Palawan By Motorcycle - Pt.5: Diapila Beach, an Accidental Discovery

Diapila Beach Motorbike Trip - Palawan, Philippines  © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
Diapila Beach - Palawan By Motorbike
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Words & Photos By Nathan Allen


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The Ride of a Lifetime: Chapter 5


On the ride from Long Beach, San Vicente to stunning El Nido, I encountered some beautiful scenery.


Open Road with coconut trees and rice field  © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
The open road


These are my favorite kinds of days for landscape photography. I always say...no clouds = boring. Too many clouds...also = boring. I like blue skies with just the right amount of puffy, white clouds. You'll notice this is frequently featured in my photography.


Water Buffalo (carabao) bathing in a river - Palawan  © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
Water Buffalo cooling off in a river valley


Anyhow, after a few amazing days in El Nido, I headed north into uncharted territory, at least for me. I had to take refuge from the rain under the roof of a “sari sari” store on the way, and then eventually made my way to Duli Beach, which has become a popular surfing spot in north Palawan.

A few years back there weren’t many tourists coming here at all, but now word has spread, and quite a few adventurers are renting motorbikes and exploring these beautiful northern beaches. I didn’t spend too much time at Duli actually, and I don't even have good photos to share. Haha. The weather wasn't great there, and I was never planning on surfing or anything.


My motorcycle on the dirt road going to Diapila Beach  © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
Where is this "road" taking me?


Instead, my goal was to make it all the way to Qi Palawan on the eastern side of the island. However, on a whim, I did decide to head down an unknown dirt road nearby, hoping it would quickly lead me to a new beach to explore.


Well, the road just kept going and going…it also had some large hills and plenty of rough, muddy patches. Every now and again I would see a tiny hand painted sign saying “Tin’s Canteen, this way —>”. There was hardly anything out there, so I became intrigued by these vague signs. The rough, dirt road seemed endless. I really felt like I was in the middle of nowhere.


Diapila Bay - My First Glimpse

Diapila Beach - Palawan, Philippines  © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
View of Diapila Bay & Beach


Eventually the road led me up to lookout point...and wow, was I glad I continued all the way up there! It was an incredible view of a colorful fishing village below. I had come so far, I knew I had to explore this place...below is a close up photo with my Canon Powershot G3x (Find it HERE in PHL or SG)


Diapila Fishing Villlage © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
DIapila beach & village - Zoomed in to 600mm


I continued down the steep, rocky dirt road. It led me through a basketball game some local teens were playing, and I noticed a small opening nearby that led to the beach.


Suddenly the view widened, and I found myself staring out at the picturesque fishing village of Diapila Beach.


Fishing boats on Diapila Beach © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
Fishing boats on Diapila beach & at sea


To my right was the fabled “Tin’s Canteen”, and Tin herself came out to greet me. It was just a simple shack right on the beach, but then again, I suppose that’s exactly what I was hoping for. Haha. It was after lunch, and I was starving. I ordered a drink and some fresh caught fish. There wasn’t a tourist in sight.


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After chatting with Tin for a while, I learned that her family came from Cebu and Masbate, both of which I had a chance to explore previously, so along with her husband, we reminisced about the language, food, and culture of Cebuanos and Masbateños. They were very kind.


(Click photos for more info)


The fish portion was massive, and that explained why the price seemed a bit high at first (by Filipino standards). It turns out that for the size and quality, it was actually a great deal! It could be good for 2.



Some locals kids became interested in the photos I was taking, and they requested I take some pictures of them. The older boys got excited and started "flipping out" on the beach. Literally. Haha.  I noticed a small boat with “Tao Philippines” painted on the side. I learned that this village is so remote, it’s usually only accessed by boat. In fact, it is one of the stops on the famed Tao Philippines island hopping tour.


Fishing Boats & Storm Clouds - Photos

Young boy wading to fishing boat  © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
Young boy wading out to a fishing boat - Canon G3X


It's not easy to catch these kinds of dramatic colors in the sky and on the water. I was lucky to have the storm clouds in the distance.


Fishing boat parked on the beach @ Diapila  © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
Fishing boat on Diapila Beach
Colorful Fishing Boats @ sea w/ Canon G3X -  Diapila Beach - Palawan, Philippines  © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
Colorful fishing boats under a stormy sky

These were taken with my Canon Powershot G3x <-Amazon (In the PHL or SG you can find it HERE)

Fishermen carrying boat on Diapila Beach - Palawan, Philippines  © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
Fishermen carrying a boat to shore

Riding Off Into the Sunset (Or Rainstorm, As it Turns Out)

Feeling full and completely pleased with my unexpected discovery, I said my goodbyes to this nice family, and started on my way. I noticed these boats being carved on my way back up the mountain. What a worthwhile discovery Diapila Bay was!


At the vista point near the top, I noticed some storm clouds rolling in over the sea, creating some beautiful hues in the sky and water. Great for pictures, but as you’ll see if you read about my journey from here to Qi Palawan, those storm clouds created quite a challenge for me about an hour or two later.


(Click photos for more info)


I continued down the road and snapped one last photo before the heavens opened up on me...


Motorcycle on the trail to Diapila Beach  © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
Riding back through the El Nido jungle


Next chapter: The Wet & Wild Ride to Qi Palawan Resort


Curious about the cost of flights to and around the Philippines?



Pt 1.Pt 2.Pt 3.Pt 4.  < Pt.5 > Pt 6. > Pt 7. > Pt 8.



*Motorbike for this trip supplied by www.rent-a-bike.ph.

If you notice any misinformation or something that needs correcting, please don’t hesitate to let me know!



- Nathan Allen



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