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Serye: Palawan, El Nido Day 1-2 - The Island Hopping Tour C


It was August last year when I decided to book for a Palawan plane ticket for my birthday. I booked alone and planned to  do it solo and it happened.

It was March this year when I finally traveled using my own plan, itinerary and money. Months of planning and researching had passed just to reserve an accommodation and build up the courage in the fear of sleeping nowhere at a place a sea-away from home. I checked every travel blog just to fill up my How-To bag in mind and get the best advices and it never failed me - research and friend's advice are the key. This lead me to say "Hello Palawan!".

Arrival
After reaching Puerto Princesa Airport I immediately contacted the travel agency that will provide the service for Underground River Tour. Though the actual tour will happen 5 days after date of arrival in Palawan, the agency told me that they will give a welcome token - a Leis! Feeling turista talaga! After few minutes of my feeling-tourist-moment I went straight to El Nido.

My plan was El-Nido - Puerto Princesa tour so I'll be checking El Nido first. It is a 6 hours travel from San Jose Terminal with stop-over every hour. I just slept the whole time because I came from a team-building the night before so I really don't have enough sleep but enough with this - let's go straight to the main event - the place!

The town was really developed with businesses for every target market - hungry people, backpackers, swimmers, groups, party people, LONER and those looking for luxurious accommodation. It's almost similar to Manila, except for the background. In Manila you have the high-rise buildings; in El Nido you have the Taraw Cliff in the background. Cool eh?

Manila photo grabbed from theAtlantic.com
I arrived at night and witnessed an on-going Mutya ng El Nido in town, it was their last day of fiesta. I didn't do much the night I arrived. I just ate dinner at El Nido Skyline Grill and Restaurant and stroll. The next day's the big thing - Island Hopping Tour!

Island Hopping Tour C
I opt to avail this tour on my first day as they say this is one of the best seller. This tour comprises of the following islands when we availed it:

Hidden Beach
Matinloc Shrine
Talisay Beach
Secret Beach
Helicopter Island

During this tour our original boatman refused to continue the tour because of the waves that's why I was really nervous when our boat still continued. We are the only boat in the sea and the waves are really wild! I asked our tour guide if it is really safe to continue and if our boat will make it to the islands - with no words, he just nodded. The whole time I just kept quiet and prayed that I shouldn't have continued this tour and did tour A instead.

Helicopter Island
After 30 minutes of dancing in the sea, we landed first at Helicopter Island which was named after its shape. Oops! I have no pictures of the island view.




Nothing much was done in here. They say we can snorkel but the water is not clear because of the strong waves.

We were not able to visit the Hidden Beach. It has strong currents that time so we went to have lunch on a little island. Lunch was great - seafood, few meat and fruits. It was actually too much for 5 skinny and sexy female guests and 2 male guests. 

Photo grabbed from April
Meet my newfound friends from Left to Right - Ate Janet, Me, April and Kat. We also have 2 foreigners on board (eroplano? Haha!), Dave and his girlfriend. After a few minutes after lunch, we headed for Matinloc Shrine.

On the little island where we had lunch
Matinloc Shrine

Matinloc Island, El Nido Palawan

There are lots of stories behind the posted history in this island. Of course, apart from the religious group the guides are telling us, there are other stories from the boatmen and Palawan locals. Though I'm more on the boatmen's story, I can't tell really. I'm more concern on witnessing the wonderful scenery on the view deck as you can see below:

Matinloc Island, El Nido Palawan

Matinloc Island, El Nido Palawan
Man made stairs
Under the stairs to view deck is a small gallery that showcases the history of Matinloc Island.

Matinloc Island, El Nido Palawan Matinloc Island, El Nido Palawan

Matinloc Island, El Nido Palawan
Pa-isang jumpshot lang!


Talisay Beach
Next island is the Talisay Beach. We stayed here not more than 20 minutes. The island is shaded and composed of rocky cliffs. Sand is not so fine. Other tours eat lunch in this island.

El Nido Palawan

The last island that we visited in tour C was the very challenging Secret Beach wherein you have to swim through a hole to get in. I don't know how to swim so the life vest was my best friend. The strong waves will also push you through the hole. When you are there, try to peek under the big rock before entering the hole, they say it is a scary view.

This place is very rocky and best strolled with a kayak. Fishes can be found in the entrance and a small beach is awaiting inside.

Sunset
The tour ended at 5:30pm so we still have time for sunset watching. We hailed a tricycle to take us to Corong-corong beach but with limited travel time, the driver just dropped us at a sunset-view deck along the road.

El Nido Palawan, Sunset

A dinner at Art Café ended this day. Art Café serves great food and big servings. I ate banana hotcake which I only consumed half of it because it's so big - but don't doubt the taste, it is so good. :) 

A live band plays at night but I'm not familiar with most of their songs. The songs are more in favor of the foreigners I guess with more than a half of them occupying the restaurant. I don't have a good shot of the interior but it is like an old house turned into a restaurant. The entrance is a wooden staircase and it is full of paintings as decorations.

Art Cafe, El Nido Palawan El Nido Palawan

All in all, my experience of Tour C was not complete because I wasn't able to visit the Hidden Beach! But still the experience of having to swim through a hole to see a secret beach was AMAZING. It's like venturing out the ocean and discovering a beautiful place with just your curiosity. The founder of that beach must have been very proud.

Tips
Wear aqua shoes.

Sol

Glens is a full time Systems Developer and part time wanderer. On weekends she's mostly at home watching series, anime or anything of her interest. Sometimes, she can be seen backpacking or hiking. But she can ditch that over comfort food and bed weather.

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