Second day at Pangulasian Island. We woke up fairly early (for a vacation day at least!).
Trekking through the lush forest, we reached the observation deck at the top of the island. The deck, which is at a height of over 700ft above sea level, provided a stunning 360 degree view of the nearby islands. Sunrise or sunset is advised for viewings from the deck but the view is just as splendid at any time of the day.
Later that afternoon, we boarded a traditional banca boat to visit the nearby Big and Small Lagoon. The theory is that millions of years ago, these imposing limestone cliffs were caves that arose from the ocean. As the roofs of these caves collapsed over time, the lagoons were created.
Reminiscent of the Biblical parting of the Red Sea, the towering limestone cliffs separate to create the Big Lagoon. The emerald waters of the Big Lagoon are very tranquil making it an excellent location for kayaking. Our banca boat glided through the lagoon and stopped to let us to get into our kayak. I thought I had spotted a baby whale shark. They are not known to inhabit these waters so maybe I was just hallucinating from all the breathtaking beauty around me. We did spot a lone sea turtle enjoying the sun and floating along.
We spent hours kayaking, maneuvering the kayak freely in the calm waters of the Big Lagoon. At one point, we glided through a tiny gap in the limestone formation to enter the Small Lagoon. Swiflets are known to build their nests in the crevices of these limestone cliffs. The nests, called ‘nido’ in Spanish lend their name to the area, El Nido.
The following morning, hubby signed up at the resort Dive Center (PADI certified) for the Discover Scuba Dive and his underwater adventures continued. Diving to a depth of 11 meters on his first attempt, he watched in amazement as batfish, lobsters, Christmas tree worms, nudibranches, clams and other fascinating sea creatures, went about their business without a care in the world.
As for me, I couldn’t stop thinking about how lucky I was to have experienced this paradise. The thought of heading back in a couple of days was beginning to induce withdrawal symptoms. The glorious hues of the sunset provided some temporary comfort.
Hubby needed 24hrs for decompression following his dive and I cherished every remaining second of my time on the island.
When the time came to say ‘goodbye’, the resort staff lined up to sing a local farewell song. Our guide explained the lyrics to us. Simply put, the song said that they were sad to see us go but the island will always be here waiting for us. I could feel my eyes start to well up.
I was leaving but I had left my heart behind at Pangulasian.