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Monday, March 21, 2016

Pangulasian Island Resort: El Nido's Island of the Sun

As travel bloggers, we often get asked the most obvious and predictable questions. The number one on that list of questions would be: "What is your most favorite place in the world?".  In my case, my answer almost seems like a knee jerk reflex - automatic and unforced. It is and will always be the same - El Nido.

I have always thought of our Palawan Islands as a dream. El Nido is a dream within that dream. My first life-changing trip to the Bacuit Archipelago many years ago ignited my love for travel and our country. It was not an easy 6-hour journey from Puerto Princesa but arriving in El Nido felt like a spiritual experience. The jagged limestone formations (some even looking like Godzilla's back) that dotted the Bay were all nothing short of magical.

For this trip, it was more special because we stayed in the newest and most luxurious Eco Resort in El Nido - Pangulasian Island Resort by El Nido Resorts. It gained more worldwide recognition when Condé Nast recently included Pangulasian Island Resort as one of the favorite beach resorts in the world for the GOLD IT list this year. 

The day before our trip, I barely slept because of the excitement. My cousin Trisha and I went to the El Nido private hangar around 5 AM to check-in. Everything was going perfectly until I found out that I could not use my new Phantom DJI drone. I was looking forward to flying my drone to take aerial shots of the island. I was quite disappointed, to say the least, but I would not let that dampen my mood.

The trip to Pangulasian Island was a relatively quick one.

After the one-hour flight with Airswift (also known as ITI) and 30 minute boat transfer, we arrived in our piece of paradise. We were greeted by the staff with warm smiles and cold towels. It would have been better though if the General Manager or assistant Manager greeted us when we arrived. As a luxury resort with a discerning clientele, I look for more personal touches. I guess after visiting dozens of luxury properties around the world, I focus on service all the time.

We had a quick introduction about Pangulasian and its position as an eco resort. It is a delight to be staying in a property that puts eco-tourism first before anything else. Sustainable tourism should start from the local people  but it would not survive if tourists are not part of it. Even the plastic bags they use in the resort are biodegradable. They also encourage guests to pick trash to see along the way (I do this all the time!)

Our Beach Villa. Pangulasian has 42 modern and spacious Filipino villas that you won't mind not leaving for the rest of your vacation. If you have difficulty walking, I suggest you take the beach or pool villa for convenience. The canopy villas might be a bit of a challenge for people with bad knees.

The bathroom was also huge. Another person could even sleep here!

With my travel essentials: My weekend travel bag from FINO, swim shorts from Sapph Philippines, and Marula Oil to protect and hydrate my skin after a long day.

The perfect view of the emerald Bacuit Bay.

Right outside the villa is a marine sanctuary that will make snorkeling almost mandatory. You must!

Getting my morning dose of Vitamin D.

If you want a bit more privacy with a big group, get the Kalaw Villa. It has its own meeting room and infinity pool.

When you are in Pangulasian, the resort has activities planned for the guests from sunrise to sunset. Since El Nido is known for its secret coves and beautiful islands, you need to go out and see a few of its treasures. One morning, we went to the nearest Snake Island. It was an incredible S-shaped sandbar connected to the mainland. I was finally able to use my drone here. This is one of the shots from its first glorious flight.

We also went to the Beach club of El Nido Resorts in Entalula Island for more R and R.

Entalula is my first love in El Nido.

Everything about this place gets me. There was a time that I could not imagine myself living on an island. When I went back to this place, I felt like I could. People must live longer here with their stress-free life. Simplifying our lives could be the solution to some of our problems. We all only need that push.

Back to basics with my prima.

Staying in Pangulasian also gives you access to visit the other El Nido properties like Lagen Island. (Guests staying in Miniloc, Lagen or Apulit cannot go to Pangulasian). It was recently renovated this year. I loved the whole colonial look!

The best part of El Nido - Big  Lagoon.

When you are tired of island hopping, you can always enjoy lounging by pool.

The view also is not that bad.

Mango-Banana Shake hits the right spot.

A surprise private dinner setup.

Sunsets in El Nido are too beautiful for words.

Do not miss the sunrise in the Bacuit Archipelago because it is as amazing as sunset. We did a 5 AM hike on the island and we were rewarded with an unparalleled view of the whole Archipelago.

My verdict: Pangulasian Island definitely deserves all the recognition it has received lately. A few more improvements with the service (more attentive wait staff) and it would already be perfect.

When a resorts confuses you whether you should stay-in or go island hopping, they are doing a good job. Hopefully, they would let me use my drone, even for 30 seconds next time I go back (Wishful thinking).

At the end of the trip, I felt more recharged and inspired. I was also happy to know that in my own little way, I was able to show the beauty of this country to my cousin. El Nido has its way of changing your mind.

For bookings, Click www.elnidoresorts.com

Rates start at P35,000 per night for two.


Satish said...


Marvelous Photos said...

why couldn't you use your drone there?

Serety said...

This is the information I am looking for.


Daisy Goddard said...

Hope you loved living on that beautiful island.
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ishhu said...