I was starting to enter a state of depression as I tried to zip up my life jacket forcefully. “My tummy is getting in the way,” I self-deprecated when I was asked what the matter was. It was the third life jacket I tried and I really needed one because I, embarrassing as it sounds, doesn’t know how to swim. Boo, bite me. (I should start taking lessons.) Fortunately, I was able to find one that fit me.
This is why two of my favorite bodies of water are lagoons and lakes. They’re just not as tiring as the sea or the freakin’ ocean. The waves are gentle and “friendly,” and they do not try to drag me farther against my will. In many of the lakes and lagoons I have visited, I just put my life vest on and floated aimlessly like a piece of wood.
But it’s difficult to be sad in El Nido.
The imposing limestone cliffs fringed with green vegetation are therapists in disguise. Their colors against the blue skies are visual music that has the ability to relax, hypnotize and blow all bad vibes away. Heck, even the sound of the boat’s engine has that ability, too. It’s funny because every time the sound of the engine stopped, we knew we were in for a treat.
Miniloc Island is right smack in the middle of Bacuit Bay, El Nido. The island’s jagged coastline is filled with pockets of white beaches and lagoons and caves, both shallow and deep. It is one of those islands you think only exist in the movies or your head.
Many tourists choose to kayak from the Small Lagoon to the Big Lagoon, and sometimes around the island. In fact, we kept on seeing kayakers in the area and they were having a blast. Most of them were foreigners.
The Small Lagoon
I couldn’t help but remember my trip to the Twin Lagoons in Coron, Palawan, as I prepared to
swim float. Like in Coron, the Small Lagoon is also accessible via a small opening or a gap in the limestone walls. It is actually these cliffs, and the rocks and corals in the shallow part of the area that temper the waves, protecting the water in the lagoon from the all whatever violent events in the open sea.
It was easy to explore the place because there were no strong waves. At one point, the water just got colder as we go deeper into the lagoon. I guess that’s what made it colder — it was deeper. Thank goodness I was confident my life vest was reliable. I am more comfortable swimming in deep water because I don’t have to worry about accidentally hitting a rock or hurting myself. But I have to be honest that there was a crazy, paranoid part of me that kept thinking there could be some sort of monstrous creature lurking in the deep out to get me. But that’s just me.
One of our boatmen, who swam with us, invited us to one corner and urged us to check out the small cave where he was. We swam towards the place and explored the cave.
The Big Lagoon
It was like the limestone cliffs parted as our boat glided through. Seriously, it really looked and felt like that. Miniloc Island is like a place straight from a fantasy movie. The towering cliffs are lined up on both sides like sentinels and as you go deeper, you feel like you are stepping into another dimension. Everywhere you look, you are blown away. Whether you try to see what’s beneath the crystal blue fluid blanket or look up to see the sun peeking behind the top of the cliffs, or look around to try to find your way around the limestone labyrinth, Miniloc Island will mesmerize you.
We didn’t get off the boat at the Big Lagoon, though.I guess we were all tired and hungry. We just sat there as our boat glided around the paradise. That’s not to say that we weren’t amazed by the Big Lagoon. I actually think it is way more beautiful than the Small Lagoon.
As I hopped back onto our boat and take off the life jacket, I realized just how lucky I was to be there. And that not even my tummy or weight or whatever negativity could ruin a mood of someone who is surrounded by, hmmm, what is it? Ah, perfection.