05 May, 2014

My unforgettable camping excursion in the Philippines, El Nido, Palawan

All I could think of was the movie "The Beach", with Leonardo DiCaprio, El Nido was a replica for it.

While living in Taiwan I had the opportunity to visit the Phillipines on several occasions. What an amazing destination, in particular Palawan, El Nido. This is where I traveled with a few other expats who were also teaching in Taiwan. The four-hour bus ride from Puerto Princessa felt like it would never end. All of the twists and turns of the road was worth it once I laid my eyes on El Nido. This small seaside town was beautiful, but even more picturesque was the huge rock formations that popped up everywhere, in water and on land. All I could think of was the movie “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio, El Nido was the replica for it.

The first stop off was a place called "The Secret Beach"
After five days of chilling out in the town of El Nido, swimming, drinking, dancing and meeting awesome locals we decided that it was time to go on an overnight Island hopping adventure, with some of the people that we had met. We hired a boat and a crew and five of us set out on the ocean water. The first stop off was a place called “The Secret Beach” and the only way to get to this beach completely surrounded by cliffs was to jump in the water and swim through a cave, dodging Jelly Fish on the way. Once I popped out on the other side I couldn’t believe my eyes, there I was sinking my toes into white soft grains of sand. It felt like we were in a secret world, only meant for us. We swam and played for a while, eventually moving on to our next destination.

Everyone sat silently and watched the world go by in this serene setting.
Our second stop was an Island with a white sand beach. As the sun blazed down on us we snorkeled while the boys made lunch from scratch. The display consisted of fried fish, fresh cucumber tomato salad, white rice and fresh fruit. I couldn’t believe that they had whipped it up and created a beautiful presentation so quickly, it was amazing. After relaxing and swimming some more we packed it up and boated to the Canals. This sight was magnificent; as we cruised through clear blue water everywhere you looked there were fish swimming and Kayaks sailing by. To the left and right of us were the gigantic rock formations. Everyone sat silently and watched the world go by in this serene setting. It was time to find our camping spot for the evening. 

We sang and danced into the night
We boated up to the shore, on our perfect little Island just as the sun was starting to hide behind the gigantic rock formations. The boys quickly unloaded everything for the night, they cooked dinner and we brought out the Tanduay “Philipino Rum” while "Johnny" started playing the guitar and we all sang along. The sunset let off colors of orange, red, purple and yellow while the puffy clouds created a perfect backdrop. We sang and danced into the night, bonding with our stories from far away lands. I don’t remember going to sleep nor did I know what time it was when my head hit the floor. The bright morning sun woke us up; another meal was served to us with love and care. The tide was too low for the boat to pick us up on shore so we put our things on to of our heads and swam (waddled) to the boat. As we arrived back in the town of El Nido I felt a sense of satisfaction, a completeness that I couldn’t describe. The beauty that I had encountered, the people that I had met and the freedom that I felt will stay with me forever.


Gitana Omi

What is your favorite beach in the world?

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  1. Great Information about Travel to Phillipines Gitana. Who knew you've been all over the place!

    1. Thank you Edward:) Yes, traveling is indeed one of my greatest passions.


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