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I am not so sure about you but I believe – you and I collided here for a reason. From wherever we are right now, still in this pandemic or to some places where it’s pretty much open. I would like to distract you with something more pleasant. I know I took you to the highs and lows of my life here. It’s my pleasure to have you every moment. I know the feeling, everything that’s happening in the last year or two has been life-changing. It’s just thing after thing. We’ll just forget about those sorts of things for now and continue to acknowledge that the life we have lived has mattered. I wanna tell you that you are absolutely doing the right thing. 

What choice do we have? It’s better to be safe than sorry and take precautions. We are all doing our very best, and our resilience lets us recover from it. Honestly, I had not considered flying still on covid times to the Philippines until just last April. It happened. I did it anyway. I wasn’t able to enter Palawan, my hometown and I still have no regrets. That hotel quarantine served as my online course sanctuary then. As I always speak very highly of Palawan. Every now and then, this is my way of transporting myself there mentally. Lived there for almost all my life and have been living here for more than two years now. Sometimes the best thing to do is wait till everything becomes clear. Why rock the boat? Why force things that neither of us can’t control? No one really knows for certain what will happen. But… if by tomorrow morning by some stroke of magic. From all the light that we can’t see yet, everything gets clear and back to normal. Here is something I kept meaning to talk to you about. 

I started this months ago, delaying it while waiting for the possibility of that normalization. And as writing is a small step to the finish line. I guess I finished it as you read it. For now, I guess all we can do is hear each other out. Add Palawan for your next holiday. Save, save, save this. It’s surely an attraction that is worth checking out. Again and again, I will always be here, cheering on my love of Palawan. I am now in the mood of letting these good times roll. Do I have to say, “I bet you’ll love it?”. I know you are.

So here it is, let’s not spoil the fun.

  1. 𝒴ℴ𝓊 𝓌𝒾𝓁𝓁 𝒹ℯ𝒻𝒾𝓃𝒾𝓉ℯ𝓁𝓎 ℊℯ𝓉 𝓉𝒽ℯ 𝒻𝒾𝓃ℯ𝓈𝓉.

The fact is simple enough. Palawan was named as the Last Ecological Frontier, a recipient of many awards and just recently declared once again – as No. 1 on the list of the 30 Best Island Paradise in the World 2021 by Travel and Leisure.

I wasn’t able to land in my hometown but if there’s a will, there’s always a way. We all need a proxy now and then. Giving you the latest images from him, as in last month. Okay now, obviously he is our first man-of-the-hour here. Meet my good friend, Gomez, a well-traveled guy from Palawan. Instantly, he will strike you with that good soul bohemian goofiness. He will give you the fullest service and communication possible. He knows and sometimes creates new words he can only understand. A witty personality, so quick with his jokes. My strongest memory of our friendship has to do with teasing. 

There is no doubt in my mind that every beach and nature fan out there would be very excited for it. Even if you may just seem to agree. Imagine this. Lying on one of the most beautiful scenery imaginable. 

  1. 𝒯𝓇𝒶𝓋ℯ𝓁𝒾𝓃ℊ 𝒽𝒶𝓈 𝒷ℯ𝒸ℴ𝓂ℯ ℴ𝓊𝓇 𝓈ℴ𝒸𝒾𝒶𝓁 ℊ𝓁𝓊ℯ. 

Truth be told, our lives are constantly influenced and shaped by others. I am me because of others. Traveling and just being out there has been the mechanism of our bonding. As life is meant for family, friends and great adventures. It just felt natural that the one common element in life was the road. Sometimes finding myself in the midst of the unfamiliar. Over time, I discovered something I might never otherwise have learned. From working on tours, camping on a lovely secluded beach to city life calling loud and clear. Up to then, I became the person whose hopes and friends are spread out as my life. Together with the learning that I have found along the way.

Saint Paul Subterranean River National Park. This is where the famous Underground River is located.

Meet Cora. Strong, independent woman. Being in the tourism industry for so many years, she has a true love for what she does.

Here is Mark. A good friend all the way from UK. He is just amazed with the place and everything adventure here. He can’t wait to come back. Expect that beautiful British accent, of which a lot of us are not so good at, only Dyan has – according to him. How was that :)?
  1. ℰ𝓍𝓅𝓁ℴ𝓇ℯ. 𝒟𝓇ℯ𝒶𝓂. 𝒟𝒾𝓈𝒸ℴ𝓋ℯ𝓇

Honda Bay.

Time and again, just imagine walking down this beach shore. Where thousands of feet have previously walked. It had been a place with a bustling economy based on tourism. Some lessons I gained were still fresh and new. Others where we had forgotten and needed to have restored to our consciousness. Were there nights when you lay awake longing for that smell and breeze? I feel you, my mind would always return to that soothing sound of the ocean, the soft tapping of the waves on the beach. 

Beth – knows how to not be a prisoner of her past because the sun will always come to shine no matter what. When she remain silent, she holds that power – is what strong woman do.

It tickles me pink to think right now. It feels really good to inhale deeply. Savoring the fresh air deeply, that package of sunshine, raw and cool in our lungs under the swaying trees. Plus, when you know that the required foot attire had to be nothing more formal than a pair of flip flops. Got it, that freedom of having your toes exposed.

  1. 𝒩ℴ𝓉 𝒶𝓁𝓁 𝓉𝒽ℴ𝓈ℯ 𝓌𝒽ℴ 𝓌𝒶𝓃𝒹ℯ𝓇 𝒶𝓇ℯ 𝓁ℴ𝓈𝓉. -𝒥.ℛℛ. 𝒯ℴ𝓁𝓀𝒾ℯ𝓃

Port Barton.

You might wanna know why. Here it is, it just comes naturally to you – that wonderful ability to appreciate exotic places. Your deep look of unusual and interesting places. For me, I always have this abnormal deep down calling.

For this, if you think you’ll have butterflies in your stomach right now. Take it easy. Make sure you make them fly in formation. Don’t allow them to go all over the place. Don’t get too excited. Make sure your days are lined up practical and organized with the places you would like to visit. One thing is for sure, you’ll be off to an incredible start.

When you travel, of course you see the world but it depends on the way you see the world. And if you see those as your best trips, it never really ends. It’s like shaking a tree that needs to be shaking. Why?It has a lot of hidden gems, precious gems in it. You will never run out of that off-the-beaten path here. Promise….

Really and truly, one of the most gratifying days I’ve had since were the days when… I am a barefoot or a flip flop wearer. Just loving the way it was and it is. Meet Jiddah. With her vibrant charming personality the beauty of the place is just three-fourths of the story. She uses humor and inspiration to sift through the challenges on the road. Come what may, she always stick to what she believes in.

5. 𝒲ℯ 𝒶𝓇ℯ 𝓉𝒽ℯ 𝓈𝓉ℯ𝓌𝒶𝓇𝒹 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝓉𝒽ℯ 𝓌𝒶𝓉𝒸𝒽𝓂ℯ𝓃 ℴ𝒻 ℴ𝓊𝓇 𝓁𝒶𝓃𝒹𝓈.

For anyone who believes a vacation must include mountain climbing, meet William. He can read the world he has committed into like the mechanic can read the sounds of a motor. I mean, he is fluent in “forest”. He can truly say every moment there creates a sound and every sound creates a meaning.

In mountain climbing, I always like to be greeted with the earthy smell of the forest. As the fundamental rule tells us to watch and to listen. Keeping a vigilant watch. Something like this suggests that mountain climbing ought to be about. Which is his and his group’s legacy and passion. A lot of times, our silence magnifies the voices of the forest creatures and focuses our attention on the magical world we have passed into. I really… really believe that some places have to be left alone long enough to just let is stay in its original.

To this group – if you haven’t heard this yet today. I’m proud of you.

Cheers to Saka Mountaineering and Conservation Society

I know a lot of us got this indescribable desire to do something different to do what we have been doing. And your response may be of something to this effect. “Still I feel anxious about saying yes to anything that is too far outside of my comfort zone”. That’s understandable. But I’m telling you, if you have the right people who know what they are doing, you will be absolutely fine. With the right people, aside from that magical face to face interaction. Sometimes you’ll be surprised, the world opens up in ways you can’t even imagine. And sometimes, you don’t need a big plan; you just need to get away and recharge. Will surprise you even more as time goes. Believe it or not, some of the days can be some of the defining moments of your life. Being with the right people becomes the armor you wear in the battle of adventure.

6. 𝒯𝒽ℯ 𝒷ℯ𝒶𝓊𝓉𝓎 ℴ𝒻 𝓉𝒽ℯ ℯ𝓍𝓅ℯ𝓇𝒾ℯ𝓃𝒸ℯ 𝓌𝒾𝓁𝓁 𝓂ℴ𝓇ℯ 𝓉𝒽𝒶𝓃 𝒸ℴ𝓂𝓅ℯ𝓃𝓈𝒶𝓉ℯ 𝒻ℴ𝓇 𝓉𝒽ℯ 𝓉𝒾𝓂ℯ 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝓂ℴ𝓃ℯ𝓎 𝓈𝓅ℯ𝓃𝓉.

Coron

Do yourself a favor. When too much “hurry” builds up in us through the years, then pandemic comes, slowing down will instantly change our ways. For me, I had to slow down inside, change the messages I gave myself about. One thing any sensible person would agree with, is that our patience had been our rock during all the surprising things that had been all year or two. That smile and laughter of acceptance is the most priceless we can get.

I was always completely entranced in the ecstasy of the surroundings there. You will see that the beauty of the cove and lagoon will take on a deeper color and blues as you get closer. That connecting with nature is worth every sun burn you might get, sometimes hurting but fulfilling.

7. ℐ𝓉’𝓈 𝓃ℴ𝓉 𝒿𝓊𝓈𝓉 𝒻ℴ𝓇 𝓎ℴ𝓊, 𝒷𝓊𝓉 𝓎ℴ𝓊𝓇 𝒻𝒶𝓂𝒾𝓁𝓎.

The province is notable for its varied landscape and natural wonders. Coming and going to and from here, I can’t help but to stare straight ahead and be excited.

Meet Doray, an enthusiastic environmentalist at heart. She wants to be called “Bogarts”as a nickname. For the reason I don’t know. But I will give it a meaning though. It means a wanderlust, it’s a feeling we all can relate to. That strong desire to explore that magnetic pull of the unknown.
Speaking of Dy, the “us” I know is – we’ve met in the same industry that we love. I can tell you, she is the life of the group where she belongs. She has so much passion for life. A traveler at heart with a charisma you can’t deny.

Every generation should experience the mountains, waterfalls – the nature exactly what the good Lord is meant to be. If you got kids, start them young. I wish every child will be introduced to the real world. To this passion. To the intensity and the fulfillment that comes with enjoying one’s life to see the extraordinary beauty of nature. The music from the waterfalls truly gives that same amount of calmness in the world we’re in. And wherever you turn your head, there’s always peace and tranquility on it. It’s truly a feast for the ears as well as the eyes.

8. 𝒪𝓃ℯ’𝓈 𝒹ℯ𝓈𝓉𝒾𝓃𝒶𝓉𝒾ℴ𝓃 𝒾𝓈 𝓃ℯ𝓋ℯ𝓇 𝒶 𝓅𝓁𝒶𝒸ℯ, 𝒷𝓊𝓉 𝒶 𝓃ℯ𝓌 𝓌𝒶𝓎 ℴ𝒻 𝓈ℯℯ𝒾𝓃ℊ 𝓉𝒽𝒾𝓃ℊ𝓈.

With the Puerto Princesa City Tour, you’ll get to discover the most interesting spots and places of the capital of Palawan. It is always best to familiarize yourself with the city. In every place, you might see some hard truths but it is that authentic scene of history, culture and tourism. Palawan became a place with a bustling economy based on tourism, but also retains an abundance of undeveloped tropical vegetation.

Meet Jane. She won’t let trends and fashion own her. She decides for what she is, what she wants to express. By the way she carry herself and the way she live. Clothed in versatility she is.

It’s better to travel well than to arrive. Once in a while, we know that they are places we’ve never been to and get in love with.

Yours truly.

9. 𝒞𝒶𝓈𝓊𝒶𝓁 ℰ𝓁ℯℊ𝒶𝓃𝓉 ℛℯ𝓈𝓉𝒶𝓊𝓇𝒶𝓃𝓉𝓈

Even if it caused three round tables to be pushed close together so that you all might converse with ease. Yep, most restaurants have a casual elegant atmosphere. Remembering those lazy afternoons when we’d sit in the most comfortable outdoor outfit. Talking about little things like the existential meaning of life. And those evenings, everyone knew, it promised to be divine. The ambiance of that night dinner-out hour is friendly and easy. Talking about the next big adventure that can come after a day’s best experience. Looking forward to what’s coming next with that feeling of a soft breeze tenderly caressing our cheeks. Thinking about it, this is something that has always eluded me.

10. 14-𝓀𝓂 𝓁ℴ𝓃ℊℯ𝓈𝓉 𝓌𝒽𝒾𝓉ℯ 𝓈𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝒷ℯ𝒶𝒸𝒽 𝒾𝓃 𝓉𝒽ℯ 𝒫𝒽𝒾𝓁𝒾𝓅𝓅𝒾𝓃ℯ𝓈

San Vicente Long Beach

This panoramic and pristine long stretch of water is just absolutely gorgeous. Yes, it is long as it is named with a clean, refined white sand. I can tell you, is it off the grid and worth the travel. For a few times I was there, it’s like we had the beach all for ourselves.

There are a lot of stories that make me feel as though I lived in a fairy tale. Also reminding myself that these tales are not fiction and still say “it’s too good to be true.” If my words were bouncing around inside of you right now. Come and save this. Plan ahead and see you in Palawan, Philippines.

I have great respect for the people who have fought through this pandemic and continued to survive. Year one and two came and went. In more ways than one. And as storytelling is in our blood. It is part of us. It is my way of preserving a story, a moment. If we might not understand it yet. I assure you there will be a day when we actually understand all of these.

I know that travel for me has no finish line. I take stories to heart.

Thanks for reading.

Ritztakeoffs.com

I am forever be humbled and grateful for my experiences in life, the best and even the worst, it's teaching me even more. I believe that i have the obligation to stay healthy and let the universe take care of it.

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5 Comments

  1. On the travel wish list! Would love to visit the Philippines. Palawan definitely looks like a spot we need to visit when we finally get there. We are absolutely beach and nature fans! So great that you included so many of the adventures that people have taken. Good advice to learn to slow down and enjoy it all.

  2. Perfect: Since the Philippines are way up high on my list and will be one of my next trips, I’m collecting ideas and information, so that this post comes just in time. I’ll definitely add Palawan to my list of places to visit since you’ve made clear why it’s not to be missed.

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