I have always wanted pallet furniture for the beach. We wanted everything to be simple yet colorful and relaxing. The idea was just to serve appetizers and drinks – but the menu evolved to accommodate dinner, and our specialty and best seller became the mediterranean pasta and the beer burger – our special recipes! We are also proud of our mango shake and banana shake that guests have exclaimed again and again to be the best in all of El Nido. We are of course boasting of the pretty sunsets that we have in Corong-Corong beach. Here are some photos of the many sunsets we are lucky enough to be able to see nearly everyday. If you guys are looking for the sunset in El Nido, it is found in Corong-Corong beach. Come drop by the bar for some milk tea, cold beers and cocktails, delicious pasta, and your daily dose of sunset.
When people ask me which tour is best among Tours A, B, C, and D, this is what I say – Tours A and C are the most popular. Tour A because it goes to the lagoons in Miniloc Island and this is what made El Nido famous, aside from the fact that the big lagoon is really quite magnificent. It should not be missed. It is such a beautiful place to swim in and even have a wedding at, as some people from El Nido Resorts had done in the past. The big lagoon must not be missed. Tour C is what most tourists recommend and say as the best – it has secret beach and hidden beach, and there is such a beauty to be held atop the rocks in Matinloc Shrine. Tour D is the least popular because it is the closest and most people can get there by kayaking from town proper. Now what about Tour B? I would like to say that Tour B is for those who want to avoid the crowds of Tours A and C. It is the most relaxed too. Not much to do but hang out on the beach, do a little bit of swimming while waiting for lunch either in Snake Island or in Cudugnon Cave. Furthermore, Pinagbuyutan Island is so beautiful that we consider it our favorite island.
2014 saw me last post on the 30th of October, something about the sunsets in front of our resort, which we called The Last Beach Cottages, at the very end of Caalan Beach. Shortly thereafter, we encountered numerous issues with the resort, the property owner, and the owner of Hippocampe Beach Cottages, that made us decide that it was better to just let the resort go, live a peaceful life, and move back to the other side of town, back in Corong-Corong Beach. The month of November saw us working on putting together the sunset bar that we called 1209 Sunset Beach Bar in Corong-Corong Beach and opening in December 15th. I will post on that some other time as, believe it or not, I haven’t gone around to taking any proper photos of the bar.
What I have been busy with though is island hopping. I finally went on Tour B! After nearly 8 years! And have been fortunate enough to have some pretty pictures of our favorite island in Bacuit Bay – Pinagbuyutan Island.
I wasn’t supposed to post these photos but, on Facebook, there are a lot of photos of me taking photos.
I said I would come back and take more photos of Cala Brandinchi – and this it. This was that day. Cala Brandinchi is about 10-15 minutes walk for Lia and me from our home in Villaggio Porto Coda Cavallo. It is where we go when we don’t want to be in Salina Bamba or when I wanted to have a nice cup of frozen coffee at the bar.
We take the dirt path from the village. This is the view of our village.
And this is Tavolara Island, at the back of our village.
Sometimes Isola Tavolara looks so white!
With the village behind us, we trudge on the path to Brandinchi, and the first view is the parking lot right in front, and the beach on the left.
After the one-day Digital Influencers Marketing Summit in Thunderbird Resorts Poro Point, we headed to San Juan for a little bit of surfing. Surfing was no good in Urbiztondo that Sunday so we found ourselves boarding a jeep with our surf boards and instructors to Bacnotan. The sun was relentlessly hot but that did not stop us from surfing all day.
I had just come from El Nido, and went straight to La Union. This sunburn was going to be, only, the start of a series of very bad sunburns. *Shakes head*
I strap my leash on my left leg, being goofy, so there goes the white patch where my leash was.
Although I stayed at Villa Igang, Raymen Beach Resort is just its neighbor. It was decided that the beach, considered as the most popular in Guimaras, was worth a visit.
RAYMEN BEACH RESORT
Alubihod, Poblacion, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras
Contact Persons: Annabelle Estaya / Salvacion Gentizon
Contact Nos.: +633-3960252, +633-3960383, +639185207271
“Among the tourist destinations in the island province, this is most accessible to both local and foreign tourists. It is accessible by boat and land transportation. Tranquil cove like… beach line even during turbulent seas makes it ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and fun games. Known for its pinky sand, blue waters, its rustic ambiance and panoramic view attract both local and international tourist. This resort has an Area of 1,008 square meters. If one travels by land, Raymen Beach is 40 minutes from Jordan wharf. If one chooses to travel by boat, it will take an hour from Iloilo Wharf. Raymen caters not only visiting tourists, but offer its ground and facilities to locals as well: Live-in conferences, workshops, seminars, weddings or any group celebrations.” (Source)
The typhoon Gener was whipping the islands with non-stop heavy rains and winds, classes were suspended, and yet, one of our faculty members who had just arrived and had not been to the beach since, wanted to go to the beach. So we headed to the nearest pretty beach in Brgy. Corong-corong – a trike’s ride away out of town proper and a few minutes walk down a muddy path.
There are a few beach resorts on this strip of beach, right before travelers from Puerto Princesa arrive at the town proper of El Nido. Las Cabanas is one of them. In fact, there is a Las Cabanas signage right by the road. But for the most part, this beach is a private one, and you need to bring your own food or drinks or your beach mat.
We we’re blessed with a little bit of sun for some time, which allowed me to take the following photos.
El Nido, even in bad weather, is still breathtaking!
I absolutely love this little bar. It’s on the beach front, a few meters away from Sea Slugs, Og’s and Habibi. The place is very photogenic. I took a hundred and twenty photos in twenty minutes. The sun peeked in and out of the clouds, and it was fun to play hide and seek with.
This is a normal shot of the bar:
and here is a shot with the converter:
Getting supplies is primarily the reason why we go to town, but some days, especially when it’s sunny like this, we also make it a point to hang out by the beach.
It was July 22 and unlike the past days, the sun shone bright. It was a really hot day that made for good photographs of the beach. We usually go down to town in the afternoons when it is low tide. This time, we caught the high tide and suddenly, the beach looked different. It was quite beautiful. I am always amazed at how beautiful El Nido can be.
We walked by the beach, which the locals called “aplaya”. Before I went to live here, I always thought “aplaya” meant lake or fish pond. It was a beautiful day to be out and sunscreen was required.
In the photos, the resort looks really nice. They have a website here and it’s still up – www.nagaraoresort.com, but when you get there, you can’t help but feel sad. The resort is really what it says on the website – a beach resort all your own. The resort holds so much potential, you would want to buy it and run it yourself so it can be as nice as it should be.
The staff does not disappoint in terms of service though.
Nagarao Island has a sister inn in Iloilo City – Iloilo City Inn.
Iloilo City Inn is a very quaint inn situated at 113 Seminario St, Jaro, Iloilo – right in the heart of the historical and cultural district of Jaro, a few minutes ride to downtown Iloilo City. It has 12 airconditioned rooms with Cable TV, Wi-fi access and hot and cold showers.
The inn is where reservations and bookings for Nagarao Island Resort are made.
There is also a German restaurant on the ground floor called Bavaria Restaurant and its homey ambiance will make waiting for transport pick-up a pleasant experience.
If transportation arrangements were made with the resort, van pick-ups for guests bound for Nagarao Island are also made here. The van will pick up guests and take them to the wharf, where you will need to take a 10-15 minute motorized outrigger ride from Fort San Pedro to Jordan Wharf in Guimaras.
From Jordan Wharf, your travel by land via jeep or van to Kupo Wharf in Brgy. San Isidro for an hour and from there, Nagarao’s private motorized pumpboat will ferry you to the island in less than 10 minutes.
One of the restaurants I frequent in El Nido is the El Nido Boutique and Art Cafe. The primary reason being, it is owned by our friends Tani and Judith Distal. In 2005, we frequented the shop because we rented our snorkels, masks and fins there, as well as mountain bikes; and bought supplies, like sunblock lotion, swimsuits, slippers, sandals, board shorts, and even accessories like beautiful bracelets made by a local artist. They also played live music every now and then because Kuya Tani is a musician. Our friends Armie, Cecil and Melona hung out a lot here, and Likha used to work here too. The food is good. I would recommend this place to groups. Most of all, I loved the over-all vibe of the place back then. It was so… artsy.
Sometime between 2005 and this year, Tani and Judith had a bigger building built to house the cafe, boutique and travel center. My first time to see the cafe in its new home was when I arrived a month ago. Judith, Tani, Cecil and I had a great time catching up over wine while Sikap band played (click here for that blog).
When Lia arrived, I took her to the cafe too to hang out. I also took that as an opportunity to take a lot of photos.
I took a lot of photos because at this point it still wasn’t as clear as I wanted it to be to me how my wide angle converter works. It’s still not that clear even up to now, so I still take photos of the same thing with and without the converter.
This is a normal shot of my kit lens, 18-135mm.
This is a shot of the same thing with my Vitacon .5x wide angle converter with macro lens.
A visit to the town would be incomplete if not without a photo of the town’s beach and Cadlao Island in front of it.
We’d take that alley in between Lally & Abet Cottages and the El Nido Hotel, take a turn to the right and just follow that path.
In the mornings, we headed to the resto for the breakfast buffet then went for a stroll or a swim or a nap. We didn’t really find a lot of things to do there other than what one would call “relax”. At one point we decided we we’re going to explore the island and headed for the resort gate to walk out and explore what’s beyond BUT we didn’t quite make it.
My very first point-and-shoot camera, the very first waterproof camera that Pentax put out in the market back in 2005, was a gift from H. My very first digital SLR, bought in 2006, was a wedding present from H. The first photos taken with this camera, an Olympus E-500, were taken during our post-wedding trip to Davao two days after the wedding.
This is where I take a trip down memory lane, in my desire to look at how I was, at twenty-four years old, a very young bride and still fresh from my year spent living in El Nido where I spent days eating six times a day and getting a full 8-hours of sleep almost every night.
This is also where I take a trip down memory lane, in my desire to look at how the very first pictures we took, with our camera, bought just the day before, its manual we never really read, looked like.
The package we got at the Pearl Farm Beach Resort was at P18,000 for the two of us for a three-days and two-nights stay with all the meals included as well as boat transfers.
To get to the resort, all boat transfers are done at the Pearl Farm Marina.