Water is said to be the most important substance to life. All living things need water. All living things, yes, including travelers. Swimming, snorkeling, running around, and more swimming are exhausting activities that must be enjoyed by those who will go on a whole-day island-hopping adventure. And to survive this day, one should not forget to bring a bottle of WATER.

I did. I did forget.

Why does it always happen to me? Damn.

But I’m getting ahead of the story.

Hey look! Pineapple! And inside, Spongebob! NOT.

After our semi-spiritual visit to Matinloc Shrine, we hopped back onto the boat and glided several meters to a nearby white beach. I’m not sure but I think most of the beaches we saw and passed by are all part of Matinloc Island. It was a dazzling sight — gray cliffs topped with lush greens and at the base, sparkling white sand welcoming the waves. We didn’t know which beach we were headed to but we’d be absolutely happy with ANY of them.

Talisay Beach, El Nido, Palawan

Talisay Beach was our boatman’s choice. I say “our boatman’s choice” because it seemed like each boat would dock at a separate beach. It was like we owned the beach and I’m sure the group of tourists on the other beaches felt the same.

When we finally climbed down our boats and soaked our feet, my friend Ces just lay down as if dropping dead. She just found the love of her life — the sand. Pearly white sand.

Soon, our boatman announced that they would be preparing lunch.

The local government of El Nido standardizes the tour operations in the town. What does it mean? There are rules and policies that tour operators, boatmen, and resort owners must abide by. One of them is that all whole-day tours must include LUNCH.

They even go very specific. Lunch should comprise the following:

  • Grilled fish
  • Grilled meat (chicken or pork)
  • Rice
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits

The best thing about our lunch was that it was prepared and cooked at the beach itself. While we were basking in the sun and swimming, our boatmen transformed into island chefs.

We had grilled fish, grilled liempo, and cucumber for lunch. And for dessert, pineapples and bananas! The food was OK. There was nothing spectacular about it. It was just grilled, but we did not expect anything, anyway.

Tropical island lunch! Everything grilled and fresh!

There was too much food, to be honest. It was too much even for us. But because we didn’t want all that food to go to waste, we really tried to finish it and leave nothing but bones. We were very satisfied. LOL.

Now, if you take a second look at the “lunch” components I listed above, there’s no water there. So hmmmm.

“Kuya, may tubig po kayo,” I asked one of the boatmen.

“Ay naku, wala,” answered Kuya. “Bakit? Wala kayong dalang tubig?”

“Waaaaaaaaaaaaaah,” yes, I really said it. “Wala po.” And then I laughed hard. I think I was going crazy. When the group learned that there was no water, none of us threw tantrums or felt bad. We just laughed it off. The place was just so beautiful and the moment was so magical to be spoiled. And our boatmen had been nothing but helpful and endearing. No blames here.

But the problem was caused by a miscommunication between us and the tour agency. The Agency promised us that they would be providing water. I guess it was just not cascaded to the boatmen.

We were lucky because our boatmen were really the best in the world. They went out of their way to cross to the other beach and “borrow” water from the other boat.

No problem.

My friends enjoying the beach, the sea, and the view!

We stayed for another hour at Talisay Beach after lunch. At one point, all of us in the group were just sitting on the sand, watching the waves roll by and admiring the view. None of us said a word. We just sat there with our feet playing with the bubbles that the waves pushed towards us. It took several minutes until someone finally said something — “It’s beautiful.”

Indeed.


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Yoshke Dimen
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Glen Villar

Nice place and food. I particularly like how your photography has improved a lot since the last time I visited your blog. ^_^

JRG

OMG!! you cracked me up! LMAO reading your travel blog.

Angelica Mahilum

yeah nice tried that tour already love it

Babes-au M. DE Leon

beatuful beaches in the PHILIPPINES,,, such a haven for picturesque scenes. mabuhay ka PILIPINAS!

Rcon Pascua

Isang linggo nalang! :)

kura

wow! el nido series ka rin! I love! Kelan ka nga pala pumunt diyan. I was there last Jan 27 to Feb 1. I really had a great time.

ang Cool ng guides dun no? Parang mga boatman din sa coron. ^_^ (dumadalaw ulit! hihih!)

Anonymous

please tell me which one is better Coron or El Nido??? your response would be deeply appreciated and I thank you in advance and have a good day!!!!

McGrande Travel&Tours

im surely learning…im heading to same place this november…thanks a lot for the travel tips…highly appreciated ;)

Felipe Colacion III

I love El Nido. So amazing. Gonna get back there someday!

TheFrugalWanderer

Please also check out my El Nido Tour C experience :)

http://www.thefrugalwanderer.com/2012/01/part-vi-el-nido-island-hopping-tour-c.html

Francisco Antonio Alvarez

I tried those packages …its worth it !

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RHOCHELLE

hi.. may diving din ba dyan sa island?? tulad sa pandan.??

Tuesday Soriano

Hi The Poor Traveler. Where did u stay at El Nido and would you share your contact for the whole-day tour package there? Thanks!

The Poor Traveler
Eds Locsin

please kindly send your itinerary package and your contact details to my email add: edslocsin11@yahoo.com

Tuesday Soriano

hi @Eds Locsin: may i ask why u need our itinerary package and contact details? are you with The Poor Traveler or Philippine beaches? thanks

Yaj

I stayed 3 Days in Palawan during my vacation in PH and that to me is one of my biggest regret :( Unfortunately, I only had a day in El Nido and that place is a paraiso. I truly regret it was just a day. I will make a comeback there. Sure!

The Poor Traveler

Aw, too bad! But there’s always a next time, yes? ;)

buboyliit

I hope you could add contacts of people in El Nido like the boat man and guide. It will help a lot when people get there.

The Poor Traveler

Hi Buboyliit! There are so many tour operators that you’ll find when you arrive. More info about that here: https://www.thepoortraveler.net/2011/12/preparing-trip-el-nido-palawan-itinerary-flight-hotel/