Palawan Part I: El Nido

Palawan 5 Before we left for our end of year holidays people told me,

“Typhoons never reach Palawan because it’s too far west!”

“The end of December and early January are the driest and best times to visit Palawan!”

I can definitely dispel both of those sayings and say first hand that they are myths!

Continue reading “Palawan Part I: El Nido”

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Isla de Gigantes – Part II

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After traveling to some beautiful places around the Philippines since our trip to Isla de Gigantes, I still can’t help comparing everything to it. Perhaps it was fact that we had no expectations for the trip, or the fact that we had beautiful beaches all to ourselves or the fact it was actually sunny (!!)…I’m not sure.

But while looking through our photos, I realized that I only gave you a small taste of Isla de Gigantes in my previous post. Here are some more photos to help you understand why I can’t get this place out of my head.

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Bustling Boracay

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This photo is a bit of a lie. No it’s not photo shopped, but we had to take advantage of the moment it started raining, as that was when the beach cleared of all the people.

Boracay was PACKED. I have never seen so many people on a stretch of beach, especially as there was no special occasion such as New Years Eve. In some ways, lucky it rained one day so we could have the beach all to ourselves. And swimming in the rain is always a beautiful experience.

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We took it easy during our weekend in Boracay, and I guess the rain helped make that happen. Massages on the beach, stand-up paddling boarding, swimming, eating good food and a little visit up to Mt. Luho. If you strip away all the people, all the bright lights and the selfie-stick wielding tourists, White Beach really is a beautiful beach.

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I never hesitated to go to Boracay because it was “so amazing” and “the best island in the world” they all said, so I guess I can now say that I’ve been there, but not sure if I am rushing to go back. My friend suggested to go just after summer as the rates are cheaper and the beach is empty (emptier). I’ll have to take his advice!

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Must dos that we did:

  • Lemoni Cafe – great food and great price. Reminds me of the amazing breakfasts we have in Australia – located in D’Mall at Station 2.
  • Jonah’s Fruit Shake bar – fresh shakes with unique combinations. You can get them with or without milk – located on the beach at Station 1 and is the perfect place to watch the sunset!
  • Mt Luho – Boracay’s highest point which has great views over both sides of the island. You can catch a tricycle or jump on an ATV.
  • Stand-up Paddle boarding – which can turn into surfing when some waves whip up in the afternoon.
  • Island-hopping – which actually didn’t eventuate for us because of the rain. Although, we bargained a php2000 private tour for a whole morning which we thought was pretty good.

HNY 2015

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We have just arrived home from our holiday on the islands of Cebu (for Christmas) and El Nido, Palawan (New Year’s Eve). Our holiday wasn’t exactly what we were expecting…but more on that later!

For such a small sleepy town, seemingly in the middle of no where, the people of El Nido sure know how to celebrate the coming New Year and put on a fireworks show! It all started with firecrackers going off as soon as the sun went down. We decided to watch the show from our hotel roof and went up just in time to see Chinese lanterns sailing gracefully by above us at about 11.30PM. I’m not sure if our watches (and phones) were wrong, but I swear they started celebrating the new year at 11:50PM with the majority of fireworks and noise starting at that time! But what a show, albeit a random show, it was. Fireworks lit up the sky all along the beach in a gorgeous colourful display (sorry for the average .gif quality below – you can watch a better version on my Instagram). Then they went off behind us; and just as if it was the grand finale, fireworks shot up on top of us from our hotel rooftop!

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While watching the festivities, I was thinking that there is not much more that commands your attention like fireworks going off. They kind of snap you back to reality, forcing you to live in the moment. What a great reminder for how to live everyday of 2015.

Here’s to living in the moment; being content and grateful for how far we’ve all come. Happy New Year!