Saturday, August 4, 2007

El Nido, Palawan

Before I tell you about my dreadful bus trip to El Nido, let me just share to you the story of Mang Nonoy, the tricycle driver who had been so nice to me during my stay in Puerto Princesa. He showed me around Puerto Princesa and had constantly given tips on the cheapest ways to get to El Nido and Port Barton. While on the way to the bus terminal, Mang Nonoy, quickly shared his life story to me. He was born and raised in Palawan all his life and he has no intentions of leaving his town. He worked as a tricycle driver for 25 years now and according to him, he can't imagine doing anything else but this. He liked the idea of showing visitors around his town. Also, he provided for his family with his three-wheeled motorycle all alone. He was able to send his kids to school and live a fairly comfortable life. He also shared to me that he lost his eldest son three years ago. It was such a tragic accident, I can't believe it happened to him. His son was on his way home, caught a jeepney in the city but unfortunately the jeepney was packed, so his son decided to just ride on the roof of the jeepney (this is a normal practice in provinces). The driver was careless, he drove so fast and didn't notice the wire that hung on the street. Mang Nonoy's son got his neck strangled and fell off the jeepney. He filed a case against the jeepney operators and driver and eventually won the case. He got compensated, the company of the jeepney is now paying for his two other children's education. He wasn't happy about it as he knew that this can never replace his son, but he at least wanted something good to come out of it, so he thought of his other children. I felt so sad after hearing his story. The way he looked while sharing his story and from his voice, I knew that he was still hurting. It's such a terrible thing to have lost your loved one from an accident that could've been avoided.

Mang Nonoy on his Element

Anyway, on a lighter note, let me share to you my longest bus ride in this trip so far. I hopped on the bus headed to El Nido at seven in the morning today.I psyched myself that the travel time shouldn't be a problem for me as I've been travelling for a while now and somehow I'm used to it. The estimated time of arrival to El Nido was at two in the afternoon, but we arrived at half past four in the afternoon. The roads weren't as bad as I thought it would be, a few bumps here and there. The agony began when we suddenly had to do so many pit stops, the bus had problems with the tires and the breaks. The bus made this loud sound whenever it tried to stop. It wasn't major or anything, it didn't alarm me at all. But it took so much time, it started to get really hot inside the bus. And to add to that someone broke her plastic bag full of dried fish so the smell of it lingered inside the bus for hours til she got off. Thankfully, I had the window seat so air was free flowing. I think it was dreadful for me as I've been anticipating El Nido so much. It wasn't as bad as the bus ride to Bantayan and Malapascua island but I was so excited to get to El Nido. I told myself that if there were lessons to be learnt in this trip, endurance and patience would be on top of my list.

And after nine and a half hours, we're a few meters away from the town of El Nido. I could already see the large limestone formations that surrounded the island. My heart skipped so fast, I thought I'd have a heart attack. I was like a kid anxiously waiting for my birthday presents. And when we finally got close, all I could say was, 'HOLLLY...WOOWW!' I coudln't contain my happiness when I saw the view from where I was seated. I can't believe that after so many hours, here I am in El Nido.

The view from my room. Isn't it awesome?

The loooong trip to El Nido was definitely worth it. As soon as I got off the bus, I felt like I have been boosted with energy and ready for another adventure.

It's just my first few hours here in El Nido, more to come.

til then,

The Lost Sputnik.


jaws said...

i love el nido! so happy you're there! if you only you knew how to dive rills! el nido looks even better beneath the surface.

riz said...

Mang Nonoy. wow. I can relate. lawlz. I think most people raised in Palawan are really really really nice. I love Coron and El nido. Tnose places I love to go back every now and then. IMo, i called them paradise. Lawlz..

I'm also a traveler freak.. I'm glad I found your blog. Ilove it! ;)

enjoy the ride, more travel more fun! XD

larence said...

we just opened the first floating hotel in el nido. $100 per night including all food and use of small boats. our boat=tell is on a seven day loop anchoring every night in 6 deserted islands close to town. any interest?