Summer isn’t over yet! Along with my new set of travel buddies, we took a trip to the largest province in the country, Palawan. From Puerto Princesa we went to the northeast, to the place what they called The Last Frontier, El Nido.
This is a perfect spot for us to enjoy our summer time before it ends.
Comprised of 45 islands and islets, El Nido became one of the popular tourist destinations in the Philippines. This place also gained popularity among foreign tourists. Some of the scenes of the Hollywood movie, Bourne Legacy are filmed here. This was also served as a venue for some of the most talked-about international reality shows such as Survivor, and Amazing Race.
Travelling is not just about enjoying the place but it is also an opportunity to learn something new and discover something remarkable. Here are some of the things I learned and discovered about El Nido.
1. The Etymology
Since I’m here in this place, I came to think and wonder what is the meaning of the name “El Nido”. That’s the only time I searched for the answer, of course, through my internet and Google.
Talindak is the first recorded name of this place. It was renamed as Bacuit by the Spaniards in 1890. “El Nido” became an official name through Republic Act 1140 on June 17, 1954, after the nests of swiftlets found in the caves of its 250 million year-old limestone cliffs. “El Nido” is a Spanish word for “The Nest.”
2. The Long Trip
After almost an hour flight from Manila to Puerto Princesa, Palawan, we rode in a van for about 5-6 hours going to Milangrace Inn in El Nido. The bus is another option but it’ll take 6-7 hours(and follows a certain schedule). Van is much more comfortable to take a nap.
Some roads are partly paved and there are series of stern zigzags that you can really feel the turns of the vehicle. There’s a halfway cafeteria on the first stopover that serves a home-made Filipino food at very reasonable price.
When you’re inside the van, it’s either you sleep or you put your earplugs up; and listen to favorite music while enjoying the pleasant and relaxing provincial view. I did alternately.
3. The Eccentricities
There are some unusual things I noticed. There’s an electricity schedule. There are no available ATMs or shopping malls, or even a convenient store. Most of the establishments is either a souvenir shop or a restaurant. There are no telephone lines; communication is mostly via mobile phones.
4. The Unspoiled Paradise
El Nido is more than just a normal tropical paradise. Everything is so exquisitely beautiful, from its transparent water in bluish and light greenish shades, towering cliffs, to the soft white-sand and palms. This is a well-preserved paradise which is rich in natural resources and marine life. As the salty blue sea came whooshing in up the soft, white, sandy beach, the stunning view is so relaxing that even the worst thoughts and the stress from work disappear in no time.
One of its beaches here has been named as one of the best in Asia by the world’s largest travel web site, TripAdvisor, in its 2015 Traveller’s Choice Awards.
What makes it more interesting? Aside from island hopping, there’a a lot of water activities here such as diving, snorkeling and kayaking.
5. Limited Time
Staying here for just a whole day is not enough to venture and discover most of the islands, and you need to consider your budget too. Despite of the long trip, I must say that this place is worth exploring and don’t think that you don’t have to return here one day as you can’t possibly cover everything in your short period of time.