The Philippines – Getting Out There in the Bacuit Archipelago – El Nido and Beyond

Palawan is a place that lives up to expectations.  Clean air, clear waters and seascapes that are just as good or better than any in Southeast Asia.  Getting to this remote area of the Philippines was rather simple.   Non-Stop flight from Manila on ITI, which specializes only in flights to El Nido.  In fact, it seems to be the only airlines that operates in the El Nido airport.   There are many flights to Puerto Pincesa, but then it is a 6 to 8 hour bus or van ride up north to the real experience.   We decided for our trip that time is more valuable than money so we opted for getting to El Nido quickly.  I recommend this option.

Sailing, take me away….  (I’m thinking the cheesy Christopher Cross song or better yet, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s “Southern Cross” – the soundtracks of my day).

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Our crew made it happen.  Evan at the helm.

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Swimming was spectacular.  Perfect water.

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Great place to kayak too.

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I got stung by a jelllyfish shortly after this swim and hike into this isolated cove.  Still have my wounds to prove it.  It was worth the sting, however.

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We did stumble upon an old Catholic church that was on one of the islands.   Very cool scenery and quite a bit of history.

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Lunch was on this amazing beach.  This was a part of Tour A.  Tour A and Tour C are both fine choices, but I slightly favor tour A.

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My brother and I:

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Aimee’s photo shoot.  Photogenic!!!

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Chilling on an island:

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Welcome to the jungle.  Aimee likes it here.  Tribal!

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On the Thursday of our vacation, I caught a horrible food-borne or water-borne bacteria and was sick Thursday evening and Friday.  It was a living hell and I don’t wish this kind of sickness on anyone.  Shout out to Aimee, Grace, Evan and Riza for helping me get to feeling better and make it through.  Regardless, we all had a fabulous time on Palawan and miss the weather, waters and people dearly.   Believe it or not, it rained very little during our trip (during the wet season, mind you) and I highly recommend coming at this time of year.  We were very lucky with the rain.

Making our way back to Manila and as I am getting over my sickness, we check out Intramuros in Manila.   This is the very old walled part of the city that served as both Spanish Headquarters and the American Headquarters throughout history.   Lots of cool stuff to see here that is related to the Philippines turbulent imperialist past.

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After an extraordinary reunion time meeting my brother and his girlfriend Riza,  after all the adventures of Manila, Angeles City, and exploring Palawan, it was nice to be headed back to the clean streets, nice parks and coziness of one’s own home in Shanghai.   The adventures continue in the coming weeks inside of China.   Stay tuned.

Keep wondering east.  Then wander west.

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