the 6-hour van ride you just have to endure and take with a grain of salt because while the endless stretch of greens and browns may not exactly keep you from falling asleep even with your headphones and your music playing in your ear, something special awaits you at el nido.
in the meantime, feel free to ogle at some cute seemingly lonesome lebanese guy’s nape and lose track of the time counting the number of hair strands growing out of his scalp. 10,842. not that i was counting.
with the influx of foreign and local tourists flocking the charming town of el nido which sits up north of palawan, it’s amazing to see how the place never lost her provincial vibe. well, sure, bars, cafes, and accommodations are sprouting like mushrooms but try exploring the place in the early afternoons and i swear it’s just like any other sleepy province in the philippines.
night time is quite a different experience, though. especially if you’re staying at the town proper. i found it noisy there, with the bars and the music blasting off from speakers and the frenzy of tourists meeting and greeting each other, sharing travel experiences, praising el nido for the beauty that she is when they’re not complaining about the fact that their credit cards had just been rendered pretty much useless in this side of the world.
which is why i like staying at barangay corong-corong instead of at the town proper. because it’s so much more quieter there. less touristy.
at island front cottages and restaurant where we stayed, this is the view from their cozy little resto fronting the beach. this is where my tea addiction started because one of the perks of staying there was free coffee and tea all day long. yep, all day long! the staff were very friendly too. furthermore, what’s unique about the place is that every room each has its own unique design utilizing local resources. think mystic place in bangkok. or sto. niño shrine in leyte. just less grander, of course. but it’s a pretty cool concept. i liked it there.
oh, and did i mention that it is filipino-owned? if there’s one thing i try to uphold while traveling, it’s this: as much as possible, always, always support the locals! the big boys in the business can easily pack up and leave when the going gets tough but these locals have nowhere else to go. and besides, they were there first.
but that’s just me, though. locally owned accommodations may not have the capacity to serve your first class comforts so… whatever rocks your boat. =)
but if there’s one thing i love, love, love about staying in barangay corong-corong, hands down it would have to be the fiery sunsets where the rock formations form ominous black silhouettes against a backdrop of blazing skies.
some unknown hand painting the clouds with the deepest, boldest hues of red and orange that he could find on his palette. every stroke his very own signature no other artist could ever replicate with the same intensity.
welcome back to el nido.