12 Nov 2012
in Palawan Tags: accommodations, El Nido, Palawan, Pura Vida, Pura Vida Rooms and Tours, Serena Street, Sirena Street, travel
Located on the narrow street of Sirena (or Serena), the hotel can be easily overlooked. From the outside, it doesn’t look promising, especially since the reception area looks like the family living room and is dark and small. The building is on the right, if coming from Rizal Street, after The Alternative, and right before La Salangane and El Nido Boutique and Art Cafe.
They only have 3 rooms: 1 street-side (standard) at Php2,000/night and 2 bay view (de luxe) with balcony at Php2,500/night, inclusive of breakfast. The bay view rooms are located on the second floor – and the second floor is pretty!
11 Nov 2012
in Palawan Tags: accommodations, Casa Buenavista, El Nido, Palawan, Rizal Street, travel
What I like best about Casa Buenavista is that it is at the end of Rizal street, so it’s very accessible, and right by the beach! But it can also get really noisy because this is a very busy street and a very busy part of the beach too. Boats come and go all the time. It is right next door to Marber’s Restaurant and Aplaya Bar and Restaurant, which are both good places to eat and drink at.
Fronting the beach:
Fronting the street:
Casa Buenavista itself is located on the second floor so one has to go up the stairs, to a balcony with a beautiful view, and in the reception area.
10 Nov 2012
in Palawan, Travel Tags: accommodations, Casa Cecilia, El Nido, hotel, Palawan, Rizal Street, travel, Villa Cecilia
Officially opened in July 30, 2012, Casa Cecilia in Rizal Street, El Nido, Palawan is one of the newest accommodations in town. When I passed by there in August 30th, their website was not up yet, their rates and brochures were not printed yet, but the staff was very helpful and they were more than glad to show me around and let me take pictures. These are the things I like about Casa Cecilia:
1. It’s new.
2. It’s right in the middle of town, with the building next to the only bakery in town, and closest to Skyline Grill and Restaurant, which is a cheap place to eat at, since it’s carenderia style.
3. It’s a few minutes walk from Balay Tubay – with the best night life in town.
4. It’s a few minutes away from the beach, which is only at the end of Rizal Street.
5. It’s close to all the stores in town, perfect for your shopping needs, be it basic necessities or souvenirs
6. It has a view deck, which they told me they had plans of turning into a restaurant.
7. It is also close to the starting point for your taraw (limestone cliffs) climb if you plan to do so. Take note though that this should not be done without a guide and sturdy shoes, or shoes that you at least would not mind being ruined in the process. So, not recommended if your climbing shoes are new or prized.
8. They have a boutique/souvenir shop adjacent to the lobby and free wi-fi in the lobby.
This is not for you if you want to be in front of the beach as Casa Cecilia is right by the street. This is not for you if you want it quiet as Rizal Street can be noisy because of all the tricycles passing by. The rooms are all air-conditioned though so the sounds can be kept away by keeping the windows closed.
09 Nov 2012
in Palawan Tags: accommodations, El Nido, Palawan, travel, Viewdeck Cottages
I started off my photo walk on Rizal Street with Viewdeck Cottages, also called El Nido Viewdeck Inn, one of the newer accommodations in El Nido. It is one of the first b&b you will see, on the right side of the road, coming in to El Nido town from Corong-corong or Puerto Princesa.
The cottages are 40 meters up from the road, up the hill, so be prepared to climb a bit! Though if you are staying here and you have luggage, the staff will bring them up for you.
I was in for a surprise. The b&b is pretty! They were in the process of building of a reception area and a few more cottages when I came by. I chanced upon the owner, Rudy, supervising the construction and he was very kind to show me around and was also very pleasant to talk to. It was my first stop so I was raring to take photographs and the place is very photogenic.
LOWER COTTAGE Rooms:
UPPER DELUXE Rooms:
22 Oct 2012
in Life in El Nido, Palawan, Photography Tags: Aplaya Bar, Blue Karrot Bar and Restaurant, El Nido, Marber's Restaurant, Marina Garden Beachfront Inn, Og's Pension, Palawan, photography, Sea Slugs Bar and Restuarant, The Before-and-After Project
Of all the places in El Nido, the beachfront has the most noticeable changes. There are so many more establishments as more homes were converted to businesses – either a restobar or lodge/pension.
The photos on this blog were taken on many different days over a period of two and a half months. The photos at the end of Rizal Street were taken one beautiful, sunny August afternoon; the photos of Pukka Bar and El Nido Corner were taken as early as July, as well as some photos of Sea Slugs were taken in August; and the rest of the photos were taken one windy September morning when the sun played hide-and-seek with me.
I took a walk starting off from where Rizal Street ends, with Aplaya Bar and Casa Buenavista on either sides, and ending in the small, narrow alley right after Tandikan Beach Cottages that emerges where Lonesome Carabao Lounge is.
And as more buildings and businesses were established, the more the sand turned brown. I used to swim on the beach nearly everyday, I would not want to do that now.
The beach still looks beautiful on sunny days like this…
…but nothing compared to how it used to be.
Next to Casa Buenavista is Marber’s Restaurant.
Back when Marber’s Restaurant was on the ground floor of the building where Og’s Pension is, this was Blue Karrot Beach Bar and Restaurant.
Blue Karrot has a long history, being originally owned by Rudy and Rose, and then sold off to a friend of theirs. Rose’s family now owns Makulay Lodge and Villas in Caalan, and Blue Karrot does not exist anymore, neither in this spot nor any other spot in town.
Casa El Nido has been there ever since I can remember too. It used to have a little garden on the side where there were trees, and loungers under the shade.
CASA EL NIDO
21 Oct 2012
in Life in El Nido, Palawan, Photography Tags: Asylum Bar, Baracalan, Bom Disco, Calle Hama, Dara Fernandez Beach Cottages, Devayn's Inn, El Nido, El Nido Beach Hotel, El Nido Marine Club, El Nido Waterfront Hotel, Entalula Beach Cottages, Garnet Hotel, Gloria's Beach Cottages, Habibi Bar, Hama Street, Hard Rocks, Inngo Tourist Inn, Kape Pukka, Lally & Abet Beach Cottages, Lonesome Carabao Lounge, Marina Garden Beach Cottages, Palawan, Rico's Beach Cottages, Rossanas Cottages, Rovic's Pension, Squidos Restaurant, Tandikan Beach Cottages, The Before-and-After Project, Trattoria Altrov'e, Zaniya's Pension
Calle Hama begins where Balinsasayaw Road, a road that starts off at Rizal Street, meets the road that goes to the northernmost baranggays of the town of El Nido, at the corner where Lally & Abet Beach Cottages is found. This is the street that we take all the time because we lived a kilometer or so north of town but the entire time I was there, I kept thinking I was going to devote just one day to taking photos of the town, that in the end, I did not manage to. In my last two weeks in El Nido, it kept raining and some of the establishments were in the process of renovating and/or building more cottages.
Most of the originals of my old El Nido photos are lost. The ones I repost are mostly from a folder that I found that has a title “El Nido Town Reduced”, so the files have been reduced. But recently, I found a folder that says “El Nido Town 3″ with photos taken from April 2006 and these were original files and have not been reduced. I found these two photos:
LALLY & ABET BEACH COTTAGES, 2006
ROSANNA’S COTTAGES, 2006
My photos of Calle Hama begin at Lonesome Carabao Lounge and end right before Marina Garden Beach Cottages. Calle Hama is the busiest street in El Nido town and has the most number of establishments, accommodations and restaurants. In order, from the intersection, one can find the following accommodations: Lally & Abet Beach Cottages, El Nido Beach Hotel, Inngo Tourist Inn, Devayn’s Inn, and Rosanna’s Cottages.
LONESOME CARABAO LOUNGE
Lonesome Carabao Lounge sits at a location that I remember used to be a rice store… if not a poultry supply store. The building right next to it used to be where the El Nido Public Market was “supposed” to be. The local government has tried to move the public market many times. The public market now has been successfully moved and operating at a big complex in Corong-Corong, where the bus stations are also found. This has done wonders in the vehicle and foot traffic in the narrow streets of the little town and El Nido – something that I truly appreciate.
When I was living in El Nido in 2006, my favorite store was Kuya Loy’s store in front of the waiting shed. We hung out a lot there with Kuya Loy and his wife, Ate Mavic. We borrowed his paddle boat a lot too. Kuya Loy, a musician, played at Balay Tubay and Ricson’s Bar and Restaurant. One of my co-teachers and also my best buddy at that time, Eric, played bass guitar for his band every now and then. (Photo below: Top, 2006; bottom, 2012)
In the photo below, on the leftmost end is Lonesome Carabao Lounge, and on the rightmost end is where El Nido Plaza Inn is.
In between Kuya Loy’s store and Baracalan is a parking lot and El Nido Plaza Inn. El Nido Plaza Inn has been there ever since, one of the oldest and cheapest accommodations in El Nido, but I have never seen it. I don’t know what it looks like inside or where exactly is the building. I just know it’s there.
EL NIDO PLAZA INN
Across the street is a row of beachfront cottages, also with entrances through Hama Street.
15 Oct 2012
in Life in El Nido, Palawan, Photography Tags: Anang Balay Turista, El Nido, El Nido Art Cafe and Boutique, El Nido Sands Inn, La Salangane, Palawan, Palawan Pawnshop, Pura Vida, Relucio Travellers Pension, Shore Pass Lodge, Sirena Street, Tao Expedition, The Alternative Inn, travel, Willa's Pension
Where Rizal Street ends is where Sirena Street begins. Sirena Street runs parallel to the beach, as well as a part of Calle Real, both terminating at the port.
Sirena Street, a very narrow, one-way street, can easily be missed. At the corner, on the left side is a clothing store, painted in green, and a sari-sari store on the white building on the right side.
On Sirena Street, construction was in full swing on the lot right next to the clothing store when I was documenting during the month of September. It used to be a cozy little restaurant called Vicenta’s, that we loved to eat at back in 2006 because they had the most delicious seafood dishes.
We used to feel uncomfortable walking on this street because it was crowded and a bit scary. It’s looking a bit better now, but it is still the street I like least in El Nido.
On this street, one will also find the Tao Philippines booking office.
And the Palawan Pawnshop, one of two in this town. I used to ignore this shop until I realized how important it was in a town that had no banks or ATMs. It is the only way to send or receive money from outside of El Nido.
PALAWAN PAWNSHOP AND EL NIDO SANDS INN
I’ve never even noticed it before, but a photo from 2006 tells me it’s been there ever since.
15 Oct 2012
in Life in El Nido, Music, Palawan, Restaurants Tags: bar, El Nido, live music, night life, Palawan, Rej Duka, restaurants, Sea Slugs, Sea Slugs Bar and Restuarant, travel
My favorite at Sea Slugs would always be their Tanigue in lemon butter sauce and their Shirley Temple. That’s what I always order there. My friends who work for the El Nido Resorts always order pizza when they are in town from the resort.
We were there a lot that I took a lot of photos at different times. This is one of the places in El Nido that we could be seen just hanging out and about.
The restaurant is open the entire day and is a good place to have breakfast. If you’re going to have breakfast with a view like this, why not?
I have photos of Sea Slugs taken in 2006 when they were just starting out. It used to look like this:
Here is the photo from my Before-and-After Photo-documentation Project.
13 Oct 2012
in MOMents, Photography Tags: El Nido, friendship, Lia, MOMents, Palawan, photography, photography by Lia, portraits
My daughter has a very good eye and I am immensely proud of it. I’d buy her her own camera soon as she is old enough to know exactly what it’s for, and is responsible for what she will get out of it. She loves looking at the photos I take and I like asking her opinion on which photos are good or not.
She also does not like having her photos taken. More often than not, she would say No when I ask if I can take her photo.
Some days I’d ask her to take photos and she’d flat out say no.
Whereas some days she wouldn’t stop taking photos. She loves taking photos of me.
So one September morning, while hanging out in our bedroom in El Nido, Lia decided it was portraits time.
And I guess that day, Lia was really in the mood for taking photos because that evening, she was still at it. She found it extremely amusing that I had Angry Birds stickers on my face, which she put on herself.
Lia and I definitely have lots of fun together. Even if we are just hanging out inside our bedroom.
09 Oct 2012
in Life in El Nido, Palawan, Photography Tags: Aplaya Bar, Blessed Inn, Bunakidz Lodge, Calle Hama, Calle Real, Casa Buenavista, Cliffside Cottages, documentation, El Nido, El Nido 2006, El Nido 2012, FU Gen Merchandise, Hama Street, Lolo Oyong Pension, Lualhati Cottages, Midtown Bakery, Nikon D90, Palawan, Pentax Optio WP, photography, photowalk, Sei Nazion Cottages, Sirena Street, Skyline Grill, The Before-and-After Project, The Coffee Shop, Villa Cecilia, Villa del Vincejos
Many of the photos of Rizal Street that I have now are taken in 2012. In 2006, there wasn’t anything interesting much about this street that I did not take a lot of photos of it. Rizal Street is what visitors coming in from Puerto Princesa will take and see first when going into El Nido town.
Now, as development moves from the poblacion towards Corong-Corong, more and more lodging and pension houses are being built along this street.
I have this grand plan of blogging about ALL the accommodations in El Nido town, including the ones in Brgy. Caalan and Brgy. Corong-corong, but this will not materialize, I suppose. There are now so many of them, from low to high budget, that I just did not get the time to cover them all.
I did try to start with the ones on Rizal Street, beginning with Viewdeck Cottages, but that blog will have to wait.
On Rizal Street, coming in from Corong-corong, these are what you will see:
SEI NAZION COTTAGES