Monday, February 13, 2012

My birthday escapade at El Nido, Palawan

I decided one day to spend my birthday differently from my usual. For the first time, I celebrated my birthday . . .  alone . . . and in a place I have never been to.

El Nido, Palawan . . . they say is very expensive. I say, it depends. I have explored in El Nido that you can play around with your budget. Since it was my special day, I did not go for the luxury but I did not go either for the too budgeted vacation. Let me share my experience and thoughts. 

I got a fair deal with AirPhil . . . if you're on a budget, make sure you always hang around the websites of AirPhil, Cebu Pacific and Zest Air. I have noticed lately that almost all my flights were delayed because of traffic congestion in Manila . . . so it doesn't really matter which airline to go for as long as it's affordable.

As soon as I got to Puerto Princesa, I hopped on to a tricycle and it brought me to San Jose Terminal. 
Lexus Shuttle was were I bought my ticket for 600 pesos going straight to El Nido. There are other shuttle companies but I researched online and there were negative reviews so I decided to try this one out.

Their vans are new and seems to be in good condition. 
For reservations, here are the numbers posted (as of  Dec. 5, 2011)
Van rates (as of Dec. 5, 2011)
Customer Service :)

The ride was 5 hours from the terminal but there were several stopovers including a long break where you can eat at a restaurant. If you don't want to waste time, I highly recommend that you rent a van which can get you to El Nido a lot faster.
First stopover where we had lunch

The last stopover.

From the terminal, it's just a few meters walk to Marina Garden Beach Resort.
This is where I stayed. Clean and nice place. The staff were extra nice. They also have wi-fi.
My room. Beach front.

Clean room with aircon, fan, cable TV and hot shower
Silence is strictly impose.
Just right outside my room, you can chill at the chairs or hammocks facing the beach.

I think Marina has the best beach front where you can chill without having to worry about the water getting near you
Beside Marina, is a place where you can rent kayaks.

They also offer overnight stays at an island.

A lovely breakfast with a beautiful view at Marina's

Like I said earlier, I went there alone but left and made new friends. I spent my birthday with people I just met there.

The boys from Cagayan De Oro who stayed at the room next to mine. You'd think we're the best of chums here . They're   the nicest.

I spent two days with these fellow tourists from Korea, Spain, Brazil and France.
I looked like a tour guide here hehehe which I did in some parts as I promote the Philippines to them

Ms. T, a tour operator who I shared the last piece of my cake. You can contact her at 09178094509
Kuya is from Iloilo and has been in El Nido for several months now. He takes care of the kayak shop.

This is near Marina. I love the seafood here. They play acoustic music too.

Nice to chill here. It's at the other end from Marina but you can enjoy a good sammich ,  wi-fi connection and a great view.


At the Small Lagoon, France and Spain sang for me!!!!

Dinner at Blue Azul. Brazil, Philippines and Spain sang for me!!!!

The Marina ladies who prepared my breakfast daily sang a song for me!!!!

 Tour A
Click on the link to read more on this tour
 Tour C
Click on the link to read more on this tour

I was surprised when I was given my first white roses when I arrived in Puerto Princesa.

Rarely do people give birthday cards nowadays. I got one :)

Personally baked by my cousin and I brought this all the way from Manila to share it to strangers on my special day.
Blueberry cheesecake.

Another surprise gift from the CDO boys.



wow this just got me excited to go there alone. I will also spend my birthday there. Already booked the tickets and I will just wait for the big day! Thanks for this post. :)

You're welcome. I'm excited for you!!! Go make your own adventure! I hope you'll love Palawan as much as I do!

Your adventure sounds fun! I wish I did that before marrying. :) My husband would love to visit El Nido and Coron but I'm not too keen about riding small planes haha

You can reach El Nido via PP and try getting AirPhil. For Coron, yes they have small planes. Hey....there's always a first time sis and you have your hubby with you :)

very comprehensive! bookmarked! =) im inspired to do this one too on my birthday :D
but first..i have to save..looks like a fun thing to do..thanks for the info's...great help..

Nice! I'm turning 21 this October and was planning to go on my first solo trip and i am nervous. I'm a girl and my family has always been so protective and i would want to break the cycle and just go on a trip alone. I always had a zeal to travel and was planning to go to Puerto Prinsesa this October. Do you have any tips or do you know a tour guide there which i could contact? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Chiz. One of the safest place I've been to is Palawan. You can contact Ms. Tiara 09178094509 just tell her I recommended her to you. She's a tour operator but don't worry she's not expensive. She can arrange a trip similar to mine. Just tell her your budget too so she'll know where she can arrange you at. You can send her an email too at You can inquire. You'll have fun in El Nido.

Hi Ann D, I'll do the same on my Birthday this Dec.. Yup Ms. T.. I also recommend her, she was the one who assisted me during my Puerto Princesa Solo Trip last year. Kudos to Ms. T, See you this Dec. and Ann thank you for sharing this! Muchas Gracias!

You're welcome and thank you rin for visiting my site. Go out there and have a great birthday!

big help. i'll bookmark this one. eto lang talaga ang di ko pa matry try - ang mag-solo at ikaw el nido pa?! woot woot!

Sarap din mag solo trips. May happiness, sadness, adventurous, exciting, scary, kainis....andun lahat ng feelings hahahaha That's my commitment every year that I have at least one or two solo trips. So far ...3 years in a row na. :)

this is so cool...thanks Ann (Guest256 in SAGGAS)

Thanks 256 for visiting my blog site.

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