name changed to preempt the actual person's fame

My trip to the enchanting El Nido was a case of double identity. It wasn't on a Jason Bourne's proportion but rather just a simple name switch enough to charge excitement.

I arrived Cebu on the eve of my flight to Puerto Princesa and met up with my friend,sponsor and collaborator. His recent hospitalization prevented him from traveling far, thus, offered me his ticket. Everything was well ironed out and handed me the ticket and of course the identification card with his name on it bearing my photo. I was him as i stepped inside the Cebu airport.

The flight from Cebu to Puerto Princesa was longer than i thought, the white caps on the sea below signal rough waters but it didn't dampen the enthusiasm of experiencing the allure of the Philippine's last frontier. The sight of the lush mangrove forest as the plane nearing touchdown bolstered the thrill. We met up with the other members of our Team B who flew in from Manila and together embarked on the long and not so comfy 6hrs van ride to El Nido as Team A was waiting for us while nursing their hangover.
Team B (pic by Ellyn)
Team A (pic by Aime)

pic by Aime
The site of the captivating karst islands dotting the bay greeted us with awe and was even swooned by its beauty watching it by the shore. Finally, the whole "El Nido Crew 2011" cast is complete and after exchanging pleasantries...time to celebrate one of the cast's birthday with a dinner at the Art Cafe. It's a fine cozy restaurant but ordering food with a big group will starve you waiting. We explored the town's night scene and  hied off first to Balay Tubay, a music bar with live band playing all night. Its driftwood and bamboo interior added a feel of rusticity embellished with kitsch. A better place to hang out especially when options are non. Next stop was at the Asylum, a sleazy bar/discotheque inhabited by some "angels of the night", some free spirits and inebriated clients and  also the place where the impostor was offered a juicy job pimping to the whities.

We woke up on an overcast morning and the choppiness of the water only afforded us to go on one nearby island.A pretty uninhabited white sandy area with rock formations, perfect to laze around with rum rum coke. Others went to swim across the short channel beach combing the other island. 

pic by Ellyn

The night was heightened up when the boys took center  stage and stole the show.  The unrehearsed performance pulled it off so well to the delight of the audiences.

We brought our intoxication further to the guesthouse where our supply of rum was overflowing. Out of the blue, a stranger came by introduced to be a caretaker of an island and invited the crew over. We got hold of his number in case he was just drunk though we had a prior booking from Lagoon Tours.

the boys in the band

plying the trade(pic by Dess)

It's way to wake up spirit (tanduay) filled trying hard to capture the enthralling seascape by pretending to be sober. We checked out from the guesthouse to spend the night in an island and little did we know that the island we were on was the one the stranger owned or took care of. It was a perfect place to experience the Super Moon. The turquoise water  white sandy beach is backdropped with lush vegetation and jagged edge limestone, every visual direction is a beauty to behold...a bewitching paradise to call our own, and true to its name, it is called as SERENITY BEACH.
pic by Olay
pic by Christian

pic by Christian

The day moved on with the usual island hopping tour around the Bacauit Bay, mesmerized by its fantasy-scape karst islands that hide so many uninhabited white sand beaches, explored Secret Beach, which is a lagoon accessible by swimming through a small perilous entrance with jagged rocks and corals over hanged. It needs an average swimming skill and a good guide to get in and out of the lagoon.  Lunch was at one of the beaches of Miniloc Island and headed to the Big and Small lagoons. Last stop was at the 7 commandos Island, the name still boggles me but is a picturesque spot worth a stop.

secret beach entrance by Ellyn
inside secret beach by Ellyn




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