Wednesday, May 15, 2013

El Nido, Palawan: Day 2

Our wake-up call was 4 a.m. Thankfully, coffee and hot chocolate awaited us at the pier, which did wonders to ward off the early morning chill. Feeling very much like commandoes with our cool black lifejackets, mega-watt  flashlights and powerful speedboat, we sliced through the waters to Pangalusian Island, five kilometers away. Our mission? To catch the sunrise form the Pangalusian view deck. But first, the Pangalusian trail.

Every Breath You Take

"I-gasp!-need-gasp!-to rest!" For the first few steps of the mountain trail, I jauntily walked right behind the film crew doing a Palawan documentary. But mid-way through the climb, my legs felt like jelly and I was breathing hard through my mouth.

The trail wasn't exactly difficult -- a 2 km trek that took us deep into the lush tropical mountain forest. But boy, was it hard to keep up with my group's seemingly superhuman pace. Plenty of stops and a bottled water later, I stood on the view deck just as the sun tiptoed on the horizon. Mission accomplished.

Photo courtesy of El Nido resort

The sun lit the sky a pale pink. The sea looked like a lavender sheet, and the nearby islands, they were fluffy green pillows. I was seeing my bed everywhere, while the team clicked happily away at the hard-earned view.

Blue Lagoon 

After the morning hike, we were off to another lagoon. This one was just like the first -- beautiful, with its still pools and sun-beaten cliffs -- only, it was much, much bigger.

And with nature at its most majestic, we were regaled with stories about El Nido by Mariglo Laririt, the Planning and Concerns Manager of El Nido. She explained that, Palawan, with its 1,700 islands, lays claim to a fourth of the entire island count of the Philippines. Of these, El Nido has 45.

Photo courtesy of El Nido Resort 

El Nido's signature limestone cliffs were formed over the course of 250 million years from coral deposits. Mariglo told us that plants that grew from the cracks and crevices of the limestone are called yucca -- and these miniature coconut tree-lookalikes are remarkable because they flourish despite the limited soil, saltwater sprays and exposure to harsh sunlight.

Seaside Picnic

Have you ever seen the ocean wearing all shades of blue and green, as it kisses the stunning white sand, and, off in the distance, towering cliffs stand like sentinels? And, in the middle of it all, a table laden with food and shaded with a pretty white parasol?

This is what a dream lunch at Entalula Island is like. As we sat at the table, I buried my feet deep into the cool, powdery sand below. We feasted on grilled meat, fish, and fresh fruits.

Photo by George Tapan
Entalula was the perfect spot for sunbathing, swimming and taking lots and lots of photos. After lunch, we ventured to nearby Snake Island. Named for its long, and softly curving sandbar, it did look like a gigantic white python sunning itself on a blanket of blue.

Photo courtesy of El Nido resort 

Honeymoon Isle 

Lagen, is Miniloc resort's more luxurious sister, and this was to be our lodging for the second night. Here, guests can relax in the swimming pool, recreation area, or at their bar with its stunning ocean views. Lagen has some of its rooms set on stilts over water, and as such, my front porch looked out to the sea, while my backyard was a forest. The forest here is home to more than 20 species of mammals, and over a hundred species of birds.

I was sorely tempted to sink into my bed after the full day of activities, but -- dinner at a sandbar awaited,

And so we boarded our trusty speedboat, and it brought us to yet another island. Light from the torches danced on the white table cloths, were a gourmet dinner was served. It was no surprise to hear that this spot was a favorite for marriage proposals.

Photo courtesy of El Nido resort 

I mean, who wouldn't be swept away with a dinner in a tiny sandbar, surrounded by the sea, lit only flickering candlelight and the star-strewn sky?

Read El Nido, Palawan: Day 1 
Read El Nido Palawan: Day 3 

No comments :

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...