Text and Photos By Euden Valdez
(Disclaimer: What you are about to read is an unpopular opinion.)
BEAUTY comes with a price --a hefty one at that --when in El Nido.
Harsh as it sounds, the observation holds true for this author and family who have traveled to the top tourist destination in Palawan. A paradise famed for its tropical islands, clearest seas, teeming marine life, unspoiled beaches, bluest lagoons and so much more, El Nido also brings about inconveniences — especially to budget travelers.
And contrary to belief, traveling on a budget doesn’t mean it is cheap in terms of experiences, food, accommodation and transportation. Things are just not luxurious but nevertheless, decent. Believe me for I have traveled on both ends of the spectrum.
Unfortunately, affordable in El Nido meant poor quality. And it isn’t even affordable in Filipino standards to begin with.
Text and photos by Euden Valdez
WHENEVER a Filipino visits Singapore, whether as a first or a return visitor, he/she can’t help but compare it to the Philippines and inevitably, feel envious. How can a country as young as SG be so progressive, orderly, safe and clean?
Let’s not rack our brains. Instead, let’s just appreciate Singapore’s spotless nightscapes.
Open, wide and traffic-free roads
Text and Photos by Euden Valdez
RAIN was falling and despite the forest cover, it was seeping to the ground and whatever waterproof clothing we donned. Rain was also touching layers of leaves, tangles of vines and roots, and freshly grown moss attached to branches and bodies of trees — making vivid a green sea of fauna. This was a sight to behold but then there was the biting cold.
A day before, a tropical storm was forecasted to shroud most of the Cordillera Administrative region, north of the Philippines. Where we’re at, Mt. Amuyao, was part of Cordillera’s vast mountain range infamous for sea of clouds and cold temperature. Yet during the country’s rainy season, expect only to get the latter.
For someone’s first major climb, a mountain classified at 9/9 difficulty level, in the middle of a storm, was not the most ideal condition. Add to this the fact that it was a reverse-traverse from Banaue in Ifugao to Barlig in Mt. Province — regarded as trail less traveled of Mt. Amuyao.
Yet, in the face of Mother Earth’s beauty and unpredictability, we persevere with much gratification and appreciation of the simplest of things.
is a former dyarista,