I just stayed at the newly soft launched Astoria Palawan in Barangay San Rafael, Puerto Princesa City a few days ago.
It was pretty good and spanking new.
Service was also great.
The only draw back is that it is pretty far away from the city.
,You should also check out the swanky Dos Palmas Island Resort & Spa in an island on the Honda Bay which is pretty good and has all the trappings of a first class resort.
,You can check out the other resorts in Barangay Sabang.
But, I do not know any of them.
,Staying at these resorts keep you within reasonable land travel distance of the New7Wonders of Nature and UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, and still have a decent beach resort.
I presume you are going to Palawan and wont miss this.
You can also arrange a scuba diving trip to another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Tubbataha Reef.
Puerto Princesa Hotel
Best Western Hotel .
Staffs were nice and the breakfast was delicious compared to other hotels.
Oh and they have a nice view if you wanna relax your eyes.
Despite being known for having excellent campus food (which, I didnt appreciate until I tried other colleges food.
), Cornell served up sweet & sour pork burritos at The Terrace in the hotel school.
I couldnt resist trying it and was confused by the texture of long-grained rice in a tortilla wrapped around lettuce, mild salsa (I couldnt bear the thought of mexican spice with Chinese sweet & sour) and the taste of my favorite Chinese dish growing up.
,Needless to say, its not something that should repeated ever again.
Holiday Suites Port Barton
DOCTOR WHO (REVOLUTION OF THE DALEKS) 2021 REVIEW: The end of my tether.
,Please note, this review will contain spoilers.
,,Honestly, I didnu2019t plan to watch this.
,Iu2019m still not sure if Iu2019m glad I caved into my curiosity or not.
,Revolution of the Daleks is the sequel to last yearu2019s New Year special, Resolution.
In a rare twist, the sequel actually outranks its predecessor, though thatu2019s not a very hard thing to do.
Anyone who read my review of Resolution will know how annoyed I was with Chibnallu2019s attempt to frame the Daleks as his answer to the Metebelis III spiders, and sadly heu2019s not quite done away with the nonsense of the reconnaissance Daleks.
,Having said that, itu2019s a welcome relief that the 2005-era Daleks have made a comeback.
Itu2019s rare for a redesign to work; 2010u2019s Victory of the Daleks gave us the Power Ranger rip-offs, which were only saved by jettisoning the more garish colours and introducing a more muted palate for their reappearance in Asylum of the Daleks.
While Chibnallu2019s AI-driven shell Daleks are nicely designed, the backlash against prior Dalek redesigns (as well as the Cyber redesign from Nightmare in Silver) proves that the original bronze and gold model is never going to be beaten.
They are the quintessential Dalek.
,While the Daleks have been rendered as chatty buggers outside of their shells, and Chibnall still hasnu2019t gotten the hint that there was a good reason why we werenu2019t being given too many glimpses of the inner mutants in episodes where the Daleks are meant to be threatening (Dalek only exposed the creature when it was no longer an active killer, while Evolution of the Daleks was all about changing Dalek Sec into a less threatening, more humanoid creature, and the same for Dalek Caan), weu2019re faced with a decent Dalek story.
Not a great one by any means, but a good story all the same.
,Thatu2019s almost a Godsend in this era of Doctor Who.
,,I have to admit that Iu2019m impressed with the continuity in this episode, too.
,Chibnall makes excellent use of the spare TARDIS that the fam had handy, using it to trap the Daleks in when theyu2019re no longer being used to eliminate the AI Daleks.
I didnu2019t really appreciate all the name-dropping, which felt like a riff to try and get the fans of the old material back on board after two pretty disastrous seasons of the writing team upending all of the lore (hey, remember Rose and Gwen?), but they were introduced by a character with prior ties to them both, so thereu2019s not too much to complain about with the artificiality of the references being made.
,Other aspects werenu2019t necessary, though, Jack (two Jacks?) Robertsonu2019s return from Arachnids in the UK, one of Series 11u2019s most forgettable episodes, is baffling.
His role could have been easily filled by anyone else; if he had been used as the main villain in Spyfall instead of Daniel Barton, I would have maybe understood a recurring motif of a shady, powerful business baddie who makes bad deals wherever he goes (maybe Barton would have been better here to explain where he scuttled off to, plus wouldnu2019t he have been better suited to Dalek design as a tech mogul?), but thereu2019s no motif to be found here.
Robertsonu2019s inclusion feels more accidental than anything, and he could have been replaced by any decent one-shot.
Plus, I get that Chibnall hates Trump (I hate Trump!), but his flick from seeking out insurance money to helping the Daleks is just far too cartoonish to dispel any lingering global Trumpmania.
,Iu2019m also conflicted on the use of the creatures in the prison.
,Weeping Angels and Silents?,Is Chibnall really trying to nick Moffatu2019s greats?,But now, the big return that we expected:,Honestly, Jack deserved so much better for his appearance.
,His entire plot point was to free Thirteen and to talk some words of wisdom to Yaz about her relationship with time travelling.
I think one of the big complaints about Thirteen is that she feels like a very passive Doctor, one who rarely takes an initiative on her own accord, and it would have been a phenomenal scene to watch her work her way out of the prion on her own.
Jack coming in to save her reeks of misogyny in my view; rather than letting the supposedly cleverest woman in the universe break out of one silly little prison, she has to be saved by the big, strong man.
,Itu2019s this sort of thing that stops Thirteen from being truly great.
,Chibnallu2019s progressiveness is only skin-deep.
,Iu2019m sure it wasnu2019t meant to be patronising, but honestly, that was foul play.
Thirteen has more than enough smarts to get out of a prison cell, Judoon or no Judoon (and what a SHITTY crime to be imprisoned for, evading the police?! She has a TARDIS to escape from anything in!).
And the Doctor has ties to the Judoon already, as seen in Tenu2019s relation with the Shadow Proclamation during The Stolen Earth, so one quick flash of the psychic paper or a reference to the Shadow Architectu2019s desk for review would have gotten her out of that in no time! Instead, we had to deal with a tedious plot point that had no real impact other than giving miserable old Ryan a reason to leave Team TARDIS, and his grandpa Graham by extension.
,Revolution of the Daleks was billing itself as a very interesting story, where the team would have to work out how to stop the Daleks while the Thirteen tried to find her way out of jail.
What we got was a betrayal of trust in marketing; this isnu2019t The Lie of the Land, where the whole point of the story was fake news so a fake regeneration in marketing it actually fitted the central theme.
Revolution of the Daleks sold us crap and used it to piggyback Ryan and Graham out of the story.
While this gave Tosin Cole a good chance to do what we might charitably call u201cactingu201d (really just whining into the camera about his lot in life and sulking about stuff that happened offscreen), the drama was as contrived as only Chibnall can manage, and it was worsened by the initial situation of rendering Thirteen as totally powerless yet again.
,A much better end would have been a heroic death for Ryan, prompting Graham to leave the TARDIS in grief.
Weu2019re losing out on Grahamu2019s cancer arc too, which could have been a cool way for him to bow out gracefully! Instead, we get Ryanu2019s latest whining which drags both him and Graham out, which really sucks since Graham was getting so excited over the newest adventure that Thirteen was proposing.
,If you think that either of those would have been too dark for New Yearu2019s Day over piles of food and bloated tummies, Moffat managed to make his holiday specials dark and dazzling; Last Christmas saw the characters having their brains liquified in their sleep, A Christmas Carol was an exposu00e9 on loneliness and loss, while The Time of the Doctor was a heartbreaking exploration of mortality (cutting many viewers to the bone with the deaths of both Eleven and Handles).
Russell T Daviesu2019 specials also dabbled in some lovely horror, with the Sycoraxic blood magic mass suicides in The Christmas Invasion, the Racnoss genocide in The Runaway Bride, and murders for insurance money aboard the Titanic in Voyage of the Damned.
They were corny at times, but they were also very dark.
,They blended festivities and terror well.
,And they were largely beloved.
,We donu2019t talk about the Widow Christmas special.
,Chibnall has no excuse for treating audiences like children over the festive period.
,,If weu2019re going to talk about continuity, letu2019s look at what the story rips off?,Possession creatures on oneu2019s back? Planet of the Spiders + Turn LeftUsing humans as food in a Dalek ploy? Revelation of the DaleksDalek Civil Wars? Remembrance of the DaleksA murdered world leader? The Stolen Earth + The Sound of DrumsDalek reconstruction and impurities? Victory of the DaleksUnshelled classic monsters? Cold WarThe Doctoru2019s use of Daleks as personal weapons (pets)? Face the RavenYou know why Twelve didnu2019t use the Daleks on Ashildr?,One crying child would have stopped Twelve from unleashing the Dalek Death Squad onto London, but here Thirteen decides that the Daleks wonu2019t be interested in human scum in their attempt to rein in the AI Daleks.
We saw maybe six Daleks, with thousands more swarming across London, and those six Daleks nearly exterminated Robertson on the spot.
Do we think that the other Daleks were just having their fun jollies until all of the AI Daleks were killed? Did they let the humans run screaming around London for their lives once the AI Daleks were all wiped out?,No!,Theyu2019re fucking Daleks!,I dread to think of the carnage!,I wrote a piece recently about how Twelve was the most dangerous Doctor.
Iu2019ve not fully reconsidered that, owing to the fact that Thirteen suffers from a delusional writer and that she would not be given such shoddy treatment by most other writers, but Thirteen is fast taking that spot as a dangerous Doctor out of sheer stupidity.
She canu2019t even break out of a jail without help, and then she sends Dalek Death Squads down onto London without so much as a pre-formulated Phase Two plan to get them all back.
Sheu2019s lucky that she had a spare TARDIS to contain them all, and that TARDIS came from another episode (The Timeless Children) wherein her agency was stripped away as she was literally immobilised by the Master for half the bloody running time.
,Christ, has Chibnall ever talked to a woman?,Does he think that this is the writing that breaks glass ceilings?,If he thinks that heu2019s doing anyone any favours, heu2019s nuts.
,,All that saved this episode was the spectacle on display in the fight scenes.
,Iu2019m far from the most testosteroned u201cfight fight fight!u201d guy, so it feels weird to say that.
And yet, here we are.
The Dalek assault was a feast for the eyes, and the scenes where Jack and Team TARDIS had to plant explosives onto the Dalek saucer actually felt like they had stakes.
Even with Jacku2019s immortality, the approaching Daleks really did feel like a threat, especially with vulnerable Ryan and Graham beside him.
Plot armour keeping them alive aside (why didnu2019t the Daleks just shoot them on sight?), the saucer chase was well done, and I applaud Chibnall for managing it.
,A low bar, but whatever.
,I have to admit, I thought that the AI Dalek casings were pretty nice.
,I was a slut for Resolutionu2019s steampunk design, though.
,The direction and visuals were sublime as well.
One wonders just what beauty could have been achieved in Daviesu2019 and Moffatu2019s reigns with such equipment.
What were once terrible effects from the Cybermenu2019s headbeams in The Doctor Falls could have been glorious attacks, and we could have had other such wonders!,But I will take good writing over good effects any day.
,Iu2019ll watch a well-written sci-fi drama with 80s effects, but it has to have proper writing to get me invested in it.
Iu2019ll forgive a Cyberman headbeam that looks like itu2019s been cut and pasted onto the screen if the story has delivered important content to make me care about the target of that headbeam, and The Doctor Falls gave us some of the seriesu2019 most affecting moments, from Bill Pottsu2019 upgrade to Missyu2019s death in the Mondasian forests.
I care about excellency in writing, and all else is bells and whistles; Davies was consistently good (with a bad habit of throwing the kitchen sink into his finale stories), while Moffat often oscillated between lacking and supremacy.
,Davies was comfort food, with many gems throughout his run.
,Moffat was cerebral, missing some tries while scoring bullseyes elsewhere.
,Chibnall canu2019t even lay claim to one of Moffatu2019s masterpieces.
Heu2019s never written a Heaven Sent.
Heu2019s never penned an Extremis.
Moffatu2019s lesser moments are made up for in spades elsewhere, but Chibnall never makes it up.
His best episode was The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood, which was only slightly above average.
Revolution of the Daleks does not buck this trend.
Itu2019s shiny and fast, but itu2019s also mind-bogglingly stupid in several places, with the companions acting as Thirteenu2019s therapists and with Thirteen acting exceptionally un-Doctorlike.
Who launches their nuclear option as their first port of call after a visit to one Dalek facility?,And while Thirteen is allowed to rely on her friends, theyu2019re not therapists; if anything, sheu2019s meant to be theirs.
Ryan should not have to give her (rubbish) pep talks mid-episode.
,Thereu2019s a line where Team TARDIS needs a head.
,The Doctor has got to be that head.
,But she couldnu2019t even be the star of her own prison break, becoming Jacku2019s companion instead.
,The Haunting of Villa Diodati got the balance right, with Thirteen reminding the team of who is in charge.
But in moments like these, it feels like her grip on that role is not all that solid.
Revolution of the Daleks sets this back many stages; while Eleven came off as a goofball in The Eleventh Hour with his relationship to time, he still had the authority in his character to make up for it, leading Amy Pond and later Rory Williams and Clara Oswald into their adventures.
Not so here.
As such, the Doctor/companion relationship is in serious need of adjustment to regain that proper alignment.
,,Speaking of companions in rubbish roles, letu2019s consider Yaz.
,While weu2019ve had some insights into her life through episodes like Can You Hear Me?, Yaz basically has no arc.
Ryan and Graham had an arc of bonding together, with Ryan getting over his ridiculous strops and Graham struggling with his life post-cancer and in dealing with the grief from losing Grace back in The Woman Who Fell to Earth.
None of these are ever fully resolved, but at least they bonded.
But Yaz doesnu2019t have any clearly defined character beyond being a puppy following Thirteen around, taking notes and thinking u201cwhat would the Doctor do?u201d at every single turn.
,Is she just keen for a job in the team?,Is she a student on the TARDIS?,Is this the beginning of an unhealthy attachment?,Is she in love with Thirteen?,You can see why her blank slate character might be inspiring some queer shippers to consider her and Thirteen as an item, earning them the ship name Thasmin.
This is unfair on both the viewers and the communities that Yaz is meant to represent.
,Queer viewers are all too familiar with queerbaiting, and lines like Yaz pining for Thirteen after she disappears for ten months (u201cyouu2019ll disappear again, please donu2019t ever leave my side Doctoru201d) and the scene where they comfort one another when Ryan and Graham leave are pretty much textbook cases of this phenomenon.
I donu2019t think that itu2019s being written intentionally as a romance (and part of this is the queer fansu2019 desperation for decent representation on the screen), but thereu2019s enough of a blank slate to project onto Thasmin.
Chibnall should really be taking stock of this happening before anything goes too far, Supernatural-style.
If we queer viewers sense another Destiel, weu2019re blowing this popsicle stand, and not in the sexy way.
,Plus, Yasmin Khan is a Muslim woman.
Iu2019m loathe to say that there are no gay Muslims in the world, but if thereu2019s one thing I know, itu2019s that I donu2019t want Chibnall trying to touch that sort of storyline.
God knows heu2019d just bollocks it up.
Thatu2019s a very sensitive subject for a sensitive and nuanced writer to handle, as it would be for gay Christians (though we donu2019t have a Christophobia issue in Britain (shut up, youu2019ve been asked to be nicer to gay people, not to burn your Bibles)), and Chibnall lacks all nuance.
I hope that heu2019ll resist the fan calling to make Yaz and Thirteen an item; heu2019s been consistent in being able to ignore the fandom in the past, but thatu2019s been with the goal to sate his ego on his useless Timeless Child arc, so I have to hope that heu2019ll be able to resist the call to add yet another unearned stamp to his Representation Bingo card.
,Lesbian Muslim?,Anyone for Lesbian Muslim?,You, Mr Chibnall, at the back?,You had Lesbian Muslim?,Come on up and accept your Representation Bingo prize, despite having no fucking clue what youu2019re talking about in representing all of these communities!,,I think this is a natural point for me to stop watching Doctor Who.
,Gone are the days of real, interesting episodes.
,Weu2019re not getting another Midnight.
The next Blink isnu2019t just around the corner.
The highlights of Doctor Who are in the past, with only one episode worth rewatching on its own merits from the last two series (It Takes You Away).
To continue watching and reviewing them as they come out just feels like a wasted endeavour now.
Itu2019s only going to change with a new showrunner, and that showrunner is going to be burdened by the Timeless Child nonsense.
Do they sweep it under the rug? Do they pretend it never happened? Do they introduce a new cracks scenario to erase it?,Revolution of the Daleks was serviceable fare at best.
It wasted Jack, reintroduced a hated character from Series 11, killed a random black character within the first five minutes and enslaved another to the Dalek embryou2019s will (what a great look for a self-professed progressive show!), rendered Thirteen as a useless damsel in distress (feminism!), rushed the companionsu2019 exit, contributed to queerbaiting, and did very little to build on our understandings of the pre-existing characters.
,And worse, itu2019s proof that Chibnall is a one-trick pony with the Daleks.
,Resolution wasnu2019t panned per se, but it wasnu2019t exactly loved.
Most of the reason it did so well in the fansu2019 estimation was that it was taking place directly after all of the crap of Series 11.
It, like Revolution of the Daleks, felt like a goldmine in comparison.
But comparison doesnu2019t make it a good standalone episode.
I doubt that anyone is going to return to Revolution of the Daleks outwith a binge watch, and thatu2019s a shame.
It had a fascinating premise to go on, and we should have had a lot more to show for our troubles and curiosity when we stuck the episode on in anticipation.
,Also, Daleks donu2019t suddenly get magic powers in UV light.
,I donu2019t know who told Chibnall this, but Iu2019d like to smack them with some lore; as per Dalek and Doomsday, itu2019s temporal energy transferred via touch or nothing.
They donu2019t spool back together after being chopped into little pieces, they donu2019t get to teleport from pods into shells, and Dalek embryos donu2019t zap their victims with Magic Ultraviolet Touch (just snap their necks, you have tentacles galore, plus why didnu2019t it kill Lin when she started resisting in Resolution if it could have just zapped her to death with its fancy new powers?).
Say it with me, so that Chibnall can hear us all at once: UV ISNu2019T A MIRACLE POWER SOURCE FOR DALEKS, BLOODY HELL.
,I didnu2019t actually watch the episode live; I watched it on the BBC iPlayer.
This was the first special Iu2019ve ever had the chance to watch live; we usually watch crappy home videos instead on Christmas and New Yearu2019s Day because my gran likes watching them over and over to see my sister and I from when we were children.
I donu2019t begrudge it at all (iPlayer exists for a reason!), but it does mean that I didnu2019t get to see some of the most important Moffat episodes live, it meant that I had to miss both Eleven and Twelveu2019s regenerations, it meant that I had to avoid the Internet all while we watched my younger self hurt himself on the big trampolines in holiday parks.
,This year, I finally had the chance to watch a special live.
,The fact that I specifically chose not watch it live to should tell you all you need to know about the current state of Doctor Who.
,,Oh, and to all the little girls watching in the hopes of an inspiring message from the inclusive and feminist new era of Whovian lore: if you make it to be Prime Minister someday, youu2019re gonna get exterminated by a horde of Daleks.
,Thatu2019s twice thatu2019s happened now, right?,At least Harriet Jones was a badass.
,So Iu2019ll leave Chibnall with her final words:,Oh, you know nothing of any human.
And that will be your downfall.
,,Final Drury rating: 1.