Bluewater Resorts

Thursday, December 15, 2011

El Nido, Palawan | Battle Between Two Giants (part 1)

Being one of the most scenic places in the Philippines, comparing this El Nido trip to our '09 Coron adventure was inevitable. They are both touted as one of the most picturesque sights in our country and both attractions hail from Palawan, Philippines’ last frontier

It was quite exciting for me because my mom has always been an avid fan of El Nido such that a visit to this place would be a dream come-true for her. She ultimately came with us, so at last I had brought her somewhere outside mainland-Luzon.

We had 5 days for the trip. 5 days of relishing the beauty of this world-renown place. 5 days of relaxation to its maximum level. 5 days of comparing this trip to the wonderful adventure we had the previous year at Coron.

I know it is a bad idea to compare places but this debate is an exception. The question "Coron or El Nido" is comparable to the photographer debate "Canon or Nikon" or the boxing mystery "Pacquiao or Mayweather". All people have their own personal opinions partnered with their biased conclusions. Fortunately, having the opportunity to bask on the awesomeness of El Nido, I have the privilege of batting in my opinion on this seasoned debate. 

Allotting the first day for the travel from Puerto Prinsesa to El nido, we finally boarded our pump boat at the start of the second day. Our first destination was the Small and Big Lagoon.

As I started to swim the clear waters of the Small Lagoon, the limestone cliffs of Coron's Twin Lagoon suddenly came to my mind. Likewise, with both sites having a small entrance to its main body, it was really kind of a mind-boggler that the same province has an almost identical attraction. 

Nonetheless, I ended my fixation on its similarity and instead swam and glided through its mystical blue waters. The clouds hovering atop were menacing but it didn't stop me from unleashing the kid in me as I started to dive deeper and deeper down the Lagoon. 

We had a nice swim but it was time to traverse the sea and go to the next destination: the Big Lagoon. Having a low tide at the time of our tour, the lagoon’s entrance was too shallow for our pump boat to pass. Having this dilemma, we decided to walk its hallway-like body of water back-dropped by huge limestone rock formations.

The big lagoon was nice but there was still this lingering sensation that our Coron trip was more relaxing than this one. This was probably caused by my addiction on comparing the two trips but still, I was having an awesome time. We took pictures of the "roxas boulvardesque" Lagoon and swiftly went to the next part of our tour. 

I guess from my point of view, our lunch at Simizu Island was the turning point of the trip. I was actually not expecting a grand lunch served but lo and behold, the serving was equally as stunning as the place where we would be eating our meal.

We ordered grilled liempo and fishes like ‘mayamaya’ with the presumption that we would be eating them on our pump-boat. I had no Idea that they would serve the food atop a fully dressed table complete with utensils and condiments, along one of the whitest beach I've ever been to: complimented by the awesome and majestic limestone formations surrounding the island. 

Alas, we were having lunch at one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines served by great cooks with restaurant-like presentation. It absolutely gave meaning to the word "fine" in fine-dining.

After the sumptuous lunch, I was definitely pumped-up for more, looking forward to seeing all of the attractions El Nido could give. I don't know if it was the food or the experience but I suddenly had the energy that I was longing for. 

Fortunately, the next attraction was not to disappoint. We were moored to the unique Hidden Lagoon of El Nido

We had to contort our bodies to enter the pint-size hole. Bending backwards and forwards, we were finally inside the structure and awed by the limestone's facade. There was even a formation that looked like a crocodile hanging from above. It was weird but in a good way. We again took a short dip and went to the next destination.

The next beach was known as the 7 Commando Island. Legend has it that 7 commandos were stuck on the island hence the name. Again, it was magnificent.

As it was the last destination of package A, we were given a chance to swim on its picturesque beach longer than usual. We had the blessing of time but unfortunately, the weather became abruptly intense.

It was quite unnerving as we suddenly heard the loud roar of the wind and the banging of the rain as it angrily glided towards the island. It sounded like a dinosaur chasing us from afar. A heart raising experience but it was fun.

After just a few minutes boarded atop the pump-boat, we can no longer see the whole island as the rain and clouds quickly covered and engulfed the whole area. Laughing at what could have happened if we stayed a little bit longer, we were like kids exchanging stories after a fun-filled action-packed day of adventure.

Pondering on this just concluded tour, there was still something inside my chest that gave Coron the upperhand on the first day. Maybe the time on each place was too short because of the 1-day 5-destination package nevertheless, I still had a blast.

I was still hoping that something would come up that would make this my best vacation ever. I was a Nikon user once but all that was changed when I finally bought my 7D. Maybe, the same instance would also be the outcome on this discussion. Whatever my conclusion may be, we were still psyched and absolutely keyed up for more exciting expeditions for the coming days ahead...

You can read the next article here

You may also like to read my Mom’s blog about her El Nido experience:
El Nido Palawan: Philippines Last Frontier part I

*The 5-day 15-destination trip was too long for 1 article, thus the decision of making it a 2-part article.

*credits to Jopie Policarpio for some of the photos and Agnes Navales also, for some of the photos and for organizing the 5-day trip.


  1. I've been to this place I consider heaven on earth. I'd be back to this place for sure!

  2. fictureferfect talaga ang el nido... kakainlove na lugar =)

  3. A very wonderful place to relax.
    nice place I'm hoping to visit that place .

  4. wow! i am loving your photographs. will definitely visit el nido...really soon. :)

  5. @ian DP - Yap, kahit anong camera basta el nido. grabe padin ang beauty.
    @Ely - yup, you can pick if you want to have activities, or just relax at bacuit bay. very beautiful place indeed
    @Diane - Thanks for the love. haha. hope you have a great trip

  6. Whenever I see images of El Nido, it never fails to amaze me... And I'm so proud that it's located in the Philippines. Among the islands and beaches I've seen so far, El Nido is on top of my list. I can't wait to go back there. Congrats sa mga shots sir. Ganda!

  7. @bino - thanks, you can never go wrong with El Nido

  8. just went there last December 5-8 and I was really amazed by the scenery. Super ganda lang!!


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