Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My Cerulean Paradise : Big Lagoon & Small Lagoon

El Nido is everything I had imagined it to be and more. It's transcendental, serene and secluded. Being surrounded by the enveloping majestic limestone cliffs with shapes that were perfected over millions of years makes one feel like he/she has been transported to a different world. As we arrived on the mouth of the Big Lagoon, I found myself drawn to the pristine water, with colors transcending from different shades of blue to breathtaking translucent turquoise. I carefully found my way towards the front end of the boat and basked in what I quoted "My Cerulean Paradise". I'm sure many of you have watched the movie Avatar. To tell the truth, cliche as it may sound, it felt magically surreal here, it's as if bits of the movie materialized.

Dubbed as The Philippines' Last Frontier, El Nido, alongside with Taytay (Apulit Island Resort is located here) was declared a Managed Resource Protected Area in 1998. It's the largest marine sanctuary in the Philippines.

tip: to avoid having blown out skies and overexposed shots,
set your ISO and aperture to a low value
settings : ISO 200, f13, 1/125, 10 mm

I hope it stays this way forever. And I'm positive it will, thanks to the continued environmental efforts of El Nido Resorts through their Be G.R.E.E.N. (Guard, Respect, Educate El Nido) campaign which focuses on energy conservation, ecological solid waste management and water conservation (to name a few). El Nido Resorts also conducts coastal clean-ups and environmental education. At the airport, we were able to watch videos discussing the Be G.R.E.E.N. campaign. It's nice because tourists gain awareness which in turn helps preserve the beauty of the place & prevent damage so that future generations may still enjoy its splendor and charm in the years to come. Kudos El Nido Resorts! :)

For the local government to be able to protect and manage the resources, each visitor is asked to pay two hundred pesos as conservation fee.

our guide, kuya chris sharing trivia about the limestone cliffs
a batman formation on top of a limestone cliff

romper/cover-up : topshop
aviators : vintage ray-ban
my cousin robbie and i (thanks kuya chris for taking this photo!)
Before our lagoon tour, we were asked to fit flippers at Lagen Resort for our snorkeling activity. The guides made sure we were comfortable in them. Also, while on our way to the lagoons, Kuya Chris explained the do's and dont's when snorkeling in El Nido. He also described the different fishes and marine life that we may encounter. 

Nemo wasn't at P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney. He's here! =P

Another trivia we learned while we were here was that all clownfish are born male. They have the ability to change their sex from male to female. They cannot however, change their orientation back.

Snorkeling in the Big Lagoon:

To get to the Small Lagoon, one has to go through a very small passage (we had to maneuver the kayak by grasping on the protruded rocks from the limestone opening and by pushing our way onto the other side). We didn't bring our slrs with us anymore. It's too risky. hehe.. Luckily we have an underwater camera so we were able to capture shots inside. 

Unlike in the Big Lagoon, the water was very still in the Small Lagoon. Once you get inside, you'll experience a different sense of calmness.

kayaked our way to the Small Lagoon
inside the small lagoon
Olympus uTough-3000
ISO 64 12mm f4.7 1/100
I was trying to upload the video we recorded there but I guess the file size is too big ( I'll try to figure it out. :) ). 

So there.. I really really hope you enjoyed this post coz this is my favorite spot in Palawan.

How about you? What place would you consider your 'Cerulean Paradise'? :)


  1. drooling and super envious! I love your shots, btw, whats ur UWA lens? :)

  2. thanks tina! it's a sigma 10-20mm :)

  3. inggit much! It's paradise!

  4. Such a beautiful place, a paradise no less. Sad that Palawan is just too expensive for now. But nevertheless, this will be one of my must see places when I can afford a grand vacation. You take such great photos, I am impressed with your talent, keep it up! Thanks for sharing these lovely photos of your trip! - Mar

  5. hi mar! i'm sure you'll have a grand time. :)

    thanks for the compliment. travel photography is really just my hobby.. but i try to learn more about it as much as i can. it's really great to read nice feedback from guys like you. coz really, the primary purpose of this blog is to inspire people to love, appreciate and take better care of our country .

    i hope i could travel more so i'd be able to share more. :)

  6. Beautiful phots! And I see you're a Canon user too. :) I kind of miss having an UWA though.

  7. thanks cedric. yup! i'm a happy canonite. :)
    UWA is handy talaga when it comes to shooting landscape..

    do keep in touch!

  8. I'd been here...and will keep on coming back.


Would love to hear from you.. :)

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