My head kept hitting the steel bar frames of the tricycle whenever we pass by large pieces of stone or when we encounter the humps along the road. I already had my back bent just to sit at the back seat of the motorcycle behind the driver. It was rough road all throughout just after Lio Airport in El Nido. We were heading north of Palawan from El Nido to see some inland attractions at barangay Pasadeña.
Stuffed and rested, our boatman, Felix signaled us that we should be going. We’re getting too comfortable at the Secret Lagoon Beach and remembered that there are still a couple of stops before the afternoon ends. About 10-15 minutes south of Miniloc Island is an islet they call Shimizu Island (Others spelled Zimizu). It’s supposed to be one of popular snorkeling spots in Tour A.
It was 7 days, 1798 kilometers, 9 Conventions and Visitors Bureau (CVBs), 8 provinces in 4 regions, 26 people on one bus on a trip around Northern Luzon. This is the Lakbay Norte Familiarization tour held January 24-31, 2010. I’ve always wanted to do a horseshoe loop of north Luzon and I was glad I was able to do it with the help of North Philippines Visitors Bureau. It was packed, tiring but also fun and exciting. For those who would like to try the similar route, this would be a great reference on what to expect.
Exploration of Miniloc Island continues. We passed over the exclusive Miniloc Resort under El Nido Resorts since it’s private, we can’t go down there. And just when we thought we had enough of the Lagoons, we found ourselves on a very scenic beach called the Secret Lagoon Beach. A couple of playful puppies welcomed us at the beach on where would be our lunch stop for the day.
Remember those gorgeous desktop wall papers or those java applets with crystal clear moving waters on WebPages with ridiculously beautiful looking beaches or scenery that led you asking yourself whether this place is real? Well, El Nido Palawan is like stepping straight into that screen and seeing it all for real with your bare naked eyes. Island hopping in Bacuit Bay showed us that Miniloc Island, the first island we’ll visit is just the tip of the iceberg and it keeps getting better.
Bacuit Bay is littered with 45 islands and islets. Some of them are sole limestone islands towering up to three stories high while the larger islands has beautiful stretches of blinding white sands against the deep cobalt blue of the sea. There are also beaches partially hidden by limestone coves and secret ones that can be reached by swimming through small crevices. Other islands have scenic lagoons and caves waiting to be explored. With so many islands it can be daunting for first time traveler to choose which islands to visit first.
This is what I have to go through every day during my stay in El Nido. Staying in Hadefe Cottages meant that I have to walk 10 minutes or so to and fro town on a dusty track going by the shore. On occasions I ask myself, why we don’t move somewhere more convenient like the other half of our group staying at the center of town. My roomie insist that it’s been a while since he has walked around and had a good exercise as well. When we reach that corner after the cemetery I remember why I like this place. I never tire of the views here in Caalan.