Palawan is probably one of the best island destinations for riders in the Philippines. It’s the largest province in the country in terms of total area of jurisdiction and the main road network is just excellent. You get to scratch that urge to just ride on a long stretch of road and get the benefit of relaxing in beautiful beach-side towns at the end of each day.
Have you ever watched a video game cutscene and think, damn, I would love to visit that place? As a fan of role-playing games, sometimes I just want to get sucked into a game to explore the fantastic “out of these world” landscapes that heroes get to visit on their travels. Thankfully, there are a few places here in the Philippines that could just be the live action equivalent of the CGI scenes. Here are my top five picks of travel experiences that reminded me of certain video games:
1) El Nido, Palawan = Besaid Island, Final Fantasy X
With it’s crystal clear waters, limestone cliffs and numerous islands, the seascape of El Nido could easily be the setting where Tidus washes ashore at the start of Final Fantasy X. The Isle of Besaid, a small island at the southernmost point of the world Spira, features a large beach and seaport, a small village surrounded by forests and waterfalls, and a temple.
On the other hand, El Nido is a first class municipality and managed resource protected area in the province of Palawan, roughly 238 kilometres northeast of the capital Puerto Princesa. Having one of the most diverse ecosystems in the country, El Nido is protected for its unique flora and fauna, and pristine geologic formations. El Nido is notable for its spectacular limestone cliffs, expansive white sand beaches, tiny paradise-like islets, various types of forests, and major marine habitats. If you get to climb the cliffs, the view from the top is simply amazing just like in the game (well, minus the machina of course). Continue reading
While island-hopping and spending time at the beach are the more common activities in El Nido, Palawan, the scenic limestone cliffs don’t just serve as a backdrop for your photos – they also offer another great activity in the areas – cliff climbing.
Here are some things you should know about cliff climbing in El Nido: Continue reading
One of the most meaningful gifts I got during graduation was a set of five basic land cards laminated and turned into bookmarks from a friend who introduced me to the game Magic: The Gathering. An attached note said: “I want to show you the world, but I have no money. Hope these inspire you to explore the world on your own.” Well, they have.
Here’s my version of the five basic lands – plains, island, swamp, mountain and forest – representing five places in the Philippines I’ve been to since then. 🙂
Plains: La Paz Sand Dunes, Ilocos Norte
The La Paz Sand Dunes is a protected sandy coastal desert and beach close to Laoag City, the capital of the province of Ilocos Norte. The sand dunes of Ilocos were said to be created by the interaction of the wind, sea, and river that together cause erosion and deposition. Everyone had a blast trying out the sand boarding and riding 4×4 vehicles around the dunes earlier this year during the Lakbay Norte Media tour. Continue reading