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Drenched tales from El Nido

So how is El Nido, that fabled place north of Palawan, when it decides to rain?

First, it doesn’t, and you are hopeful.

After all, you did sit through the eternity that it took to reach this place. You’ve read all there is to read online about it. Everyone wants to be here. Everyone who’s been here wants to return. A lucky few who visited have never left. So yeah, you’re damn optimistic and you can blame everyone but yourself for it.

ARCHIVE: El Nido, Palawan

And because of that, second, your heart almost leaps out of your ribcage as your boat slows down towards your day’s first stop—the first of surely countless lagoons and beaches, secret and hidden, big and small, you will be visiting that day and the next.

ARCHIVE: El Nido, Palawan

Third, you leave your first stop a little underwhelmed because there was a group of tourists who came in first, so the waters you swam in was, well, a little murky. And the clouds have started making an appearance—an ominous sign, but you think the heavens would be too cruel to rain down on you on this day, so NO, you brush it off and look forward to your next stop, mask and fins at the ready.

ARCHIVE: El Nido, Palawan

Fourth, not long after, however, you notice the waters starting to get a tad too violent for your liking. When you dock on your next stop, the surf crashing on the sharp rocks—which you have to negotiate to get to a cave—makes it difficult for you to even walk. And, well, is it just you, or does the cave look better in black and white?

ARCHIVE: El Nido, Palawan

ARCHIVE: El Nido, Palawan

ARCHIVE: El Nido, Palawan

Fifth, it starts to look like it’s going to rain very, very seriously.

ARCHIVE: El Nido, Palawan

Sixth, and true enough it does, just when you are on your lunch stop. So you end up with rainwater falling all over your grilled pork, steamed crabs, and watermelons, but you’re too famished to even care.

ARCHIVE: El Nido, Palawan

Seventh, you drink fresh coconut juice that just keeps on refilling, and you discover that wearing your life vest under the rain keeps you warmer.

ARCHIVE: El Nido, Palawan

That’s because, eighth, you’ve been riding on a boat that’s devoid of its roof, because the winds have attempted to blow it off its hinges (and probably kill you all in the process, so your boat crew decides to fold it up before anything of that sort happens).

ARCHIVE: El Nido, Palawan

Ninth, you swim in its waters (you still are on tour, remember?) and find it warm and welcoming. You actually dread going back to the boat, where the hostile wind is waiting.

El Nido, Palawan - Two2Travel.com

El Nido, Palawan - Two2Travel.com

Tenth, the rains drain what little color there is left of your surroundings until—

ARCHIVE: El Nido, Palawan

Eleventh, you start seeing nothing but a blanket of gray, and another boat lost in the seas. You secretly wish you do not crash head-on into a taraw, since there is absolutely nothing in sight.

ARCHIVE: El Nido, Palawan

Twelfth, you wait for the skies to clear up, praying for two things: that your boat crew knows what they are doing, and that lightning does not decide to strike where you are (because that’d be such an ugly way to die). No, you are not afraid of sharks. This is not The Beach, regardless of what you’ve read about its links to Alex Garland living in Palawan when he was writing the book. Or is it?

ARCHIVE: El Nido, Palawan

Thirteenth, you call it a day, and hope for sunshine the next day—the 13th of the month, a Friday.

ARCHIVE: El Nido, Palawan

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Two2Travel

Owen Ballesteros & Nikka Corsino are trigger-happy travelers from the Philippines. They both swear by the sharpness of Nikon and almost always carry a packet of instant coffee when traveling. Photography is their bread and butter, their passion, and sometimes the only thing that prevents them from killing each other. If you have offers of work, collaborations, or an endless supply of instant coffee, please drop them a message here.

  • theclothesmuse

    Rain or shine, your photos are gorgeous. :) Thanks for the reminder of reading The Beach because people refer to it, well the movie, every time I go to a beautiful beach.

    • http://www.two2travel.com/ Two2Travel

      Thanks ate for always reading, hehehe! :) Loved both the movie and the book!

  • http://www.walkflypinoy.com paul | walkflypinoy

    Photos are gorgeous still. But going on a small boat during monsoon season? Definitely not doing that anytime soon. Ha.

  • http://www.elaljanelasola.com/ Elal Lasola

    Went there too during the rainy season and on our second day of island hopping, the waves were too big when we reached our third destination. Pretty scary experience but I will surely go back :3 Beautiful captures, btw, despite the weather :)

    • http://www.two2travel.com/ Two2Travel

      Thanks Elal! yeah a bit frustrating considering it’s our first time in El Nido. we had one good sunny day though!

  • http://www.filipinaexplorer.com/ Filipina Explorer

    Had the same experience during a rainy August tour in Coron. Freaking scary when it rains and in you’re in the middle of the sea. But Palawan, it’s always, always gorgeous no matter what state it’s in.

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