Laid back and frivolous, the name El Nido sounds like something from a Disney Movie. But I'm sure even ol' Walt couldn't have come up with a dream land like this. For starters, have a look at the rocks that jut out of the water..and out of the ground. They're ridiculous. They have no business being there, yet there they are poking their noses out and trying to be a part of everything and looking so gorgeous it's unbelievable. They form an impenetrable limestone karst wall around most of the town, blocking out the wind thus making the climate muggy. But we'll forgive them because they're so silly.
Then, there are the islands around town, a whopping 45 of them, almost each one with it's own personal dive spot. Looking at a map, I have a hard time trying to decide which ones we want to go to, and realize that one day in El Nido isn't going to cut it. We'd need a year. We decide on the few closest to the mainland and try not to think about what we'll be missing. But tales of one of our islands being featured in The Bourne Legacy do well to mollify us.
We set out early the next day, wanting to cram as much in before the sun comes out. Copter Island (also Dilumacad Island) is first on the list, earning its title from far away. This was the Bourne one, and it doesn't take us long to figure out why it's earned star status. Snorkeling here with kids is great because the coral is so close to the milky white beach. Wear mosquito repellent here, or any kind of lotion. Also be wary of plankton in the water in the early hours of the morning; you could be stung. Next on the list is Big Lagoon. More limestone outcrops, but this time looming out of the water like a huge gateway. Think Lord Of the Rings and the entrance to Nen Hithoel. The waters are perfect for dropping a kayak into and paddling about in. The shallow waters reveal prickly sea urchins, little black spots stuck fast to the sea bed.
The island of Palawan and city of Puerto Princesa are some of the Philippines major tourist spots. People from all over the world come to visit this island paradise. The island is also the site of the Palawan Military Museum, officially known as the Palawan Special Battalion WW2 Memorial Museum.
In 1944 the area was controlled, as were the rest of the Philippines, by the Imperial Japanese Army which had captured the country and held the people along with US Military prisoners under brutal conditions.
In Palawan American POWs were being held to construct a Japanese airfield. The prisoners were held under harsh conditions with little to eat and a lack of medical care.
The Palawan Special Battalion WW-2 Museum is located close to the airport at Rizal Avenue Extension, Baragay Bancao-Bancao, 5300 Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, Philippines and gives interesting insights into this specific period of the Philippines' history.