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's 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. 

Sheesh. I almost forgot I had a draft of this post. Okay --- *hingang malalim* Here we go.. You should be aware 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

So nice 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 this day. This is what I love about El Nido Resorts. They make sure your day is 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 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 was 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

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!

Monday, September 19, 2011

My Post Birthday Getaway

Hi guys! 

I just came back from a vacation in Palawan Paradise and I can't wait to share my experience with you. I'll leave you with these photos for now. Stay tuned! :)

click photo to view in high resolution


Friday, September 16, 2011

Nail Polish For My Birthday :)

First coat : BR804
Second Coat : PP405
Third coat : PP407

Each retails for P95 in the store.

In actual, the color is more of metallic violet with pink/magenta undertones. 
My friend Aileen gave me this butterfly ring when I visited her in the office last week. It's from Forever 21. :)

Monday, September 05, 2011

Evenings at Lagen Island

Evenings at Lagen emanate a warm and intimate atmosphere. Each night was a peaceful celebration of delectable food, charming environment and great company. 

The resort has different dinner settings and themes for each night. One was a cultural night where the resort showcased the different traditional native dances of the Philippines. 

The guests were serenaded by a folk singer in the early part of the evening. Our group enjoyed dinner while listening to the singer's rendition of Ronan Keating's songs. His voice was really beautiful and relaxing! My aunt even made chika with him after his performance. 

We were then entertained by the resort's crew as they moved rhythmically to our country's traditional dances. Foreigners were invited to come up on stage and dance with them. My cousin 'bravely' danced Tinikling with the Lagen Cultural Dancers. :)

with the Lagen Cultural Dancers

We met the nicest people in El Nido. One of the couples who joined us during our lagoon tour was celebrating their anniversary then. They went to our table and gave us a slice of their complimentary cake from El Nido Resorts. So sweet. 

After our wonderful dinner, we headed to our room and found this. :)

Every night, the resort staff leaves a piece of paper with a unique Filipino "alamat" story printed on it along with a midnight snack. 

Good night El Nido. :)

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