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Perfect Palawan: A Bucket List From North to South

Perfect Palawan: A Bucket List From North to South

Almost two years. I haven’t been counting dates but it dawned on me that I’m about to celebrate another life chapter-versary towards the end of the year. The idleness of staying put in one place for a month has probably driven me to counting days before my next trip.

I noticed I’ve never written much about the places I wish to visit, save for Indonesia. I thought of coming up with a bucket list from time to time and update this section once I’ve visited it. It’s probably like an accountability tool that I’d need to update myself and help me keep my travels on track.

With lots of promo flights from A to Z, one can’t help but be overwhelmed in choosing where to go. Knowing which ones are the top priority and non-negotiable will definitely help the decision-making so you won’t spend so much time researching on the spot and lose precious time in getting that super cheap ticket. On the other hand, this also keeps myself motivated to do the best to save and earn for these future trips.

As of this writing, here are the places I have to visit in Palawan before I get too old and frail to travel.

 A kamayan feast which is everybody's favorite. Photo by Avel Chuklanov.

A kamayan feast which is everybody's favorite. Photo by Avel Chuklanov.

Coron


Coron was the first trip that ignited the wanderlust in me. It was the first trip that I booked without any prior consent from the higher-ups in my life (sorry, folks but you see, it was much needed). This trip made me scared and excited to be venturing out the world on my own!

A little background on this one, it was on a whim when the tickets were purchased because of a promo Cebu Pacific was having back then in 2014. Buying the tickets almost nine months prior was quite the wait. A lot happened in between and I was already surfing by the time that this trip drew near. Weeks before flying out to Palawan, I would have wanted to trade places and surf instead. I’m glad my travel buddy and AP soul sister, Jiselle, who was a coworker at that time really pushed me to just go through with it.

The sad thing about the unorganised Ferina back in 2014 was that I have no recollection of ever keeping my travel photos in one place and I’ve switched to about four laptops since then (the previous company I worked for issued us work laptops) and it’s only when I resigned back in 2016 that I learned the beauty of organisation. 😅 Well, it’s better late than never!

Thanks to Facebook and Google Drive, I was able to recover a few photos that I posted online. And when I mean few, I meant like only 10% of the whole lot of photos that I took. Not that I had bad shots but I just didn’t feel like posting everything because I kept waiting for the time I’d be running my then-blog the way I am now with Millennial Mermaid. So I never got to post many photos nor write about my journey back then. And again, I say that it’s better late than never.

Having been to Coron before, I thought to myself there wouldn’t be a reason to return. After all, there are other parts of Palawan that I’ve never seen yet. But if I did get a chance to visit Coron again, I’d love to back with my mermaid fins and even as part of a larger tour like the Tao Boat Expeditions where they sail the beautiful Linapacan group from Coron to El Nido for five days on a tradition marine vessel called the Para. Now that’s what I call a real maritime adventure!

 Nacpan Beach, El Nido, PHL. Photo by Cris Tagupa.

Nacpan Beach, El Nido, PHL. Photo by Cris Tagupa.

El Nido


Ah, where do I start? It’s probably not such a known secret but there is surfing in Palawan. I just found it last year and I do intend to help keep the balance of things by not disclosing too much information that makes hotspots way too easy to find. With that being said, I’m skipping the surfing part which is obviously my number 1 priority whenever I go to a new place.

Now, El Nido. Seriously, with all the beauty out of this place (even just in Coron alone) how can you not spend at least one week in a paradise such as this? While I’m not sure of the quality of internet in this area, the travel alone to El Nido makes it quite the challenge but it’s worth a try for me. I’m hoping to still be able to bring work around with me since I’m planning to stay at least a week in this paradise.

I find it quite amusing that for a saltwater soul like me, what I’m raving about is finding the best pizza parlor in every place I visit. While the culinary experience is always a deal-breaker for a certain place, for me it increases the desire for me to return. Yes, you read that right. I will return for food... as long as there is an ocean nearby where I can dip my toes and get that much-needed sun.

You get to meet a lot of people when you dine. I personally enjoy talking to the server or perhaps the owner themselves if they happen to be working when I dine. Aside from kayaking or perhaps SUP-ing towards Big Lagoon, I’d love to visit Nacpan and Twin Beach just to see the beauty for myself.

I’ve been fascinated about trying boutique glamping ever since I read about the Birdhouse El Nido. The rooms, which they call nests, are truly one-of-a-kind and romantic. It seems the perfect place to just unwind and be at the moment which the company that you have. Definitely a great inspiration for those creative minds looking to have their juices refilled.

 El Nido, Palawan. Photo by Cris Tagupa.

El Nido, Palawan. Photo by Cris Tagupa.

Port Barton


I haven’t much about Port Barton but I believe that’s the beauty of it. With technology making our world smaller, it’s a far larger challenge to isolate yourself from the throngs of tourists who love wild parties. If it’s underdeveloped or still being developed, that’s the charm for me. Even more so if it has waves!

Port Barton is actually a barangay within San Vicente. Where I’d love to spend a lot of time in is Long Beach and Irawan Beach which is near Long Beach in San Vicente. The endless stretch of sand reminds me of Malcapuya Island in Coron where I’d love to go back again and chase those sea turtles who have eluded me way back in 2014.

Long Beach is said to be the longest stretch of sand in Palawan. If that’s the case and it still remains unchallenged as of now then it’s likely worth the visit. Again, anywhere without the crowds is where you’ll find me nowadays. It requires an hour of travel by boat to get here and it’s not a frequented route so planning is necessary.

 Entering Big Lagoon in El Nido, Palawan. Photo by Ehmir Bautista.

Entering Big Lagoon in El Nido, Palawan. Photo by Ehmir Bautista.

Balabac Group of Islands


There are probably more posts about the southernmost part of Palawan than it is with Port Barton. I don’t know why that is even if Balabac is way down south and Port Barton is easier to reach. Then again, it would be probably to elude the crowd or perhaps the allure of isolated beautiful islands.

Similar to Port Baron, Balabac doesn’t have the usual commercialization of their more famous counterparts like El Nido and Coron. Again, the charm is in the isolation and details - with over 30 islands alone in this group, it would be a dream come to life just living the raw island life with just you and your company and the beautiful ocean nearby.

I can’t wait to check these off my list and share the experience with you all. Am I missing a few things on this Palawan bucket list? Which places have you visited or would like to visit? Let me know! Share your thoughts with me on the comments below! 👇🏽

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