I looked at Robbie of the Travelling Dork, who was seated next to me. His headwear covered most of his face, but I could also see behind his sunglasses that his eyes were closed. I turned to Darwin of The Tracking Treasure. He was also very much asleep, which was kind of his talent, especially because he can practically sleep through anything. Finally, I looked at Byron of Peculiar Hours. Of course, he was sleeping too. You know, the problem with traveling with mostly guys is that they tend to sleep – wherever, whenever! It’s just crazy! I’m freakin’ wide awake and they can sleep as we roll over rocks, unpaved roads and muddy areas.
I cringed as we ran over another rocky area. The dust flew by as a truck sped past us. I used my hat to block the wading blow of dust. It wasn’t going to help entirely, but it was going to prevent me from wearing make up of dirt over my face.
It was about an hour or so tricycle drive and about half of it was unpaved. The bumping, hitting and moving around inside a tricycle hurt, but it wouldn’t really matter until we started to rest.
Kuya Ontoy stopped in front of a beautiful reservoir, where a small wooden hut labeled “FOOD HERE” stood.
Beyond the reservoir, was an outline of Palawan’s limestone mountains, curved and majestic, towering over the glistening waters of the tiny lake. Something was jumping in and out of the lake. A frog, maybe? Or fish. A while later, we watched a cow as it walked into the lake slowly to bathe.
We entered the open hut, took off our shoes and lay back in the small restaurant.
I breathed deeply. Fresh air. I closed my eyes to feel that soft, fresh-smelling breeze of the ocean.
We knew it was nearby. We could hear it. We could feel it.
Tita Mercy was the owner of the small restaurant. She offered us a discount because we were locals. At first, we couldn’t order shrimp because it hadn’t arrived just yet. But once we were about to order, a motorbike drove into their house. It was the shrimp!
We ordered shrimp, squid and fish to our heart’s and stomach’s delight. And we waited while we talked about the beautiful view in front of us.
When would we get this chance again, right? When would we get to breathe such fresh air? It was our moment. At least for the time being. For that short time we were there, I honestly wished time would stop. That we could just be there for some time. Hide from all our problems. Hide from all our work.
And then, Tita Mercy brought out our lunch. It cost us about P920 for the whole meal, but boy, we couldn’t stop eating. Seriously! There’s just something about Palawan’s seafood that we couldn’t stop eating. And that Ilak? It was beyond delicious. We might’ve been eating home-cooked meal, but it felt like we were eating fine dining.
Now, before you could criticize me for spending P230 for a lunch meal since I am hypocritically a budget traveler, let me remind you that every crop, fish and meat that they bring here has to go through an hour of unpaved roads. Once you’ve gone through that yourself, only then would you understand their prices.
We ate to our heart’s content, using our hands, the Filipino way. We looked like pigs as we munched along every tiny bit of the fish.
If a cat could see us eating that fish, it would have been proud of us.
We rested awhile, enjoyed our time out and laughed a bit before we decided it was time to finally see the beach. We got back into the tricycle and Kuya Ontoy drove a minute or so until we reached a clearing beyond a few coconut trees.
And just when you thought El Nido couldn’t get any better.
Of course it does. Palawan doesn’t seem to know anything but become an even better experience for travelers and backpackers!
Despite my slight disappointment that the small, sleepy town of El Nido has turned into a buzzing town of tourists and can’t-shake-off locals who take advantage of tourists, there’s always some kind of silver lining somewhere. For this trip, Nacpan and Calitang seemed to be one of the highlights of my trip.
Nacpan and Calitang are both located in Bucana, a curved part of northern El Nido.
We parked along Nacpan Beach, a stretch of white, soft sand that reaches up to about 3 kilometers long, approximately. Yes, it’s that long. Imagine walking that beach under a hot, Palawan sun. You’re about to get burned and the earlier you realize it, the better it’ll be for you to actually enjoy the sun.
The water in Nacpan Beach was very clear. There were waves, similar to those in Baler, not too high, not too strong, occasional, but just enough to enjoy playing around with friends. Because it was shallow, it was hard not to swim farther down to fully enjoy the waters.
We walked to the right side of the beach until we reached the short wharf of rocks. We set up our “camp” there and tried to block further sunburn by applying sunblock.
For awhile, we hesitated to get into the water because the sun was so freakin’ hot! But then, it was too good to resist.
Robbie headed in first and I followed.
The water was seriously pretty shallow and we had to walk further down just to get ourselves wet. Water was pretty clear too so you can see the white, soft, clear and clean sand below. It reminded me of Bantayan, where the beach just wouldn’t let us go.
Robbie and I played like kids in the water. Maybe for a few hours, we forgot we had lives back home.
Okay, so that was until we saw a green snake and screamed our way back to shore, laughing hysterically.
It was the time of our lives. Maybe of this year. But I guess I’ll always remember this moment when we didn’t really care about anything else but the upcoming huge wave.
We spent the rest of the afternoon doing crazy photo shoots, survivor shots and jump shots, filming X-rated videos of Byron and his coconut, watching him go batshit crazy in the waves and along the beach, while Darwin and I danced under the sun and kicked at the waves. It was almost impossible for me to part with the waters of Nacpan.
And before we left, I heaved a sigh of regret. I miss it already.
If only for a few more hours, maybe.
If there’s one place you cannot miss in El Nido, it’s Nacpan Beach. Out of all the thrill-seeking tours, the snorkeling and the highly energetic activities in El Nido, Nacpan is one beach where you can just sit and relax.
Was the P505 (P275 for the tricycle ride and P230 lunch) worth it?
I would’ve spent P1000 for a day like this. It was definitely worth it.
Kuya Ontoy – 09264366358 (P1100 for 4 pax)
Tita Mercy – 09461965557