El Nido was never in my bucket list. It is because, before I was able to create mental notes about my bucket list, I have already been to this paradise of a place. My recent trip to El Nido was not my first. I was in this tropical paradise more than twenty years ago. I remember during that particular trip, going to El Nido was even more difficult than how it is now.
Reaching and travelling now and then to El Nido is like reaching for the stars! More than twenty years ago, underprivileged tourists like me could not afford to pay for a private plane that would bring me to El Nido. Me and my friends had to travel first to Puerto Princesa and take a bumpy public transport (a huge non-air-conditioned truck transformed into a bus) that would pass through the never-seem-to-end super dusty dirt road for 12 long hours. Now the easy, smooth and air-conditioned land travel from Puerto Princesa to El Nido (though still a lot of time) would only take about four to five hours.
What is so distinct about the El Nido tourists more than 20 years ago is that majority of them were foreigners. Except me, local Filipino tourists then would comprise of either from (i) very rich families; (ii) corrupt political personalities; and, (iii) stylish showbiz superstars. Now, it is so heartwarming to know that more local tourists from the middle class spectrum of society could already go and marveled at the beauty of El Nido.
Local tourists from rich families more than 20 years ago may have gone bankrupt; corrupt politicians more than 20 years ago may have been jailed or whose souls are now burning in hell; and, stylish showbiz superstars may have gone baduy (outmoded) and laos (obsolete) but the majestic beauty, charismatic energy and mesmeric attraction of El Nido remains the same. Glad to know that El Nido continues to be the country’s superstar tropical destination!
Because of its splendid attractions, I have just revised my bucket list. It is because I have included El Nido and that I have to experience all the marvelous sites that it has to offer. Right now this paradise has four island hopping tours (A, B, C and D tours) plus the inland travels going to a fresh water falls and the Nacpan/Twin Beach. This now gives me reason to return!
Ang ganda naman kasi.