Top Things To Do in El Nido, Palawan

When you hear the province Palawan, you would definitely think about El Nido and Coron. I will write a different post on what is better among the two. Right now, I want to share the top things to do when you’re in El Nido. These are based on my personal experiences and travel styles. Anyone would have different ways on how to spend their trip in El Nido but these are the things I recommend;

  1. Taking a swing in 7 Commandos Beach.
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7 Commandos Beach

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7 Commandos Beach

It somehow gives you the feeling of freedom, forgetting everything and concentrating on the goodness of life. Your mind goes back to being a kid again, worry free, being able to appreciate simple things. It is very therapeutic, a simple thing which gives anyone a moment of bliss and peace of mind.

2. Kayaking, SUP in Small and Big Lagoon

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Kayaking in Small Lagoon

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Big Lagoon El Nido

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Kayaking and SUP in Small Lagoon El Nido

These activities shouldn’t be missed. If you do an island hopping to Small and Big Lagoon, you should rent a kayak to go inside the lagoons. You can also swim but the shallow waters are not safe for swimming as you might step into some sharp corals and sea urchins. Kayaking also gives you the chance to explore the deepest part of the lagoons so it is very advisable. The rent is only P300.00 so I think it is fair enough considering the beauty you would see.

3. Snorkeling and Finding Nemo in Shimizu Island

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Shimizu Island

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Finding Nemo in Shimizu Island

Yay! So here comes snorkeling. This is one of my favorite activities, maybe I was a mermaid in my previous life. I just love looking at different kinds of marine life, I like the feeling of being one of them. Looking at the wonderful colors gives me some kind of happiness and contentment, makes me think that life is very beautiful and everything is in its right place. Makes me want to protect these things living underwater.

4. Surviving the waves and Swimming through a small hole to see the Secret Beach

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Secret Beach El Nido

This is how it looks like inside. Behind this photo is a wall of big rocks, the only entrance is the hole located in the middle of those two rocks. It was dangerous to go inside without the help of the boatmen and guides. They are very good at assisting tourists to go inside. The waves here are crazy, you really need extra strength to get through this beach. But once you are inside, you would soon realize that it’s all worth it. The beach itself is beautiful, it’s serene and unique.

5. Visiting Caves and Snake Island (Tour B)

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Tour B cave

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Snake Island

Most of the tourists who travel to El Nido skip Tour B simply because Tour A and C are the best destinations. Well, I couldn’t argue with that. If I needed to choose I would also choose Tour A and C and drop Tour B. But I’m lucky enough to see them all. Tour B highlights the Snake Island, it looks like a long snake connecting two islands. It looks good from above. You should be here early in the morning when the tide is low or else the sandbar won’t be visible enough. The caves are also awesome but we were able to see just two of them due to schedule restriction. We combined Tour B and C in a single day since we rented a private boat.

6. Snorkeling and Freediving in Matinloc Shrine.

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Matinloc Shrine El Nido

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Freediving at Matinloc Shrine

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amazing coral reefs of Matinloc Shrine

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Freediving at Matinloc Shrine

Maybe I haven’t seen much but it’s safe to say that Matinloc Shrine has one of the best coral reefs I’ve seen so far. It’s just well preserved, full of colors. I wished I bought a dome for my gopro before coming here, I’ve seen some dome shots taken here and it’s really amazing. This site is one of the highlights of my El Nido tour, this is my favorite actually. We spent almost the whole day just playing here. Such a bliss! I want to go back to El Nido because of Matinlock Shrine.

7. Climbing Taraw Cliff

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Taraw Cliff, photo courtesy of http://www.nomadicpinoy.com

Well, I don’t have any photo to show you since I didn’t have the chance to climb Taraw Cliff. I just chose a random photo from google, the owner of the photo is http://www.nomadicpinoy.com. This is one of my reasons to go back to El Nido. Climbing Taraw Cliff is one of the things that shouldn’t be missed when you visit El Nido Palawan.

 

So there you go folks, those are the top things to do when you are in El Nido according to me. If you plan to travel to Palawan soon and you need some advice, just hit me a comment. See you next time.

 

 

Coron, Palawan

Regarded as one of the most beautiful islands in the world, Coron in Palawan continues to attract visitors both locally and internationally. Now I know what the fuss is all about, words can’t really do any justice to its remarkable marine life and aerial beauty. I want to share some of my aerial and underwater snapshots that would make you want to book the next flight to Coron.

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Green Lagoon Coron, Palawan

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Green Lagoon Coron, Palawan

I was in awe the first time I set my eyes on this lagoon, it was stunningly beautiful. The water is so clear, so pure, and aquamarine. Taking a plunge from the boat into the cold water is such a bliss. I remember we were all giggles while we were swimming.

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Twin Lagoon Coron, Palawan

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Twin Lagoon Coron, Palawan

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Twin Lagoon Coron, Palawan

If you visit Coron on a budget, I suggest Coron Backpacker Guesthouse. They offer one of the cheapest rates, you can get a room for P500.00 which is a good deal especially for solo backpackers. They offer free coffee, a kitchen to cook and eat, and a living room to socialize with other guests. It’s very homey and the staffs are friendly.

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Barracuda Lake Coron, Palawan

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Freediving at Barracuda Lake Coron

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Freediving at Barracuda Lake Coron

You haven’t really experienced Coron if you missed Barracuda and Kayangan Lake. They are two of the most popular attractions. The thing is you need to avail Tour A and B to experience both otherwise you can also rent a private boat and choose the destinations that you prefer. Please note that the entrance fees are not included when you choose a private tour.

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Skeleton Wreck Coron, Palawan

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Skeleton Wreck Coron, Palawan

Coron offers a remarkable marine life, you must try scuba diving to see some WWII shipwrecks otherwise you can always do free diving. It’s fun and inexpensive, you just need to bring your freeediving fins and mask and you’re all set.

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Coron, Palawan

I’m in love with this place, I mean who wouldn’t right? It’s such a beauty.

Burot Beach, Calatagan

Some of my friends went to this beautiful beach recently, so I was reminded of how much fun we had last year. Burot beach is a well-maintained resort for beach camping. The rates are pretty affordable and it’s located near Manila. A very serene place for nature lovers, just be very careful with sea urchins.

Burot beach, Calatagan

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How to Get There:

Via private transportation:

We went there via private car; here’s how we made it.

From Pasay
Go to SLEX and exit Sta Rosa Laguna and take the Nasugbu Road.
Go straight once you reached Lian, Batangas. Once we reached Calatagan, we asked directions on how to go to their public market to buy some stuff. Then we asked one of the tricycle drivers to guide us to Calatagan beach, we paid him 100 pesos.

Via public transporation:

Go to Coastal Mall grand terminal, there are buses bound to Calatagan. Updated fare is P160.00, approx 3-4hrs travel time. According to some blogs, the earliest time of departure is 4 am. Alight at Calatagan market then ride a tricycle going to the beach, updated price is P200 for special trip, P50.00  per person.

Expenses and Itinerary:

Entrance fee:

daytrip = P65.00

overnight = P130.00

small table rental = P150.00

Day 1:

travel to Calatagan from Pasay

swimming, relaxing, bonfire at night

Day 2: island hopping for P100.00 each

picture-taking

bound to Manila

We’ve been here on February of 2014 so the prices might have increased as the place already gained popularity. Our total expenses including food is below 1kphp.

Masasa Beach Tingloy, Batangas

It’s a gloomy and a humdrum day. It’s a peculiar feeling in the month of March, my soul yearns for a sweet adventure out there. I was reminded of a beach in the coastline of Batangas. I want to go back and feel its summer breeze once again. Masasa beach in Tingloy, Batangas is unexploited and yet to be known by local and foreign tourists but it’s the best place for beach camping and nature intertwining.

awesome rock formations in Masasa beach

awesome rock formations in Masasa beach

Well, as you see getting there is not easy and convenient.

Getting there: From Manila, take a bus to Batangas City Grand Terminal (2-3 hours travel, P120-P180). Take a jeepney to Anilao Port (P35) and board the passenger boat to Tingloy (P70). From the port, take a tricycle to Masasa Beach (P30). Then you need to walk for 10-15 minutes to get to the beach. 10933801_1050077418342414_9017123625744921621_n 10945715_1050077641675725_2451546154733600579_n 10502503_1050077495009073_5643029647566501390_n I recommend this place for beach bums and nature enthusiasts. It is worth the long travel. More photos below 🙂

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Expenses:

P120-P180 bus to Batangas City Grand Terminal
P35.00 jeepney to Anilao Port
P70.00 passenger boat to Tingloy
P30.00 tricycle to Tingloy beach
P150.00/person overnight food
There’s no entrance fee or resorts near the area, some houses offer shower for P20.00.

Things to bring:
tent
bed
headlamp
cookset
insect repellant
cooking utensils
camera

Tips:
Make sure to leave the island early in the morning, passenger boats are only available til 12pm. Unless you want to rent a boat for 1500-2k from Tingloy to Anilao Port.

Mt. Pulag; A Journey on top of the Clouds

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It is the 3rd highest mountain in the Philippines. I wasn’t able to see its beauty at its finest because of the weather but I’ll surely be back sooner or later. I wanted to see the famous “sea of clouds” but unfortunately I just saw a glimpse of it.  This is an amazing place and one of the reasons why I climb mountains. Inspiringly and spectacularly beautiful plus the amazing bunch of people I got to climb with.

Mt. Pulag I’ll see you again later 🙂

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These are the magnificent rice terraces you can see at the beginning of the climb. It can surely ease your shortness of breath before starting the upward trail.

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The summit with these two amazing people 🙂

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And yes! It’s a rainbow up there, it’s like a dreamlike scenario. Quite pleasing to the eye and uplifting to a weary soul.
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Climbing Mt. Pulag wouldn’t be complete without trying to ride on top of the jeepney, worth the risk. You can see amazing landscapes along the way.

on the way to Mt Pulag

on the way to Mt Pulag

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I got to climb with these tough girls, how amazing 🙂

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As Mt Pulag constantly gains its popularity, the number of tourists and climbers are also increasing. This is actually an alarming scenario, years from now I wonder how this place would look like if people wouldn’t start taking action to protect this lovely gem of Cordillera.

Mt Pulag

Mt Pulag

Expenses and Itinerary:

It’s advisable to go to Mt. Pulag in a group if you want to save money. I’ve been here Dec of 2013,  we were a group of 20. We paid 2k inclusive of ride from Manila to Baguio and vice versa, monster jeepney from Baguio to Mt Pulag jump-off, 3 set of meals and a souvenir shirt.

Day 0:
night trip from Manila to Baguio

Day 1:
06:00 monster jeepney from Baguio to jump-off
lunch and briefing
start trek
Ambangeg-Ambangeg trail =2-3 hrs trek
campsite = dinner/socials

Day 2:
05:00 am = trek to summit 1-2 hrs
summit = sea of clouds if the weather if good
picture taking
back to summit
pack your things and leave no trace
travel to Baguio, sightseeing for 2 hrs then back to Manila

Notes:
There’s a portable toilet at the campsite but don’t expect much.

Things to bring:

The usual camping stuff

tent
headlamp
insect repellant
super thick jackets = really cold
waste bags
cookset
survival kit
first-aid kit

The Gentle Giants of Oslob, Cebu

Well, who would have thought that these enormous sea creatures are  harmless to humans. Well they don’t eat human flesh, they eat planktons. And they are really achieving popularity nowadays. I was here on July of 2014.

You can also find these “butandings” in Legaspi, Albay but I think it’s only seasonal. In Oslob, you can see these whalesharks all year round.

How to Get There:

Just ride a plane bound to Cebu International Airport. You can find good deals or wait for seat sales of Airasia and Cebupacific.

From Mactan airport, ride a cab to South bus terminal (P250.-300.00). From there, ride a Ceres bus going to Oslob ( P150.00) 3 hrs. Ask the driver to drop you off at Tan-awan. Depending on your itinerary, you can opt to find a place to stay or go directly to the whaleshark watching site. Just ask directions from the locals on how to go to Brgy. hall where a seminar is conducted before the whaleshark watching.

Expenses:

airport to bus Terminal : P200 -250
Bus ride to Oslob: P150
Whaleshark watching: P500 for 30 minutes /1500 for foreigners

If you will stay in Tan-awan, I recommend Chateau de Tan-awan. We paid P850 for overnight stay, they also serve breakfast P150.00. It’s really worth it and you must try their banana cake.

Cebu whaleshark

Cebu whaleshark

Cebu whaleshark

Cebu whaleshark

Oslob Cebu whaleshark

Oslob Cebu whaleshark

Oslob Cebu whaleshark

Oslob Cebu whaleshark

You can watch my video in Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZAPaCSgDKk

Tips:

break your own snorkeling gears, be at the whaleshark watching area early in the morning. Oslob is really popular nowadays, expect a flock of tourists.