Philippines

Getting Drunk and Lost Part 6 : Philippines

 

Manila was a crowded, noisy and traffic heavy city, in contrast we thought Palawan would be peaceful and quiet. Not so. We arrived in Puerto Princesa late at night to a tiny airport. The taxi drivers were rude and it was mega stressful trying to tell a tricycle driver where our hostel was. But of a nightmare.
Relief came from finding Boga Boga food court. A corner outdoor restaurant with amazing food, a typical south East Asian cover band and some ice cold San Miguel’s.
So we spent our first night full and a little drunk.
The next day we, again struggling to communicate with a tricycle, headed towards a beach for some relaxing time. He convinced us to go to emerald beach a little further out of town but he offered a good deal to stay and pick us up again.
The beach was deserted when we got there and the tide was so far out it looked like it could of been a desert. I calmed down a very upset Carla and convinced her to sunbathe near some hammocks.
After a couple of hours tanning, some more beers, the sea came back and turned the place into a bit of a haven as we just fully chilled out and read all day.

It sadly felt like any other south East Asian town. Two major things that did strike us was that 1. Every shop had a security guard and with a gun store round the corner from us no wonder. 2. We opted for a cheeky Dunkin Donuts one day and got blasted with Christmas songs, then realized that despite it being scorching hot we were coming close to Christmas. Then we started to notice the decorations everywhere, I guess we must of been blind to it.
Next stop was backpacker filled El Nido. Set in north of the island and surrounded by smaller lush inhabited islands we instantly loved it. Despite of course being packed with shower dodgers.

Our first night there we hit the beach bars and a 2 for 1 cocktail offer had us staying well into the night. That was until we forgot to pay the bill and realized half way down the street. Our extra money then bought us a pizza at the trip advisors 1# restaurant. Which turned out just to be over priced.
The day after, hung over we decided to book a boat trip for the next day and head out in a kayak to explore some of the deserted beaches on our own.
Grabbing a bagel for lunch paddled out into the sea having both never been in a kayak before. Matter of fact never doing any water sports before. We soon discovered that we don’t work well as a team. The water was rocky and panic crept in as we got so far out. Falling out with your girlfriend in the middle of the sea is not advised. But we made it relatively dry to a real paradise and pitched up for mini picnic. Spending most of the day there lounging was amazing. As the sun started to go down though we both realized we had to make the journey back, the water was even worse, our steering was even worse and the fight we had was even worst. We did however see the funny side when we crashed into a catamaran and punched a hole it in, only to sliver away laughing at the calamity of an idea the day had been.
The organized boat trip was however well worth it.
With the chance to snorkel around 2 lagoons. One which we were told had territorial fish. These fish live around the coral and bite you if you invade their space, making to cut your legs on the coral.
We brushed this comment off until we came into contract with a feisty little beast that would not let us pass. 10 minutes of trying to trick him we decided to head back to the boat while flicking him the V’s.
We ate a BBQ lunch on the open water which was incredibly peaceful and one of my favorite experiences. Then headed to commander beach. A beautiful sunset spot to end the trip off.

So just north of El Nido, there is an island off Palawan called Coron. We had read that it’s spectacular! Awesome lagoons and beautiful beaches.
Well we fucked the timing up between days to get the ferry and our booked flights and sadly we headed back to Puerto Princesa. Where we were met by rain and a power-cut, fantastic!
Because of this we decided to treat ourselves and after a quick stop off in Manila we headed to Boracay.
So 7 days of being total beach bums lay ahead and it’s didn’t disappoint.
Despite being a super tourist trap (we did end up eating a subway sandwich on the beach a couple of times) it was one of the best mini holidays I’ve ever had.
It was hot, sunny, the water was crystal clear and the beaches were immaculate.
It was so pristine that photo shoots sprang up all along the beach. Including 1 with an extremely old gentleman and his suspiciously young Philippine girlfriend.
This sadly didn’t last for the full 7 days, after 3 we got hit with a storm which washed away half of the beach path and forced us to diving into a pizza restaurant which like Palawan ended up having a power cut. Cue to eating pepperoni in the dark.
Good food seemed difficult to find in the Philippines but 2 notable nights were date night eat curry on the beach, Delicious! And Falafel after drinking far too many beers.
One that wasn’t very good was when we ordered chicken wings and like the special child I am I asked for super spicy and fully got more than I could handle. Silly boy!

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