Our second day was spent on Tour A. We booked the tour from Islanen tours and the cost is PHP700.00 per person. Mr. Jerry, the tricycle driver we met at the RORO bus terminal, helped us book the tour. If you are planning to go to El Nido, don’t hesitate to send him an sms and tell him that you are Aldrin’s friend. His number can be found in my Day 1 post.

 

The tour covered five islands around El Nido: Secret Lagoon, Entalula Beach,ย  Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon and 7 Commandos Beach.ย  Our boat guides were Jimmy, Darwin, and two other men.

 

Sunrise El Nido

Sunrise at El Nido, Palawan

 

The weather was perfect: sunny and breezy. Waves were splashing the hull of the boat, it felt like riding the roller coaster in Legoland, and since I love thrilling rides, each splash was a joy!

 

A few tips before you start exploring the sites of El Nido:

1. Bring a waterproof bag. This is definitely a must since some places require you to swim across and the currents are sometimes strong.

2. Bring an underwater camera. Another must especially if you don’t have a waterproof bag. Even if you have, there are some areas where there’s no surface to stand on and you’ll be swimming most of the time.

3. Buy a SMART sim card. Their network coverage is fantastic.

4. Don’t wear slippers, bring the underwater shoes. I don’t really know the exact name so here’s a photo of my sister’s shoes.

 

 

Underwater shoes

Underwater shoes

 

Forget about bringing fins, they won’t help especially if the underwater rocks are very slippery and very sharp. I’m pretty sure you’ll get a scratch or a wound as a remembrance. If the wound is not too serious, forget about it and keep on swimming. The salty water will heal it quickly.

 

Secret Lagoon

 

Secret Lagoon @ El Nido, Palawan

Secret Lagoon @ El Nido, Palawan

 

Our first stop is the secret lagoon. it’s quite funny that some of the places here are either named as secret or hidden. They have secret lagoon, secret beach, hidden cave, secret cave, etc. I guess with so many secrets and hidden names here, you’ll secretly get confused.

 

The water is shallow and quite relaxing to swim, but the rocks aren’t. They’re very slippery and when you take the wrong step, the edgy stones will definitely mark a scratch on your legs or feet. In order to go in, you have to strategically step in a hole that has sharp edges. The photos can say alot more. Entering the hole isn’t so bad, but reaching this hole is tougher than I thought.

 

Tip: Sometime’s it’s easier to just swim rather than walk towards it.

 

 

Secret Lagoon

Secret Lagoon

 

Things to bring here:

1. Underwater shoes

2. Smartphones for foursquare check-in.

3. Underwater camera is optional, I managed to bring in my iPhone and my point and shoot camera. ๐Ÿ™‚ Although the motto is, let thy be drowned as long as the iPhone is safe. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

The place is nice, actually all the places we went to are really awesome.

 

Entalula Beach

 

Entalula Beach

Entalula Beach

Our second stop is the Entalula beach, where we had our lunch. It was actually not the place listed in the itinerary but the original stopover is already occupied by alot of people so our boat guides looked for an alternative beach. The funny thing is before the boat docked here, we asked Darwin if it’s another rocky surface. He said it’s better than the first one–which is definitely an overstatement. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

The food was mostly grilled. The way they cut and present the food on the table is definitely more than what you paid for. ๐Ÿ˜€ I think it’s a requirement for the tour guides to know how to artfully slice the fruits and vegetables.

 

Lunch at Entalula Beach

Lunch at Entalula Beach

Things to bring here:

1. Underwater shoes

2. Smartphones for foursquare check-in.

3. Your most creative jumpshot.

 

Some shots of the Entalulaย beach:

The Rock

The Rock

The Balsa

The Balsa

The Big Lagoon, aka, The Push

 

Lowtide on the way to the Big Lagoon

Lowtide on the way to the Big Lagoon

 

This is the place that we had fun with. Our boat is relatively bigger than the usual and is heavier. It was lowtide so the waterway leading to the lagoon is waist-deep. In order for the boat to reach the place, we had to push it. Actually, it’s not really the “push” that helped alot, it’s the weight of the people who volunteered to alight and “push”. The people who were pushing weren’t just the locals but there were also foreign tourists who gladly hopped in and joined the fun.ย  Thus the title:

 

Pushing boat at Big Lagoon

Pushing boat at Big Lagoon

Boat Pushing
It’s More Fun in the Philippines

 

The lagoon itself is not that exquisite, but they’re building a floating platform on one area. It will be a sure hit to tourists. I am already imagining rowdy people doing the backflips. ๐Ÿ˜€

 

The Platform at Big Lagoon

The Platform at Big Lagoon

 

Things to bring here:

1. Fins

2. Extra strength

 

Small Lagoon

 

Outside the Small Lagoon

Outside the Small Lagoon

The small lagoon is serene. It is deep, though there are a few spots where there are boulders you can stand on, but most of the time you’ll have to float and swim. It’s another reason why it’s really best to bring an underwater camera. It’s the best place to chillax, best place to kayak and best place to just backfloat and face the blue sky, day dreaming…rather lagoon-dreaming. ๐Ÿ™‚ No strong current nor waves, just plain calmness. If I were to choose among the places I’ve been on that day, I’ll definitely pick this and stay here for an hour or more…just floating.

 

Unfortunately, since I don’t have an underwater camera, I don’t have a picture of the place. So when I am back in Singapore, I’ll definitely buy an underwater cam! ๐Ÿ™‚ Any suggestions on the brand and the model?

 

Things to bring here:

1. Underwater shoes

2. Waterproof bag

3. Underwater camera

 

7 Commandos Beach

 

7 Commandos Beach

7 Commandos Beach

This is the last stop and it is where you’re supposed to relax, lie on the sand and enjoy listening to the splashing waves. There is a sari-sari store there. “Sari-sari” store is like a micro mini grocery shop. You can buy buko (coconut) juice there for a price of PHP50.00. The owner of the island is building an elevated bar/club/pub there, I heard his name is Mr. Carino. Even though the island is considered “private”, tourists are still allowed to go there and swim. There were jellyfishes when I took a dive, so after a few minutes, I went back to the shore and just enjoyed the sand.

 

Things to bring here:

1. Camera that can do panoramic shot.

2. Smartphones for foursquare check-in.

 

Oh, I forgot to mention that we met Ate Mina here. She is our friend in Singapore. We were supposed to meet in Laguna because we both reside in Laguna, but when my sister saw her YM status as “El Nido”, we immediately contacted here thru FB and scheduled for a meetup. We ate at La Chupetta. It’s owned by a French old guy and was opened two years ago. I was telling my friends Kevin and Daniel that I am surprised that there’s a number of shops owned by French people here: ย clothes shop, pension house, board and lodging, and restaurants.

 

The first day was very tiring, but it was a day spent well. The waves and the big splashes hitting our boat were extremely fun! ….I’m having a hard time ending this article, I know conclusions are supposed to be something reflective, so here goes… I loved it when the waves were hitting the boat, when it felt like the boat is about to capsize, there’s that adrenaline that lifts me up…and I realized, that’s how I should be treating life. There will be alot of humps and splashes along the way, but those are things that will give me the push to enjoy life more, the adrenaline that will make me happier.

 

I knew that our vacation is going to be full of fun and adventure after we were greeted by two rainbows on the way back. ๐Ÿ™‚

Two Rainbows

Two Rainbows

 

The lovely Spanish couple proves that it’s indeed more romantic in the Philippines. ๐Ÿ™‚