Fine. The title was a lame attempt to sound sarcastic but less mocking. But we really did “hop” from one pension house on our first night to another one on our second night. Not that we were truly andventurous but yep, something did happen which prompt us to transfer.
I’m speaking based on what happened to us. Maybe others have different experience but I still want to share ours.
For the price of 3,500 Php, inclusive of tours and daily breakfast, we weren’t really expecting a grand pension house. Just a clean space with clean sheets and bathroom is fine with me. When we learned that there’s free wifi, we were ecstatic.
SOTERA MANSION (1, 2oo Php per night + daily breakfast + van service to/from airport)
So on the night of our arrival, our travel agent accompanied us to where we will be staying during our vacation in Puerto Princesa. The outside structure of Sotera Mansion is impressing, maybe because of its appealing colors. The ambiance is pretty neat, too. It gives the impression of just being at the next neighborhood. The staff who welcomed us were accommodating as well. Things we don’t like started to show up the moment we learned that our room was located in the third floor. It’s a turn off but I guess we’re good since everything else was occupied at that time. Then, being net junkies, we were disappointed that the wifi connection wasn’t accessible in our room. We have to go down in the lobby if we want to surf the internet, but we settled for it. After all, we weren’t there to surf the web but to have a vacation. The TV in our room works only for one channel and the signal wasn’t even clear. We were uncomfortable, too, because even though there was curtains in our windows, a small part of our room is visible from the outside. And there were guys in our floor who actually went drinking until who knows when. And we can hear them from our room.
Given the above scenario, my sleep wasn’t the best. Jen said she was “*namamahay”, that’s why she could hardly sleep. During the day, we both agreed that the aircon wasn’t as cool. We have to wake up early in the morning because the tour guide will be coming to fetch us by 7. So with very little amount of sleep, we went downstairs to have our breakfast courtesy of Sotera Mansion. I was thinking of having bacon and some pancakes, maybe some fresh fruits , too. And hot chocolate! We found out that we actually don’t have a choice and this was served to every guests that morning:
I know it’s still food and there are hungry kids out there so please excuse the brattiness but I am disappointed.
And then they hit the jackpot. There was this accident and we were on the losing end. It ruined our day and we wish we could just go home. But instead of an apology, we got resentful feedback and a cashier who talks back and shouts at the customer. Maybe if they were a little humble, my friend could’ve just forgiven them. Their lack of modesty pushed us to fight for our rights because as far as business is concerned, the customer is always right.
They said that this is the first time that they encountered such incident and maybe they have no control over their anger, and perhaps no one is to blame but it doesn’t change the fact that they’ve been disrespectful to their customer. And being surrounded with friends who likes to travel, Sotera Mansion won’t be on my list of recommendation.
JLai’s Balai Turista (1, 2oo Php per night + daily breakfast + van service to/from airport)
Since we were no longer comfortable in Sotera Mansion, we asked our travel agent to book us to a different pension house. So after our Underground River tour, we moved to our next temporary home – JLai’s Balai Turista. One look and I remember that familiar feeling – being at the comfort of your home. It totally looks like just a house. It has a fancy garden and their furnitures were made of wood. It makes the place cozier. The staff were accommodating and friendly, as well.
Our room is small but it’s because our bed is bigger. Aircon and TV works perfectly fine, except the remote’s batt was dead already. I can also surf the internet right on my bed. One thing though, the water flow in the shower needs improvement.
We started our morning great because finally we’re going to the beach and JLai’s served us a scrumptious breakfast. We had our early meal in one of their garden tables. Fine day, indeed.
Obviously, I would choose JLai’s over Soters Mansion at any given day. Of course, other people’s experience could be different , too. Or maybe it was just a bad morning for all of us in Sotera Mansion that day. But there are other pension houses in Puerto Princesa and I know they’re all worth a try.
*feeling of uneasiness that one gets when he finds himself in a new place or house
Intro – The Puerto Princesa Experience
Day 1 – The Puerto Princesa Experience (Ugong Rock Adventures and Underground River)
Day 2 – Honday Bay! (coming soon)