One of the best days I have spent in the Philippines was THIS day! The day we hopped on a traditional banca boat and explored the lagoons of El Nido.

I picked up this little Marysia number before my trip to the Philippines, and I have been so excited to wear it!

Lately I’ve been crushing on one-pieces, and this is a two-for-one deal because aside from hitting the beach, it also doubles as a body suit – yes, an actual bodysuit that you wouldn’t mind wearing with jeans and a jacket in the city. Maybe not in the middle of winter, but definitely during springtime and those hot summer nights.

On every island I’ve known, it’s not really acceptable to wear swimwear as your daily wardrobe *bummer, right?!* It’s quite frowned upon actually, unless you’re at a resort or at the beach…*sigh* I’ve been trying to find a way around that for years.

Finding a swimsuit that can convince everyone you’re in regular clothes is like stumbling upon a unicorn, and you better catch it quickly, because let’s be honest, who doesn’t dream of living their life in a swimsuit everyday?

I know I do.

Anyway, as I ramble, the detailing on this one-piece is what I love most, and is what transforms an ordinary little black swimsuit to an ultra feminine, sophisticated one-piece.

The charcoal and tan laser cut outs, the pretty scallop detailing, and the wide straps make this one-piece a simple and understated beauty. Plus, it’s insanely comfortable and without any fuss – and this was a no fuss kind of day. My only goal was to slip on a beautiful swimsuit and let it do all the work while I focused on making beautiful memories with my family in the Philippines! Mission accomplished!

I was so happy to spend a week with my family exploring the Philippines. I’ve spent the past few years sharing stories about my adventures in Cebu and Bohol *to see the chocolate hills*, and they were looking forward to seeing the natural beauty for themselves.

After such a jam-packed month with the Miss Universe pageant, a little R&R under the Philippine sun with my family was just what I craving – and Palawan hit the spot. This day will always hold a close and special place in my heart because it was a new island for all of us to explore, and those are memories that will last us a lifetime.

Our crew from the Matinloc Resort was professional, accommodating, and knowledgable, and plus, they sure knew how to make us feel like kings and queens!

One tip my family and I learned long ago is to always splurge for the private tour. It’s worth it, trust me.

Knowing that the times, destination, and crew are flexible helps you and the fam to fully relax and enjoy the day, which is all we really wanted – a day together on a boat in the Philippines! We ended up really liking the Secret Lagoon and Snake Island the most, so we opted to stay on each beach longer than most tours would allow. This tour is a definite must-do if you’re planning on visiting Palawan.

On a more serious note, as I lay on the white sand beaches of Palawan with my mom and brother, I take the time to reflect not only over this past month’s experience with the Miss Universe Organization, but over the entire journey that has brought me here to this very spot, in this very moment. In life, I have learned that embarking on new adventures is crucial for personal development. It broadens your horizons on multitudes of levels, keeps your mind sharp, and fine-tunes your instincts. The lessons we learn while traveling are infinite and can be applied to our day-to-day lives. A go-with-the-flow, positive attitude and an open mind help us whether we’re on the road or tackling our daily tasks.

I’ve traveled solo through the Philippines, Thailand, and Malaysia (which I felt were crucial experiences for challenging myself during my early 20’s), but as I’ve grown older, I’ve realized how much I prefer to travel with my loved ones. In my early years, I yearned for my independence and my freedom to explore the world, and lately, I’ve found I crave quite the opposite. This trip to Palawan was a beautiful experience as I feel I’ve come full circle having explored the Philippines twice on my own, and now finally with my family for the third time. It was a beautiful way to reminisce over my previous adventures, and the perfect way to create new memories with my loved ones. I am one happy, lucky girl.

Watch the highlights and crazy memories from our trip here. Thank you for tuning in guys, I can’t wait to share my upcoming adventures with you!!

Details // Marysia Wide Strap One-Piece // Ray Ban Round Sunglasses Green Polarized // Eugenia Kim Wide Brim Straw Hat // IB Designs ‘Circle of Life’ Hoop Earrings