Estancia – Visiting the Real Philippines
Estancia gave us one of the most authentic experiences we had during our stay in the Philippines. The fishing village is mainly overlooked by visitors on their way to the Gigantes Islands.
To be honest, we didn’t intend to stay in Estancia for so long either. We were hit with our first Typhoon in the Philippines (video here). All ferries in and out of the city came to a halt so we ended up staying in Estancia for almost a full week.
Why Should You Visit Estancia?
During our entire stay, we didn’t see a single foreigner. We ended up going to the fresh market several times and befriended many of the produce vendors. We had our dessert lady, coconut lady, and banana lady to help keep us nourished during the storm.
We had a fantastic time with the ladies at the fish market. They insisted that Pierre take a photo with their catch of the day.
All types of bananas can be found in the produce section of the market – a short walk from the main market area.
The ladies at the produce market were so friendly. They were happy to have us try different fruits.
This is one of the most lively sections of the market. If you’re craving veggies, come here!
The only dessert stall we could find in the market. The selection changes every day. If you come to late, they might be entirely sold out. Our advice, come before 11 am.
One of our staple desserts – Casava Cake!
One evening when all other restaurants were closed, we came across a hole in the wall restaurant (literally) that we would return to over and over again. I’ll admit that I was skeptical at first but the owner of the restaurant ushered us into her shop to feed us.
One of our favorite dishes was the Ginataang Kalabasa At Sitaw soup. It consisted of butternut squash and green beans cooked in a delicious coconut stew.
We also got to know one of the kindest and coolest people in Estancia, Joel & Neal who run the Gigantes Hideaway Resort. (Read more about our trip to Islas de Gigantes here). They didn’t hesitate to take us to their favorite spots in town.
They suggested we stay at the Paon Beach Club which has an olympic size pool as well. We had so much fun swimming with the locals.
Pierre and I are lucky enough to travel to many different places during our year adventure. We get to see some of the world’s most beautiful destinations. This post reminds us that beauty doesn’t only mean translucent waters and rare landscapes. Sometimes, it can be found in a busy fishing port through the kindness and welcoming spirit of people.