Where I’m At: February, 2012 – El Nido Philippines

Where I'm At: February, 2012 - El Nido Philippines

Where I’m At; a monthly update of what I’ve been up to, site news, and where I’m going next.

Greetings from The Philippines, my first new country for 2012. Considering how much time I spend in Southeast Asia I can’t believe it has taken me so long to get here. My friends who have travelled to The Philippines have mostly come back raving about it, so I am looking forward to being on the road again and exploring new lands.

New Country Day: Philippines
[People keep telling me it’s more fun in The Philippines]

Even though I had booked this trip several months earlier, I have not made a plan for this trip. Already this year I have three conferences that I am booked for, meaning I have had to schedule my travels as far in advance as November. This has left little room for spur of the moment travel. It seems to me that the Philippines is the ideal place to not make a plan.

Part of the problem of planning for travel in The Philippines is its geography. It is a nation made up of 7107 islands (I’ll take their word for it). While many of those islands are merely uninhabited islets, that still leaves approximately one crap-tonne worth of islands that are just asking to be visited. For an illustration of this problem (oh yes, what a dilemma) check out the domestic flights that are available out of Manila from the countries largest low cost airline, Cebu Pacific.

Cebu Pacific - Domestic flights from Manila
[Domestic flights from Manila with Cebu Pacific]

I arrived in El Nido after a cramped, knee busting, 6 hour mini van ride from Puerto Princesa. After being uncanned from our sardine tin I headed straight to The Alternative guesthouse to unwind from the days travels. I had been recommended this lodging by Jodi at legalnomads.com, who worked here for two months. I had only planned to to be here for two days, but after seeing the view from this lounge pod my plans soon changed. First order of the day, after ordering a coffee, was to change my flight. I’m staying here for a while.

Part of the appeal of my job is to find interesting office space to work while I travel around the world. I often find myself working on a bed in a guesthouse, so I like to get out to a cafe at least once a day to break things up. I’m not a sit on the beach and do nothing type of guy, but I do like walking along the beach, and even better to have a cafe with a beach view. In this case the beach is underneath my table, with the soothing sounds of the sea lapping the base of the building.

This little nest above the sea might be a little too comfortable though. I know that working on a beanbag is not conducive to getting work done. I have personally tested this out with many summers plonked on a beanbag with a laptop while watching the cricket. Yes, I don’t think this will ever be called a productivity pod. I will leave any heavy duty work I need to do for when I am without distraction at a table. For now though this will make an ideal place to reply to emails and do my daily web reading.

The Alternative Guesthouse - El Nido, Philippines

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  1. What a view! I haven’t been to El Nido, but I heard a lot of good reviews about it. Hopefully i can visit soon and will try to stay in the same guesthouse. Who wouldn’t want to stay there? 😀

  2. El Nido is on top of my dream destination list. I’ve already been to Coron, an islands at the north of Palawan and it was one of the most gorgeous places I’ve ever been. 

  3. No that is a place to take a coffee!

  4. Palawan is the largest island of Palawan Province in terms of land area. I have added this place in my list of must visiting place.

  5. haitravel says

    i saw on TV this morning about the excellent coffee there.

  6. Holy smokes, that lounge pod is ridiculous.  I love working while sitting on sofas so I could definitely see myself working there.  I’m tacking this one onto the list of places to visit.

  7. flashpackerguy says

    This is a really cool idea for a series, coming from a coffee lover himself.

  8. I could work here, no problem at all! 😉 Will be considering it once I make my next move abroad!

  9. hello,mercifully,you can now fly direct to el nido from manila.the art cafe in el nido has the deal as well as excellent food and much more.if you like halong bay you will love el nido i’m sure.happy trails to you.

  10. hey all, i can add some coffee cafes in manila that i frequent.

  11. I wish you enjoy your incredible journey, so how was an experience to meet the Philippines??
    you are looking much excited in your photos 🙂


  1. […] few months back, I stumbled upon a blog entry written by James of Nomadic Notes. His photo while working and drinking coffee at one of the pods of The Alternative Inn made me want […]

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