My 40th Birthday: Going to El Nido Palawan on a budget - Day 4

Day 4- April 14, 2011, My mom's birthday. After another delicious free breakfast that came with our P800 accommodation at Og's Beach Pension House, I've decided to go on another boat tour this time with Og's Island Tours since some of the guests were already going. Tour B (800/pax with free use of snorkeling masks and fins, lunch with fruits and vegetables) - Pangalusian Island, Snake Island, Cudugnon Cave, Cathedral Cave and Pinagbuyatan Island. 
I've been on Tour B four years ago with my son and it felt different seeing more resorts offering the same tours with different styles. There used to be just the Palawan Boatmen Association offering the tours at lesser than P600 with the same freebies. The difference this time was that most boatmen I've talked to used to be the workers of the former Club Noah Resort in Taytay, Palawan (owned by an Ayala Group Co. according to the boatmen like the Lagen and Miniloc luxurious resorts in El Nido). Nok, a beautiful 29-year-old Thai, Arnold and Kate (nicknames) (both Austrian), a sweet and loving couple with my son and I joined Kuya Ronnie and Kuya Bining in the smaller boat to go to for Tour B.
There were said to be many snake islands in the country and there is one in Coron as well but El Nido Boat Tour's Snake Island is one sandbar that stretches to another island. We saw a dog cross the path simply walking from one end to the next and it was really interesting. Kuya Ronnie and Kuya Bining were telling me their own stories about how they have both worked together in Club Noah and it reminded me of more fellow Filipinos back in the city trying to make ends meet. The Austrian couple, Kate and Arnold were so delighted with the fresh ripe mangoes and we've talked about Thai and Filipino mango varieties. I really loved the tiny mangoes we have in the Philippines. The couple told me that they could never get the same type of mangoes in their country. Nok (the lovely Thai girl with us) was also loving the mangoes and it made me feel happy.
We were served Grilled Porkchops with soy sauce and calamansi, Filipino Cucumber and Tomato Salad and those fresh ripe mangoes with rice. Although the side dishes served were limited, we were all happy and full because of the sweet and fresh ripe mangoes. The next stop was the Cudugnon Cave.
I've decided not to enter the cave since I've been there already and I was more excited with the picturesque view outside the cave so the Austrian couple, Nok and my son went with Kuya Ronnie inside. They were all happy telling me how beautiful the cave was inside and they were telling me they'd help me get in in the next stop regardless of the dangers. 
The next on the itinerary was the Cathedral Cave. We could not get in since the water was really deep and the sharp edges of the stone may hurt us. The foreigner friends we came with asked why it was called such and they all agreed that inside really looked like a Cathedral.
We wanted to get in but we were forbidden because the stones were not just sharp, they were also slippery. The last destination was the Pinagbuyatan Island where we all just frolicked and relaxed. To all our surprise, Kuya Ronnie and Kuya Bining made hats from coconut leaves. It was really interesting and we were all in awe at the animals on top of the hat, chicken, grasshopper, fish and a bird. The foreigners hesitated thinking maybe that they'd be charged of a fee to get it but eventually started taking pictures with it after Kuya Ronnie saying it's just a compliment gift to all their guests they regularly make. We've been told they've learned these skills of hat-making from being workers at Club Noah in Taytay.
It was a beautiful hat. It was a beautiful day. I was with a group of tour buddies that felt like family. I can't wait for another day with them again on the next tour. Dinner was still the P50 meal at Lutong Bahay at the back of Og's Beach Pension House with Adobong Pusit dish and rice. I was happy and really full - in and out.

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