Mommy in Palawan: El Nido and Puerto Princesa

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It’s not everyday that I get to give back to my aunt-mommy Baby, who has spent so much of her life (and still is) taking care of me and my brothers. She’s there already when I was born and until today, she has been a constant in my life. Whatever housework she does, never did I hear her complain how she cannot do one thing because she’s tired.

On the contrary, she hates to say that she’s tired. “Hinding hindi ako mapapagod sa inyo“, she’d always tells us. Though there were times when I can see how exhausted she can be after a day’s work, she keeps going on and honestly, I could say she’s even physically stronger than I am. And for my entire existence from I was born until the end, I will be forever grateful to my Mommy Baby.

It was my chance last year to treat her a vacation. I brought her to one of the best destinations in our country, Palawan. When I told her that, her immediate reaction was “Wow, anlayo naman” she said. I laughed at how she can sometimes be uncomfortable going to far places (well, except for Aklan). But she did went with me and I was glad that we both enjoyed this trip. 🙂

The travel from Puerto Princesa to El Nido was so long! We traveled for 6 hours via a van, along with other tourists. And I never expected that the road can be so uncomfortably bumpy. We arrived in our hotel past 10 pm and there, we finally enjoyed the nice room that our hotel offered us.

lolo oyong's

Lolo Oyongs’s Pension House is located 10-15 min drive from the tricycle terminal and few minutes of walk from the Bacuit Bay of El Nido. And did I mention they provide yummy breakfast?

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El Nido, Palawan

El Nido is a small town. But beyond that, El Nido enchanted me. The small town with huge limestone cliff towering above was lovely to look at. We spent our days touring El Nido’s beaches. Despite the gloomy weather, the whole place is very beautiful.

Bacuit Bay is where all the boats dock. This is the starting point of every island hopping tour in El Nido. There are 4 tours (Tour A, B, C, and D) that are usually offered for tourists. When we were there, we did the Tour A where we got to visit the 7 Commando Beach, the Hidden Lagoon, Shimizu Island, Big Lagoon and Small Lagoon.

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7 Commando Beach

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The Hidden Lagoon.

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We had our lunch at the Shimizu Island where our tour guides prepared all these food for the four us. This lunch made the whole tour extra enjoyable.

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The Big Lagoon
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Mommy and Me 🙂

My favorite stop in the tour is probably the small lagoon. This is where we went kayaking, passing around every huge limestone.

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There were a few tourists when we were there. Our tour guide told us that the lagoon could be very much crowded during the summer months and we were lucky to enjoy the islands and the lagoons with so much fewer people that time.

Kuya Warren, our tour guide, is a very funny man. Mommy Baby and I was very much amused by his jokes and stories.

Though the beaches and lagoons we saw during the tour were amazing, Mommy and I also went out of our way to see the other spots in El Nido that are not in the tour. I read about this nearby beach called Maremegmeg Beach and that’s where we headed on our second day. And that, was  very good decision.

Maremegmeg Beach, El Nido

Marimegmeg Beach (aka Las Cabanas/Corong Corong Beach) was just so lovely.

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What I loved about our trip in Marimegmeg was that we were practically the only ones there. We had the whole strip of beach for ourselves (except for the one guy who was jogging then). At the end of the beach was a very laid-back cafe, a place which I would definitely come back to.

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That morning walk I had with mommy was very relaxing, and I loved every minute of it.

We went back to Puerto Princesa on the same day for the rest of the trip. In Puerto Princesa, we stayed in Marianne Hotel as arranged by our agency, Travel Young. Everything is nice in our hotel, the room is clean, the breakfast is good, the only thing I didn’t like was the bathroom, which I find quite small. We slept well on our first night, the long drive from El Nido can be really tiring.

Puerto Princesa, Palawan

In Puerto Princesa, we made a trip to Sabang. Along the road was the view of the province’s rich forests. And birds were everywhere! Like all roadtrips, I enjoyed the ride to Sabang immensely.

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A stop-over en route to Sabang

In Sabang is where the famous underground river is. That was where we were headed. We also made a trip to the Mangrove forest which I personally had a great time. The Mangrove lady was such a sweet woman, she sang for us while we were on the boat, touring the inside of the mangrove forest.

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That mangrove forest, by the way, amazed me. In there we saw two snakes hanging on a tree branch, sleeping (thankfully). We also saw very tiny crabs, woodpeckers, and a bayawak. If not for the rainy season, we would have a chance to eat fresh tamilok (wood worm) fresh from the well, wood. The mangrove lady said they usually offer fresh tamilok but never when it rains.

Can you see the Banded Krait?
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ay may bayawak!

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After our boat trip, we headed off for lunch buffet before the underground river tour. After lunch, we had to ride another boat to enter the cave.

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The underground river tour was beautiful, but it can be boring if not for our funny tour guide. He made the whole trip very much enjoyable with his anecdotes and little stories about every formation we saw inside. It was like a lights and sounds show inside with him playing with the flashlights while singing songs and telling stories.

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After the underground river tour, we bought pasalubong and had dinner in KaLui, a highly recommendable restaurant. I enjoyed our dinner there, the ambiance can be both intimate and casual at the same time, it was really nice. After dinner, we headed back to our hotel.

The day after was our flight back to Manila.

All throughout our trip, I’m so glad to see how Mommy Baby was enjoying everything. It was so nice of her to show interest and enjoyment despite the tiring rides and walks we did.

I thank the Lord for guiding us during the entire time when it was just me and Mommy Baby in the outdoors. He sent us wonderful companions, we met people who were silent but nice, we met someone who was unashamedly loud but was so fun to be with, we met hilarious ones, curious ones and isn’t it just so wonderful when you find joyful times with new people?

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We were kept safe and happy and that’s what I was truly grateful about. It just felt more than a blessing when you return smiling to people at home you wanted to come back to after this good trip.

It was definitely a good trip. I’m very sure Mommy Baby loved it because of the words she said that remained in my head, “Anne, ulitin natin to ha?” Haha, ipon ipon ulit 😀

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