How to Live Like a Local in Palawan?
June 2017 to March 2018 – How to live like a local in Palawan? The best thing happened in my life living in nine (9) months. Staying there for a long time was unplanned and it just happened. When some of my friends learned that I was staying there for several months, they thought I was really rich. Just because Palawan is the most visited island in the Philippines by tourists and voted as the Most Beautiful Island in the World. Well, I must be really lucky for staying in Palawan like a local.
Taking Advantage as a Local and a Tourist
Since I am from Cebu, I can be a tourist. But since I am a Filipino, I can be a local. Living like a local and a tourist in Palawan has given me an advantage since I can speak the language, Tagalog. I can haggle and the people there can give me a local price. As a tourist, the only advantage is that they will treat me right. But no worries, in my observation, Palawenos are the friendliest people I’ve ever met.
Related Article: Bamboo Hostel and Tours Review in Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Cheap Boarding House Rentals in Puerto Princesa, Palawan
I chose Puerto Princesa as home-base in Palawan since it is the capital city. I found out that their LTE connection in the city center works better. The boarding house rental in Puerto Princesa can be as low as US$40 a month up to US$100. But it depends on your budget and how far or near you are from the city center.
In comparison, I cannot find a US$40 a month in Cebu City with a private room. My room in Puerto Princesa is pretty small and basic. The bathroom is shared and no shower. But water consumption is free so I don’t find myself too lazy to wash my clothes. The place is near to the city center so I am close to everything for convenience.
Related Article: Settling in Puerto Princesa for a While as a Digital Nomad
- I’m near the airport.
- SM City Puerto Princesa is just a 5-minute walking distance from my place.
- Renewing my passport in Puerto Princesa is such a convenience.
- Can easily hop on a tricycle and multi-cab.
- Everything is walking distance if you love to walk.
- I can go to some cafes that have an internet connection to do my online work.
- Popular local restaurants are accessible.
- Can do a 10-15 minute quick escape from the city to some resorts in Puerto Princesa.
- There’s a white sand beach just 30 minutes within the city or an hour away from the city.
- I have a normal nightlife in the city just because it’s a 10-min walk.
- Speaking of electricity bill, I only pay less than PHP 100 a month.
Related Article: 4 Days and 3 Nights in Puerto Princesa with Mom
How to Find Cheap Boarding House or Room for Rent in Palawan?
I suggest go to Facebook and find the group(s) cheap boarding house/room for rent in Palawan.
As a Digital Nomad Living in Puerto Princesa
Just so you know, I can’t say that the internet here is better than in Manila or Cebu. There’s a lot of co-working spaces in Manila and Cebu that’s why digital nomads who need fast internet connection may need to live there. But if you’re online job is kind of chill, you can be a digital nomad in paradise.
FYI, Palawan has still a problem about electricity outage or brown out or black out. Every time this happens, I just run to SM City Puerto Princesa or Robinson’s Palawan since they have a generator.
SM City Puerto Princesa has fast free Wi-Fi good for one hour.
What Internet Connection I’m Using in Puerto Princesa?
I have two (2) LTE pocket wi-fi for Smart and Globe. I use Smart all the time since they have faster LTE connection in the city than Globe. But I use Globe as a back up if there is a problem with Smart.
- Pocket wi-fi costs PHP1,290 for each Smart and Globe.
- 2GB data for PHP100 x 30 days = 60GB data for PHP3,000.
- You can bring your pocket wi-fi anywhere.
- Switch Smart or Globe depends on which network has better reception in that area.
Take note that not all towns in Palawan have a good reception. So if you need to be off-the-grid, there’s a lot of places to go to.
Eat Like a Local – How to Live Like a Local in Palawan
- Local carinderia or local restaurant cost PHP 20 a meal with rice up to PHP 50 a meal with rice, soft drinks, and a banana.
- Buy a rice cooker for only PHP 500 and cook your own food.
- You can buy fruits and vegetables in the local market.
- If you want something fancy, you can try the popular restaurants in Puerto Princesa.
FYI, I don’t have a mini refrigerator in my place so I am forced to go out and buy food. In a way, it’s my form of exercise to walk around. I can tell I have a healthy lifestyle in Puerto Princesa since walking and swimming are the best exercises you can do.
What Made Me Decide to Stay Longer in Palawan?
Since my first foot stepped in Palawan in 2014, I never thought that it will become a yearly trip. To be honest, I always book a one-way ticket to Puerto Princesa like a day before the flight or just right on the spot. I didn’t mind the cost of the ticket but a US$40 one way ticket is good for me.
Palawan became my sweet escape and has always been a quick escape to paradise. It became more comfortable and I feel at home when a friend happened to live in a town in Palawan. Eventually, I met new people and became friends because of her. Yes, Palawan is my second home.
I Seldom Update My Social Media Especially My Facebook Page – How to Live Like a Local in Palawan?
In 9 months of staying like a local in Palawan, I seldom update my social media especially my Facebook page – I Travel Rox but I am updated with my personal profile. I decided not to spend too much on updating my whereabouts on my page because there is a chance I might get obsessed with having the attention or no attention. Actually, I’m keeping the places I visited as secrets so I have to be careful about how to write it.
Places to Visit and Things To Do in Palawan
I have visited several places in Puerto Princesa and other towns in Palawan so it will take me time to write about it. For now, these are the places to visit and things to do in Palawan.
- Port Barton – a Perfect Place for Digital Detox and Meditation
- The Second Time Around in El Nido, Palawan with Free Island Hopping Tour
- Off-the-beaten Path: Liminangcong
- My Palawan Trip for 10 Days in September 2014
- 4 Days and 3 Nights in Puerto Princesa with Mom
- Mellow Yellow Tour Z in El Nido, Palawan March 2018
Conclusion – How to Live Like a Local in Palawan?
I hope I’m giving you some ideas on how to live like a local in Palawan especially in Puerto Princesa. Palawan is so huge that I promised myself to take a yearly visit and discover the unknown places. Living there for nine months was not a goal at first but I’m so glad it happened.
Living in simplicity in Palawan and I become less materialistic. I appreciate my minimalistic life in Puerto Princesa. What’s important is you have a roof over your head, a bed to sleep, a food to eat, and an online job to sustain my nomadic life. The best thing is, you are very close to Mother Nature, just within reach.
Related Article: How Can a Poor Filipina Afford to Travel?
How to live like a local in Palawan? If you’re curious, you got to experience it.
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Roxanne is an aspiring digital nomad. A virtual assistant since October 2009. She is a hobbyist blogger, photographer and travels a lot.