The highlight of my summer this year is my trip to Palawan, hands down, no contest. I went to Puerto Princesa for the first time with my family a few years ago, and I absolutely loved it. This time, I went to Puerto Princesa again and El Nido with my friends for Maika’s Liberation Tour (from med school) and my birthday (a happy scheduling incident). We had so much fun, we have a difficult time shutting up about the trip. Almost every day since we got back someone would say something about missing Palawan, and we would just die a little inside. Misha made an excellent iPhone video to commemorate this milestone in our friendship and also to tide us over until the next time we find ourselves drinking beer and coconut juice along the shoreline, swimming in the open water before anyone else, and getting gloriously tanned.
And here’s a fun almost-per-second commentary, just because:
0:01 – Everyone was nearly 3 hours early for an hour-long domestic flight. We weren’t excited.
0:06 – We’re boarding. Are we boarding? We’re really boarding!
0:08 – “We made it, oh my god!”
0:09 – #NotRomblon
0:22 – “Rather Be” was our official trip song, but we should’ve read the lyrics at least, come on.
0:46 – Deciding on food at Baywalk. This is where we discovered lato (sea grapes). Lato is divine.
1:01 – The Olsen twins say “prune” to purse and relax their lips for photos. Difficulty level: 10.
1:05 – Billie’s default Palawan face.
1:07 – Misha mocking Billie’s default Palawan face.
1:10 – Party van on our way to Honda Bay! Misha read the lyrics.
1:27 – The only way to travel in Palawan, with the wind in your hair and the salt on your lips.
1:34 – Isla Pandan, our first beach of the day, where you can get turon for P5. That’s ridiculous.
1:43 – Luli Island, a beach that practically disappears during high tide. Has a diving board!
1:55 – Misha doing her best to distract me while Billie and Maika buy meds and my birthday cake.
1:59 – Ka Lui at night. A highly recommended stop for everyone who’s going to Palawan.
2:05 – Said birthday cake. My friends are beautiful creatures.
2:09 – We arrived at El Nido around 3AM after a hellish 5-hour bus ride. Waiting for the sunrise.
2:25 – We were snippy at each other all morning. My face reflects the general mood of the group.
2:32 – But El Nido was healing us right up before we even knew it. It was goddamn beautiful.
2:40 – Default island hopping lunch. Ensaladang talong and grilled anything 5ever.
2:45 – Serving up more Palawan gorgeousness.
3:05 – At the Underground River. Billie was in her element because caves are her thing.
3:17 – Our last night: excellent mango mojitos and Korean dance moves at Tiki Restobar.
3:21 – Let’s remember the good times before we head out. :((
3:45 – Queens.
3:47 – Our second home.