Things to Do in El Nido Palawan, Part II of II

Most of the El Nido guests stay only for 3 days at El Nido Resorts. One extra day did make a difference for me as a second-timer. We visited another El Nido Resorts private island called Dilumacad and not a lot of people think to go here first (it's nice to get an El Nido island listing from the net, even Wikipedia, and ask the guides about them when you get there so you don't have only "island hopping" in the itinerary). This was one of the highlights of this trip for me and I felt like Dora the Explorer on this one. There's a whole lot of space and sand for everyone and, apparently, people have survived being stuck here for a few months. Haha. This is Day 3 and Day 4 of my recent Palawan trip. Click here for Day 1 and Day 2.

Day 3
From a distance, Dilumacad Island is helicopter-shaped. Thus, it is also known as Helicopter Island. This is the site of Survivor Sweden and the participants were here last May 2011 (while the crew were happily stationed in Miniloc haha). You can see the remnant marker on the right.

Apparently, one can survive here eating sea almonds (tastes exactly like ordinary almonds) and

the Polynesian Arrowroot,

which was a bittersweet treat for me (very). I will probably acquire the taste for it if I get stuck in this island without food.

You may want to look at this slideshow about The Plants of El Nido, Palawan by Ulysses Ferreras to guide you in your trip (it's how I found out that I heard wrong when the guide told me about the Polynesian Arrowroot, mistook it as Peruvian Arrowhead haha). I also found the edible plant/fruit below which were also eaten (how: right to left below) by animals (and Survivors) in the island according to our guide.

Next to the edible plants were the turtle egg nests!

The nest was full of emptied turtle eggshells when I got there. The fences protect the eggs from natural predators.

Here I learned that reptiles sip the life out of these eggs if they get a hold of them. And that as few as one or two survive and make it through old age. The babies dig continuously and if unlucky, they would dig down deeper (and not up) and suffocate. It's a sad story but a natural phenomenon.

The guides also told me that a full-grown mama turtle (not sure if all kinds) will go back to the same beach where she was born and give birth there. The guides pointed to Turtle Island, which is off-limits and also in Palawan, on our first day. I wish more turtles make it and start their journey here in Dilumacad Island. 

The other members of the group were seen having a lovely moment,

enjoying an exfoliating skin rub,

and meditating under the shade of a tree.

Others were shown the rocks where Piolo's shoot took place. I missed that one for this - walking barefoot in that long stretch of sand.

We went to the more modern Lagen Island for lunch. We were told that we just missed the dolphins near the dock.

Here they offer the same activities plus this swimming pool is within your reach too along with spa beds and a billiard table (Miniloc has a billiard table, a table tennis table and beach basketball court). Miniloc and Lagen have different chefs and kitchens so the food is not the same. I had x servings of Lagen's brazo de mercedes (foccacia bread with Miniloc)... hehe. Click here for the El Nido Resorts Miniloc Difference.

Miniloc is only around 15 to 20 minutes away from Lagen by boat. I spent the most of my late afternoon by the Miniloc dock, watching someone snorkel for the first time.

Then, I was by the Happy Hour chairs with a Shirley Temple (hahaha) waiting for yet another buffet dinner.

Day 4
My newly found freedom underwater got extended during our last day. Take note, I had an earlier flight (around 1:30 p.m.) and nobody's going to stop me hahaha. I was supposed to go sunrise kayaking but then I think there was none visible that morning. Snorkeling at Shimizu was nearer by boat, just beyond the Miniloc dock, and our guide helped me with the lifebuoy ala Baywatch. I saw yellow fish on standstill (think they were sleeping), a turtle, a stonefish, a school of very small black hito (catfish), mushroom corals, multi-color clams on stone and a fishbone underwater! Spotting a turtle gracefully swim from a distance was such a treat!

The Ariel song was playing over and over in my head but I was marveling at all the neat stuff below me. Hahaha. I was THE Little Mermaid and I was momentarily part of that world.

I was ready before 11:30 a.m. to leave, lounged one more time and took one last look of the Miniloc beachfront.

I was a little moved when we were carried away by the boat because all the wonderful people who made my stay in El Nido wonderful were waving continuously and singing at the dock until we could no longer see them. They even packed sandwiches for us in place of lunch. 

A long boatride followed and they took us to this side near the airport. It used to be a bumpy rubber boat ride a few years back. Today, there was a dock waiting for us.

We found ourselves back in the El Nido airport after around 5 minutes of jeep ride.

Some El Nido Resorts guests moved on to stay in the town proper of El Nido for a few days. Making the most out of your P6760 one-way ticket to El Nido by doing this is an option. An insider revealed though that you can get P3000 to P4000 tickets if there is a sale around 5 days before the trip. Just ask the people at the El Nido airport, maybe when you arrive =) If not, Puerto Princesa is just a few hours away by bus. Click here for more ways. As for me, the same welcome manangs (old ladies) were waving goodbye as I was walking towards the plane. They were singing a song that captured my sentiment about this trip and leaving: They sang "Puso ko'y nabighani" (my heart was charmed/captivated/smitten with El Nido) and the line after that roughly translates "El Nido will forever be etched in my heart na lang (only/like that's all I can do for now) if I had a great time". Like a turtle that instinctively comes back once in a while, I shall return to Palawan soon.