I craned my neck to see the water glistening down below and the towering limestone formations that obstruct my view of the whole ocean. The tiny islands peek behind the rocks that surround this paradise aptly called El Nido which means “The Nest”. I take a deep breath and say a little prayer of thanksgiving for a safe trip as I steal a glance at the person beside me who has been patiently traveling with me. The sun shone like a perfect summer day even if it was early November. It must feel like summer all the time in a place like this.
Travelling to El Nido, Palawan was a dream and so it feels as we alighted the bus. The weather was cold and misty and the heat of the sun did not hurt my skin at all. Such a dreamy place filled with people:brown, white, bronze with their tall backpacks and a unmistakable hunger in their eyes for travelling. The town of El Nido is composed of 45 islands and we have 4 days to visit as many as we can. This was my birthday gift to myself as I turned 30. A big gift for a big number; it is just appropriate.
We left our bags in the backpacker’s inn and I almost ran to the shoreline. It was almost sunset as we sauntered hand-in-hand, behaving like tourists in our own country. The beach was starting to crowd as the restaurants prepare for the night scene. Candle flames were dancing on top of batik-lined tables calling on to crowds with the night’s menu on top and local bands were starting to set-up their drums and guitars to entertain the tourists. I smile as I hear a group of children in blue and pink bathing suits crying in protest to their parents who were calling them to hurry back to their hotel; rushing to put the last detail on their sand castles before the tide washes them out. Everyone wishes the day would just go on forever.
Multi-colored boats — yellow and blue, red and white— manned by young boatmen who looked tired and spent from the island tours, were starting to retreat to shore packed with tourists in neon orange life vests. People started to take their seats on the beach-front restaurants while some placidly sat at their balconies on their rocking chairs gazing into the limitless view. The sun was starting to go down and the orange hue of the sunset slowly faded into a curtain of iridescent purple that cast a melancholic glow on the island. It was an orchestra of colors that left me with no words to describe the beauty of that one sunset. As the sun disappeared and the colors splashed in the sky, the ocean was silent, joining in the reverence of a day ending and the night starting. I have never seen such beauty that makes my heart ache. God makes great sunsets. I wish to see one like that again in El Nido.
* This post was inspired by the DP Challenge: The Devil is in the details 😀