A week or so just before I left for India in 2012, I visited this paradise called El Nido in the northeastern tip of Palawan. There, I met Stepanka (in picture), a Czech woman, and Pedro, her Portuguese boyfriend (they now have a baby!). I did a one-day tour of the islands off the El Nido coast and got my seat in a boat where I am the only Filipino. I still remember the Russian guy (who claimed to be an astronaut but chose to be a trucker as it’s a more financially-rewarding job), and this guy who joined the tour but stayed on the boat (as he already saw most “visible” creatures under the sea in past travels), and this Canadian couple (who didn’t really say much but seemed happy and content). The tour was really worth it, to experience what a day in El Nido can offer. I vowed to return to El Nido one day and finally, tickets are booked! Though it’s not for a few more months, I am already looking forward to once again marvel in the natural beauty and diversity of El Nido and Palawan, above or under the sea.
It’s been a while since I last had a long vacation (last ones were in Hong Kong and Macau in January and Baler in April) so when the chance to go to Coron came up, I just couldn’t let it pass. Palawan is known as one of or probably the last frontier here in the Philippines in terms of it’s natural beauty, picturesque landscape and rich marine biodiversity. And, Coron and Busuanga, due to its relatively more difficult (read: tends to be more expensive) accessibility by flights and ferries, remains to be as such.
Unfortunately, typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) already ravaged a lot of its magnificent corals and fell trees. There were reportedly 6 casualties and some islands’ structures succumbed and totally collapsed. Nevertheless, Busuanga and Coron remain to be a beauty that everyone needs to see. And like what E and I probably said all the time during the trip, we are in our happy place!
So, through this quick Instagram Travel post of our vacay (Aug 22-27, 2014) let us (the self-proclaimed Cool Kids Club, aka CS Weekend Escapists, aka CouchSurfers and friends) take you to our happy place!
Bordered by the Arabian Sea, Kashid Beach is a popular destination, especially from weekend escapists of Mumbai. It’s about 3 hours from Mumbai, with more than 90kms of plains, mountains and valleys to be seen along the way. Apart from the beach, Alibag is also popular for its forts and some temples. It’s kind of a hillside or hilly area so the weather is cold and quite nice. We went there on July 2012 (my good friend Sravan from CS invited me to their company team thing) and it was awesome! Kashid beach itself is nice enough, especially when you’re looking forward to some playtime with the waves. Be warned, however, that you might need a massage session after! The photo I chose for Kashid beach is actually one of the most photographed scenes and very recognizable to Indian travelers and nature trippers. If you want to see more photos and read more about our playtime at Kashid beach, visit my blog on living in India. 🙂 >
Not really being a morning person, I normally only get to see sunrise in two instances — when I come back home from a really fun club party or when I’m traveling. This photo was one of the traveling mornings while we were on the way to Nagsasa Cove, aboard possibly one of the smallest boats I have taken, ever! It was a good thing that the sea was really calm when we sailed on that May morning, like a lake, calm and soothing. The topography (naks!) of Zambales and its coves is actually really nice, suited for different travelers. With the mountain range on one side for you to trek and the sea on another for you to swim, it’s something I would gladly wake up early for. 🙂
When I did my first solo backpacking trip in March and April of 2011, Tikling Island was among the highlights. While I was researching, I read a blog which referred to Tikling Island in Matnog, Sorsogon as among the most pristine she has ever seen. And she was right! A very long shoreline stretch, cool rock formations, and nice trees. I imagined that’s how Boracay would have looked like back in the 80s when it has not yet been developed into the beach capital that it is today. Anyway, I’m not sure how Tikling Island looks like now since it’s been years but I’m guessing there had been developments already. If I were you, I’d head down to Matnog and make sure to enjoy Tikling Island, it’s fine white sand, strong waves hitting the rocks, and lush vegetation before it becomes a seashell short of what it used to be.