Spontaneous – the word to describe this trip. No promo flights. No room reservations. No itinerary plans.
It was a much needed break. From everything that has happened to me and my family’s lives, we all needed a break. My mom, my aunt, and my grandfather’s sister and her daughter also went on a trip on their own around the same time I took mine.
We had a French friend visit the Philippines for the first time and my dear friend accompanied him in a lot of his trips. For his last one, the three of us went together since we have all been so curious about the exceptional beauty of Palawan. We booked our flight and a week later, we were up in the air and on the way to the island southwest of our country.
It was around 12 noon of May 7 when we arrived in the city of Puerto Princesa. The airport was tiny compared to other airports but it seemed to fit the atmosphere of the place. While there was a lot of hustle inside, it was the opposite outside. After getting our bags, we followed a boy who held a piece of paper with my name and led us to the van terminal just outside the airport. After eating, we set off for a six-hour journey to our main destination, El Nido.
The long ride was filled with its twists and turns, bumps and all. Finally, as the light outside was fading, we finally arrived and we took a tricycle, a larger one compared to those in Manila, to get to the main town of El Nido. Everything looked normal until our tricycle driver told us to pass through a narrow pathway so that we could get to our lodging. Then I realize that what we initially saw was the back of the inns and guest houses and on the other side was a beautiful stretch of the beach which served as our view during our stay. The pension house we got had that amazing view right at the second floor’s balcony and we gazed at the sun set and hide behind the mountain across the sea. Like any other sunset, the skies changed colors adding to the beautiful scene right before us.
Tired as we were from the travel, we were famished so we walked by the beach as most of the lodging places had restaurants where we could grab dinner or drinks. We chose one, right beside ours, and I tried Crocodile Sisig, which was soft and did have a hint of chicken in its flavour, and Grilled Tuna. As I was allergic to seafood except for fish, I only stuck to those dishes safe for me although I brought antihistamine, just in case. I could not say that I missed a lot, even if the smell of the shrimps, squids, and crabs were all appetizing, as I still got to eat good food.
We stayed until the restaurant closed and we moved on to another, still by the beach, as we celebrated my dear friend’s 20th birthday and toasted to drinks. Mostly that night, I was lying on the beach chair and staring at the sky. Never had I seen the stars look so beautiful and clear in the city. There they were shining together with the bright moon in contrast to the dark sky. The sound of the small waves together with the reggae music playing in the background made it a perfectly relaxing evening, one that I had been yearning for a while.