nature · outdoors · philippines · visayas

Philippine Diary: El Nido, Palawan

My friends have been raving about the enviable Palawan photos I posted on my social media accounts – I don’t think I’ve explained the real story behind it though.

So there I was, wistfully wishing I could somehow travel to Palawan within the year when lo and behold my college girlfriend, Geva suddenly messaged me offering free roundtrip tickets to Palawan as long as I agreed to chaperone her and her boyfriend. I didn’t even hesitate and said yes immediately. I closed my eyes and said goodbye to my savings then I was off to Palawan to meet up with the couple at the airport.

If you don’t like reading, here’s a video of our Palawan trip.

I still have photos below though!

We all met up at the Puerto Princessa airport and immediately hailed a tricycle. While on the tricycyle, Neil (Geva’s boyfriend) chatted up our driver and we all ended up contracting him to be our driver for the duration of our trip. He dropped us off at the bus station. We had dinner at one of the eateries there and chatted with other travellers as we waited for the 9 pm bus to El Nido. We were so taken aback at how genuinely kind everyone was, from our tricycle driver to the woman and her sons in the eatery.

The busride to Elnido took 6 hours. The bus stopped in the middle of our trip- we had chanced upon an accident, a car had gone off the barriers. It was really dark and the passengers went down and pushed the car back onto the road. Thankfully noone was hurt. The rest of the trip went without a hitch.

We arrived in El Nido at 3 am and found another pedicab driver who helped us look for accommodations and a tour company for the next day’s trip.

We spent two days in El Nido going on different island tours. Each tour was inclusive of a lunch buffet that was so delicious. I was really happy with our tour company, 45 island tours. We managed to save a lot too.

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3rd wheeling with this couple was fun. Neil was quiet when I first met him but since he also spoke Cebuano, we all became relaxed after awhile and just really enjoyed our trip, making jokes and laughing. I think I have a knack for this, maybe I should earn a living as a 3rd wheeler. I didn’t even feel left out since I also liked being on my own sometimes.

We ended our two-day island tours with a trip to a different beach to bathe in Palawan waters one last time, and to witness the sunset.

We returned to our accommodations and even though we were checked out, they let us take a shower and change back into our travel clothes in one of their staff’s house just behind the inn. Our pedicab driver who was also the one who helped us book rooms and island tours, drove us to the bus terminal for our late night trip back to Palawan’s capital, Puerto Princessa.

The Palawan tours usually come with lunch buffets so I definitely gained weight after this trip. But oh, it honestly didn’t matter. Being in Palawan and being near kind people and the sea, truly melted my worries away. It’s like, nobody cares what you look like, everything’s chill.

Other highlights of this trip:

  • When our boatmen looked for sea urchin and Clint (our guide) literally spoon fed me fresh sea urchin.
  • The boat driver looking like my ex, and discovering he’s also cebuano. Harhar.
  • Geva brought a cake all the way from Manila and we celebrated Neil’s birthday in our room- no candles. We sang the birthday song and ate the cake. So sad. Hahaha.
  • Eating our breakfast on the boat to save time.
  • Getting hit by huge waves while sailing.
  • Being totally broke, we couldn’t afford the more expensive restaurants on Serena St.
  • Celebrity-spotting: Petra Ashley on snake island. I was the first one to notice. We later confirmed it on instagram Hi, can I hasz your bodeh?
  • Eating at roadside eateries, sleeping on buses, watching action films
  • Trying to find ways to watch Pangako Sa’yo while on vacation
  • Getting hit on on the bus ride home by another passenger.Β  I was charging by the terminal station when he aslo went to charge and asked for my number. No is no, jerk. Block number. Must learn to be more aggressive.


Next blog will be our trip to the underground river in Puerto Princessa!


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