San Vicente, Palawan: A Series of Unfortunate Events (Days 3 and 4)

The private beach cove at Caparii
September 21, while still traumatized from the island hopping incident the day before (see here for the full story) , we woke up a bit late in anticipation of yet another bad weather. We had the usual breakfast of daing (marinated dried fish), corned beef, eggs, and garlic rice, and of course, how could breakfast be complete without a warm cup of brown coffee?

After breakfast, we headed out to the market in front of Picardal Lodge to buy something for lunch. Our plan was to just laze around the long beach since we felt it was still impossible to go island hopping due to the weather.

Picardal Lodge's location is very strategic, as it is literally a few steps away from the market and the port. It's really an advantage to stay in an inn where everything's within reach, especially in a place like San Vicente. If you'd rather stay somewhere far from the market, you better bring all your food and necessities with you as it's difficult to find a restaurant or a store in some baranggays there.

The wet market at San Vicente
Prices at the market are not too tourist-y. Seafoods, fruits and veggies are not overpriced. even when you go to the small grocery store inside the market, you will be surprised at how fairly-priced the goods are.
Locally-grown pomelo

Giant danggit
When we went back to Picardal Lodge, Francis, the owner, told us that he had asked the Tourism  Office of possible spots where we could go despite the bad weather. It was too nice of him to voluntarily find some ways on how we could maximize our stay in San Vicente. He then advised us that we could check out Caparii, a modest community-based resort nestled on a private cove in Sitio Panindigan. Since our supposedly island hopping trip to Daplac Cove and Niapuray Island was cancelled, and all that was left in our itinerary was the picnic lunch at the long beach, we expressed our interest to check out the resort.

Our driver, Kuya Ramil, brought us to Caparii which was about a 15-minute ride from Picardal Lodge. The resort was actually closed due to some renovations but we were allowed to check out the cove by the caretaker.

Entrance at Caparii
The resort has 15 rooms amidst lush tropical gardens. Though it was closed, we could still see its own unique charm.

Walkway to the private cove

Cabanas at the garden
Capari's private beach cove may not be that long and white, but it's serene appeal is unbeatable. Kuya Ramil, our driver, said that during the months of January to April, the water here turns azure like crystals glistening in the summer sun.

Capari's private beach cove

Our own version of Survivor photo op =)
Beach volleyball, anyone?

The waves were still strong at day 3

Look up!

Capari's restaurant
It turned a bit sunny when we went to Capari, so we decided to ask Francis if it was possible to do island hopping (kulet lang!) While waiting for Francis' reply, we went again to his friend's place at the long beach to have lunch. We brought our own food and the owner warmly welcomed us to his property. His property is just a few meters away from Discovery Shores', Two Seasons', and even the Webb's beachfront properties. Just a bit of gossip -- he said celebrities like Derek Ramsey and KC Concepcion also have properties at the long beach. Big potential, I see!

Boyet's property at the long beach
Our hopes of embarking on an island hopping tour vanished when we saw the roaring waves at the long beach. It even got wilder! =(

Waves at the long beach
Still not over about the island hopping cancellation for the second time, we just geared our attention to indulging in our  sumptuous lunch.

What's fo lunch? Well, irresistible steamed crabs!

Crabs at Php 130/kilo at the market
We ate boodle-style at a long table. The sun was a bit up so we savored its hot rays while eating sinful, fat crabs!!! No one was speaking. Everyone's busy cracking their crabs, haha!

Boodle time!
After eating, we stayed at the beach, swam, took photos, laze by the beach beds, and made the most of our stay at the long beach. Too bad we weren't also able to go to Irawan, the other side of the long beach since the roads were all wet and muddy and it would be difficult for a habal-habal (local motorcycle) to go all the way up the view deck. Fail!

Fine sands at the long beach

Bare beauty

The sand is super soft that you can walk barefoot

Glen having his highest jumpshot ever!
Okay, the sun was out, but it started to get gloomy again. We were just sitting by the beachbeads when we felt the rain was about to come. And we were right, it rained. Hard. No, harder. The wind blew as if there was a sandstorm and a twister. We all ran back to the beach house. Believe me, that was the strongest monsoon wind and rain I've ever seen in my life. Some sheets of glass were even broken at the back of the house. The tall coconut trees looked like they were all going to fall down! Disaster!

We all went inside the van since the beach house's first floor was an open air hall. We decided to leave the place after the rain and the wind subsided. We went back to Picardal Lodge, had coffee, vodka, tequila and everything else in between. That concludes our third day.


September 22, our fourth and last day in San Vicente. We told Kuya Ramil we would leave early so that we have a time allowance in case the roads are not in a good condition. True enough, when we were just a few meters away from Picardal Lodge, our van got stuck in a huge puddle of mud. The ever reliable Kuya Ramil went down to dig the mud and asked for help from the locals. Some of us were asked to go down to make it lighter for them to push van ahead. We were there for about 30 minutes until they finally managed to maneuver the van out of the puddle. That was level 1.

Level 2 was even harder. We were at the foot of Itabiak Road when Kuya Ramil noticed that the mud's getting softer and  softer. He parked the van and said he'll walk up to ask for help. Man, he walked up kilometers of wet, sticky mud! We sat beside the road while waiting for him. It took him awhile to return, and when he returned, he removed his sandals that were full of mud sticking on it! We gave him food and drinks and asked him to rest for awhile before driving up. When he finished drinking, he called all of us to get inside the van and he drove us up to the muddy hills. The grader was there, waiting for us, already starting to flatten the road to make it possible for us to pass. Then, Kuya Ramil realized that he left his sandals where we had parked earlier!!! Since it was really muddy and hard to go up and down the hills, he didn't dare go back to get his sandals and drove all the way to Puerto Princesa with bare feet.

That was our driver Kuya Ramil from afar

The grader assisted us throughout Itabiak Road
We gave the grader's operator Php 500 for the gasoline and tip, a kind gesture for helping us maneuver the almost impassable Itabiak Road. Wheeewww! Lesson learned: when they say go here in the summer season, believe them, period.

At the foot of Itabiak Road
We arrived in Puerto Princesa at around 5:00 pm, and Charisse of La Tiara Tours asked us if we want to go to Baker's Hill to buy some sweets, as well as the souvenir shop to buy some pasalubong. We agreed and by the time we finished shopping, it was time for us to go  to the airport. We bade Charisee, Jonel and Kuya Ramil goodbye as we dragged our luggage to the Puerto Princesa airport.

Our flight, which was supposed to depart at 8:30 pm, was delayed. It arrived at 8:30 pm, so we were able to board at around 8:45 pm. For the last hurray of unfortunate events -- drum roll -- plane couldn't take off because apparently, a bird got caught inside the plane's engine. We waited for another hour inside the plane and arrived in Manila  at little before midnight.

That was our four day epic fail trip to San Vicente. Though we had encountered a lot of unfortunate events during this trip, the beauty of the place, the delicious and affordable seafoods, and the kind and warm people, beckon us to return.  San Vicente, wait for us. We will return. The revenge!

We would like to thank Francis Picardal and his staff Lemuel for taking care of us while in San Vicente, Bantay Dagat for rescuing us during our second day, Boyet for welcoming us in his beach house at the long beach, Kuya Ramil for giving your best effort to transport us safely, and to the grader's operator who paved the road for us! Thumbs up to all of you!

And of course, thank you to my friends Uly, Bhey, Glenn, Jen, Tita Lennie, Toni, Tiara, Jonel, and my husband, Efren, for making this trip possible. Babalik tayo, karakaraka!!!

Picardal Lodge
Purok Rosal, Poblacion, 5309 San Vicente, Palawan, Philippines

La Tiara Tours


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