Confessions of a Reluctant Traveler | Idyllic Palaui Islands

Two years ago, I promised to travel more.

I told myself that I need to visit at least one new place each month. I was at a point in my life where I felt I needed to make things happen. I had so much things on my list but I’ve only been able to do very few of them. I didn’t want to waste more time and travel is one of the things I’ve always wanted to do.

But there were so many hurdles–work, lack of funds,and not having the right people to travel with.

12 months later, I haven’t been anywhere. I said I’ll do it next year. Unfortunately, it was still a futile effort. It made me a little worried. Maybe I won’t get the chance to do it–ever.

I was ready to accept it. Maybe because I know that I’m not an outgoing person. I’d rather stay at home and watch TV. Or read books.

But life has a way of turning things around.

Earlier this year, one of my best friends told me she has a co-worker who lives in Palaui, Cagayan and that they’re spending Holy Week there. In case you haven’t noticed yet, I’m a huge Survivor geek and I’ve always wanted to visit Palaui because Survivor filmed two seasons there.

 Palaui cove

The three-day trip was my best yet. Palaui is a magnificent place. The islands are breathtakingly awesome. The waters are deep blue and the people are amazing.

A few minutes after arriving at San Vicente, where we’re staying, we got ready for an afternoon tour of the islands. We checked out the Crocodile Island and one uninhabited island, which has a spectacular view. We waited for the sun to set in Crocodile Island. It was magnificent.

Palaui croc island

It’s nice to see the waves crashing into the rock formations at Crocodile Island


Palaui blue boat

The blue boat is a nice contrast to the fine, brown sand on the beach


Palaui jumpshot

How can we resist acting like kids in a place as cool as this?

We returned to our host and enjoyed a hearty meal of fresh fish and some vegetables. There’s really something nice about eating food prepared by locals. They cook the same way we do back in the city but, for some reason, they taste really good.


Delicious home-cooked meal courtesy of the locals

The next morning, we prepared for a more extensive tour of the islands. It was the day I’ve been waiting for. Armed with supplies, our group braved the waters of the Philippine Sea. The boat ride was quite long. The sun is at full force but it didn’t matter.

Palaui rocky mountains

At that moment, all I’m seeing is the expanse of clear, blue waters that lay in front of us. The wind is howling, competing with the sounds made by the sputtering engine. We had engine problems along the way. I think we stopped in the middle of the ocean about three times because the engine kept failing.

Palaui rocks and greens

Everywhere you look, you’ll see lush greenery and deep blue waters–the perfect scenery on a sunny day

It was quite scary but the beauty of nature was more than enough to make me look past the problem. On both sides are green rocky mountains and coves that have beaches that stretch for miles.

We can see the waves crashing on rock formations. It was a beautiful sight. Despite the sounds of the crashing of the waves, you can sense how serene everything is.

Because the boat’s engine was really in bad shape, we made a quick detour at the nearest cove. That’s where we decided to have lunch. Boy, was it a marvelous place. It’s like paradise.

Palaui shade

This quiet cove served as our lunch spot. The water is so calm and the place so serene.


Palaui white beach

The white pebbled beach is an idyllic place where you can either lounge our take photos


Palaui white pebbled beach

After lunch, we proceeded to Cape Engano. Out of all the islands we’ve been to, this one has the most people. And most of them are heading up the lighthouse. So we followed suit. The hike was nice. It took us about twenty minutes to get to the top. The remains of the lighthouse still looked awesome. It didn’t feel eerie–maybe because there was a lot of people. But it offered an amazing view of the ocean and the coves. Truly marvelous.

Palaui lighthouse from afar

The lighthouse from afar



Palaui cape engano valley


Palaui waves

Palaui is paradise. It was the farthest I’ve been to and it’s been worth every hour spent inside the bus. Yes, the trip was exhausting but the experience is unforgettable. It’s truly one of the best places on the planet. Everything about it is magical and I can’t wait to go back.

Palaui lighthouse front


Palaui lighthouse


Palaui stair to the lighthouse

Palaui group shot

I was afraid that this would be the last mainly because I’m a couch potato. Even if my desire to go and see new places is so strong, there’s always something that’d keep me from doing it. I didn’t know that it was just the start of something good. A few months later, I found myself going to places and doing things I never expected to do–ever.

Stick around for my travel adventures. Maybe you’d enjoy it.


Words can lie. Sentences obfuscate. Context? Now that's worth checking. Show, not tell.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *