Sunday, February 03, 2008

El Nido Paradiso

it was our last night on the island. we were having a quiet dinner in an open patio facing the beach, a guitarist was playing some old song near our table when my dad blurted out "this is extravagant!". twice he said it hehe. you can see it in his eyes that he's having a wonderful time (maybe he just can't think of another adjective). anyway, my sister and i giggled when we saw him like that. and then my mom and jao followed suit. yup, it was one of those moments i love to look back again and again.

we stayed at the el nido resorts in miniloc island. how to describe it? it was breathtakingly beautiful! nipa huts on stilts with the limestone cliffs as the backdrop. i had to stop myself taking pictures of it everytime i see it :)

and here's a closer shot of the water cottages (told you i got addicted taking pictures of those houses)

this is when we arrived on the island - the crew was singing the "palawan song" to welcome us. the service was excellent, everything you need just ask and they'll give you in a snap. jao and i wanted to rebook our plane tickets because we were planning to extend for a few days for diving? done! i need some medicine because i get seasick? no problem! a bit of water splashes us while on the speedboat? you dont need to ask for it because towels will be handed to you everytime. we were spoiled i tell you. :)

the resort offers a lot of free activities, you just choose which one you feel like doing for the day. for our first day, we've decided to do the small and big lagoon tour. here's a picture of my parents on a kayak. my dad looks like he's having fun but my mom looks like she's panicking hehe.

and here's bonch, jao and me on our kayaks. we went inside some small caves and we even saw baby black tip sharks swimming on the small lagoon.

we loved the small lagoon. it was so peaceful and intimate.

the big lagoon was not as interesting as the small lagoon. there's a small stage though in the middle of the lagoon, our guide said we can arrange to have a romantic dinner here if we like. hmm...

we also tried the sunset cruise. a very lovely sunset, too bad the clouds hid the sun before it could pass between the two big rocks.

we had a lot of activities lined up on our second day. we went inside this cave first thing. thats my dad trying to go inside the small hole. jao pointed out here how spoiled we were - see the towel laid out so the rock will not scrape us?

and this is what the cave looks like. forgot the name of the cave already but it was huge and inside we saw small bats and some birds with their nests perched on the cave's crevices.

next stop was vigan island, very popular for its snake-like sandbar.

jao on the sandbar

we had our picnic lunch at the lovely entalula island. jao and i had a go at the intro to rock climbing. jao was like a monkey - no effort at all! while i haha - let's just say i struggled a bit. our instructor was a nutter, we had loads of fun here.

just a few minutes away was the pangulasian island. we tried hobie cat sailing here. the instructor taught us important notes like when the hobie needs to change direction, you have to move on the other side of the boat and if the wind is too strong you have to lean out of the boat. here's my parents on the boat and they did all those changing seats and leaning back. im so proud! :)

back on the resort, jao and i snorkeled on the miniloc house reef. lots of colorful fish down there and even saw some big jacks. i didnt know how to properly operate then my underwater camera(first time!) so all i got were a few lousy photos. (jao with a school of sergeant majors)

for our last day, we had breakfast at the lagen island resort. it was a bigger and a modern version of the miniloc island. this is their swimming pool with a view of the cliffs and the turquoise blue waters.

between the lagen and miniloc resorts, lagen is a bit more expensive but i prefer the rustic charms of miniloc. for me, it has more heart. but thats just me.

so thats 2 days and 3 nights in el nido. one of the best trips i've had in a while - full of adventure but still lots of time to just sit back and share the stunning sights with my loved ones.

how to get there:
from manila, Island Transvoyager Inc (ITI) operates 3x a day to el nido. roundtrip fare is p13500.

daily flight schedule:
manila to el nido 7:30am, 11:30am, 3pm
el nido to manila 9:30am, 1pm, 5pm

where we stayed:
el nido resorts miniloc

overnight accomodation with 3 international buffet meals(did i mention that the food was the best??) and a lot of free exciting activities - p11500 for the cheapest cottage. jao had a friend who owns a travel agency though so we got our package a bit cheaper. try their website or email butch at butch.juria(at)discoverph(dot)com

more photos on my smugmug


jao said...

Yup! what a way to start the year, eh?!! haha! Chart topper 'tong trip na 'to! Well worth (your) every peso! harhar! at kahit nagbabayad ka pa ngayon, tandaan mo lang yung "this is extravagant!" ni tatay - priceless.

beng said...

ang saya saya nyo naman. social naman ng tatay mo ha - this is extravagant! kung tatay ko yan, fascinating! hehe social din.

ganda ng mga pictures! lalo na ung sunset kahit natakpan ng clouds. ganda ng family picture nyo din

augster said...

wow!!! ang ganda ng el nido. kainggit. pangarap ko'ng makapunta don. paraiso talaga.

tabel said...

ang saya naman nito! at ang gaganda ng pictures ha. sosyal na sosyal talga.

pangarap ko din makapunta dyan someday at mag-dinner dun sa floating stage na yun.

lala said...

korek punta rin kayo dyan :)
gusto ko ngang bumalik dyan balang araw.
napakaganda talaga!
oo nga tabel romantic dun sa floating stage yihi

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