On March 4-5, 2005 , H came back to visit El Nido for the last time. We went aboard Kool Fox with Eric and Derick on the wheel to go around Bacuit Bay, visit some places we have not been to last time and revisit our favorite ones. We visited the lagoons and then landed on Entalula Island.
Entalula Island seems to have the finest white sand in the Philippines, even finer than the sand on the beach of Boracay. This is a private island and only guests of El Nido Resorts are allowed. This is perfect for those private lunches that the resorts offer to their guests free of charge. The resort staff bring the tables, chairs, umbrellas and everything else. It is JUST beautiful!
Vigan Island, a.k.a. Snake Island
I cannot count anymore how many times I have been to Snake Island and how many photos of it I have. Sometimes the weather is perfect, sometimes it’s rainy. Sometimes the sand is clearly visible, sometimes it’s submerged in water. Sometimes the sand is coarse with bits and pieces of hard coral and stones, sometimes it is fine and nice to walk on barefoot. I could never tell when and how.
What people usually do is go up the view deck and take photos of the sand bar as well as the surrounding islands. It is a view less breathtaking than the one that can be had in the Pangulasian Island view deck but it is a beautiful view nevertheless.
We dropped by the caves and I don’t know what they call that sand bar behind Lagen Island but we went there too before heading to our last destination for the day – Seven Commandos Beach.
Another common and recognizable image of El Nido is this taken from the sand bar. It appears on most of El Nido Resorts publicity photos. It is a beautiful spot for having lunch or dinner, or perhaps even a wedding. It is also a venue for cultural nights when a bonfire is lit and there is acoustic music for everyone to enjoy.
That’s Lagen Island on the left and right in front is Malapacao Island, and behind it is Pinagbuyutan/Inabuyatan/Ellis Island. Malapacao Island is an island I have never set foot on and is home to the Malapacao Island resort with unusual packages. Visit their website to know more.
The island looks like a foot, the Malapacao Island retreat center is in the toes of the island, while the small fishing village is in the arch of the foot.
We passed by it on our way to Seven Commandos Beach.
I can never forget this American who signed up for the Malapacao Island 7-night program and he didn’t know was not allowed to eat meat. Of course it was a detox program! He said he was eating mud shakes and all kinds of raw food, and that he was so bummed that at night, he would sneak out of the resort and go to the fishing village to drink with the locals all night. We met him in Tubay and he said he pleaded with the owner of the resort, who also owned a cafe in town, to let him stay in town instead. He ended staying a month! He was quite an amusing fellow.
The next day was H’s last day to explore the islands and we opted to just hang out in Natnat Beach in Cadlao Island for the entire afternoon. Derick brought us there, left us and just came back for us at sundown.
We took a lot of photos of us! *laughs maniacally* and did a lot of snorkeling.
The next morning, H was off on the midday flight of ITI back to Manila and it was back to work for me.
Likha and I did a lot of island hopping still in the weeks that followed before I went back to Manila to pursue a masters degree in theater at my alma mater and to get married, but I copied the pictures on a cd using the school computer and when I tried to open the files on my laptop, the CD literally, yup, literally, burned. So there.
I did come back to El Nido in the summer of 2007, 2008 and 2010, and took photos too. I should be up for another visit this year. I’ll post all about those trips in the continuation of my chronicles but I have to go through all of my other trips first. There is a story to tell and there are no skipping the chapters.