This wasn’t really part of the plan but I’m so glad it happened!
(Quite a long story as to how we ended up in Las Cabana. Just wanted to write this down and document it. This is a travel diary anyways! I hope you enjoy reading hehe!)
Our initial plan after the Day 2 Island Hopping is to go back to Puerto Princesa and spend the night at Nagtabon Beach. I knew it would be time consuming considering it was getting late and it will took us another 5-6 hour drive to go back to Puerto Princesa, so I suggested we just stay on another beach around El Nido to spend the night instead.
The first options was to go to Nacpan Beach. Nacpan beach is quite far from the main town of El Nido and most of the van transfers only offers a day tour visit. The usual rate for Nacpan Beach is PHP 2,000 – this includes the entire van and a driver going there and will wait for you until you head back to the main town by afternoon. For us, on the other hand wanted to do overnight but doing this will cost us times two of the actual van transfer rate and obviously it was way out of our budget even if we divide the total amount to 7 persons.
Next option was Las Cabanas Beach. After gathering information from the locals we finally decided to head to this place since it was just a tricycle ride away from the town. At this point we really don’t know what to expect or know where we will be staying. We asked locals if there are tents that we can rent. Some of them said yes but in an unsure tone. We arrived there and there was none. at. all. You can not find a budget stay at this part of El Nido for sure. It looked like a mini Boracay strip full of bars with table and chairs along the beach. Tbh, I was starting to get worried but we kept on walking, passing all the bars and hoping there was somewhat of a residential or a budget place where we can spend the night.
We almost reached at the end of this long beach strip and we are clearly losing hope. We found this peaceful restaurant and two of my friends (Natnat and Atan) went inside to ask for their accommodation rates. We waited far enough the restaurant that we couldn’t hear anything until Atan came back with the bad news. It was again out of our budget (even more expensive than the Nacpan option) and all of their rooms was fully booked anyways. We all waited outside the restaurant when Natnat finally went back to us to share the good news. The lady Natnat was talking to happens to be the owner of the whole Las Cabanas Beach Resort and offered us her house for only 300 each! :O
I prayed so hard that moment and didn’t know God was listening all along and sent us this angel quickly for help. Tita Beh was Godsend! We all went inside the restaurant where the reception of the resort was also at and saw Tita Beh sitting in her “high chair” with a beer in one hand as she welcome us all. She offered us some drinks and had an inspirational conversation on how she went from rags to riches. She even told us that she already knew the moment my friend stepped inside the restaurant that we were “another lost backpackers looking for a cheap stay”. She was intimidating but I like how honest and straight forward she is. She clearly is the boss lady in this place!
This is what the her ‘house’ looks like on the inside. It felt more like a resort accommodation with the typical bedroom and bathroom type but this is already waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay beyond what we expected! When she mentioned she’ll offer her ‘house’, I honestly only pictured a empty room inside her house where we could stay but this is way more than enough for us! We literally had the whole house to ourselves!! and even more better because just look at the bathroom! Very spacious!
Just look at those happy smiles! hahaha
After settling in our ‘house’, we took the photo above before we went out to spend the rest of the night at the beach. We had conversations over a few drinks and played with GoPro Hero 5’s long exposure setting.
Really not wanted to share this photo but it was the only time in history that all of the boys are knocked out! Proud moment right there.
It’s finally day time and I just can’t wait to see what the place really looks like. But truth be told: I really really regret staying up almost all night. I woke up sick and had muscle pain all over my legs! Ugh.. I felt very weak, dehydrated and in pain. I can not walk properly without having so much pain. I was so caught up in the moment last night that I forgot I needed rest.
Lesson learned: When you just had a full day of rock climbing, island hopping (which involves swimming and paddling through the kayaks) and accommodation searching (not to mention carrying the heavy backpacks), please please please take a rest and sleep as soon as you can because HEALTH. IS. WEALTH. people! There is no time to be sick especially when you’re on vacation or travelling in general because first – you have a schedule itinerary to follow and messing with it will just ruin everything not just for you but for the whole group and because 2 – you don’t want to be spending the day covered in sheets while your friends get to enjoy the beach, do you?
I even planned to shoot my OOTDs in this place that didn’t pushed through because again I was too sick and weak to even be out under the sun. Imagine me in that native swing. huhuhuhu I’m so sad thinking about it right now. I still managed to click a few shots for you guys on the way to the restaurant nevertheless.
So this is what the restaurant looks like. This is also where they serve their breakfast that is inclusive of their resort stay. Oh wait, did I mentioned we had free breakfast too? That is how lucky we are last night! Whew!
The reception area
Look at that view! Isn’t it breathtaking? Ahh!
Here’s our simple breakfast – the Longsilog! It looks very yummy but again I completely lost my appetite that morning. I barely touched this plate and ate the fruits they gave us instead.
It was swimming time and I know I should be in bed gathering some energy while waiting for them but I was so in denial being sick so I just tried to take a rest in the native swing under the coconut shade.
This was my view from the swing. At least I had the view, right?
My girl friends insisted that we should at least have a photo together at the beach. I got my ass up and manage to get the shot seconds before I started feeling in pain again and went back under the shade.
Okay so I did try to change and dress up before we went out for breakfast which explains why I had my one piece on. I was hopping I would get better after breakfast but who am I kidding?
Imagine me in that black suit and with long floral kimono and hat. Cute right? And imagine all the outfit shots I could have taken here. 😦 I will make sure to be back and make bawi next time!
Like the saying goes, “All good things must come to an end”. We went back to the ‘house’ and fixed our things as another guest will be staying here by noon.
The view from our house. Tita beh is fond of gardening and had a huge area for it. She actually grows her own vegetable that she harvest and cooks for the restaurant. How cool is that!
And this is what Tita Beh’s house looked like. Lovely isn’t it?
And yes we had our own balcony!
The house was still under construction during that time which explains the unfinished look of some part of the house.
Now heading back to the reception to leave the keys and bid farewell to this wonderful paradise.
The obligatory group shot!
Still not ready to leave this place huhu
I heard this is the best place to catch the sunset. Unfortunately for us we needed to leave by noon and head back to Puerto Princesa.
Remember the long strip I talked about the night before? We had to go all the way back and I was so behind taking one step at the time. I took medicine before we left and promised myself to take a long rest once we get back to Puerto Princesa so I should be okay by tomorrow, hopefully! Fingers crossed!
And that’s the whole story of how we ended up at Las Cabanas. Tita Beh saw her teenager self in us and she welcomed us wholeheartedly in her place as if we were her own children. “Children of the Philippines” as what she would call us. She wanted us to enjoy our trip in her own little gesture. Some people said she is “maldita” or “mataray” but I mean we should also understand why certain people are the way they are. Maybe we act the way we act for the people around us to take us seriously or something, right? We have no right to judge other people without knowing what that person have been through. People are fighting their own battles we know nothing about. We should be kind. Always.
I swear I will make it to a point in the future to come back again (hopefully with my significant other) in Las Cabanas Beach Resort and will finally stay for the full price and enjoy the beach in my bikini and takes lots of photos! I will see Tita Beh again and tell her, “See? Just as promised!”
This ends our day in El Nido. This is quite a long lengthy post and I congratulate you if you made it this far! 😀 Will definitely make a complete itinerary of our whole Palawan trip so stay tuned for that. In the meantime you can read my other Palawan post here.