After a bumpy and somewhat alarming ride on the Lexus shuttle bus, I attended to business. First, I had to find lodging. On the third attempt, success! I found decent lodging at Frontier Lodge right beside the Lexus bus terminal along the National Highway.
SHOULD I BE CONCERNED?
I raised my eyebrows at this sight.
Clearly, the airbag of this Toyota van has already been used. Airbags are not reusable (although they can be replaced). A spent airbag indicates that the vehicle had collided with enough impact to deploy the airbag.
The shuttle zooms along between 80 and 90 kilometers per hour on the two-lane (one each way) National Highway. The highway between Narra through Sofronio Espanola and Brooke’s Point is about 80% torn-up. In short, it’s a bumpy ride.
Upon arrival, I asked and learned that our driver drives at least two round trips between Puerto Princesa and Brooke’s Point every day. The fare from Narra to Brooke’s Point is Php 130 but the thrill of the ride is free.
THUMBS UP TO FRONTIER LODGE!
All rooms have two single beds. It has three air-conditioned rooms going for Php 650 a night (Php 600 for single occupancy). It has six “fan” rooms going for Php 300 a night (Php 200 for single occupancy). The latter share bathrooms with another fan room while the former have their own bathrooms.
There’s an Internet Cafe at the ground floor making the lodge doubly convenient. (I’m posting this from there, in fact.) Hourly rates are a reasonable Php 20.
Frontier Lodge can be reached at cellphone: +63.918.354.8343. Or through shin_evangelista17 at yahoo.com.
I was determined to cool off but beaches do not seem to be one of Brooke’s Point’s strong suits. I resolved therefore to swim at one of two nearby waterfalls: Mainit Falls (“hot” as in the thermal spring water) located in Barangay [abbreviated Bgy.] Mainit and Sabsaban Falls located in Bgy. Cabar.
My guide, Ronald Magno, took us in his trike to the latter. It’s about six kilometers north of Frontier Lodge (which, itself, is just north of the town center). Take the dirt road (headed west) to Bgy. Aribungos and follow it for about 25 minutes through Bgy. Cabar until you reach the falls.
All kinds of shade and fruit trees (like my favorite Kaimito) line the road.
The structure in the following photo was erected in 2009 by the Augustinian Order and occupied by sisters of the order. It serves as a training center for the indigenous people. Its objective is to raise their awareness and concern for the environment. (Click on the photo to see an enlargement. For that matter, click on any photo.)
Ronald charged me Php 300 for the round trip. We left town at 10:30, arrived at about 11, and stayed until 3. Ronald can be reached through his cellphone: +63.929.758.8090.
We saw an assortment of tiny fish (up to about 3 centimeters, that’s longer than an inch Americans – switch to metric, why don’t you?), some crabs, and a large, hard-back (almost like a shell) centipede.
I experienced a minor mishap. I forgot to take my bills out of my shorts. No worries. I dried them out while we were enjoying lunch.
The cool water and tranquil surroundings were hindered by litter. It was a let-down and I expressed my concern to several residents. The area around the falls needs garbage bins.
It’s worth a trip!