Whenever I travel, I always make sure to work on a budget. I wanted to prove that one can enjoy El Nido and Puerto Princesa Palawan with a Php 6,000 budget for six days and five nights. That was my challenge. (Stay tuned for my trip expense report.)
One key factor in making the budget work was an affordable accommodation. Most accommodations that you’d find in El Nido range from Php 800 and up. I was grateful that I was able to stumble upon Lakas ng Trip’s helpful recommendation, Tay Miloy’s Inn.
I readily contacted Kuya Rodrigo Carag (0929 795 5756) for reservation. He required a 50% deposit to reserve two rooms for us. Initially, he told me that the price was Php 400/night per room. I haggled to Php 300/night per room since we’re staying for four nights and we’re getting two rooms. He agreed and so I deposited the 50% payment through the Pera Padala option of M.Lhuillier Pawnshop.
It was June 7, 2012, the day that we arrived in Puerto Princesa. I estimated that we’ll be arriving in El Nido at around 8:00 pm. Hence, I told Kuya Rodrigo to expect us by 8:00 pm. But I was wrong and underestimated the travel time. We were two hours behind the expected time. (Read: The Long Way to El Nido)
Heavy rain poured when the bus stopped at El Nido. Thankfully, tricycles at the Roro Bus Terminal were within reach. I told the trike driver to bring us to Tay Miloy’s Inn. He then said with a curios face,“Saan?”
I repeated, “Sa Tay Miloy’s Inn ho. ‘Yung katabi ng paradahan ng Lexus Shuttle.”
He still didn’t know where it was. Hence, he asked his fellow trike drivers. And so off we traveled in the dark road until the six-seater tricycle stopped in front of a house with no signage.
A man in his 30s whom we later known as Kuya Rodrigo went out to give us an umbrella to shield us from the downpour. I introduced myself and my companions. Kuya Rodrigo assisted us to the 2nd floor of his house, which has three rooms and a veranda. He pointed the common CR as well.
The room (which I shared with Janet) was painted in sky blue. It has two windows covered with curtains. The bed fitted exactly in the small room. Despite its area size, the room has a bedside table where we put our gadgets for charging. TIP: If you have many gadgets to charge, it’s best to bring an extension cord.
The room was ventilated by an electric fan situated on top of the bedside table. It was a bit old which explained its relatively weak cooling system. Nonetheless, I slept well due to exhaustion from the long trip.
What to expect inside:
- Basic room yet clean
- No cabinet
- No toiletries (Essential to bring your own toiletries)
- Thin mattress
THE COMFORT ROOM
Though the comfort room is shared among the occupants of the three rooms at Tay Miloy’s Inn, it was well-kept and cleaned everyday. Washing of clothes in the shared comfort room is not allowed. Nonetheless, they have a laundry area, where you can wash your clothes.
What to expect:
- No hotwater. Only cold water.
- You have the option to use the shower or the drum of water.
- During the four nights that we stayed at Tay Miloy’s Inn, there’s just one occasion when the water ran out at the shared bathroom. Hence, Kuya Rod led us to use their “personal” CR at the ground floor.
The morning that I woke up, I went out of the room and proceeded to the veranda. It was only then that I learn that Tay Miloy’s Inn was at the back of the Municipal Hall. One of the neighbors was sweeping the streets as early as 6:00 am while the others were preparing for another day of work. It was a Friday, the last day of school and work for everyone. But there I was seated by the veranda and struck by the inspiring view of the Taraw Cliffs.
The veranda was also a place where we sat down after a long day of island hopping. The veranda has a sampayan where we hang our wet swimsuits to dry.
TIP: Always lather a mosquito repellant lotion especially when staying here or wear pants and jacket. I got souvenirs from the mosquitoes of El Nido.
Five hundred meters away from the main tourism strip of M.Quezon St. or Calle Hama, Tay Miloy’s Inn provides a homey atmosphere. You wouldn’t feel like you were on a vacation. It’s like feeling at home/ staying in a friend’s house. It is located at the back of the town’s Health Center and adjacent to the Lexus Shuttle Terminal along with other residential houses where most locals live.
Despite its distance to the main tourism strip of M.Quezon where most restaurants and resorts are, I enjoyed walking from the lodging to the restaurants and vice-versa, which only took less than 10 minutes. I didn’t find it tiring at all. The small town of El Nido has a welcoming atmosphere that would encourage anyone to walk and immerse with the locals.
THE OWNERS/ MANAGEMENT
Tay Miloy’s Inn may not have all the amenities that would make one’s vacation comfortable but it has the basics that fit our budget perfectly. More than our stay, I was more than grateful to the owners of the lodging, Kuya Rod and his family. They were nice people, who were ready to assist us. Kuya Rod can assist you with your tours or if you need a trike.
CONFESSION: I lost the key of our room and all of our things were there. They didn’t have any duplicate key left. Kuya Rod was ready to take out the glass of the window and let his son pass through the window so the door can be opened for us. But J used the “card technique” and so Janet and I were able to get in without taking out the glass from the window.
I was really sorry. I apologized to the family and bought a new door lock for the room (Thankfully, they have a hardware store in El Nido town). Kuya Rod and his family appreciated it.
More than anything else, people skills were really important in a business. If the owners know how to treat their guests well, guests will keep coming. And yes, in the four nights that we’ve stayed there. The remaining room near the toilet always has an occupant, be it a local or a foreigner.
Will I recommend it? Definitely! But please, reserve only if you’re sure to get the room. Tay Miloy’s Inn is perfect for backpackers/ budget travelers who are okay with staying in a basic lodging.
I was lucky that I shared the room with Janet which cut the cost to Php 150 per night. I only spent Php 600 for the four nights that I stayed in El Nido. Yes, that’s how thrifty I was! haha.