I couldn’t hide my excitement at the notion of finally getting to know El Nido. I’ve been hearing about them from friends – and with constant prodding of people I know and from the diverse stories I heard about it – the desire to finally go to El Nido was born.
There were booking blues and some random dramas for this trip, but as SZ and I walked along the runway of NAIA Domestic Terminal I knew there was no turning back.
We were commissioned to run a pre-nup photoshoot for my friend, APL and her fiance DRW, but the entire arrangement wasn’t that clear. It didn’t deter us. We wanted to go to El Nido.
Flying Zest Air (it’s fast becoming my favorite airline), we hauled our equipment into the airline cabins for security. Then I slept for the most of the 55 minutes we were airborne.
Let’s skip the details and move on to the arrival at Puerto Princesa, where we were greeted by gloomy looking skies and foreboding grey clouds. We arranged a trip with some random tricycle driver who fast became our official tourist guide for the rest of our stay in Puerto Princesa.
Our first stop, Elmer’s Pares (which surprised SZ because she was expecting the food prices to be somewhat lower than Manila’s) offered a variety of choices not very rare in Manila.
Because we’re in a different place and eating local food is a must, we decided to order sisig and tocilog. We can never go wrong with a sisig and a tocilog. She paid P100 for the sisig with rice and iced tea while I paid P55 for my tocilog with house water.
A thing to note is that no signal of SUN could be found anywhere so we had to rely on my SMART phone for the rest of the trip (from Puerto Princesa to El Nido).
Being a second-timer, I didn’t mind not taking a tour and just headed on immediately to the fort or shuttle terminal for the reservation of our van to El Nido. But we just missed the 7:30 schedule and had to wait for the 10:00 trip.
SZ agreed to take a small tour and we went to the usuals: Butterfly Farm, Mitra House and Baker’s Hill.
We arrived back to Charing Terminal at 9:30 ang waited thirty more minutes for two more guests before we headed on to El Nido. There were 6 passengers in total. I wasn’t in the mood to mingle with the others so all I got from their info was that there was an American couple (based on thei accents) and two Korean girl friends.
SZ and I stayed at the front seat and having the best seat available, I was always almost close to sleeping but never really got there. The last two hours were bumpy as we entered the rough road and everything was crazy from there. My knee would often shut off the airconditioner so SZ had to look after my knee as my head glided through the trip unconsciously.
After 5 and something hours, we saw the rock formations that made up the entire El Nido. Holding my heart, I knew we were in for a treat.
And minutes after entering the town, we were not wrong.