Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Island Hopping Around Apulit Island El Nido Resorts

Hi everyone! I'm so sorry I've been off the radar for the past... how long has it been, really? 3 YEARS??? As valid excuses go, I got tied up with work and the life of a woman struggling with quarter-life crisis. So much has happened and the past 3-4 years have been a mix of euphoric, nerve wracking, exhilarating and sometimes chaotic episodes. Needless to say, It was one heck of an emotional ride. Think I'll tackle that one of these days.. But for now, I'm just glad I have the luxury of time to write and be in touch with all of you guys again. 

I almost forgot I had a draft of this post. Okay. Here we go.. You should know that I'm trying very hard to recall what chronologically transpired during this time so please bear with me as I recount my second day on the quiet island of Apulit...


I'm usually not a morning person but whenever I'm in some place far from Manila, my body clock automatically shifts. It's during times like this that I get proper breakfast (cue: hashtag breakfast of champions) -- freshly brewed coffee (which I don't consume anymore - doctor's order), yoghurt, fresh fruits, grilled fish, omelette and don't forget sinangag

It is so refreshing to finally have breakfast out in the open! With a stunning view, tranquil atmosphere, the most comforting cool breeze caressing your face and the sound of tamed waves running to kiss the shoreline, what more can you possibly ask for? (Well, I'd probably ask for moolah. Lots of moolah for more travel. Haha)

omg ang payat ko dito
Our events coordinator planned many exciting activities for us to do this day. This is what I love about El Nido Resorts. They make sure your days are carefully planned out so you get to maximize and enjoy your stay to the fullest. After breakfast we headed off to the port to do some fish feeding and snorkeling.

Someone's excited... :)

Me at the port:

The water is so clear, you can see all the fish swimming around. If only we brought an underwater cam with us.. *sigh* (I can't stress this enough.. Having an underwater camera is a must when traveling to Palawan.)

We went cave-hopping after. This activity was pretty interesting because the caves here are very different from the ones near Lagen and Miniloc.

Our first stop was the Bat Cave (literally). As suggested by the name, it serves as a nesting ground for fruit bats.

The largest and most popular cave around Apulit Island is St. Joseph's Cave. As our boat approached the entrance to the cave, we were greeted by the towering rock formation which is said to resemble the Saint.

I was told that you could reserve a private lunch/dinner on some of the bigger caves. Honestly, I can't imagine who would want to eat in a place where there's such strong smell of bat poop. But if that's your thing, I won't hold it against you. :P

After the morning tour, we headed straight back to the resort to get ready for lunch. We still had an hour to spare so Mok and I decided to kayak around the water cottages. What distinguishes Apulit Island from both Lagen and Miniloc are the plenty baby black tip sharks swimming in the shallow waters below the water cottages. I thought they were going to get aggressive when we moved closer to them but they were just busy eating the little fishies to notice us.

And here we are again during our favorite activity next to island hopping (He seriously had 3 halo-halos): 

After our sumptuous lunch, we continued with the day's planned activities and went island hopping. 

Taytay, Palawan is a water baby's paradise. Snorkeling around the coral garden, we found ourselves immersed in wonder as we would then discover a big expanse of colorful marine life and literally become part of Ariel's world. Sorry, can't help it. :P We passed by numerous stunning limestone cliffs as we headed to the other islands. It's no wonder renowned underwater explorer Jacques Costeau described Palawan as having one of the most beautiful seascapes in the world. Just look at this cerulean gem:

Our last stop was Isla Blanca. The island has fine white sand and a sand bar leading to mangroves at one end.

Here is a panoramic view of the whole island. I took this photo while we were on the boat.

We stayed here for a while to swim and lounge by the beach.

After the island hopping activity, we headed back to the resort just in time for the sunset. 

view from the veranda of our water bungalow
I've been to many places but there's nothing more immaculate than a Palawan sunset. It's as if God is working on a blank canvas each time the day comes to a close and is painting me a message. Yesterday, He painted a soft pink and muted purple sky and it felt like He's telling me to be hopeful, light and happy.. Today, it was a crimson, golden fiery sky with its reflection setting the waters ablaze. I guess God is telling me to be brave, to be more passionate in what I really want to do, take more risks and set about my life with new vigor. 

Mok and I ended the day with an intimate private dinner at the resort's Ylang-Ylang garden. Private lunch/dinners can be arranged with your events coordinator. You could also choose where you would want to dine (cave/garden/by the beach). It's nice to have some quiet time alone with your partner and just enjoy a lovely meal together. During our dinner, the resort manager visited us for a quick chat. 

I'd definitely recommend this resort to couples. It's very romantic. :)

Good night, Apulit sland.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Apulit Island : A Private Getaway

Apulit Island is located in Taytay, Northern Palawan. Taytay, which means bridge in the local dialect is Palawan's largest municipality. It is also the first capital of the said province. 

Apulit Island Resort was formerly known as Club Noah Isabelle Resort. El Nido Resorts Group took over and acquired it long after and finally relaunched it in December of 2010.

Similar to Lagen and Miniloc, Apulit Island Resort is nestled in a private cove. But unlike her sister resorts, all rooms in Apulit are built on stilts. A lush tropical forest serves as a beautiful backdrop for the western cottages while magnificent limestone cliffs stand tall in the eastern part. 

The water cottages are similar to those of Miniloc's -- the materials used are very Pinoy and traditional but still exude a modern touch and contemporary design. I guess it's a mix of Lagen and Miniloc since the whole area is extremely big. We had a talk with the resort manager and he said they'll be installing a pool within the end of the year. :)

Upon arrival, the staff of the resort greeted us with the warmest smiles while singing a familiar melody -- their traditional welcome song in the local Cuyonon dialect. 

Each of us were given a handmade necklace made of palm leaves that was weaved to a shape of a small fish. (In Miniloc, the shape's a flower, then in Lagen it's an angelfish.. unique for each resort.. cute!)

We received cold towels, refreshing drinks and locally grown cashew nuts as we were led to the waiting area.

This is our room. I love that it's located on the eastern part of the resort where it's more private. During our 3-days stay, we didn't see any other guests coming in/out of the other cottages. It was peaceful and quiet all throughout. :)

In the middle of the room is a very comfy king size bed. The room is fully airconditioned, comes with a mini bar, hairdryer, 2 pairs of buri slippers, a complimentary buri bag, plastic bags for wet clothes and an eco-nido bag. Drinking water that's replenished daily is also available.

The bathroom is well equipped with hot & cold shower and standard bathroom amenities. No sachets and plastic bottles here.. :) Shampoo and bath gels are already placed on ceramic pots.

Truly eco-friendly!

Our room opens up to a private veranda. The panoramic view of the sea and the resort is pretty amazing. I sat there for a while and just enjoyed the cool breeze and fresh air.

I brought a book to read but Mok ended up finishing it first.

After freshening up, we headed off to the Clubhouse Restaurant located in the middle of the resort for our lunch buffet. 

maillot : i love koi swimwear
necklace : vintage pearls
cover-up : coco cabana
slippers : havaianas
On our way to the clubhouse, we passed by kayaks that were lined on the sand. A Hobie Cat is also available for use if the winds are good. These are just two of the many complimentary water sports equipment that the resort offers.

I must say, I enjoyed our food in Apulit. I think it's at par with Lagen's. There was less variety but overall, two thumbs up! My favorite is the grilled section. Seafood was fresh and the meat was tender and moist.. just perfect! I also find it fascinating watching the chefs cook in action.  

The area outside the clubhouse was nice too. It was a perfect lovely spot to have breakfast.

After lunch, we decided to just lounge by the beach. Hearing the waves really relaxes me. True enough, Mok and I enjoyed a quick nap.

We wandered off to the west part of the resort to the 'West Beach' where the sand is finer and took an afternoon swim. To get there, we followed a trail and hiked for fifteen minutes. 

Mok goofing around at the port:

No other people but US. :)

Headed back to our cottage just in time to rest a bit, see the sunset and get ready for dinner.. 

this is definitely paradise.
ISO 100, f10, 25 secs, 18 mm
ISO 100, f10, 13 secs, 18 mm
I've never seen a pinkish purple sunset before.. It's so dreamy!

Dinner is served! 

Good night Apulit! :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Taytay Flight via Island Transvoyager Inc.

We flew to Taytay, Palawan via Island Transvoyager Inc. (ITI). 

It was my second time flying via this chartered plane but it was Mok's first. I was really thrilled for him. Actually, I was more excited for him to taste the delicious muffins they serve before the flight rather than the plane trip itself. hahaha!

The 75-min flight was smooth. I was fearful we'd have a bumpy ride since it's September already. But God is good. :) He painted clear skies that day. The sceneries and islets below us were beautiful. 

ITI now flies thrice to Taytay daily. For more information regarding it, check their site here or you can just refer to my other post (El Nido Flight via Island Transvoyager Inc.). 

Unlike in Lio Airport (El Nido), our plane landed on a dirt runway at the Cesar Lim Rodriguez (CLR) Airport. 

Guests bound for Apulit Island Resort were instructed to alight from the plane. After several minutes, the plane took off for Lio Airport to drop off the other guests.

We were then loaded to a big jeepney where a guide and several security personnel joined us. I love country dirt roads. They have a positive psychological effect on me. haha! It's really good to be away from the city. 

Aaah! Sunlight and fresh air!

We passed by vast farms, mountain ranges and mini bridges. And yes, the weather was perfect! Hmm.. I'm starting to believe I bring a pocketful of sunshine everywhere I go. I really am grateful for all the blessings. :)

Our jeepney stopped at the tag end of this wooden wharf. As we reached the edge, all the guests were given life jackets and ushered to a boat.

I found this part very enjoyable. It felt like we were somewhere in Africa or wild South America.  

Inspired by the surroundings, other guests began telling Lolong (name of the largest crocodile found here in the Philippines) jokes while we sipped soothing ginger tea and munched on delicious coconut cookies. 

Beautiful mangroves surround most of the area.

Moments later, we arrived on open sea. Apulit Island, Here we come!

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