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mikewright

Off the beaten track recommendation?

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mikewright

Following recent retirement (again) have got a few months up my sleeve to visit the Phils. Looking for recommendations for places a bit off the usual. Really liked Puerto Galera, Moalboal, Malapascua, Panglao, Sigada, El Nido, Coron, Port Barton, Siquijor, etc.  But favorite places are those a little off the grid - Cuyo Islands, San Vincente Palawan,  anywhere on Linapacan Island.

Looking for - good snorkeling, electricity for at least six hours a day (negotiable), ice for the beer (negotiable), some food other than boiled rice, a  place where a tourist is the exception and still welcome. Accommodation say not more than $25 a night for a single.

Any recommendations?

 

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BossHog

Dinagat would seem to tick all those boxes.

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mikewright

Will do. Thanks. Any others?

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pbeaveruation

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rfm010
43 minutes ago, BossHog said:

Dinagat would seem to tick all those boxes.

hmmm, wonder if they have accommodations for 16...

maybe mike could use some neighbors?

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Dafey

Palompon, Leyte is a nice little town. There are a few hotels that fit your budget and are relatively comfortable. One of my favorites is Whispering Beach. While it is on the water there is not a great beach. However, the owner is a retired teacher and super nice, though a little hard of hearing. The town has everything you need and some okay restaurants...Mr. Ds is the best I've seen. Palompon is also the gateway to Kalanggaman Island wich is a beautiful island for day or camping overnight...45 minute banca boat ride from the pier.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g2040759-d2040760-Reviews-Whispering_Beach_Resort-Palompon_Leyte_Province_Leyte_Island_Visayas.html

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g2040759-d3546287-Reviews-Kalanggaman_Island-Palompon_Leyte_Province_Leyte_Island_Visayas.html

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Jim Sibbick
14 hours ago, BossHog said:

Dinagat would seem to tick all those boxes.

I stayed in Dinagat town in 2006. It cost me P100 per night for a room with a single bed, cooling by fan and a cup of coffee in the morning. I could see the sea through the floor. Shower was bucket and ladle in the nearby toilet. However, it had million dollar views. 

You can see it on this video

 

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Jim Sibbick
1 hour ago, Dafey said:

Palompon, Leyte is a nice little town. There are a few hotels that fit your budget and are relatively comfortable. One of my favorites is Whispering Beach. While it is on the water there is not a great beach. However, the owner is a retired teacher and super nice, though a little hard of hearing. The town has everything you need and some okay restaurants...Mr. Ds is the best I've seen. Palompon is also the gateway to Kalanggaman Island wich is a beautiful island for day or camping overnight...45 minute banca boat ride from the pier.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g2040759-d2040760-Reviews-Whispering_Beach_Resort-Palompon_Leyte_Province_Leyte_Island_Visayas.html

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g2040759-d3546287-Reviews-Kalanggaman_Island-Palompon_Leyte_Province_Leyte_Island_Visayas.html

Thankyou Dafey! Palompon is my town! I would not even though of it is off the beaten track but that is probably because I am so familiar with it.  

It is 5 to 6 hours by slow ferry from Cebu City to Palompon with Medallion or Cokaliong. My favourite is Cokaliong
https://cokaliongshipping.com/#
https://www.facebook.com/medalliontransportinc

My girlfriends aunt is building a new 2 bedroom apartment opposite where she is living now in palompon. We will start renting it as soon as it is finished being built.


I was married in Palompon in 1995 and the wedding feast was held at Whispering Beach. If that retired teacher is Mrs Ocubillo. I told her I would never be back. There were about 10 foreigners at the wedding. We agreed a separate menu for the foreigners. She was paid the money but did not provide the food. Later in the day, people were wondering what happened to the Lechon Baboy. We had 2. I went inside and discovered her staff eating them.

Whispering beach is well located in the town though.

My ex wife has a resort now. It is on San Juan Beach about 2 kilometres from the centre of Palompon. It is possibly the best accommodation in Palompon now. Cheapest room is P1300. that is about the budget of the OP
https://www.facebook.com/sergibeachresort/

San Juan beach isn't fantastic but it is OK. And very popular on weekends.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSG2LBr4Epw


Here is my own personal video of the centre of Palompon.The Green Apple shown in the video and another bar a few shops along on the same street, is where expats hangout in the evening.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHjGph5MIrA

 

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Jim Sibbick

 

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mikewright

Thanks guys. I guess my main focus is snorkelling, with good corals and a variety of sea life.

I've been to Kalanggaman a few times, great day trips and crystal clear water, but where I was snorkelling, along the main sand bar, very little in the way sea life.  I remember thinking at the time it could be a good place for an artificial reef.  Is there any good snorkelling off other parts of the island?

Also, I guess prices have gone up a bit since I was last in the Philippines and $25 a night for accommodation might be a bit limiting.  So say in the $20-$50 per night range, a bit more if required.

Jim, thanks for the videos, Dinagat looks like my kind of place.

What's the snorkeling like around Palampon? It's easy for me to get to, as I'm based near Ormoc, but I would usually head down south to Padre Burgos.

Thanks again for the suggestions, they all look good.

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Jim Sibbick

Sorry, I have never snorkelled in my life. But I have never heard of anyone snorkelling in Palompon. 

Another easy option for you from Ormoc is Biliran. I have not heard of snorkelling on Biliran but I have heard of snorkelling on nearby islands such as Maripipi 


https://tourism.biliranisland.com/maripipi-island.php

In case you don't know about Biliran. It is attached to mainland Leyte by a bridge. So you can easily drive there. Heading from Ormoc to Tacloban, you turn off at Lemon and just keep going straight until you are on Biliran. The scenery for the last 10km or so before you get onto Biliran is spectacular.

Apart from diving/snorkelling nearby islands, Biliran has 
- multiple beaches. Some people complain about the beaches not being nice. They are nice enough for me! 
- mini rice terraces
- bat caves used by the Japanese during the second world war
- a cemetery where you can see human skulls and bones
- hot springs although not as developed as some other locations such as Ardent Hot Springs on Camiguin
- cold springs
- multiple waterfalls
- volcanos, although I have never heard of any volcano trekking but you may still be able to volcano trekking..This is the main volcano
http://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/html/update_VMEPD/Volcano/VolcanoList/biliran.htm
- rice paddies right by the sea.  

I like to stay at the VRC resort on Agta Beach in Almeria on Biliran. That is about a 2 hour trip in a private van from Ormoc City. The main accommodation at the VRC resort is a 2 bedroom house, on a cliff, over looking the sea, other islands and the Agta Beach. Not sure of the exact cost now but last I checked it was P2800 per night, good for 4. If there are only 2 of you, they lock one room and charge P1500. The house has a sala with sattelite TV, full kitchen with large ref and stove, and private bathroom. There are cheaper options for other rooms.  The resort has 3 swimming pools, kiddies pool, medium pool and adult pool with waterslides. It has a restaurant and  jet ski hire and will help with snorkelling. If this sounds like it is of interest to you, contact them on their facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/VRC-Resort-288054711315391/

It doesn't feel like 5 years but searching for a video, I just discovered it is 2013 since I was last there. Here is that video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRtQaf5Adfo

Also, here is an older, out of date video. Don't rely on it for anything, but it will give you an idea of what Biliran is like
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7x4RIT_kC0

 

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Jim Sibbick

I was just watching my VRC resort video and this drone video showed next. They are calling it Talahid Beach Flyby. But it is a drone video of Agta Beach. Agta Beach is in barangay Talahid, Almeria, Biliran. It flys over the beach and the VRC resort

 

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Jim Sibbick

Have you considered Camiguin? It is a place known for snorkelling and is not one of the places you listed as already visited. One of the places you snorkel there is a sunken cemetery.

Camiguin Island has,
- volcano trekking.
- a huge, white sand, sand bar called White Island
- Hot springs. Ardent Hot Springs is a series of pools ranging from luke warm to 38c. Some of the pools have mini waterfalls.
- Cold springs
- historical sights/sites
- A sunken cemetery
- Waterfalls
- Diving/snorkelling
- Rice paddies.

 

Instead of giving you my old video, check videos here

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=camiguin+tourism+video

On Lonely planet, a couple of years ago, they seemed to be in a competition to see who could come up with the cheapest room price on the island. 2 years ago, that was P150. There are many more comfortable places in your price range. 

I stayed at Secret Cove. I just found this one week old video. Secret Cove is looking better than I remember. It is certainly within your budget. It has a library with pool table above the restaurant. The view while playing pool is of White Island.

The facebook page is here

https://www.facebook.com/SecretCoveBeachResort

 

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mikewright

So many choices! Thanks guys. Will put Biliran and Camiguin on the list, with Dinigat and Siargao.  Can't wait to get back, its been over a year.

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