by Eric Merced
San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines
October 12, 2004
We arrived at the resort at around 4pm. Since we were not using the resort boat, the boat we were riding stopped 50m in front of the pier. We did a balancing act in transferring to their boat. It was raining at that time so they provided us with umbrellas, which was funny since it was hard to balance with the umbrella with one hand and use the other to hold our luggage since the sea was choppy and windy.
At the reception, the staffs welcomed us as they sang some songs in Cuyunin dialect (one of the dialects spoken in Palawan). Then we were briefed of what we can and cannot do while in the resort. With an emphasis on the conservation of the environment, we were told to, "Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints." They provided us some recyclable bags for our non-biodegradable things that we brought into the resort so that we could carry it back from were we came from. They gave checklists for the wildlife and sea creatures that we can find in El Nido. They said it was our way of helping them monitor these creatures, as these data will be added to their database. Then we were led to our rooms (forest rooms).
The assigned room for me had a good air-conditioning unit, mini-bar (pricey), telephone, toilet and shower with hot and cold running water, biodegradable soap and shampoo (the resort requested that we only use these so as not to ruin the delicate balance of the environment), a stereo system with CD player, and some selection of CDs. More CDs can be requested from the reception area.
Sleeping was not a problem for me. The environment was so peaceful. The surrounding sounds were subdued as if on cue to lull me to sleep. Our wake-up alarm in the morning was the songs of the birds.
A mobile phone is useless at the resort since the place is a dead spot. Towering limestone cliffs surround this place. The only place to get a signal at the resort is at the telescope on the resort's pier. While we were there, we noticed that there were some mobile phones attached to the telescope. They said that it was the only way to have a (weak) signal. It was very funny to imagine how to place a call while on that situation. The caller would have to stick his head on the telescope, unless his mobile phone has speakerphone.
This place is ideal for stressed city dwellers who long for a respite from work and from the city itself. This is a great place to rejuvenate one's soul.
From journal Enchanting El Nido