their axles on the rocks. But once you get there, it's totally worth the drive.

There is no entrance fee, as it is run by the city and right now, mostly the locals enjoy this obscure hot springs. There are NO SERVICES either so you must bring everything you will need. It looked like there were comfort rooms and they are building outdoor showers as I write. There are 3 huts with cement stools, a table and benches to sit under.

The water is not as hot as some hot springs I have been to, but here in the tropics, I think that is much better. The 3 deeper pools are just above body temperature I do believe, with one being the hottest of the deep pools. There is one shallow pool, uncovered and that is hotter than them all, but not hot enough to really burn. Uncomfortable for sure in the summer!

"Bgy. Sta. Lucia-Iwahig lies about 10 km south of the Puerto Princesa City proper in Palawan Island. Hot spring temperature is about 44-560C. Geothermal study estimates a reservoir temperature ranging from 51-1360C. Type of water is determined to be slightly alkaline sodium chloride waters." Referenced by this article on the two hot spring areas in Puerto Princesa. 

We went first thing at opening at 8am and I must warn you, there were a lot of sand fleas or nik niks...they veritably chased me off as I am deathly allergic to them. Virgin coconut oil and mosquito repellant should keep them off exposed areas..but they say if you go later in the day...they go away.

The parking area is ample for our truck to get in, turn around and park so we can head out easily. This is a simple area, but is well kept and clean. It is totally worth the ride down the dirt road. Rainy season might present a challenge, but I am going to try it for sure.
One of the three huts to sit under out of the sun and eat your snacks or meal.

The rock walking paths make it easy to get to the hot spring pool area.
The 4 connected pools with varying temperatures. The pool in foreground being the warmest of them. There is one single pool in the sun, which is where the hottest water is.
This is the hottest of the pools but very comfy on a cloudy morning. It is uncovered so it would be uncomfortably hot in summer months. It was nice at 8 AM, when we got there though.
The waters are not totally clear because of the high content of minerals in the water.
There are 3 of these huts with a table and 6 cement stools with benches to sit at and around.

You can smell the sulphur minerals in the pools. Had the weather not been so warm, I would gladly have gotten right in.

There are two covered deep pools. The pool in the foreground being the warmest of them.
This is what the place looked like to me in 2009, but rougher even. They have kept the raw pool natural. It is too shallow and rocky to dip into.
Here is a link to the map and gps coordinates for you techy people.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Love and peace deep jungle river resort

Steep stairs. Not for the weak kneed. But worth the walk.
This Maoyon river resort was recommended to me by a friend. We didn't make it to the opening but actually stumbled upon it trying to find someplace else. That happens to me a lot it seems.

In any case, the steep stairs were rather daunting to me at first because both my husband and myself have weak knees. But since we were already there I really wanted to see the river. It was really worth going down to see it.

Very relaxing atmosphere. There is a hanging deck over the river, where the bar also is situated. The water was green and inviting to us as it was a rather hot day but since we were all hungry, we decided to eat first. I loved hanging out here on the native bamboo deck. So very, very relaxing. We didn't swim this time but we will definitely be going back to take up kayaking or swimming in the river.
Don't let the steep stairs keep you from this view!! You can swim in the river, or kayak.

We ordered 2 hamburgers, French fries and deep fried onion rings. The hamburger was very delish. The fries and onion rings were tasty but very skimpy on quantity. They just opened so I am hoping the owner trains the staff better as time goes by. The staff were very nice, polite and helpful. We probably will go back for a day trip as I really want to go to the Langogan waterfalls nearby.
The native rooms are in the background and they looked small but clean.

Looking back from the hanging river deck towards the restaurant.

Couches inside the hut of the restaurant, from which the river is visible.

Inside the restaurant and reception area where you check in if you are staying in one of the native cottages.
I've read some reviews by people who have stayed there and they are all favorable. But being near a river tends to be quite cool at night, so bring light layers in clothing.

Owners description.
"Love and Peace Deep Jungle River Paradise Resort is situated in Puerto Princesa along the tranquil Maoyon River Cruise Rafting. Rooms are comfortable and fitted with a private balcony. Free WiFi access is available.

Love and Peace Deep Jungle River Paradise Resort is located 33 km away from Puerto Princesa International Airport. Balinsasayaw Restaurant – Rizal is 34.4 km away while Honda Bay is 27.8 km from the resort.

All the rooms are cooled with a fan and fitted with en suite bathrooms. Hot-water showers

They do have a website, but the photos are too small to do the place justice.

I think you can book there through  which has plenty of photos of the place as well as the nearby river and waterfalls.  This site has a lot more photos of the place as well as their rooms.

You can also book directly by calling the numbers below or via email.

Here is the direct contact information:|
Steve  +63 9166609839  or +63 9399261388
Sarah +63 9088135401