Sunday, December 04, 2005

El Nido

Once more, I’ll have to mention my 50.birthday. For apart from the Ipod nano (this wonderful little toy) my wife also treated me to unforgettable days in El Nido – a true paradise in the very north of the Philippine island province Palawan. This is not a travelogue, but the natural beauty of El Nido is so spectacular that I feel an urge to share with you my fascination. I have been around quite a lot in Asia and also in other parts of the world, but – quite honestly – I have yet to see anything as beautiful as the maritime scenery of this bay with its 45 islands and islets. “Words cannot describe the beauty of this place,” writes a recent visitor, and I agree. So, if you enjoy beautiful nature, this place is a must.

Apart from the Korean honeymooners who also in this part of the Philippines have become the foundation of the tourism industry (one of the positive side effects of this is that everywhere you go, you will find kimchi even for breakfast!), I met up with a young Filipino banker who had emigrated to Canada and had just returned for his wedding. As is often the case when I meet Philippine professionals, we ended up discussing politics. This young fellow was rather depressed. “Nothing in the political system will change,” he said trying to explain why he had turned his back on the Philippines. That same day, the media reported that according to a recent survey 23 percent of Filipinos deem their country is “hopeless.”

My hope is that they are wrong.


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