El Nido, Palawan: Tour A OK

If our first day in Palawan was spent mostly being en route to El Nido from Puerto Princesa, that left us with barely enough energy to meet new people that night at "Sea Slugs" — a bar where a cover band played live Pink Floyd and Sublime songs. On the second day, I woke up energized by a six hour sleep. We started the day sharing a boat with the same people we met the previous night. This time a couple of French and German students from Hong Kong and a Chinese couple joined our group making us a party of ten. We are about to experience the "Tour A" island hopping package which costs us 700 pesos each. (fixed rate).

Marky Ramone Go

Before we boarded our boat, Liyi and Yoyo - the two Chinese girls we met the previous night ran towards a nearby restaurant to greet a trio of ladies having their breakfast. It turns out they were a part of another island hopping group the day before and were happy to see each other again. It was a cheery scene since Liyi and Yoyo were from mainland China while the three turned out to be from Taiwan. Take politics out of the equation and I believe both nations would have no problem being friendly with each other, much like what the girls exhibited that day. The Taiwanese girls were set to leave El Nido that morning, so they exchanged contact numbers and promised to remain in touch with one another. Indeed, through traveling - it's very possible to achieve "One China" - without borders and political indifferences.

Pam Bringas

As we took our respective seats on the boat and the engine started to roar, excitement shot through my body. I've done this many times, saw several islands around the Philippines, but there is something uniquely appealing in El Nido that excites me two-folds. Overcome with delight, I patted my leg for making the best decision to spend the Holy Week in El Nido.


Soon, we were off to our first stop which was the "Big Lagoon" where some scenes from the upcoming "Bourne Legacy" movie was filmed. There was a platform made of bamboo floating in the middle where boats docks at each side. We went aboard it and from there, our group took turns jumping into the water. Not yet confident of swimming in the open sea, I put on a lifevest, thereby sticking out like a sore thumb from our group - being the only one wearing it. I just lied on my back using my life-vest to keep me afloat. I stared at the blue sky as it transitioned with the movements of the white clouds. Moving my eyes from left to right, I could see bunch of trees dangling like baits at the sides of gigantic limestone cliffs. Below me, I feel the coldness of the water, providing therapeutic wonders, pricking through my skin pores.

Pam Bringas and Levy Amosin

We stayed there for about an hour but it felt longer. Just by floating around, I achieved a Zen moment thanks to the tranquil and magnificent setting of the place. All of a sudden, things which bothered me beforehand took a backseat and replaced by a set of vibrant energy.  

Marky Ramone Go

As I listen mostly to Ana's tales about life in Portugal and Wergel's narratives about Germany and so forth, a wish occurred to me that I'm more talkative as I would like to participate more in their conversation. But, listening provided me with additional understanding of their life and culture as well. While there is vast difference, the list of similarities between nationalities of different nations is long. 

Jomie Naynes

Other places in the "Tour A" includes the "secret cove" — where you need to swim through small hole in limestone wall in order to go the small cove hidden inside. We had lunch at "Simizu Island" where our boatman prepared a dish consisting of fried fish, grilled squid, watermelons, pineapple and bananas. The island was filled with other tourists who came from other boats. Most of them were Europeans. Pam and I with the exceptions of the boatmen, are the only Filipinos at the island that time. Joana - the French girl as she comes from Reunion Island - a French Territory located just east of Madagascar, told us about her apprehension of leaving the Philippines and going back to their studies in Hong Kong. "I would love to stay here" she tells us with a cute sad face. After El Nido she and Wergel will hit Banaue and Sagada before returning back to HK.

Pam Bringas

Hearing those words from a foreigner, will make you ditch any plans of leaving the Philippines. I mean C'mon, why leave in the first place? It made me proud that someone from another country — one who has been to most of Europe — say something about wanting to stay here. Setting simple lifestyle aside, there are definitely much to see and do here. I'm just starting to experience it all right now, I don't see anything could stop me from further exploring my country.

Eileen Campos and Lauren Denoga

After that, we went to "Small Lagoon" and the "7 Commando Beach", which was named after a group of commandos, who according to a local legend, went mysteriously missing upon docking at the island. It was here where some of our group joined a friendly game of beach volleyball. We drank juice from the big coconut being sold for only 50 pesos in the island. It was so big you will have a hard time drinking it to the last drop.

Jomie Naynes

It was a great introduction to the islands around El Nido, not even the horror which unfortunately happened on our way back to our inn later in the day will ruin it for us. It was just our first day and "Tour B" and "Tour C" still awaits us in the coming days. That plus a beautiful German backpacker and three crazy Dutch guys and an assortment of interesting characters who would make appearances in our trip to El Nido. 

For Tour Inquiries: You can contact Servant Tours at: 0939-917-9443, 0917-808-8599 or 0915-415-7245

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