Todas las Cosas Buenas Deben Venir a un Final

El Nido Travel Blog

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Ladies and gentlemen, I suggest that you get 2 boxes of Kleenex. This is not gonna be easy...

I woke up with a heavy feeling in my chest. The girls would be staying for a couple more days, while Seb would be staying for another couple of weeks. I felt bad about missing out on a lot of stuff that they could still do in El Nido. I felt that my stay was too damn short. However, I needed to go back to Manila that day and go to work - my month-long vacation was over.

The previous day, I bought my return trip tickets from Ralf's. I opted to travel by van (P600) because they travel faster and could reach Puerto Princesa in less than 6 hours (compared to the bus' 8-10 hours of travel time).
Now why didn't we think of taking the van on our way to El Nido? Because it's a little bit cheaper? Anyway, after packing and saying goodbye to Seb (who was still sleeping because he stayed very late the previous night), I made my way towards Ralf's to wait for the 7AM trip.

When the van arrived, I was the first passenger to get in, so I chose the front seat (I had it for myself bwahahaha). Then, the van went around to pick more passengers along the way, then it went to the terminal to wait for other passengers. That's when it became shitty. Instead of leaving at 7, the driver had to wait for the rest of the passengers who booked with their respective hotels, so we ended up leaving at 8 effin o'clock, wth? Talk about insensitive and rude! Hello, I (and others) bothered waking up early just to make sure to get in the van before it leaves, while those idiots probably even had breakfast and a bubble bath before leaving their hotels.

So, when a typically old, white guy with his questionably-looking chick tried to ask the driver to let them get my seat (it could fit 2 people), I stared at him in the most bitchy way and told him that well, excuse me but I've been sitting here since before 7 just so I could leave this place early and on time, and yet had to wait for an effin hour, so I couldn't be bothered getting out of the seat even if the president of the Philippines asked me to. I guess he didn't expect that kind of response from me (what can I say, I look like an angel), so he was like, sure buddy, no problem. Of course I had to give the driver the evil eye, too, otherwise he might have given the seat to them (hihihi). Bottom line, I won. Long live the Philippines!!! :D

On a happy note, I did saw Timo and Lina for the last time (sorta).
I thought they'd ride with us, but they ended up taking the other van. Too bad, they had 2 boxes of pizza with them (from the resto we went to the previous night). I was sure they'd share them with me if they in the same van (sob sob sob). Oh well, it's not my fault that I wasn't able to eat breakfast before leaving. Yeah, I'm still bitter. But at least I got the best seat in the house. Or so I thought. Hmmm...

Then, the time to leave El Nido had come, so better grab that Kleenex. Wait a minute, why the eff am I the only one crying here? Don't you find my story as touching and sad and depressing as I do? Damn you.


Finally, we went on our way. The sky was still overcast, threatening to pour its content down to us despite having done so the entire night.
Well, it reflected what I was feeling that time - sad and gloomy.

My flight back to Manila was at 4.30PM, so I had the entire trip back to Puerto Princesa for sleeping (since I had to go to work that same night). However, just 30 minutes after we left El Nido, something scary happened to us. You see, I told you guys about the road being unpaved for the most part, and since it rained the entire night before, there were lots of pot holes on the road. So, the driver tried avoiding any big ones he could manage to avoid, which was fine and dandy.

But, we were at this part of the road where on the right side (our side), the land drops about 5 to 6 meters down some rice fields below, and the only form of shield between the road and the ravine was some low trees and shrubs. So, when the driver avoided some pot holes, he had to sidetrack the van slightly to the right side, then go back leftward.
However, the road being slippery, the wheels skidded and the van went straight on towards the edge of the road and bam!

Okay, we didn't fall down - we were just hanging 45 degrees downwards, with some fragile trees stopping us from falling all the way down. And I got the front seat. Damn. For a few seconds that seemed like forever, it didn't sink in right away. I was just staring in front of me, at the trees outside of the windshield, not fully aware of what the eff just happened. Then, after realization struck, I went thinking that this could not be happening to me, not here, not now. I can clearly remember that my mouth was agape (of course I wasn't aware of it right at that moment, until I closed my mouth hehehe).

Then I felt movements at the back of the van. When I looked around, people were starting to get out of it through the left side window - the only window we could all use.
So, only one person could go out at a time. Which meant that I was to come out last. So I told the driver to get his ass out of the van through his door so I could get out that way too. But he said he couldn't let go of the break clutch (or whatever you call it) yet, just in case. Great. So I really had to wait for my turn. Meanwhile, the van was creaking and seemed to be moving forward, downward. Hurry up, bitches! I wanted to scream. They seemed to hear my thoughts, because next thing I knew, I was the one doing some amazing show of flexibility (I'm not very flexible, must be the adrenaline rush) while getting out of the front part of the van, then out the left-side window, onto the road. Okay, I didn't fall down with the van.

Then I realized, as we waited for some other vehicles to pass by and help us, that this could cause so much delay that I might miss my flight back to Manila.
Oh lord. People were trying to call/text anyone/everyone, but it's either there's no signal, zero battery power, no phone credits, or no phone at all. Then, the men (minus me) started getting some wooden planks, while some called out some local folks nearby, and tried to use the planks as some sort of lever or something. I let the guys do their work while I sulked in the corner, thinking of the flight that I might be missing because of this baloney. In fairness, they weren't successful with what they're trying to do because the muddy road was too slippery, so I guess it's pretty useless.

After about an hour, another van heading towards Puerto Princesa came. And guess what, it had Timo and Lina in it, yay! So, I vented out my frustrations on them while the drivers connected the two vans with a thick rope.
Then, the other van turned around and drove away, effectively pulling our van out of its misery. At last! Then, our driver endlessly apologized to us and promised that it won't happen again. I tried to tell the driver of the other van to take me in since I needed to get to Puerto Princesa as early as possible, but he said they're still picking passengers along the way. Fine, then. I said my final goodbyes to my German friends and then hopped back in the front seat. The driver apologized to me, and I just smiled warmly at him. The important thing was that we're alive and could go on our way. Besides, it wasn't his fault.

But, I guess it affected me more than I thought it would. The road was pretty much the same for the next couple of hours, muddy and slippery and full of pot holes, so whenever the driver tried avoiding them, I involuntary held tightly to my seat or the dashboard, fearing that we would skid leftward again, and maybe not be as lucky as before.
That basically made me edgy the entire first half of the trip. Well, so much for sleeping.

Note: The photos in this entry were taken by my friend Sebastian after I left El Nido. Just showing you guys what I missed after I left. Hope you enjoy them.

JeAr says:
actually pwede, mas maganda yun! kasi di ko na na-explore ang honda bay dun sa 6 days ko na yun, so at least ikaw magagawa mo pa :)
Posted on: Mar 11, 2009
planisphere says:
ay sige, karirin ko, magpapakabaon ako sa kasinungalingan. hahaha 7 days is okay, kaso kung 7 days, gawin ng 9 days.... 4 days weekend, 5 weekdays. :)
Posted on: Mar 11, 2009
JeAr says:
di kaya ang less than a week... ako nga 6 days kulang pa :P
Posted on: Mar 11, 2009
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El Nido
photo by: tj1777