Our story is about the power of travel and following your dreams.
Giving up the city life in Manila where I was born and raised, and now owning a simple candy store in beautiful Palawan, Philippines.
But travelling is my passion. And sharing stories I've learned from all around the world and the beauty of different cultures would be amazing.
A little bit about me... I have lived in 5 countries and speak five languages. As a tourist I've visited over 25 countries, and remain a traveller at heart. I have been fortunate enough that these 5 countries were diverse-- a first world country, second world, third world, and what I would call a fourth world country. The cultures I've learned from are also diverse covering three continents (North America, South America, Asia).
What are the countries you might ask? Cambodia, Brazil, Colombia, United States, and the Philippines! And yes, I do speak the languages of these countries, quite well.
This makes for an interesting cultural exchange, as I share everything I've learned from the world, combined with the Philippine culture and lifestyle,
I chose Palawan because it has been voted several times the most beautiful island in the world. El Nido is the most famous, and Puerto Princesa is seen as a "stopover," but I have shown travellers the best of Puerto and they end up enjoying the city just as well :)
Oh and did I mention I'm an award-winning author? Yes I won an award for a self-help book I wrote that helped yuppies and millennials in Manila.
I was also a business of professor in Palawan and taught locals. Yes I do have an MBA and an interesting outlook in life.
We'd love to have you with us and share travel stories! Always something new to learn from everyone! And we believe everyone is an expert as something, we would love to learn, learn, learn and have fun :)
See you here in Puerto :)
Help in the house
I'm a traveller at heart, and I've lived in 5 countries and speak five languages. I have visited over 25 countries. I see things from the travellers point of view, and the local's as well :)
(Definitely a book that I recommend as you travel Asia would be Lee Kwan Yeu's "From third world to first world." It's a fascinating account of South East Asian history from an inspiring leader's point of view.)
The cultural exchange learned would be the following:
1. I give a personal tour on your first day, so that you know the history, local customs, travel tips, where to eat, local delicacies, and everyday fascinating things about Puerto Princesa that make the place memorable, and more importantly, gives you the freedom daily to explore where you want to go.
2.Most travelers see Palawan as paradise with its beautiful beaches. But
Puerto Princesa will surprise you.
For this reason, I give a personal tour of the city, to all my volunteers. I give the tour the way I would like it, if I visited your country :) Its a combination of foodie tour, history, and recommendations from other travelers. Definitely cannot miss!
My top cultural learning experiences in Puerto Princesa:
1. Iwahig Prison Farm
2. World War 2 Memorial Museum
3. Palawan Heritage Museum
Local beaches that locals frequent that tourists dont know:
1. Nagtabon beach - free and absolutely gorgeous. My advice is to go early in the morning and enjoy the beach to yourself, to do yoga, swim, exercise or meditate :)
Iwahig Prison Farm - by far the most fascinating activity in Puerto Princesa. Interact with local prisoners in a 5-acre farm built by the Americans in 1901.
WW2 Heritage Museum - my grandfather always said - "I hope you never experience war in your lifetime. The violence was just secondary-- you don't even know where are what to eat." This museum pays tribute to the local heroes that helped the Philippines win the war against the invading Japanese. The most fascinating aspect-- opposite to how the world views Palawan now as the most beautiful island in the world, Palawan was also a warzone 70 years ago, as controlling Palawan would give access to 5 countries. Fascinating indeed!
Palawan Heritage Musuem - this museum established by the local government, gives travelers a great taste of the history of Palawan, the diversity of the people. and the geography (Palawan is actually closer to Malaysia than Manila), and more importantly, this museum helps travellers plan their trip around Palawan, as they see pictures, paintings and videos of the island. Definitely a must see, at the beginning of your Palawan trip.
These three are just the beginning of Palawan. We hope you enjoyed our tips, and definitely more to come when you get here. Looking forward to having you!
We used to be a top-rated hostel in Palawan. And in January 2019 we decided to convert from a hostel into a private rental.
We need help with ideas about our two giant treehouses.
We just need simple ideas or things you've seen in your travels that could help get us going. Nothing major :)
We have successfully converted our AC room into a top-rated rental, and would need help with the two remaining structures: the 75sqm gazebos with a giant mango tree right in the middle :)
English, Spanish, Portuguese, Filipino, Khmer
At the back of our rental property is our volunteer room. It's not the Waldorf Astoria, but privacy, fast wifi (as fast as it can possibly get in Palawan), a nice garden, friendship from our friendly staff, and a peaceful sleep are guaranteed :)
It was made by our volunteers, for future volunteers :)
What can helpers do with their time off?
Being a traveler myself, I am adamant that our volunteers/friends travel and enjoy the best of Puerto Princesa, Palawan, and the Philippines.
For this reason we do follow the 5 days on and 2 days off workweek recommended by Workaway religiously. We give all the tips and tricks on your two days off to enjoy the best of Palawan :) Sometimes our volunteers enjoy their tasks and work a bit more. We literally stop them and make them take their break, so they can see the rest of the city.
As mentioned earlier in our profile, our top tips in Puerto Princesa that will make you miss it as soon as you leave. And the best part? Most of these are either free, or $1 dollar entrance :)
1. Iwahig Prison Farm -- totally free, totally unforgettable :)
2. Palawan Heritage Museum - established by the government to promote the Palawan culture, tour guides are university students studying Tourism.
3. WW2 Memorial Museum - best local tour guide in town... a historian like no other.
4. Nagtabon beach -- spectacular! Especially early in the morning
5. Rene's Saigon -- the owner is Rene from Saigon who was a 10 year old refugee from Vietnam. Fascinating story indeed. Food is excellent combing traditional Vietnamese recipies with local food and ingredients.
6. Baywalk -- free, and absolutely magnificent. Get a view of the water, clouds, trees, and mountains, all at the same time.
What are the available transport?
Our volunteers have walked the city, (quite safe), local tricycles for $1, or you can buy a used bicycle for $25. Mostly travellers get around by local tricycles, And in case you want to enjoy the day on your time off, we have a trusted local driver Mario with fixed rates and a friendly, genuine smile to offer.
We give recommendations that all travellers have loved, both volunteers and guests. Can't wait to give them to you when you get here :)
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 3 hours a day, 5 days a week