Yes folks, it’s time for me to talk about my trip to the Philippines that never was. As this post goes out it’s Sunday the 10th of May and I had about a day before I headed back to Melbourne from Coron Town on Busuanga Island, Palawan in the Philippines after eleven days there snorkelling and swimming and taking in the sun.
Instead I am at home writing about what could have and should have been. Have I mentioned that I previously was forced to cancel a trip to the Philippines in 2012? Perhaps this is one country I am not meant to go? In that case I apologise to everyone as if God or someone is trying to stop me going they really went all out this time with a worldwide pandemic!
It was the first of May I was supposed to leave Melbourne, flying SCOOT to Changi. I actually had ‘ScootPlus’ tickets, which is their rebranded Business Class. Not comparable to a full fare airline business class, nevertheless it’s a much nicer chair and you get a few things thrown in. It was only $450AUD for the 7-8 hour flight to Singapore, less than economy seats on full fare airlines, so we jumped at the chance at that price! It arrived in the wee hours of the next morning and at 830am we were on to Cebu, then a change of airline to Air Swift to get us to El Nido in the north of the main Palawan Island.
This little town was to be our base for a few days, we had four nights here from memory. Although it’s not supposed to be the prettiest town, it gives good scope for excursions to a few snorkelling sites.
Then we were to take a ferry to Coron Town, staying in a very nice four-star resort for a week. From here we would have been able to do some hiking, relax in our surroundings, I was hoping to write a bit, relax, do very little, get in some swimming. Then there are a lot of places great for snorkelling and diving you can visit from Coron Town. Coron Island itself has a lake for snorkelling and loads of fish, there is coral around too and there is even a sunken Japanese boat just off Coron Island which is shallow enough to allow you access it with snorkels!
It was clearly a very limited itinerary, which was the idea, and a good chance to relax with warm weather (perfect time of the year to be there) and few cares in the world. Instead, I am at home. I’ve kept some of my leave, rescinded part of it. I’m a little under the weather with a cold. I had to get the Covid-19 test to be sure though. I had a plan for 3 separate getaways this year of around 10 days, now they are all unlikely to happen. If we are really lucky we might get interstate in the latter parts of the year, who knows? But I wouldn’t bet on it at this stage.
The Prime Minister is talking about getting the economy back up and running by July. Who knows what this will mean for the airlines. He has just announced a three-stage plan but the states will decide when to put that into effect. Stage one will see the ability to travel locally, presumably that means within the state. Cafes will be able to have some tables open it seems, but kept to a minimum.
As for me – I am thinking about travel in 2021. Nothing international before June in that. What travel plans have you had fall by the wayside this year?
Thanks for reading today – May the Journey Never End!