El Nido, Palawan

When you heard of El Nido, the first thing that will enter your mind would be: “El Nido, whuuuttt? That would be an expensive trip.” But hey no! Me and my friends were able to enjoy the beauty of El Nido in a budget trip. Yes, you read it right. Budget.

Tip #1: Book to a destination in advance.
Our El Nido trip was one-year in the making. We booked our flight via Air Asia last October 2014 for just Php 1,600.00 two-way.

Tip #2: Travel in groups.
Would you imagine our total headcount was 21? We payed Php 5,650 per head for 4 days & 3 nights inclusive of van transfer from Puerto Princesa Airport to the island of El Nido, lodge, island hopping tour & breakfast!

INCLUSIONS:

* 3 nights’ accommodation (4 Family Room with extra foam; Aircon) Group sharing
* With daily set breakfast
* Underground River tour with lunch
* 2 days El Nido Island Hopping tour A & C

Tour A: Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, Simizu Beach, Entalula, and Seven Commando (+ side trip at Snake Island)

Tour C: Matinloc Shrine, Talisay Beach, Secret Beach, Hidden Beach and Helicopter Island

* PPUR Permit, Boat, Guide, Environmental fee
* Entrance fee
* ETDF (Eco-Tourism Development Fee)
* Air-Conditioned Van transfer (Roundtrip) drop and pick up @ the airport

Itinerary:

Day 1 (Oct 14) : Eta 11:10AM – Underground River – El Nido
Day 2 (Oct 15) : Island Hopping Tour C
Day 3 (Oct 16) : Island Hopping Tour A (side trip @ snake island)
Day 4 (Oct 17) : Check out at 3am with flight back to Manila at 11 am

Tip #3: Pack light.
Guilty! Haha. I have issues with packing. I don’t want to re-wear clothes whenever I’m travelling. The reason why? Simple. Various places in different wardrobe = more photos. Haha! Arte much. I know right. Oh, don’t forget to bring water-proof items & gadgets, be ready to get wet!

Tip #4: Travel with your kalog friends & prepare to meet new people.
The pleasure in travelling is being able to experience the place with your friends & loved ones, while meeting new people. You’ll learn a lot from them and surely you’ll keep happy memories.

Tip #5: Leave your worries behind and be ready to face your fears!
I don’t know how to swim, I just know the basics but I love being at the beach. Weird, right? The trip was more of island hopping. I was so scared when kuya Loloy (our bangkero/tour guide) told us to jump off the boat and swim towards the shore. Good thing kuya Loloy was so patient and caring.

Tip #6: As you leave your worries behind, leave your work behind, too.
Guilty! When you’re on leave and on vacation, you gotta enjoy it! Okay, but since I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, I feel like I need to work though I was on leave. My bad. I can’t help but think of all the deliverables at work.

Tip #7: Prepare your mind and body when you travel.
The entire trip was more of travelling from one place to another, doing many physical activities. I suggest to drink more water, vitamins and iron to replenish lost electrolytes. Apply insect repellent lotion, it’s a must!

October 14-17, 2015 (MNL-Puerto Princesa-El Nido)

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Sea of clouds ❤

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Touch down! Obligatory turista shot.

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Turista shot #2 :))

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Thanks HADEFE Travel & Tours for the warm welcome!

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We had lunch at the port going to the Underground River. Buffet lunch c/o HADEFE Travel & Tours.

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Burp! We’re busog.

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We were getting ready for the 30-minute boat ride to the Underground River when…

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…we saw the view from where we were standing. Oh no, rain! But it ain’t stopped us from sailing.

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Tough ride. A bit cold. And we were dripping wet on the boat. Take note that we were not yet on our wet suits!

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We made it to the shore!

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First stop: Underground River.

We had a 2-minute walk towards the river.

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Monkeys and other mammals were roaming freely around the forest 🙂 Take care dear monkey!

We divided our group into 3, which makes 7 pax per boat + the tour guide/bangkero (total of 8). All tourists were advised to wear their life jackets and helmets. Be careful not to hit your head with rock formations and shield yourselves from bat poops. Haha!

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Here’s our seating arrangement: 2-2-2-1-1. One will be in-charge of lighting, it is really dark inside.

 

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According to our tour guide, tourists can only sail up to 1.5 km.

We had a 5-hour land trip from Sabang to El Nido. If you have motion sickness, I suggest you take Bonamine. We passed through zig-zag roads, sharp curves, up hill, down hill… name it! We conquered it all. Haha.

Days 2 and 3 were dedicated for our island hopping tour. Wear aqua shoes. You will walk through waters with sharp-edged stones; you don’t want to have cuts on your feet, right? Better be ready than sorry.

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Gooood morning! Beach front breakfast.

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Low tide.

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Low tide? No problem.

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Walkity-walk until we reach our boat!

Day 2 Itinerary (Tour C): Secret Beach, Hidden Beach, Talisay Beach, Matinloc Shrine, and Helicopter Island

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Face your fear: When kuya Loloy told us to jump off the boat and swim towards the small opening to Secret Beach. #thestruggleisreal

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Good Lord, we made it! Haha.

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We deserve this photo, right? Haha! #forbeingbrave

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Woot Woot!

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And yes, we really had fun! #swimswimpamore

We also had the same struggle when we swam towards Hidden Beach. We need to swim fast before high tide ‘coz we ain’t gonna see the very very small entrance towards the beach.

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We made it again, haha!

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Talisay Beach

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Offering prayers for our food; while whispering praises for His marvelous creations and for bringing these bunch of people into my life. I am truly blessed!

Then we had jump shots and played like kids!

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We were sailing towards Matinloc Shrine when the rain poured again. Surely the best season to visit El Nido is summer.

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Such a great picturesque. I am speechless.

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It was really raining hard but no one cared, ‘coz we were all having fun!

Matinloc Shrine 3

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At Helicopter Island. I was so tired and can no longer join the group with snorkeling. So I opted to seat on the sand, with my double chin & tanned skin. Haha.

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They had set-meal for dinner. I took photo of the rice because it reminded me of our tour guide’s joke: Mountain Dew. [insert ate‘s inside story here]

Day 3 Itinerary  (Tour A): Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, Simizu Beach, Entalula, and Seven Commando (+ side trip at Snake Island)

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Low tide again. Our breakfast view: Helicopter Island.

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Small lagoon

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There were many sword fish and sea urchins, and I don’t want to swim. Good thing we had an option to do kayaking.

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Kayak fee : P 300

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Careful not to hit your head!

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Enjoying the water! 🙂

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Big lagoon

The place is so magical and perfect. Can’t help but fall in love with.. . the place 😛

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Because #titasofmanila support her friends’ photo shoot. Smile there ^^,

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Kulitan sa bangka 🙂

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Snorkeling at Entalula Island

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Thumbs up! Looking good down there, bff!

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Simizu Beach

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Lunch time!

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Girl-talking

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Side trippin’ at Snake Island

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Sexy back? Not. Haha! Hi there, bff!

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5-minute trek off the hill. From there you’ll see the perfect scenery of the island.

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When it’s low tide, you’ll see a sand bar in between two bodies of water.

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We were so busy up there documenting the wedding proposal of our friend to her long-time girlfriend.

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She said, “YES!”

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Seven Commando Beach

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Last hurrah!

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Battle Scars. El Nido souvenir. =(

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THIS. FOR. DINNER. I didn’t bother to try, tho. I’m allergic with sea foods.

That concluded our El Nido tour.
Love, ingradible. ❤

When you’re too high with your emotions & can longer contain it, sing like Sam Smith:
“A chance encounter of circumstance. Baby he’s a mantra, keeps your mind entranced… Why are you looking down all the wrong roads?
When mine is the heart and the soul of the song…”

Sing your heart out in the ocean, screaming like crazy, wishing & praying that…. that.

Go island hopping at Matnog, Sorsogon

Sorsogon is located in the southern part of Luzon. It is the gateway to the island of Visayas via Roro. From Manila, it is a 15-hour land travel. Woooosh, talk about loooooooooong travel. But believe me, it is really worth it!

How to get to Matnog (From Quezon City): There are many bus lines going to Matnog at Cubao Bus Terminal across Shopwise/Ali Mall. Fare starts at P 1,000.00+ one-way.

Welcome to Matnog Port!

From Matnog Port, you need to ride a boat going to Juag Lagoon Marine Sanctuary, Subic Beach, Calintaan Cave, and Tikling Island. Travel time: less than an hour. There are no entrance fees but I suggest you share a significant amount to the caretakers.

Matnog Tourism Office Environment Fee: P 70.00 / head
Boat Man : Kuya Nong Evasco (0910-5796383)
Rate: P 2,000.00 (Overnight) P1,600.00 (Day tour)

Mount Bulusan

First stop: Juag Lagoon Marine Sanctuary

Very very clear water!

Feeding time!

 

Second stop: Subic Beach

There are cottages in the island which you can rent for around P 300 – P 500. If you wish to stay overnight, Nanay caretaker offers her room but you also need to pay for the rent. I suggest to bring your own tent and sleep near the shore. I also suggest to bring foods and drinks; there are no sari-sari store in the island. Kuya bangkero can assist you in preparing foods. In case you forgot to bring something, you can also ask kuya bangkero to go back to Matnog proper to buy some. But you need to pay for the gas consumption of their boat.

Breathtaking, right? ♥

Rock formations

Oh, hello there!

I was expecting to see either sunrise or sunset by the beach. But unfortunately, the island is situated in between mountains. So we weren’t able to see Mr. Sun. Best effort shots:

Goooood morning!

No regrets, just love. ♥

The best part? Drinking 3-in-1 coffee by the beach! Simple joys! XD

Third stop: Calintaan Cave

We were supposed to go deep into the waters and pass through the cave, but we opted not to. The current of the sea water is a bit unstable.

Fourth and last stop: Tikling Island

Tikling island is a private property so we were only allowed to stay for like 15 minutes. Swam a little, took photos, pack up.

Clear – Green – Blue

I will definitely go back here! Sweet escape!

Thank you Reverie for taking this picture. Oink oink alert. LOL 🙂

Bulacan

Simple. Serene. Scenic.

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Modern farming: Hand tractor.

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And traditional farming: Kalabaw.

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I highly salute our Filipino farmers!

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Mandala (Haystack).

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Plants.

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Flowers.

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Wandering animals.

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And oh, of course… Food!

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Boodle fight, it is!

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There goes my car (Bolt). Feelin’ like a 4×4.. . LOL 😉

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Macau

Macau is just a ferry ride from Hong Kong. I can compare the experience when I traveled to Corregidor Island 9 years ago. (Weeew, seriously? That was 9 years ago already!? I was only 16 then. HAHA!)

First stop: Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal @ Shun Tak Centre

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I suggest to purchase 2-way tickets to and from Macau via Turbo Jet

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Kinda pricey though

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Excited!!!

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We’re about to board! 🙂

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Inside the Ferry Boat

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After 55 minutes… . touch down Macau!

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Sight-seeing

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Our first stop: Galaxy Hotel and Casino

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There’s no bus transportation fee in Macau. All are free!

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Next: The Venetian

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Heading back to Hong Kong

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Ocean Park, HK

Shame on me, but I haven’t been to Ocean Park, Manila. Booo.

Another fun day under the sun! Hong Kong summer heat is like that of the Philippines: humid.

How to get there:

Alight at Admiralty MTR Station

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Walk towards the bus station and wait for Bus 629

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After 1 hour… here we are!

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The Waterfront

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Heading towards the Cable Car Station

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Kind’a scary .. .

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Heading to The Summit:

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Nice view though 😉

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Horay! Safe and sound! We reached The Summit.

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Yes, we’re on the other side of the mountain now 🙂

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This is where the amusement park is!

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But… . we took our brunch first. Haven’t eaten anything yet! >.<

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We saw the dolphin show..

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..and watched the kids play.

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We rode the Ocean Park Tower

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Breath taking view!

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Extreme rides:

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Old Hong Kong Replica

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The main reason why we went to Hong Kong was because of Disney Land. Ironically, I enjoyed Ocean Park more!