when people talk about el nido’s lush beaches with its fine sand and graceful coconut trees worshipping the sun and the sky, they don’t tell you about the leg cramps, the stiff neck, or the pain in the butt that you get sitting inside a van cramped with tourists and their backpacks (or ruth’s luggage) for five long hours going there from puerto princesa. but i’ll tell you this, should you choose that route, make sure your mp3 players (or in my case, my handy old cellphone) are fully charged so that while you go in and out of coma during the trip, there would be music playing in your ears the moment you wake up and realize that no, you’re not there yet; and you won’t be there for another three hours or so.
if you’re not a very patient person, do yourself a favor: do not take the public bus. that would be about nine hours of travel for you. well, sure, you get to see the scenery and all that jazz, but you also get to inhale the dust and all that jazz. the van’s probably the best way to go. but if you insist and tell me you crave for the provincial landscape, you don’t need to go all the way to palawan for that. hop on any bus that would take you to any province in the philippines and trust me, they’re all the same.
or you can also go to cambodia. (no kidding, that’s how cambodia’s outskirts look sooo much like ours. the light housing materials are similar to the ones we have here in the philippines too, except that their houses are built much higher from the ground, with the open basement serving as storage space for their crops. or their farm animals. whatever.)
you know what, go to cambodia. it’s a nice place. i liked it there. but of course, they won’t have our wonderful beaches. they won’t have our el nido.