February 26th, 2013
On a plane to the Philippines, going to the island of Palawan. Traveling with Lauren and Crystal. They plan on staying till the 8th of March and then I’ll be there 4 more days solo. I’ve already decided if I’m having a good time I’m going to extend my trip. Maybe hop over to Thailand or down to Australia. We are a bit unprepared for this trip, didn’t do much research about this island other than I know I want to do the Under Ground river, (which is one of the seven natural wonders of the world.) and I want to end up in the town of El Nido. From El Nido there’s many island hopping trips available. I want to see as many beautiful and secluded island and beaches as possible. This isn’t a trip about looking for a party, this is the venture about looking for peace. Raw nature is what I want. An escape of what “we” call life in Los Angeles.
Went island hoping in Honda Bay today, it was spectacular. The first island we arrived on reminded me so much of the Gili Islands in Indonesia. We were one of the first boats there so we laid out, swam, and did a little exploring, it wasn’t till lunch time that I realized how congested the island had gotten. I got a little selfish thinking it was ours for the day. For lunch I only ate a tiny piece of fish because everything else wasn’t my style. Pork, shrimp paste, duck eggs and squid. (Travel Tip #13) After lunch we ventured to this floating doc where a few boats were posted up. This was the “designated” snorkel area. We had 45min to swim, splash and see as much as we could- within the buoy limits of course. I got stung by some small clear jellyfish, not to happy about that. We went to one more small island after. It had a long sand bar shaped like a crescent. On this island there were only two small vendors selling a couple random things. All I could think about is how bizarre and hard it must be for some of these people, traveling all the way to this small deserted island that only a few tour boats go to in hopes of selling some soda pop or some chips. An obvious reminder of how lucky I am to have a job, car and apartment. We tipped the boat driver and his assistant 200 pesos, which is considered a really great tip for them and only $7 for us. The tour its self cost 1,350 pesos (the exchange rate we got at the airport was 36 pesos = $1 US so the tour was about $45). Gliding across the water on this 8 person dumpy boat was so refreshing; first time I’ve been able to really take a deep breath in. Trying to describe the colors of the ocean is nearly impossible. Kind of like describing a rainbow to someone’s who’s blind. No matter how beautiful it sounds it can never give it full justice. The way the deep dark blue lightened under the shallow sand and created a tiffany teal, then splashed with the shades of the sky in the water all washing up onto a pristine white sand beach- was truly breathtaking. When I hear the word “paradise” the image of today will forever be stapled in my mind.