#El-Nido-WannaMissAThing #El-Nido-ItToMeGently #El-Nido-ItAllTheWay
January: Pico De Loro (Cavite/Batangas) – Checked
February: Mt. Pulag (Benguet) – Checked
March: Burot Beach (Batangas) – Checked
April: El Nido (Palawan) – Checked
Summer is almost over and we’re nearly in the mid of the year. How is your bucket list so far? Traveling for me is not only learning and exploring about the place but more of rediscovering myself more. I love to travel a lot! Given the chance and “richness” to go out of town at least twice a month, I would definitely grab it! We need some time off away from the metro so to unleash those things that strains us.
Apart from mountain hiking, going to the beach is also one I am really into. And last April 18th-22nd I had the chance to go down South and see another spectacular tourist destination in Palawan, Philippines called—El Nido. For the second time around, still with good friends of mine, my friends for keeps… my “Pakak” friends.
It was a long 5-hours trip by van from Puerto Princesa airport to El Nido. We arrived at OG’s Inn where we stayed for 4 days; our accommodation fronting the beach wherein the scenery is like a parking space for all kinds of boat. Whew, what a nice welcoming view!
Day 1: Package A, B or C?
El Nido is popular destination for magnificent beaches, best known for bird’s nest and limestone cliffs to cite a few. We were all excited to experience the main attraction here that showcases stunning islands and its hidden beauty. For our Day 1 activity, we chose Tour A (the most selected one amongst other tour package. Let’s do island hopping! Our first destination was a 30-minute boat ride from the hotel, and then we had to swim from the boat or ride a kayak to get into the (1) Small Lagoon and (2) Big Lagoon. It’s my first time to experience kayaking and it was fun rowing all the way in! Inside the lagoon welcomes an awe inspiring crystal clear water, the authenticity of the entire atmosphere and the rock formation is incomparable.
After few minutes of exploring, our next stop was (3) Payong-Payong Beach where we had our lunch which is already included in the package.
Foods prepared wholeheartedly by our dear tour guide Kuya Elmar and boat Capt. Bryan.
Mga totoong lutong pagkain, yummmmmm!
Next stop after our lunch was (4) Secret Lagoon of Matinloc Island which requires us to pass through the hole to get into the lagoon. Our last stop was (5) Seven Commandos Beach, the only island that has mini bar and sari-sari store. Apart from swimming this is where we enjoyed picture and video taking for our MTV, haha!
Another God's masterpiece... a perfect sunset view to end our first day.
Day 2: A Tour Package with a Heart
To swim, to do snorkeling, to stumble and roll over on that powdery-like sand of the beach, to float, to grasp more air, to move, to breathe and to feel free -- this is the life! Just like our first day, the excitement was greater; completely ready with our #OOTS (Outfit Of The Summer). We decided on Tour C on our Day 2; the stay on each destination is reduced since the entire tour requires more travel time.
Our first stop was (1) Helicopter Island; from afar you’ll obviously notice why it was named after a jumbo jet. Hehe. The main activity here is swimming and snorkelling that lasts for 30 minutes...not bad!
The Hidden Beach.
Exploring the crystal clear water at Hidden Beach.
Next stop was (2) Hidden Beach, according to Kuya Elmar, the beach is hiding in between two rock formations that we have to go further to see and reach that “hidden beach”. However, it is not really the hidden beach that astounds me here but it’s seeing my ever favorite seaweeds underneath. We call it “lato” in Bisaya, this sea plant popped in the mouth once we eat it. Wow, as in wow! We get some, sorry po… I’m just really craving for it.
Moving on to our next destination was (3) Matinloc Shrine; the place is kind of mysterious; we roam around and explore the creepy mansion and Mama Mary’s shrine. Then we climbed up the summit of rock formation overlooking the deep-blue-green-ocean… wow, another wow! What an amazing-mesmerizing-jaw-dropping- view from the top! Sounds exaggerated but yeah, thank God for this life!
Kuya Elmar in action... yeah!
While having lunch, I had the chance to talk to Kuya Elmar about his life in El Nido as a tour guide. We’re both Bisaya, I grew up in Manila that’s why I can’t speak fluently in our native dialect but I understand him completely and I’m trying to speak in Bisaya as well. He shared stories about his family, their cost of living and day-to-day life, their salary as a tour guide from the boat operator, how they learned about ecotourism and how they react and discipline those hard-headed tourists. He knows a lot about El Nido. This is the best lunch ever, indeed. (I highly recommend Kuya Elmar. Please ask Kuya Fred about him as I was not able to get his contact number.)
Trying to find one blue star fish at Star Beach.
Time flies so fast; we proceeded to our next stop (4) Star Beach; where we can find the blue star fish. Its main activity is snorkeling as well but I just stayed at the boat and enjoyed the 360-view.
The Secret Beach no more...
Our last stop was (5) Secret Beach; but not a secret now since we knew about it already. LOL. The beach is hidden inside a cliff that we had to swim through the small entrance of the cliff. Luckily, its low tide so it was easy for us to get in. However, during high tides, Kuya Elmar said that tourists had to dive & swim through that small entrance to get inside.
Day 3: Saving the best for last….
Supposedly, we’re leaving El Nido by 5am heading to Puerto Princesa but unfortunately the situation didn’t let us, the Underground River was fully booked. What to do on last day of our grand vacay? We are discussing either to take another tour package or just wander around the town proper. What happened next was like our grand finale in a show.
The lovely view of Nacpan Beach
After almost an hour of exploring the waterfalls, our sweet escape is near approaching; so we headed to our last stop (2) Nacpan Beach; “There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.” (Robert Louis Stevenson) Literally, we felt like we’re the foreigner in our own land. Non-nationals outnumbered the Pinoy tourist which is just evidence that this place is one of a must-see in El Nido. I haven’t seen any beach like this in my entire life; the scenery is just so mesmeric.
I can’t think of the best word to describe this place. Speechless, just so perfect!See it to believe it.
Life has surprised me with many unforgettable moments. Wishing to go back soon hopefully with miii Loves Manong Unyol <3. Indeed, it’s more fun in the Philippines. See you again soon my El Nido!
Photo and Video credit: Ricky Verzosa
Guest writer: MaryangLaagan <3
Queen of Angels Transport Service (Van)
Owned & Operated by: Carol L. Bayno
El Nido OG’s Inn
El Nido Tour Package
Fred (Owner & Operator): 09286814447
Nonoy (Tricycle Driver): 0918708975