I was back where I started.

Some things remained as I had left them … a lot of new developments around … perhaps the biggest change I noticed during my revisit to Palawan was how much of me feels different.

The last time I traveled to Palawan was one of my personal milestones. It was my first attempt to go solo backpacking. A taste of the life I was setting myself up for the next 19 months … almost two years ago, yikes!

I fell in love with the natural landscapes of Palawan, especially El Nido. No place I’ve visited still compared.

Before moving on to the new year, I craved to go back. I was feeling disconnected and needed to get in touch with how I was before so I could better understand what traveling means to me now.

Rediscover Palawan (Tabon Caves, El Nido, Puerto Princesa) in 13 days

El Nido and Puerto Princesa

El Nido was particularly memorable because I met two awesome travel buddies, Frtizie, and Anna, there. They hooked me up with their gang of fun and interesting “travelmates” when I joined them on a summer trip to Calaguas Island. I was elated when Fritzie told me she also wanted to go back to El Nido and bring the travelmates along.

My trip started with a flight from “Iloilo to Manila” then “Manila to Puerto Princesa ” on board Airphil Express. From Puerto Princesa, we visited the Underground River in Sabang then went straight to El Nido (at the northernmost tip of the island). We spent two whole days on amazing island hopping tours of Bacuit Bay and then took a land trip to the undeveloped twin beaches of Nacpan and Calintang.

Sea of clouds onboard an early morning flight from Iloilo to Manila 

Puerto Princesa Underground River, now one of the New7Wonders of Nature

Beautiful mountain and beach landscape of Sabang

Shimizu Island in El Nido

Seafood Picnic Lunch at the Beach

Elevated view of Matinloc Island

Sitting on a pedestal

Lengthy shoreline, blue waters, and beautiful waves at Nacpan/Calintang Beach

Hike up steep limestone rocks during strong rains

Taraw Peak in El Nido Town Proper

Approaching dusk at Calaan Beach in El Nido

El Nido was still beautiful even the second time around!

While my friends left for Puerto Princesa and flew back to Manila, I stayed for two more nights in El Nido.

Southern Palawan

Southern Palawan isn’t as well visited as its counterparts in the north. It’s also not featured as much in travel blogs. I really wanted to go as far as Balabac, the southernmost town in Palawan, but didn’t have enough time. So, I had to choose just one destination: the Tabon Cave Complex in Quezon town.

I spent three days in Quezon and then another two days back in Puerto Princesa before finally going back home to Iloilo to await the new year.

Tabon Caves Complex in Quezon, Southern Palawan

Inside Igang Cave at the Tabon Caves Complex in Quezon

Archaeological diggings at the actual Tabon Cave

Bonton Falls in Brgy. Irawan, Puerto Princesa City

I spent three days in Quezon and then another two days back in Puerto Princesa before finally going back home to Iloilo to await the new year.

The search for the best chaolong in Palawan

I’ve definitely changed since the last time I came to Palawan but I also realized that I still wanted the same things. My trip reignited my flame for traveling. Now I’m excited to be on the road again.

Hanging out at Puerto Princesa Underground River National Park

Air transfers between “Iloilo – Manila” and “Manila – Puerto Princesa, Palawan” was made possible by AirPhil Express, the country’s fastest growing budget airline. AirPhil Express delivers 24/7 customer support in facebook and twitter. Connect now!