In previous blog posts about Palawan I mentioned my phone nearly went swimming in the ocean while we were in Palawan. It happened on our first day in El Nido.
I’m 99 percent sure it got wet when the tour guide offered to take photos and videos of my cousin and I. It wasn’t protected with any case then because at the time, Chia and I were sharing one plastic protector and she wanted to keep her phone secured around her neck. I had faith the tour guide would do everything he could not to drown my phone, because why would anyone deliberately do that? Well, the guy definitely didn’t submerge it water, but it turned out some water had made its way into the little hole for the charger. My charger pins burned after I plugged the charger into it. It didn’t explode or anything, but it just wouldn’t charge anymore.
With that, I had just a little bit of juice left on my phone for our second day there when we went on El Nido Island Hopping Tour B. I figured the damage couldn’t be that bad because my phone was still functioning, but because the battery only depleted from that point on, I wasn’t able to jot down any notes on the places we visited that day or take pictures with it. I brought along my Nikon point-and-shoot to document the day instead.
I enjoyed watching this part of the boat cutting through the water and spent a good amount of time observing, photographing and videoing it.
We started the morning with a stop somewhere in the ocean where we could go snorkeling. The tour guides provided us with masks. I sadly don’t have a go pro or underwater camera or a proper underwater case for my phone, so all I have are photos of the surface.
Most of us on the tour boat didn’t stay in the water for very long because we were constantly getting bitten by tiny fish, which made it hard to fully enjoy wading around in the water. It was still a nice stop, though!
Snake Island came next on Day 2 in El Nido. It’s basically an S-shaped sandbar. The boat parked out in shallow water and we all then had to disembark to get onto the sandbar. Chia and I ended up buying a waterproof bag for P300 the night before because we anticipated having to walk in water that would hit our torsos. This was one of those times.
It was actually really cool to be able to walk along a sandbar in the middle of the ocean and we had a lot of fun just being there and taking pictures.
We had lunch that day right where the boat was parked near Snake Island.
Although the tour guides were a bit lackluster compared to the previous ones we had, they did not disappoint when it came to lunch. We were incredibly well fed and I came close to falling into a food coma by the time I wiped my plate clean.
Cudugnon Cave is a tricky site to enter. Our tour guides laid out several life vests along a small opening where you have to crawl through to get in. (It pays to be vertically challenged in situations like this :P)
I thought this place was okay. Probably spent about 5 to 10 minutes inside before leaving. It’s kind of cool, but so-so compared to the other sites we’d previously seen.
Not Entalula Beach
Entalula Beach is another stop on Tour B, but one we didn’t go to for some reason. Instead, we stopped in front of a cave and took photos of it. It’s kind of hard to snap anything decent from the boat, but here’s what I got.
This was the last stop of the day and it was a nice and mellow one. The sand was fine and clean and was such a welcomed contrast compared to the sand I’ve seen on California beaches. Since it’d already been a long day a lot of people just sat on the sand or laid down on beach towels.
Thoughts on Tour B
I kind of hate to admit that I was found Tour B somewhat underwhelming because our tour guides were really mellow and because nothing could top the Small Lagoon and Big Lagoon. Those two sites and our guides for Tour A set the bar high.
Still, I did enjoy being being out at sea all day, and liked the snorkeling site and Pinagbuyutan Island best.
Phone repair at the palengke
When we got back into town, my cousin and I caught a tricycle to the palengke to search for a repair shop that could hopefully save our phones. Her plastic phone protector was ineffective because water seeped inside while she was swimming with it around her neck.
We didn’t take any photos here because I didn’t want to lug around my Nikon camera around and because my phone was broken. But I wanted to write a little bit about it because we had such a pleasant experience at the shop. I wish I remembered the name of the place or that they had some sort of business page online where I could write a review because I hope they get more customers.
It took some time before we found out whether or not our phones were going to live. Mine fortunately made it through after a man working there cleaned the pins with some thinner. Chia’s phone would take longer so we went to find somewhere to eat and wound up at what seemed like someone’s home with some pancit for sale. Although my phone was revived, I left it at the shop because it was still charging. There was part of me that was reluctant to do that because, well, I wasn’t in the United States. There was no paper work or anything that would guarantee I would come back to find my phone there. What if they just took it and I never got it back?
It could’ve happened, and perhaps I should have been more cautious anyway. But I felt like I could trust the people there. I also observed another tourist whose phone had also gone for a swim and wouldn’t turn on. He agreed to leave his phone overnight with no paperwork or anything and said he’d pay them if they tried to fix it. He’d come back for it the next afternoon. I thought it was really nice that he was willing to trust the man to do that.
So I thought I could do the same.
I’m not sure how long Chia and I were gone, but when we got back, her phone was still being dissected and other parts of it were being dried out.
Another one of the employees was nice enough to offer us seats and even asked us if we wanted to watch some movies on their computer. He fired up the CPU that was placed against the back wall of the shop and we clicked on Jumanji from the list of films. It was a pixelated and pirated version, but it was really nice of them to offer that. I don’t know if I can put into words how much I appreciated their hospitality and effort to offer whatever they could to make us comfortable.
The guy who cleaned my charger pins didn’t give me a quote for cleaning because he didn’t have to disassemble my phone. He said just to give him whatever amount I wanted, so I handed over P150 and bought a P350 charger because the one I brought with me had stopped working.
Chia agreed to pay P500 before the guy even opened up her phone. Although there was no guarantee it would be fixed, the guy would try, but he needed commitment for the payment because regardless of the outcome, he would have put in work to try.
Sadly, her phone didn’t make it out alive. But we were glad that at least one of ours survived.
We left the palengke on a good note, got back to our hotel, and then walked down the street to find something to eat for dinner. We found a shawarma place and ordered meals to go.
The next day, we were headed off to Coron.