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Bike Touring Mountains Palawan Philippines Travel

El Nido | Bike and Climb to Mt Mansilawit Pasadeña

Trail dog Tsatik overlooking the summit of Mt Mansilawit
Trail dog Tsatik overlooking the summit of Mt Mansilawit

 

The mountain’s Hersheys chocolate kisses-like shape makes it an eye-catching roadside attraction when passing through the main highway of Pasadeña to Barotuan, about 12km north of El Nido from the town center. But it took a while before someone conquered the summit of Mt Mansilawit despite its low elevation as there were tales of giant snakes and notorious monkeys living on this mountain. Pasadeña Native couple, Sylvia and Alex were brave enough to explore and are now lead guides to share the wonders of this little mountain. I decided to bike here from town since I’ve been curious about this mountain and I thought biking would be the best way to see other places en route. It took me almost an hour to reach the signage pointing the way to the mountain.

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Palawan Philippines Travel

El Nido | The Wakat Wakat Mangroves Boardwalk at Bubulungan

The Wakat Wakat Mangrove boardwalk
The Wakat Wakat Mangrove boardwalk

I’ve been long interested with the mangroves of El Nido. Yes, the place is most known mainly for it’s dramatic karst islands, blue lagoons and scenic beaches. But El Nido also has a rich mangrove eco-system. I was originally looking for a way to visit the Aberawan Mangroves but it’s not a popular tour and could cost me a lot. I was told of the Wakat Wakat Mangroves of Bubulungan, just at the border of El Nido town proper. Decided to spend an afternoon to look for this place.

Categories
Palawan Philippines Stay Travel

El Nido Stay | Nacpan Calitang Twin Beach Accommodations

Dusk at El Nido's scenic twin beach
Dusk at El Nido’s scenic twin beach

Distance won’t stop tourist from visiting these natural gems of the north in El Nido, Palawan. The Nacpan Calitang Twin Beach has grown in popularity that tourist would rent motorbikes, hire tricycles and join van tours just to reach this set of beach 17.5km up north from El Nido town. I can’t blame them, as I have been here several times and the beaches are always mesmerizing to see. Playful waves, soft golden sands, scenic hills and still unspoilt by mass development. Visitors frequent the beach daily, usually as day trips, but staying overnight at these beaches yields a much richer rural experience.

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Festivals Palawan Philippines Travel

El Nido Ati-atihan | Barotuan Festival 2014

A kid getting painted as part of his costume
A kid getting painted as part of his costume

“I feel a little tipsy” I told my friends. I think it was a bad idea to drink that cupful of emperador in one gulp. I couldn’t refuse the drink out of good gesture from the locals. Now I’m wondering if the lechon I’m looking at has really lost the rest of its body with only the head left rotating on the fire. The Barotuan Festival parade hasn’t even started yet and I find myself trying to find a seat to gather my senses back. I guess if you go to any ati-atihan celebration, there’s always a chance you’ll get a little alcohol in your system aside from that little soot on your face.

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Palawan Philippines Travel

Transit | Cherry Bus to El Nido from Puerto Princesa

The Cherry Bus in El Nido
The Cherry Bus in El Nido

(Updated February 12, 2015) It’s always nice to have a healthy competition around. With El Nido growing into popularity, people wouldn’t mind traveling the 6-7 hours length just to enjoy El Nido, the northern beaches and islands of Palawan. Now with the entry of another bus company, Cherry Bus, there’s more frequency, convenience and cheaper travel to one of my favorite destinations in Palawan. Here’s how the new bus compares.

Categories
Batangas Chronicles Palawan

A Year in Travels March 2013 | Leaving El Nido and Reunions

Kayaking in Cadlao Lagoon
Kayaking in Cadlao Lagoon

It’s a sad sad moment when I was about to leave El Nido. One reason is that I will definitely miss the way of life there and the people I already know. It’s so different from the metro that I know it’ll be a major adjustment. Another is that i somehow failed in my attempt to live there longer. I was willing to live a provincial life but I guess fate has other plans. There were work and opportunities back in Manila that I can pass. And I was really slated to go back home somehow this month of March since most my relatives and siblings will be back home for a reunion. A rare time all siblings will be together.

Categories
Chronicles Palawan

A Year in Travels February 2013 | El Nido Islands and Off-Beat Trails

Pangulasian Island
View of Pangulasian Island beach

My life in El Nido didn’t turn out as I expected it to be. My plan to stay longer got somehow waylaid due to unforeseen work circumstances. Though I no longer have work commitments I took it as an advantage to do more exploration in El Nido. Visiting more islands and off-beat destinations in the region.