Hello February, it came so fast. I haven’t finished with all our wedding suppliers review and yet I’m writing down our experience first day in El Nido.
January 3 – Tuesday morning, we had an early flight going to El Nido. This was the first day at work in the year 2017, we expect commuters and heavy traffic in Manila as usual.
Getting a cab during peak hours is stressful. It was around 8AM and it was hard already for us to grab a cab going to the airport. Most drivers don’t want us to drive in. We felt disgusted, almost 6 drivers said no to us. We’re thinking of cutting trip already. Luckily, one driver let us in. He asked for an additional pay upfront, we told him just bring us safely to Terminal 4 airport and on time and it’s not a problem. Our flight was at exactly 11AM, we reached the airport passed 9:20AM. He asked for PHP400, we paid him PHP500.
It was our first time in Terminal 4, also known as the Old Domestic Terminal. It serves primarily domestic flights within the Philippines that are operated by Air Asia Zest, Tigerair Philippines, Skyjet Airlines and Air Swift. Space is smaller compared to other NAIA terminals but it’s not super crowded, maybe it depends on arrival time. There’s food stalls, eateries and ATM machines plus the airport offers Free Wifi.
Air Swift is the only airline in the Philippines offering daily roundtrip flights from Manila to El Nido. We got Air Swift Complimentary Snacks while waiting to board. Travel time took about an hour and we had a smooth flight. The shuttle jeep picked us and everything was better than I could have hoped for.
The El-Nido airport has a big Nipa Hut. Upon arrival, we were greeted with locals singing their local folk songs. We had snacks and refreshments at the lounge while waiting for our luggage. I didn’t notice if the Nipa Hut has air-cons but they did have fans all over and toilets were nice enough. The staffs were friendly and accommodating. They helped each traveller to get a tricycle. It was 20 minutes road trip from El Nido airport to town.
We told the tricycle driver to bring us to Cyrus Inn. The tricycle driver named Kuya Dan offered us for half-day tour at PHP1,000. Our check-in time was at 1PM. We contracted his time and decided we will meet in Cyrus Inn at 2PM. We’ll just leave our luggage and go.
According to their Facebook page, it was a newly opened Inn , Hotel , Bar and Restaurant in El Nido with overlooking beach and island view. We supposed to stay there for one night only but they gave us unpleasant experience.
You need to take the stairs going to Cyrus Inn. There’s no staff when we arrived on their small reservation desk but there’s a guy in his sando and short sleeping on the couch. The girl who greeted us wears sleeveless and shorts too. She didn’t check our details she just allowed us to sit and wait in their restaurant.
She gave us iced tea and said it was free. We looked on their menu and when we ordered for food the girl told us that the Chef was not around and will be back at 3PM.
We waited and waited for our room but it was almost 2PM and she said they cannot give us the room because the guest checkout late. She asked us to wait a little more as the guest were packing their stuff already. I was so stressed that time I had to cancel our half-day trip to Kuya Dan. I asked the staff again for the updates and she said they will clean the room first. We waited again and tears started dropping my cheeks. We traveled, were tired and hungry and we don’t want to wait again and waste our time. When were about to move, the staff called us and said the room was ready.
It was already 3PM. We climb the stairs. When we opened the room, I looked around. There’s no aircon only fans and I saw mosquitoes. Yes, mosquitoes and we don’t have mosquitoes repellent. I’m not comfortable inside the room and outside. Walking upstairs was tiring and it’s not safe if you’re clumsy.
EJ and I decided to look for other rooms. I texted Kuya Dan to help us get a room if he knows any. Then, when were about to leave, the staff called us and said “Sorry”.
She told us that we made our booking thru Booking.com and they prioritize Agoda customers. In short, she cannot give us the room and they don’t have other vacant room. She asked us to go but she assured they will help us find an accommodation.
Kuya Dan arrived on time and he told us that he found PHP1,500 for an airconditioned room. He guided us in Lolo Oyong Pension House.
The guest house was located in the town center. We love it’s location as it’s very convenient. Outside you’ll see sari-sari stores, drugstore, eateries, etc. We stayed on the first floor and the wifi connection is good. The rooms were basic but comfortable. It’s air-conditioned and it has a fan. The staff warned us that if there’s brownout inside our room can be noisy because the generator was beside our room.
And yes, we experienced brownout in El Nido for two hours. We’re outside and saw other tourist looking for rooms. We felt lucky we got rooms to stay. Nothing to do on our first night, we went at Island Touch and I had my nails done. Service here was great and friendly staff.
Electricity shortage didn’t last long and we slept comfortably and awoke to a delicious Pinoy breakfast. I liked pandesal and longsilog. We played sungka in the guest house lobby.
Our first day in El Nido may not be according to our plan. Getting a cab took us time, were worried if we can arrive at the airport on time. Cyrus Inn gave us a headache. Waiting our room for almost two hours. But in the end, we enjoyed the quiet place of El Nido. The tricycle driver Kuya Dan saved us time to look for other place. We stayed at Lolo Oyong Pension House, we explore the town, it was walking distance to the beach.
Yes, were on a honeymoon but we preferred to travel on a budget. EJ and I spent our first day in El Nido blessed and contented with what we have. We learned a lesson, if you feel uncomfortable then move. We’re very thankful with the experience.
Check our photos at Flickr 🙂