Palawan Paradise Part 2:
Port Barton, The Philippines

Port Barton, Rainy Rainy Days

I do not have much to say about Port Barton, save for how difficult it was to get there and how unpleasant it was to stay. I’m not usually so negative about a place, but alas we all have our weaknesses.

While the beach looked stunning and the resorts and restaurants were fairly priced and clean, there was a Stephen King-esque cloud of meteorological disaster hovering over the place for my entire visit. I went on snorkeling trips where it was sunny and beautiful a stone’s throw away, but the minute we motored back into the Port Barton bay, there would be a gathering of angry clouds, ready to spill their wrath. I am not talking mere rain, either. It rains so forcefully there that I saw a spider running to get out of it. I didn’t think spiders ran at all, seeing as how they tend to scurry like crabs, but this one (its body the size of my hand) whirred out of of the wet onslaught by sticking its legs into twos and propelling itself out of the flood. When it got to where we were taking shelter (a store’s awning), its legs popped out again, and of course, it made a beeline straight for me. Happily, a white cat came out of nowhere, popped the spider in its mouth and scampered away.

I spent my days reading trashy beach novels care of Elsa’s Resort (owned by the Dab Dab Resort owner’s cousin), except that I read them in their restaurant because the beach was sopping wet. I ate mostly at Judy’s restaurant, run by the personable Judy and her shy, sweet staff (mostly gay boys who had been turned away by their families for not being straight, and who she sponsored to pay for their schooling and books), usually sitting under an awning, watching the sky open up and blanket the city in (yet more) rain.

port barton
The jeepney ride to Port Barton involved taking a Sabang-bound jeepney until the Salvacion junction, then a Roxas-bound jeepney to San Jose, then a final jeepney to Port Barton. To put it mildly, it was an unpleasant day. As a result, we (the random group of equally wet people I met in Port Barton) figured that a boat ride to El Nido was preferable to the reverse jeepney commute. We were wrong, since that trip ended up running us a full eleven soaking-wet, freezing-cold hours instead of the promised 5. We disembarked in El Nido, so miserable from our trip that the sheer magnitude of the beauty surrounding us didn’t sink in. It wasn’t until we dried off that we understood how unique the place truly was. More to come on El Nido in my next blog post; I loved it so much that I am currently back there, staying with a Filipino family for the next two months.

Beautiful beaches on my snorkeling trip to surrounding islands; colourful shells at the lunchtime pitstop:

More to come from Palawan in Part 3, Coron Town and Buswanga.

-Jodi