1. Sunset Cruise
Offered by tour operators, it involves just chilling out on a boat in the middle of the sea, with a bottle or two of beer and some packed barbecue, while the sun sets in the background. Quite a normal activity one would say, except they add a twist by putting you on a small outrigger boat – with a bottle of San Miguel beer, dare I say.
I have never done this.
I lived in El Nido without really going into the details of actual fishing. The most common I encountered was something they called kawil. “Teacher, nangawil kami,” is what my students used to tell me. It involved putting a bait on a hook and just waiting for the fish. The usual, except one had to catch the bait first, and they weren’t worms. During low tide, the sand and rocks get exposed and sea creatures would get trapped in holes in the sand or in spaces in between rocks.
During the months of February, March and April, the El Nido horizon would glow with a multitude of lights. One of the teachers even said it made her think Manila was just nearby as she had thought the lights were coming from Manila. The lights in truth came from the lights of fishermen catching squid.
If there was something I regretted not having done, despite the opportunities to, was go out with the fisher folks to catch squid, or at least watch them do it. The catch sadly did not reach the shores of the town, as they were sold right then and there to Taiwanese merchants aboard their own ships.
What I did do was go out with my friends Likha, Derick, and Eric, to fish as the sun was setting.
What we did first was catch an octopus stranded in little holes in the sand by leaving a trailing bait out on the beach.