When the Motley Crew went to El Nido for a belated summer getaway, we had no idea where to stay since we were all first timers to the famed tourist spot. We were dreading the cost of lodging because everyone says El Nido would cost us an arm and a leg if we wanted our stay to be nice and comfortable. But a quick look at agoda.com brought us to Swiftlets Inn which, according to reviews, was both affordable and of good quality. Clueless and pretty much desperate since the trip was drawing near, we booked two rooms (one for two and one for three) and hoped for the best.
From swimming at El Nido to snorkeling at Honda Bay, it’s almost hard to go home.
We had to get up early this day to get to the airport in time for our 7:15 flight, so I was up and at ’em by 4. Once I was done with the bathroom, everyone took turns getting ready. After packing up everything and checking that nothing was left behind, we were out the door by 5:30.
We came, we saw, we conquered the Underground River. Now, Honda Bay is beckoning.
I was both pumped and disappointed waking up that day: it was our Honda Bay tour, which meant this was our last tour in Palawan. But the excitement got the better of me as I got ready and roused everyone else up.
Now that we’ve seen the city, let’s see what the wilderness has in store for us.
Remembering that breakfast is served at 6AM and pick-up is at 7:30, we woke up early and went down for our first buffet breakfast at Palawan Uno. I was a bit disappointed with the lack of bacon, but satisfied that there was at least cereal with cold milk, bread and butter, and all the coffee and juice you can stomach. While eating as much as we could, a hotel staffer informed us that our tour guide, May, had just arrived to whisk us away for a trip through the world-famous Underground River. Before leaving, we asked the front desk to make reservations at Ka Lui, a restaurant Con told us was one of the most popular in the city, then we were off.
Fresh from island-hopping, it was time to pay a courtesy call to the princess.
We asked our van to pick us up at 6AM for our trip back to Puerto Princesa, so breakfast (and yes, more coffee) was served at 5AM to give us time to pack up and get ready. At around 9:30, we stopped at a restaurant where we could use the bathroom, get snacks, smoke, whatever. Before leaving the place, our driver realized we had a flat tire. Not a problem; he had a spare and our Puerto Princesa city tour wasn’t until 1PM. (We were able to secure a promo with Palawan Uno hotel for a four-day-three-night stay plus a city tour, a trip to the famed Underground River, and island hopping at Honda Bay for Php 6,000 per head.)
After much delay, we’re finally here. Now, the action begins.
Our service-cum-tour-guide said pick-up for the island tour would be at 8:30, so I woke up at 6 to get refreshed and ready for breakfast (I hate getting up minutes before leaving for something). I stepped out of our room, cased the hotel, and took a few pictures. And then I felt it. Tiny raindrops. Uh-fucking-oh.
For someone who’s had Palawan on her bucket list for most of her life (way before she was old enough to know what a bucket list was), this post has been a long time coming. A few weeks ago, that dream was finally crossed off my to-dos when my friends (the motley crew I was with at Ilocos, Aklan, and Calaguas) and I set off for a six-day adventure in the province. We split our trip into two – El Nido and Puerto Princesa – and this post is the first of a six-part remembrance of those glorious days of heaven.
(Please bear with the lengthy storytelling; I’ll try to make it worth your while.)