Thoughts on Solo Travel in El Nido, Palawan

“Why are you traveling alone?”

I was asked that intriguing question a lot of times during my stay here in Palawan. From my overnight stay in Puerto Princesa to my van trip to El Nido, random tourists (especially Filipinos) would ask me the question. I’d answer them with ‘I really want to visit El Nido!’.

Yeah, why did I go here in one of the couple-filled place called El Nido alone? At the van trip, there ‘s a family from Poland, a Filipino couple and one balikbayan who is also traveling on his own. When I arrived in the hotel, all of the guests were couples. What am I doing here? I feel out of place. I’m just glad that a fellow PTB member was also in El Nido that night and we had a short meet-up.

Saturday morning was frustrating. While waiting for my breakfast in the roof deck resto of The Alternative,  I found out that my camera is acting up –again. Damn it. I didn’t bring any spare camera. It is nice if you have friends with you who are photo addicts. I remember our Singapore trip three years ago for a certain blog awards. I didn’t own a good camera back then so I relied to my friends for photo memories. When you’re traveling solo, you need to be ready.

I cancelled my tour scheduled for that day because I didn’t want to go pursue without any souvenir photo. It felt like I am a soldier going to a war without a gun. I’m just thankful that I was able to bring enough cash to buy a cheap point and shoot camera. It kind of ruined my budget, but I need to adjust. I am also thankful that Agoda exists and I have enough funds at my Paypal account to book my accommodation. It is way more expensive than if I go around and look for cheaper hostels or pension houses. I need to allot cash that is enough for the duration in my stay here since there is NO ATM MACHINE IN EL NIDO. The only option to get real cash is through Money Changers, Palawan Pawnshop and H Lhuiller.

I admit that it feels awkward at first to go on an island hopping tour without any friends with you. I inquired for Tour A and Tour B and the tour organizers added me to the list of people taking the specific tour on that date.  I can be very quiet at times especially when I am alone. I can be really shy, but the tour guides were really nice. I guess I am also lucky because the various people I met through the tours made me feel comfortable and they were friendly.

While I am here in El Nido, I ate in ‘touristy restaurants’ and in the regular carinderias. I often eat lunch in a budget place then spend a little extra at night. I can say that August is ‘European’ season here in El Nido.  They’re everywhere now especially the Germans.

I love the night life here in El Nido. The live bands start early and most of them perform their last set at around 11pm. Most of their song line-up have the reggae vibe on it.

Temporary farewell to El Nido

Today, I am about to bid my temporary farewell to El Nido. I will surely have a major trip hangover once I step back to Metro Manila. It is a trip worth remembering – with or without pictures.

* Written on August 9, 2012

34 Comments

  1. It’s really a bummer when you’re in a gorgeous place and you don’t have a camera to capture the moment. But what’s important is the experience and the lessons you learn along the way… <— practice lang in case makasali ako sa Miss U. Keri na for Q&A portion, right? Char. 😛

    August 9, 2012
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Haha pang-beauty queen ang answer! You already! =))

      August 10, 2012
      Reply
  2. Nisha said:

    Awww I am so sorry about your not having the camera. Palawan is such a beautiful place.
    Hope you make your next trip soon. 🙂

    August 10, 2012
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Hi Nisha! Glad I was able to buy a spare one while in El Nido. I think my original camera is now sensitive that’s why it acts up whenever I am in windy places. I will use the spare one when I’m in outdoor places from now on 🙂

      August 10, 2012
      Reply
  3. chellee said:

    hope to have a trip with you! 🙂

    August 10, 2012
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Hi chelle! Ang sweet naman hehe pwede nating planuhin yan 😛

      August 10, 2012
      Reply
  4. There are reasons for the grand come back di ba? Great you had touched down on Palawan already Mica. Inggit ako!

    🙂

    August 10, 2012
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Yup. Salamat Doc Wends! My first time in El Nido, pero 4th time na sa Puerto Princesa hehe punta ka na rin! 😀

      August 10, 2012
      Reply
  5. flip said:

    ganda talaga sa el nido la ako masabi… million dollar views without busting one’s budget 🙂

    August 10, 2012
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      I agree with you. Now I know why you love El Nido! Paradise on earth talaga <3

      August 10, 2012
      Reply
  6. darwin said:

    naexcite na tuloy akong pumunta ng El Nido 🙂 kwentuhan tayo 🙂

    August 10, 2012
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Excited na ako para sa November trip niyo 🙂 Let’s meet soon 😀

      August 10, 2012
      Reply
  7. kura said:

    Yay! Bakit ba nauuso ang solo sa el nido. Anyare satin mica!? hahaha! Pero I enjoyed my solo trip too just like you. Ang bongga kaya ng el nido. Ok lang yan. Ako point and shoot lang din pero keriboom boom naman. Excited na ko sa series mo.

    August 10, 2012
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Haha salamat Ateh! Oo nga, bonggang mag-solo sa El Nido! Very liberating haha panira lang talaga ng budget yung biglaang pagbili ng camera. Kahit yung cellphone kasi na dala ko unreliable dahil laging lowbat agad. Kelan ba tayo magsasama sa trip, aber?

      August 10, 2012
      Reply
  8. hana banana said:

    ang bongga ng view… nakaka relaks maupo jan :))
    pupunta rin ako ng el nido, soon ^.^

    August 10, 2012
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Have fun sa trip mo, Hana! 😀 Balitaan mo ako 🙂

      August 10, 2012
      Reply
  9. Marcos said:

    There were also a LOT of Europeans during my last visit. When we went island hopping, We were the only “locals” on the beach. We felt so foreign in our own country, haha.

    August 12, 2012
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      I agree! Hehe. But I have to admit that I smile whenever they praise the beauty of El Nido and the Philippines in general. <3

      August 12, 2012
      Reply
  10. Riz said:

    Sorry about the cam teh pero im sure super relax ka naman sa El Nido. Super love q ung photo na yan sa the alternative!!!! 🙂 Last Feb naman puro Russians ung nakikita q sa El Nido. Gandang ganda sila! El Nido is love tlga!! Teh, balik tau d2 mag trio tau ni Robbie!!! 🙂

    August 12, 2012
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Thanks Riz! Sige ba 😀

      August 12, 2012
      Reply
  11. Dalene said:

    Two things I loved about this post… #1 This line: “It felt like I am a soldier going to a war without a gun.” I feel naked leaving the house without a camera, so I totally understand!

    #2 I had never even HEARD of Palawan (we have not traveled anywhere in Asia yet). I LOVE reading posts about places I’ve never heard of… 🙂

    August 12, 2012
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Hi Dalene! Make sure to visit this part of the Philippines once you embark on a Southeast Asian trip! 😀

      August 12, 2012
      Reply
  12. Wheeew. What an experience. Hindi ko ma imagine sarili ko na walang camera. When my digi was stolen a year ago, parang ayaw ko masyadong gumala kasi wala akong pang capture ng moments! Pero at least you survived and went to one of your dream destinations!

    August 13, 2012
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Thanks Elal! I’m glad din na I have extra money with me that time for the camera. Can’t wait to post more pics and write about my El Nido trip 😀

      August 17, 2012
      Reply
  13. I always get asked why I travel alone. Meh, sometimes I just say why not. I mean di ba? Haha But I was with someone when I went to El Nido, and we met 2 French women there who still keep in touch with me until now, 4 years later. I was supposed to stay with one of them pa nga sa Paris kung natuloy lang ako. El Nido’s very special for me.

    August 16, 2012
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Sinasagot ko rin yung iba ng ‘bakit hindi?’ =)) I guess kasi mas sanay lang talaga yung iba mag-travel in big groups or with jowa. El Nido is special to me now. <3

      August 17, 2012
      Reply
  14. Ayngelina said:

    I’m so happy you enjoyed it without the photos. Sometimes the best memories are undocumented.

    August 16, 2012
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Thanks dear 🙂

      August 17, 2012
      Reply
  15. Ghen said:

    Hi! What’s the name of the place you’ve stayed in El Nido ? 🙂

    February 9, 2014
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      The Alternative Inn 🙂

      February 9, 2014
      Reply
  16. coco said:

    hi ! ask ko lang saan banda sa palawan yan picture mo , balak ko kasi mag travel alone sa palawan hindi ko alam kung saan maganda ,nakita ko blog mo at yung view sa picture perfect sa soul searching ko i think makakapag relax ako at makakapag isip ng mabuti pag ganyan ang view ko .

    February 6, 2015
    Reply
  17. Pinky said:

    Hi! I’m wondering where in El Nido is this photo taken? It’s so beautiful! I’m also having a solo trip this year for my birthday! 🙂

    March 14, 2015
    Reply
  18. Lia said:

    Hi, just wanted to ask where is this picture taken? is this at your accommodation?

    Thanks!

    May 5, 2015
    Reply

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