Saturday, July 20, 2013

My Lifetime Discovery of The Majestic Splendor of El Nido

For the last ten years that I've been travelling around the Philippines and abroad (Asia in particular), I associated the memories with the people that I've gone with and the unforgetable experiences that I had but not the places that I've been to. 

The memories from traveling with my different group of friends were always about the crazy moments when we were together (either about the different extreme adventure, embarassing moments, a little of scary and spooky experiences),  the unforgetable conversations (some secrets shared when everyone's sober) and the laughter that we shared together.  Those are the moments that became unofficially the common topic when we get together again and can still share the same laughter all over again.  And the pictures that painted our memories are fit for a "throw-back-thursday" or "flashback-friday" post.

Traveling with my family is like extending our usual activities from home to another place where we just enjoyed being together playing majong, bingo or cards.  Those are the moments where we strenghthen our bond as a family, getting out of the usual corners of our abode and just having fun.

My recent solitary travel to South Korea for ten days was all about a different experience - it was more about myself, asserting my self-confidence and independence, and somehow knowing my limits. 

The Beach Front

However, coming to El Nido in Palawan is all about the place. The memories that I made there is having the connection with the place itself. For some reason, I found the calmness and the charm of El Nido that the any imperfections could not falter its beauty.

El Nido is the the living proof of the  majestic creation of God. What a wonderful world we are blessed with that any wordly things are incomparable.

the view of El Nido Town from the sea

I haven't been around the small town of El Nido during my short stay of three days and three nights neither did I talk a lot with the locals (only with our tour guide Kuya Felix, our boatman Kuya Dodong and some of the staff in Marina Garden) but having my personal space in the bamboo-made bench and native hammock at the beach front and the majestic view in front of me were just enough for me to say, "I shall return! I should be here every year!". 

The Panoramic View of Helicopter Island
Coming to El Nido is very tough! It takes a lot of time and patience to reach this paradise. At some point I personally experience the literal meaning of "taking the bumpy road to reach the best destination". The six-hour-bumpy-curvy-zigzaggy journey to El Nido from Puerto Princesa and praying to arrive the town alive worth it all!

At the Peak of Matinloc Shrine

Known a long time ago as Bacuit Bay, El Nido got its name when the flock of swiflets' edible nests (or known as Nido in Spanish) were abundantly found at the rift of the limestone cliffs.  Like the rest of remote provinces in the Philippines, El Nido possess the same charm of simple lifestyle of locals.   For people like me who have lived in the slow-paced province of Negros and the fast-technology-driven city of Bacolod and Metro Manila throughout my existence in this world, El Nido has both of these world and that make its grandeur.

The perfect hue of blue and green at the Small Lagoon

During the day, you can enjoy sailing along the sparkling and calm water of Bacuit Bay while passing through the majestic rock formation, looking up in awe at the skyscraping limestone cliffs, snorkeling and finding nemo in its anemone at the most shallow water of the pristine beaches, taking a dip in cool waters of lagoons, climbing up the peak of limestone in a Shrine built in an island and got the best spot to look at the horizon of perfect hue of green and blue, discovering the secret lagoons and beaches, and most of all, eating lunch in an island you can claim as your own for the time-being.
One of the rock formations in Bacuit Archipelago that make El Nido the grandest of them all!
I'm a fish, not a dog!:-)
Hello there, Nemo! :-)

when the beauty under the water is beyond indescribable
our simple yet festive lunch at Star Beach

At night, you can stroll around the town for local seafood menus or go Italian with pizza, pasta and risotto in various selections of Italian-inspired restaurants.  You can enjoy the ambiance of themed restaurants like an art gallery or the exotic charm where coming in barefoot is more inviting than wearing your footwear.  Either you can have the Filipino fushion crepe after a sumptuous dinner or end the night along the shore with a glass of mojito while enjoying the sound of acoustic and country-style music. 

My solitary moments in El Nido

My underwater experience

This is the place where someone from the city couldn't miss that little noise in the island, and, somebody from the province can still experience the simple lifestyle.

Up until this moment, it is still a wonder why El Nido is different from my experiences in Coron, Puerto Princesa, Davao, Bohol, Negros or even Pagudpud. What is this connection all about? What did I find there that I told myself I should come back. 

 That, I will continue to discover.

Credits: Special Thanks to Anna for arranging our trip. Here's the link of our itinerary.

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