Thursday, February 27, 2014

#20 Go to Palawan

I have been dreaming of going to Palawan ever since.. (I can't even remember when) That's why I've been itching for Feb 22 to come ever since we booked our El Nido trip last November. Another item off my 30before30 list! Yahooo!

El Nido is 6 hours away from Puerto Prinsesa and our van leaves at 12:30pm. Before heading to this long trip, we decided to eat at Kalui first. I fell in love with the interiors and the artworks in this restaurant. It is better that you have reservations in this restaurant because when lunch time comes, it gets packed. Good thing we arrived there super early. Before entering the restaurant, you have to remove your shoes. It was a good experience. The meal was delightful. For seafood lovers, you will definitely love this place because most of the food in their menu's seafood :)

Art exhibit inside the restaurant

We arrived El Nido at around 5:30 pm and this is my first sight of El Nido:

El Nido is ethereal! I can't describe how beautiful the place is and my pictures can't suffice. You really have to see it for yourself :) During our first night, we decided to go to Corong Corong since we have to pay our accommodations for the 25th. We had dinner there and at around 8pm, the lights went off. It is normal for the island to have random brownouts and they have a regular brownout at 6am-2pm. I got scared at first but when I saw how beautiful the night sky was, I wished that the lights will never come back. BEST NIGHT SKY I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE. I STILL GET KILIG WHEN I REMEMBER HOW BEAUTIFUL IT WAS. I FEEL LIKE I WAS IN SPACE.
The best picture that we had of the sky

 I wish I could see that again. So we went back to the Town Proper after dinner and had a good night sleep

We stayed at Ogie's beach pension since it offers cheap accommodations for 4. They can also arrange tours for you.  For our first day, we did Tour A. We visited 6 spots: Secret Lagoon, Simisu Island, Big Lagoon, Snorkeling Area, Small Lagoon and Seven Commando Beach. The tours also include lunch so they will cook lunch for you and for this tour, we had lunch at Simisu Beach. My favorite part of this tour would be the Big Lagoon, I was awestruck when we entered the lagoon. I can't believe God created something like that, it was really a paradise on earth. I also enjoyed the snorkeling area and I found Nemo! We had one round of cocktails on Seven Commando beach then went back to the Town Proper.

Secret Lagoon

Big Lagoon

With the birthday girl
Seven Commando Beach
After the tour, Marvin and I went around the city to find a place to eat for Mossy's birthday. We ended up eating at the restaurant beside Ogs, Sea Slugs. The food was tasty and we enjoyed the sound of the waves and the cold wind that night. We had a few beers then went to sleep after since we have another tour the next day.

For our second day, we booked for Tour C. It includes five islands (mostly beaches): Hidden Beach, Matinloc Shrine, Secret Beach, Culasa Island and Helicopter Island. The waves were pretty strong that day so we weren't able to go to the Hidden Beach :( We had lunch at Talisay Beach that day. This tour, I loved Culasa Beach more than anything else. The sand was fine and the water was very clear. I wished we could have chilled in this island but it was very hot, that's why I decided to go back to our boat. We had our last stop at Helicopter Island and we just chilled there for a while. I read a few pages then went for a quick nap before heading back to the Town proper.

Culasa Beach

The GBBT (Girl, boy, bakla, tomboy) community

With Marvsz, Kuya Wing (our "tour guide") and Kuya Romy (our driver)

Helicopter Island
Since it was Mossy's last night, we decided to eat at Art Cafe. I loved the artsy vibe of the restaurant and the band was really talented. The food was quite expensive than the other restaurants but it's worth every penny. I just hate it that my debit card did not work so I have to pay in cash.

The dog is enjoying the show
Marvin and I planned that our last day in El Nido will be all about chilling and taking a break and that was what we did. Turista ang peg for that day. From Town proper, we walked all the way to Caalan Beach and had lunch there. The Caalan GK Resto offers good food and the view was spectacular. After eating, we stayed there for a few more minutes to read a book. It was very peaceful.

Our view every morning
Caalan Beach
Our view from Caalan GK Resto

Walking back to the Town proper
I started reading By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept by Paulo Coelho during our first day at El Nido and I finished it before heading home. It was a perfect book for the perfect island :)

We spent our last night in Greenviews in Corong Corong. This spot offers the best place to view the sunset and we weren't disappointed. It was the best sunset of my life. These pictures couldn't bring justice. The orange glow of the sky was breathtaking.

El Nido doesn't have any ATM so when going here, BRING CASH! Since my debit card doesn't work there, Marvin and I were pushed out of our comfort zones. We had to be strategic to fit our 500 pesos for dinner, drinks, breakfast, tricycle going to the terminal and lunch. We looked for carinderia near Greenviews but everyone told us that it's far. The best place to have dinner is at Ailyn's since the food at Greenviews is quite expensive. We still had one bottle of beer each to cap off our El Nido trip. We stayed under the stars with the waves of the beach as our background music. It was very relaxing. We also saw 2 shooting stars that night! 

We decided not to have breakfast the next day so we could have 100 pesos each for lunch. We arrived Puerto Prinsesa and we still have 50 pesos to spare! Wohoo! We went to the nearest ATM there is and withdrew money so we could buy pasalubong. 

Baker's hill for pasalubong
In El Nido, I visited 10 islands, finished one book, saw the most beautiful night sky, ate fresh seafood and bonded with friends. This is truly one for the books and I can't wait to discover more of the Philippines. El Nido made me love my country more and this reminded me that I will never get tired of discovering and loving this country more. IT IS TRULY MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES


Em Adriano said...

Sexy mo Steph!! :) I wanna visit El Nido too, I've been to Coron, sobrang ganda din dun! Pero feeling ko mas peaceful sa El Nido since di siya as busy as Coron eh. :)

Steph Cruz said...

I just know how to cover my fats! HAHA! Visit El Nido, worth it! Haven't been to Coron pero I want to! Tsaka El Nido is not that expensive as people say it is. Hindi ganun kadami yung tao and mostly foreigners yung pumupunta dun :)