So you have done all the tours in El Nido Palawan from Tours A, B, C, D and E. The west side of El Nido, the Bacuit Bay in particular does have dramatic limestone karst islands and captivating beaches, but El Nido doesn’t end there. The other side, the El Nido east coast holds more islands to explore and stunning white sand beaches to bum around. Sibaltan is the jump off point for these island adventures. I have written about some of the islands of Linapacan, now discover the limestone island of Imorigue Island. From afar it looks daunting but the locals swear on how rich the marine life surrounding its waters are.
It seems I have revisited many places this year which I really don’t mind since it’s been years since I last visited them. I’m always interested to see what has developed and retracing back my routes sure brings back fond memories in different places. When I had the chance to go back to Kota Kinabalu, I knew I didn’t want to miss that opportunity as it was my first destination out of the country.
A stay in Manado equals convenience as attractions in and around North Sulawesi are just nearby. One of the nearest attractions is the coral-fringed Bunaken Island, part of the Bunaken National Marine Park. The park, with its 1,566 deep waters, boasts of rich biodiversity where 70% of fish species from the Indo-Western Pacific Ocean and seven times more genus of coral than Hawaii can be found. It’s definitely a haven for divers and snorkelers. For beachcombers, there’s a stretch of white sand beach tucked behind mangroves at the southern end.
Coron Palawan can speak for itself in terms of its natural beauty. I’ve seen the wonders of Halong Bay, while I admired its thousands of karst wonder, it can’t really compare to how clear and spectacular our Palawan turquoise waters is. The best way to see the islands which is through day tours offered in town. Like El Nido, Coron have also grouped the sites to several island tours. We’re doing the Coron Island Hopping tour (offered by Coron EcoLodge) and has just visited Kayangan Lake. The only need in these tours is a comfortable swimwear (expect to be wet throughout), an open sense of wonder and fun.
“Why would I want to do that?!” Chele, one of our comical and lively companion in Camiguin exclaimed with a ghastly expression on her face when I broached the idea of snorkeling at the Camiguin Sunken Cemetery. I couldn’t blame her since the thought of venturing in the cemetery at daylight already creeps some people out, what more on the deep-sea water. But curiosity got the better of me and I’m already have a firm resolve that I would snorkel here one way or another.
Five years are enough time for a place to change. Such is the case for Mantigue Island in Camiguin, North Mindanao. With Cebu Pacific Air’s direct flights from Cebu recently introduced last April, I was lucky enough to join a band of bloggers raring to explore the island wonders to promote its flight accessibility and tourism. I guess its serendipity that I go back to Camiguin as I was yearning to go back to Mantigue Island since I had a memorable visit there in 2008. As our boat launched under a hazy mid-morning sky and a sentimental air, I can’t help wonder what does the island look now? Is the family where we stayed in still there? After a mere 15-20 minutes boat ride over medium swells, the island was there to answer.
“There is sea walking? I haven’t tried that yet!” I excitedly told my companions when I saw it in our itinerary. We were off to the Borneo Reef World, a pontoon just off the Pulau Sapi and Pulau Gaya, within the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park area. What’s a pontoon? It’s a floating barge, used as docking support for boats and even sea planes. The Borneo Reef World Pontoon however is a new reef activity pontoon (months only since opening 3rd quarter of 2012) that aims to offer visitors a slew of water activities that showcases the richness of Kota Kinabalu’s marine life.