Philippines holiday- Part 1 Manila, Arriving at El Nido (more like el paradise)

9 Dec

Alohaaar!

Finally i’ve decided to start a personal blog, so I can share things like my holidays/travel to look back on. My bf and I decided to go to the Philippines for a long awaited tropical holiday! ( realllly needed a break after 4 years of uni and no holiday)

In mid January we left miserable rainy old Sydney to Manila, via Hong Kong.
This was my first time on Cathay and I was impressed! I think previously I had taken Philippine airlines and I don’t recall having my own entertainment screen, so I was more than happy to enjoy 8 hours of movies.

We Stayed in Manila for a night to get enough rest before our little flight to El Nido, Palawan. I.E PARADISE!!!
I think it will pretty damn hard to top that holiday. ( *nostalgic sigh)

In case you were wondering where El Nido is… it’s the South West diagonal Island down towards

Malaysia.

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The resort we stayed itself was in the lovely haven of Bacuit Bay. We took a little plane, and I admit I was a little scared having only ever traveled on large planes, but it was just a short flight
(just over an hour.) There were two single rows down the plane and we chewed mentos to relieve any potential ear pressure haha. All in all the flight was lovely, and it was very interesting flying over different areas of Manila, then over the beautiful islands along the way.

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This was our plane. Posting photos is making me so nostalgic dammet..

This is a shot I took from the runway where we landed, I thought the long grass looked quite pretty and it was refreshing being away from the smells and pollution of Manila.

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We took transport known as a Jeepney there (Sort of like a little bus) to El Nido Town where a boat was waiting to take us to the resort.

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On the Jeepney we passed a school, lots of little houses, a church, people out and about on the street, some pigs, chooks, and there were a few tourists about.
This is where the boat was waiting to meet us 🙂

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A church on the ride there.

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A primary school ( beautiful scenery!)

So these were the style of boat we spent all of our island trips out on.
I can’t even put in words how excited I was at this stage and in awe of all the scenery.
We were finally here  at this amaaaazing place and still knew there was a plethora of things we were yet to see and experience.

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We passed a few islands on the way with some named after their shape, (or some other story behind it) such as helicopter island.
( Which was shown in the Bourne Legacy at the end when they escape- they were actually filming in the Philippines when we were there)- cool little side fact

Here’s Helipcopter Island we passed
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We were greeted to the Island staff(Who I promise you,are the best people you will ever meet when it comes to customer service!) singing us a welcome song accompanied by guitar and we were given this leaf based necklace, sort of like their version of a Hawaiian Lei.

What happened next is probably one of THE most embarrassing moments of my life. So we stepped off the boat, and this man was holding a tray of something folded very nicely. He said “cold towel mam?” – What I HEARD was Cold Taro??…  I was jet lagged, and hungry, I thought ( wishful thinking) it was some sort of sponge cake and bit into it…my teeth told a different story,
……it friggen hurt! He said, no mam, that’s not food, I was confused. I looked around, and to my horror I saw people around me using it to wipe their hands and face.. it was just a cold towel for refreshing, yup. Not one of my brightest moments.

Anywayyyys.. back on track

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Naww first selfie at the resort.
By this stage it was dark, we had our first buffet(out of the 19 more to come)- the food here was heaven, sooo much choice, From sushi, fresh seafood, stir fried veggies, steamed veggies, various dishes with chicken, beef, omg too much to name, the food was a little different every day, plus some things typical of the Filipino diet like fried fish, rice, vinegar.
– and gawd damn, the bar had some very attractive happy hours at two cocktails for the price of one ( equivalent to $4 AUD.)
We had entertainment some nights, like traditional dancers who got some of us to join in ( As i did!) and other nights information on the flora and fauna of Palawan, I loved how eco-friendly and sustainable this resort was. This will hopefully prevent it from degradation due to large flocks of tourists as other South East Asian places have been, like Bali, and places in Thailand.

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We went to bed full, and tired, to find a little birdy folded from leaves on our bed, a goodnight message written on a leaf, and a bedtime story from the village locals passed on through generations. Some nights were about ghost legends haha, great way to go to bed.
They also left us a little sweet treat.

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We woke up to the picturesque scenery around the resort, edgy limestone cliffs, crystal clear water, the smells of our buffet breakfast being cooked! I was already starting to dread the fact I would be leaving in a week, haa. We also had some friendly morning monkey visitors, I had been warned by staff to be careful sitting near the porches and eating Pan de sal(their Spanish bread) as the monkeys were notorious for stealing it.

So what did I do?
I grabbed some bread and sat near the porch for breakfast with my bf.
I love monkeys ( …and pretty much every other animal) so I  was pretty excited to see one as I hadn’t yet.
We were well into conversation, and before I realised what was happening……
a monkey had crept along the porch from behind me ( I don’t know how my bf didn’t see it) and I felt like something was next to me so I turned, saw the monkey which had carefully picked up my bread( thank god not the camera beside it) and it ran off and up into a tree.
I swore reallly loudly and offended an older couple nearby, who didn’t realise what happened to me lol.

Haha…it was funny but I was in shock for a while.
I should have known something was up when this American tourist sitting outside the buffet area had planted himself on a deck chair, had his eye on the roof above me, with a big grin on his face. I just thought he was a bit weird and carried on.
After the monkey raid he was hysterical.. I wonder if he filmed it. Lol i’d love to see it..
Here’s one of those naughty monkeys with a mango

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Just a few photos of the resort..

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Lunch time snack!

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We did so much snorkeling just in the reef/ area in front of the resort..
We were lucky enough to see a turtle, some beautiful clown fish,big Jack fish, dangerous lion fish, a cuttlefish, flutenose fish, stick fish, starfish and heaps more colourful fish down there!!
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Here’s a  big jack fish!- was hard to get a shot with them before they took off.

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We also spent some time kayaking to neighboring little beaches/islands, which were uninhabited.. so we had it practically to ourselves!
A luxury you couldn’t get many other places 😉

Me (attempting) to do the splits on the little beach we had..

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I’ll end with my favourite photo of the holiday FOR NOW as i’m getting sleepy, in conclusion i am in love with the Philippines and it’s people!
I’m half Filipino myself and very proud, Filos are so lovely, as is the country in various areas.

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Ever been anywhere tropical?
Where’s your favourite tropical holiday destination?

Goodnight internet,

hello eye bags tomorrow.

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