El Nido Series

El Nido | Tour C Part 2: Cagbatang Island

Monday, January 28, 2013Ryan Mach

"You just snorkel then after an hour, lunch would be ready," our tour guide Leo advised as our boat moored at the shallow, clear water of Cagbatang, an island that's not really part of Tour C but the next supposed destination was too dangerous to visit. I won't say we're stuck in Cagbatang because it's a nice small beach that reminded me of Puting Buhangin in Quezon. The sand was powdery white although littered with logs.

"This island was called Cagbatang because of logs that got washed on its shore," Leo explained. Those logs, both massive and small, scattered along the beach were an indication of illegal logging happening in some islands, whether they're from El Nido or from neighboring towns, I couldn't tell for sure. They were not from Cagbatang Island, only brought there by current and wind. They were sure a litter, blemishing the beach with their intrusive presence.
The calm waters were a delightful change of scenery - a stark contrast from Helicopter Island's choppy shore. Here, the waves were more gentle, allowing us to have a good swim. Under the mild ripple, hard corals danced in the sunlight, and a few variety of fish darted past average-size rocks strewn on the seafloor. I was enjoying the view when I spotted a number of sea urchins - instinctively, I panicked and went back to the shore.
After a few minutes later, my tour mates followed suit and found a spot on the beach where they could sunbathe. I could only look as they spread their towels on the sand and lie down facing the sun.
They stayed under the searing heat of the sun for a good 30 minutes until it was time for lunch.
As for me, I found a nice little shade near the area where Leo and his buddies were preparing lunch. Huge boulders served as my shield against the sun. Leo would ask me from time to time if I was okay, and if I was enjoying myself. His concern must have stemmed from the fact that in a group of foreign tourists, I was the only Filipino.
The divide was evident on how we were positioned that time - on the exposed shore were the foreigners (Spanish, Dutch, Korean and Slovenian) enjoying the sun and us, the boat guys and I were under the shade afraid of the glaring heat.
But once lunch was ready, everyone communed at the same spot and shared the spread of good food - grilled fish and meat, some prawns, a variety of vegetable salad, and fresh fruits.
We left Cagbatang with stomach close to bursting.

 Next up: Cadlao Lagoon

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