15 Nov 2012
in Palawan Tags: A Place to Remember, accommodations, Anang Balay Turista, Bayview Inn, beachfront, Blessed Inn, budget, Bunakidz Lodge, Caalan, Casa Buenavista, Casa Cecilia, cheapest accommodations, Chislyk Cottages, Cliffside Cottages, Corong-corong, Dara Fernandez Beach Cottages, Devayn's Inn, El Nido, El Nido Bayview Inn, El Nido Beach Hotel, El Nido Sands Inn, El Nido Skyline Inn, El Nido Viewdeck Cottages, El Nido Waterfront Hotel, Entalula Beach Cottages, Francisco Inn, Gloria's Beach Cottages, high-end, Hostel La Banane, Kape Pukka Pension, La Salangane, Lally and Abet Beach Cottages, Lolo Oyong's Pension House, Lualhati Cottages, map, Marina Garden Beach Cottages, master list, mid-range, Nido Bay Inn, Ogie's Beach Pension, Palawan, Pura Vida, Relucio Travellers Pension, Rico's Beach Cottages, Rosanna's Cottages, Rovic's Pension, Sei Nazioni Cottages, Shore Pass Lodge, Silverise Pension, Spider Pension, Tandikan Beach Cottages, The Alternative Inn, town, travel, Villa del Vincejos, Willa's Pension
Having lived in El Nido on and off since 2005, I have seen how the little town has grown over the years. When I was last back there this year, there are so many more accommodations available that I felt making a master list would be very useful. The El Nido Tourism council has come up with a map and this will be our guide. This list was compiled in September 2012. *updates are ongoing with the photos and details*
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
We will use these maps as guide:
Click HERE to view large image.
Click HERE to view large image.
17 Aug 2012
in Family, Life in El Nido, Palawan, Photography Tags: beach, Caalan, El Nido, family, Lia, MOMents, Palawan, photography, travel
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.
21 Jul 2012
in Life in El Nido, Palawan, Photography Tags: Caalan, Cadlao Beach Resort, El Nido, Lia, Palawan, photography, photography by Lia, travel
Just recently, Todd Owyoung tweeted or re-tweeted something about being asked by a 16-year old on tips on photography, the teenager having just recently acquired a Nikon d800. Yes it was striking that a 16-year old has a Nikon d800, but that was not the point. “How can a 16-year old have such an expensive camera!” is not what struck us, but the thought that what if at the age of 16, you already knew you wanted to be a photographer?
I am not really very careful with my gear. I tend to use it and abuse it. That is why I think nobody would want to buy my camera if I decide to sell it. This attitude comes with drawbacks too, as just last month, I spent Php5,000 on body and lens cleaning at Columbia Digital. My d80 18-135mm kit lens also acts now as a prime lens, with its aperture defaulted at 3.5 because the blades have fallen off as a result of Lia’s dropping it God knows when exactly, I don’t exactly keep track. I was told I could have it put back for the price of Php3,750, and my reply was, well now, lemme think about that for a minute.
Anyway, as I was saying, I let Lia play around with my camera and take her own photos. She does this all the time with my phone, and essentially, she has become my most avid photographer. She takes photos of me all the time!
These photos were all taken by Lia while we were waiting for our dinner at Cadlao Beach Resort in Caalan. This was of course after she was done lounging on all the day beds, and right before she had a fantastic time falling on and off the hammock.
21 Jul 2012
in Life in El Nido, Palawan Tags: Caalan, Cadlao Beach Resort, El Nido, family, Lia, Palawan, travel
Coming from Makulay, we decided to walk farther down the beach of Caalan and visit the Cadlao Beach Resort. We took the path by the beach first but later decided that it was easier to walk on the dirt path rather than on the rocky beach. We crossed at the Gawad Kalinga El Nido Sunset Village – that I was surprised to see, to be honest. “A Gawad Kalinga village in El Nido, wow!” is what I thought. This wonder was further enhanced by a rainbow that was visible on the sky right above the village that was just too good to pass up. Granted, the rainbow does not appear in the photo, but Lia was fascinated as usual and that deserved a stop, a stop that was long enough to take out the camera and take a few snapshots.
18 Jul 2012
in Family, Life in El Nido, MOMents, Palawan Tags: Caalan, El Nido, Lia, Makulay Lodge, Makulay Lodge and Villas, Palawan
My Flickr Pro is expired so I can but see 200 of my most recent uploads. This makes it difficult for me to look for old photos I need for some comparisons or reminiscing experiences whenever I feel so inclined. I have not felt the need to renew my Flickr account in the past 2 years, especially last year, when I was busy managing the bar in Naga City and had absolutely no time to take photos. I feel the urgency now though. It seems that every other day I shoot at least 200 photos – and about 20 of them would end up being posted or in the very least, blogged about.
Lia’s first few days in El Nido were blessed with excellent weather. It was really bright and sunny and we went to town and the beach every day. She and I also took a lot of photos.
I have been quite busy too testing my Vitacon wide angle lens converter and I think I have decided that it is best that I shoot two of whatever it is I fancy every time – one with the converter and another without it. The converter comes with vignetting and other “effects” that I find only acceptable for certain artistic inclinations – the edges become soft or smeared, there is considerable image quality loss and I get a fish eye effect.
I still have a lot of problems with regards to my shooting and post processing workflow as I feel that I’m not being as efficient as I should or can be. I am badly in need of a refresher on workflow management.
Since I cannot see my old photos, I had to repost some of them. Only because I wanted to show a little bit of now-and-then.
17 Jul 2012
in Life in El Nido, Palawan Tags: Caalan, El Nido, friends, Hiraya, Lia, Makulay Lodge and Villas, Palawan
Because Lia was promised before I left, and the entire week we were not together, and right before and even during the plane ride from A. Soriano Hangar to Lio Airport, that she is going to where the beach is, it was imperative that we go to the beach the very same day she arrived.
I like hanging out at Makulay Lodge and Villas because:
1. I know the owners so I am comfortable hanging out there without being a guest.
2. It is quiet in Caalan. There is also a good, though relatively rocky, beach, with clean sand.
3. It is the first lodge you see when you turn the corner in Caalan. The entire Caalan beach is also somewhat extensive and there are so many things to see and places to be at there too.
It was nice that my 2.5 year old goddaughter, Hiraya, was there too. Hiraya is Likha’s daughter. Likha and I were together a lot when I was living in El Nido back in 2005. He, my co-teacher Eric, together with Derrick, our neighbor who also happens to own a boat and is also a licensed tour guide, and I, could be seen together frequently back then. I first saw Hiraya back in 2010 when she was just 3 months old. She is a quite the replica of Likha’s wife Dada.
13 Jul 2012
in Palawan Tags: beach, Caalan, Cadlao Island, El Nido, Palawan, sunset, travel
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.
03 Apr 2012
in Palawan Tags: 2005, Caalan, Cadlao Lake, El Nido, Lapus Lapus Beach, Lio Beach, Palawan, Pinagbuyutan Island, Seven Commandos Beach. Bocal Island, travel
Our being out every weekend was especially documented during the months of September to November 2005. I have just arrived from a few days of leave in Manila and came back with a waterproof camera that I took nearly everywhere with me all the time.
On those days, we had access to a red paddle boat that allowed me and my friend Likha to paddle to the island nearest to the town, Cadlao Island, and explore other beaches. Sometimes we also had other friends along with us. It was a great abs and arms workout but it was also the fastest way to get sunburned. The sunblock surely was our greatest best friend.
September 18, 2005
In the morning, Likha and I were off explore Cadlao aboard the red paddle boat. It was absolutely flat when we went out but the waves got really huge on the way back, we had to row the boat sideways. This made the return trip longer by maybe 20-30 minutes but we made it! I did row like a man for we had no life jackets with us. Rose and Del on the house on the hill were watching us worriedly, afraid we would not make it. I’d like to thank my sunblock by the way for making my face shiny on these photos and yet totally protected from sunburn.
In the afternoon, we boarded a boat with Rose (Likha’s mom), and our friends from the Peace Corps, to explore the other side of Cadlao Island.
The peace corps back then lived in these two cottages right by the water on Caalan. When they left, the cottages were bought by a Fil-Brit couple, who in turn, built what is now known as the Golden Monkey Cottages. I used to see them walking around with their monkey. In the photos below, we we’re waiting for our ride right on the beach in front of the cottages.
We usually explore the west side where Natnat Beach is because it has such a beautiful snorkeling site, but this time we explored the east side, dropped by Bucal Island and actually went up Cadlao to see the lake. That involved a trek through limestone cliffs and some planks while on the lake itself.
September 25, 2005
Early morning had us taking a trike to the baranggay of Corong-Corong 3km outside town proper and boarding a boat to Lapus Lapus beach, where a friend of Rose has a beautiful home overlooking the beach. It was the home of a Fil-American yogi and it was evident on the simplicity of the home. Out on the rocks, a balcony was set up especially for yoga and the classes that she holds when she is in the country.
From here, one can see Marimegmeg Beach, Depeldet Island and Pinagbuyutan Island.
31 Mar 2012
in Palawan, Travel Tags: 2005, Caalan, Cadlao Island, chronicles, El Nido, Makulay Lodge, Palawan, Pentax Optio WP, Rose
My very first camera was a gift from my mother on my 14th birthday. It was a cheap almost disposable camera that I loved to death and brought with me everywhere. It took really ugly photos, in hindsight, but photos that bring back a lot of good memories nevertheless. I’m still proud of the camera and the photos even if half the faces in the photos are now indiscernible.
I remember having a camera in grade school though and that the very first photo that I ever took that I was considerably proud of was a photo of Mt. Mayon and the Cagsawa Ruins. I was on a school field trip and I was twelve.
I tend to forget though that I had my first camera at 14 so when I am asked what my first camera was, I always say it was a Pentax camera that I got when I was 23. It was the very first waterproof camera – a 5.0 megapixel Pentax Optio WP that H (who then went by the alias B) bought for me in 2005. It was perfect for the life I lived back then – a life in El Nido. Though this camera was quickly eclipsed by so many other cameras that came right after, it will always go down in history as the sturdiest camera I ever owned. I handled it as one would handle a gadget in the islands, exposed to sun, sand, salt water, dust and all kinds of things, and never really took care of it; and yet it lasted five years. It recorded its last underwater video while we were snorkeling in Balicasag Island in Bohol in 2010.
The first photos I took in El Nido with my brand spanking new Pentax Optio WP were of the house on the hill.
Armie, who had been living in El Nido for two years, brought us, her new housemates, to the house for the first time. There, we met Rose, a beautiful dark-skinned, slender woman with deep set eyes who lived alone in the house most of the year. Everything about the house bespoke that an artist lived there. I fell in love with the place the moment my hand opened that wooden screened door.
25 Mar 2012
in Palawan Tags: accommodations, Caalan, El Nido, Makulay Lodge, Palawan, travel
Having lived in El Nido in 2005, I was able to see Makulay Lodge before what it is today. A simple rustic home right by the beach, just around the bend of that pebbly unpaved road. Many mornings, afternoons and evenings were spent at this place, having coffee, hanging out with friends, enjoying the view of Cadlao Island, Helicopter Island and the sunset. It was our jump off point every time we wanted to go island hopping on that beautiful red paddle boat we used to borrow from another friend of ours.
When I came back in 2010, the entire structure had been taken down and in its place, a new 3-storey concrete structure stood and it has been officially named Makulay Lodge.
When we were there, the owners, Rose, Del and Likha, were operating a little resto they called “Tala Restaurant” and there were tables and chairs set up by the beach. I had loved eating by the beach and enjoyed my coffee very much. It was at this time when I decided I will get a coffee press for myself too.
Outside by the beach (click on the photos to enlarge and view slide show):