El Nido, Palawan: Day 1 & 2

Though I wasn't able to attend Coldplay's #AHFODTour last April 4 (sob), I still made sure to experience para-para-paradise in, none other than, Palawan. We booked this trip from one year ago, and now, we're here!

Hey there, mister!

Day 1
En route to Palawan
March 31, 2017

My friends and I left for Palawan last March 31, that only covered our transpo. Boarding was delayed for 30 minutes and the plane took off 1 hour later than expected. Arrived at Puerto Princesa at 12:30 PM, headed to Robinsons Place Palawan to have lunch and did some grocery shopping (nobody wanted to starve so). We stopped by at this local resto where we bought snacks. I got one of their best sellers, Banana Chips!

Photo from polamarilara.com

Travel time from Puerto Princesa to El Nido was 5 hours. We arrived at Smile Lodge around 8 PM already and head out for dinner at Squidos after an hour of looking for the "best place to eat". Service is kind of meh. Though the food was served after almost an hour, it was actually quite good and had a huge amount of serving. Their meat and seafood selections weren't too tender maybe because they rushed them, nonetheless, their sauces did the trick.

Day 2
Island Tour
April 1, 2017

Woke up around 5:30 AM to prepare for our first tour. Breakfast was delivered at 7 AM. We had Longganisa + fried rice & egg with sachets of 3-in-1 coffee. It wasn't so bad. We were fetched around 8 AM and headed to the beach that's 15-minute away from where we stayed.

First stop:
Cadlao Island

My swimming skills that don't even exist were tested when we swam all the way to this island. I think it all took us roughly an hour and 30 minutes to swim back and forth. Cadlao Island, however, is so much worth the effort trying to swim against the current while wearing a life vest. It. was. a. struggle.

Second stop:
Helicopter Island

Whenever we visit an island that has an intriguing name, we always dared to ask John, our tour guide, where the name was taken. The island looks like a helicopter from afar, hence called the Helicopter Island. Who would've thought?!

After a hundred rounds of random photoshoots and boomerangs, we were finally having lunch. The boatmen prepared the lunch themselves, and damn, the food never looked (and tasted) that good! They have the presentation skills, I'm not kidding! They served us watermelon, ripe mangoes, orange slices & bananas, grilled fish, grilled pork chops, roast chicken, salad, mussels, and shrimps. What made it more appetizing is that, it's unlimited! I've had lots of mussels, and their mangoes are really good~

Photo from Aiko Medina 

Photo from polamarilara.com

Third stop:
Hidden Beach

Hidden Beach is kind of a long swim, too. But halfway through the hidden gem, the water's already shallow and we just swalked (swim + walk, I just made it up lol). Surrounding the beach are these beautiful tall rock formations. It was definitely one of the lovely islands.

Photo from polamarilara.com 

Fourth stop:
Matinloc Shrine

We didn't actually stop here, we just passed by since, as per John, there were a lot of tourists that day. It turned out there weren't that much. Nagmamadali siguro sila?

Final destination:
Secret Beach

The difference between the Secret Beach and the Hidden Beach? None, because they're both to be found lol. Vincent, one of the boatmen, tied a steady rope (current was strong when we got there) so we could actually manage to get inside The Secret Beach. You have to be really careful since the rocks (we thought for a second they're corals) are mostly covered in moss you might slip. The water there is just waist-deep.

Travel back home (our lodge) took us an hour or so. We arrived past 6 PM already. We showered and head out for dinner afterwards.

Read: Day 3 & 4

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